news 2017



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Environment - 22.03.2017
Tests Show CMU Water Supplies Are Safe
Following extensive testing, Carnegie Mellon University has determined that drinking water supplies throughout its campus facilities are safe and free of elevated lead levels. In August of 2016, The Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority (PWSA), which supplies CMU's water, notified residents of elevated levels of lead in some local homes.

Health - Environment - 21.03.2017
Ghosts of past diseases shape species evolution
Ghosts of past diseases shape species evolution
A team of researchers from Queen Mary University of London (QMUL) and the Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology (EAWAG) has revealed that diseases can not only affect fish evolution, but also the aquatic environments in which fish live. Parasites and diseases are major elements of the environment that affect animal populations.

Physics - Environment - 20.03.2017
'Fingerprint' technique spots frog populations at risk from pollution
‘Fingerprint’ technique spots frog populations at risk from pollution
Researchers at Lancaster University have found a way to detect subtle early warning signs that reveal a frog population is at risk from pollution. Worldwide, amphibian populations are declining due to habitat loss, disease and pollution which is cited as a major threat to their survival. Scientists publishing in Scientific Reports , have found evidence of stress in tadpoles taken from ponds most impacted by pollution caused by nutrients and pesticides.

Environment - Life Sciences - 17.03.2017
Deep-sea corals reveal why atmospheric carbon was reduced during colder time periods
Deep-sea corals reveal why atmospheric carbon was reduced during colder time periods
We know a lot about how carbon dioxide (CO2) levels can drive climate change, but how about the way that climate change can cause fluctuations in CO2 levels? New research from an international team of scientists, which includes the University of Bristol, reveals one of the mechanisms by which a colder climate was accompanied by depleted atmospheric CO2 during past ice ages.

Physics - Environment - 17.03.2017
Why water splashes: new theory reveals secrets
Reason why raindrops and spilt coffee splash revealed by University of Warwick research New theory uncovers - for first time - what happens in space between liquid drop and surface to cause splash Microscopic layer of air - 50 times smaller than a human hair - trapped between liquid and surface can prevent liquid spreading on surface Scale comparable to a 1cm layer of air stopping a tsunami wave spreading across a beach Research published in top Physics & Mathematics journal New research from the University of Warwick generates fresh insight into how a raindrop or spilt coffee splashes.

Environment - Earth Sciences - 16.03.2017
Natural measures to prevent floods are not a ’silver bullet’ solution
Oxford Martin School research says claims that natural flood management can improve the worst floods are not supported by scientific evidence. Their research in the Proceedings of the Royal Society A concludes that natural measures to manage flooding from rivers can play a valuable role in flood prevention.

Environment - Life Sciences - 16.03.2017
Survival of bumblebee families improved by flowers
Survival of bumblebee families improved by flowers
Flower-rich habitats are key to enhancing the survival of bumblebee families, according to new research involving UCL scientists. The team led by the UK's Centre for Ecology & Hydrology found that increasing flowers provided by spring-flowering trees, hedgerow plants and crops across the landscape - in combination with summer flower resources - can increase the probability of family survival to the next year by up to four times.

Life Sciences - Environment - 16.03.2017
Outwitting climate change with a plant 'dimmer'?
Outwitting climate change with a plant ’dimmer’?
Research news Plants possess molecular mechanisms that prevent them from blooming in winter. Once the cold of win-ter has passed, they are deactivated. However, if it is still too cold in spring, plants adapt their blooming behavior accordingly. Scientists from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have discovered genetic changes for this adaptive behavior.

Environment - 16.03.2017
Measuring the impact of a city's buildings on the weather
Measuring the impact of a city's buildings on the weather
A new model developed at EPFL can help engineers and meteorologists quickly calculate the effect that city buildings have on local weather patterns. A blinds manufacturer is already interested in it, and climate scientists could be next. The shape of city buildings, how they are arranged, and the heat they generate all affect the local weather.

Environment - Life Sciences - 15.03.2017
Pattern of mammal dwarfing during ancient global warming events revealed
Pattern of mammal dwarfing during ancient global warming events revealed
ANN ARBOR'More than 50 million years ago, when Earth experienced a series of extreme global warming events, early mammals responded by shrinking in size. While this mammalian dwarfism has previously been linked to the largest of these events, new research has found that this evolutionary process can happen in smaller events known as hyperthermals, indicating an important pattern that could help shape an understanding of underlying effects of current human-caused climate change.

Environment - 15.03.2017
No publication bias found in climate change research
No publication bias found in climate change research
Rarely do we encounter a scientific fact that stirs public controversy and distrust in science as much as climate change. However, the theory is built on honest reporting of facts. This emerges from a new study from Lund University in Sweden. The study in question investigates whether there is a so-called publication bias within climate research, i.e. a statistically skewed distribution of the way various types of findings are presented in research journals.

Environment - 14.03.2017
Research partnerships with first-ever Brazil Week
Researchers at the University of Birmingham have developed a way of investigating or diagnosing the challenges facing their home city that could be used to help improve the lives of city dwellers around the world. And the blueprint they are working with could help city policy makers and other countries to take more effective actions to boost the quality of life for residents by providing better outcomes.

Environment - Earth Sciences - 14.03.2017
Study quantifies role of ‘legacy phosphorus’ in reduced water quality
Wind turbines and farm fields near Springfield Corners, Wisconsin. Cropland in the Yahara watershed has an overabundance of soil phosphorus, and researchers say that makes clean lakes and rivers possible only with a revolution in land and water management. Courtesy of UW?Madison Water Sustainability and Climate project For decades, phosphorous has accumulated in Wisconsin soils.

Chemistry - Environment - 14.03.2017
Doubts about whether internet filters protect teenagers online
Ancient fossilised algae may be the gateway to understanding the atmospheric carbon dioxide levels of the Earth during the dinosaur era, and the role this played in changing the prehistoric climate. Copyright: Shutterstock Ancient fossilised algae may be the gateway to understanding carbon dioxide and the role it played in transforming the prehistoric climate, a new  Oxford University  study has found.

Environment - Earth Sciences - 13.03.2017
Rapid decline of Arctic sea ice a combination of climate change and natural variability
Rapid decline of Arctic sea ice a combination of climate change and natural variability
Arctic sea ice in recent decades has declined even faster than predicted by most models of climate change. Many scientists have suspected that the trend now underway is a combination of global warming and natural climate variability. A new study finds that a substantial chunk of summer sea ice loss in recent decades was due to natural variability in the atmosphere over the Arctic Ocean.

Environment - 09.03.2017
University brings £3.5 billion boost to the UK economy
New research suggests that the capacity of the terrestrial biosphere to absorb carbon dioxide (CO2) may have been underestimated in past calculations due to certain land-use changes not being fully taken into account. It is widely known that the terrestrial biosphere (the collective term for all the world's land vegetation, soil, etc.) is an important factor in mitigating climate change, as it absorbs around 20% of all fossil fuel CO2 emissions.

Environment - 09.03.2017
University of Birmingham welcomes the publication of the Midlands Engine strategy
Experts at the University of Birmingham are joining forces with partners in India and the UK on a project to help tackle health problems associated with air pollution in Delhi. With air pollution levels at times up to 30 times greater than those found in the UK, Delhi - pictured below in November - was rated as the most polluted city in the world for ambient air pollution by the World Health Organisation (WHO) in 2014.

Environment - 09.03.2017
Soils Could Release Much More Carbon Than Expected as Climate Warms
Soils could release much more CO2than expected into the atmosphere as the climate warms, according to new research by scientists from the Department of Energy's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab). Their findings are based on a field experiment that, for the first time, explored what happens to organic carbon trapped in soil when all soil layers are warmed, which in this case extend to a depth of 100 centimeters.

Media - Environment - 08.03.2017
Writing group ‘boosts productivity and reduces stress’ at Oxford
Researchers say 'benevolent bots', otherwise known as software robots, that are designed to make articles on Wikipedia better often end up having online fights lasting years over changes in content. Editing bots on Wikipedia undo vandalism, enforce bans, check spelling, create links and import content automatically, whereas other bots (which are non-editing) can mine data, identify data or identify copyright infringements.

Life Sciences - Environment - 08.03.2017
Biologists identify ancient stress response in corals
Biologists identify ancient stress response in corals
Monitoring a newly discovered group of genes in coral could predict when they are under stress and might bleach. The approach could improve conservation strategies for at-risk coral reefs. Stanford marine biologists have discovered that corals activate a specific group of ancient, defensive genes when exposed to stressful environmental conditions.
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