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Environment - Life Sciences - 15.02.2017
Laissez-faire is not good enough for reforestation
Laissez-faire is not good enough for reforestation
If degraded and logged areas of tropical forests are left to nature, the populations of certain endangered tree species are not able to recover. This applies in particular to trees with large fruit where the seeds are distributed by birds, as ETH scientists have shown in a rainforest in India. In order to restore tropical rainforests, it is not enough to simply set up protected areas and leave them to their own devices.

Environment - 14.02.2017
‘Great British Energy’ could fuel conservatives’ passion for climate change action
Using language around 'Great British Energy' could become a valuable tool for climate change communicators to inspire and engage people right across the political spectrum. A new study by Cardiff University and Climate Outreach also revealed that language around British low-carbon energy technologies and the idea of avoiding waste resonates strongly with people of right-of-centre political views.

Life Sciences - Environment - 14.02.2017
Genes that help crops adapt to change
All the diversity of maize across the planet emanates from Mexico, where the crop was first domesticated thousands of years ago. Since then, farmers have bred and adapted maize to local environments, leading to tens of thousands of varieties. Over many thousands of years, farmers have bred maize varieties so the crops are optimally adapted to local environments.

Environment - 14.02.2017
Biodiversity when restoring soil through fallowing: stronger interactions among organisms, increased carbon uptake in soil
Biodiversity when restoring soil through fallowing: stronger interactions among organisms, increased carbon uptake in soil
As a part of the EU's EcoFINDERS project, led by INRA, researchers studied changes in soil biodiversity when using fallowing as a restoration strategy. The study was made possible through the creation of a unique, long-term observation facility. It is also notable for the very large range of soil organisms (microand macroorganisms) studied by the project's researchers, who analysed their diversity and their community interactions.

Environment - 14.02.2017
Climate change impact on mammals and birds 'greatly under-estimated'
Climate change impact on mammals and birds ‘greatly under-estimated’
An international study published today involving University of Queensland research has found large numbers of threatened species have already been affected by climate change. Associate Professor James Watson of UQ's School of Earth and Environmental Sciences and the Wildlife Conservation Society said the team of international researchers found alarming evidence of responses to recent climate changes in almost 700 birds and mammal species.

Environment - 13.02.2017
Tapping into underground urban heat islands
Tapping into underground urban heat islands
Cities are heat islands - not only above ground but below ground too, and therein lies the enormous potential to better harness this energy through geothermal heat exchangers.

Life Sciences - Environment - 10.02.2017
Explosion in species diversity due to hybridization
Explosion in species diversity due to hybridization
No less than 500 new species of cichlids, brightly coloured perch-like fish, evolved in Lake Victoria (East Africa) over the past 15,000 years - a record in the animal and plant world.

Environment - Agronomy / Food Science - 10.02.2017
Win-win strategies for climate and food security
Win-win strategies for climate and food security
Efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the agriculture and forestry sectors could lead to increased food prices-but new research identifies strategies that could help mitigate climate change while avoiding steep hikes in food prices. Climate policies that target agriculture and forests could lead to increased food prices, but reducing deforestation and increasing soil carbon sequestration in agriculture could significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions while avoiding risk to food security, according to new research published in the journal Environmental Research Letters .

Environment - Civil Engineering - 08.02.2017
Greenland ice sheet melting can cool subtropics, alter climate
ANN ARBOR'A new study finds evidence that the last time Earth was as warm as it is today, cold freshwater from a melting Greenland ice sheet circulated in the Atlantic Ocean as far south as Bermuda, elevating sea levels and altering the ocean's climate and ecosystems. The research shows a large pulse of cold freshwater covered the North Atlantic for a brief period of time about 125,000 years ago.

Environment - 06.02.2017
Beyond eating: Indirectly, deer change the landscape
Forest understory differences inside and outside of a fence designed to exclude deer at UW?Madison's Kemp Research Station in Vilas County. The forest on the left is outside the exclosure and shows the dramatic effects of deer on forest understory. Photo: Katie Frerker It is widely known that the white-tailed deer is a nonstop eater.

Life Sciences - Environment - 05.02.2017
On mosaics and melting-pots
On mosaics and melting-pots
Genetic studies of cichlid fishes suggest that interspecies hybrids played a prominent role in their evolution. Analysis of a unique fossil cichlid from the Upper Miocene of East Africa now provides further support for this idea. The cichlids constitute one of the most diverse families of freshwater fishes in tropical habitats.

Environment - Life Sciences - 31.01.2017
Large marine protected areas effectively protect reef shark populations, Stanford scientists find
Researchers at Stanford's Hopkins Marine Station find that expanded marine protected areas are successful in limiting fishing and increasing reef shark populations. Researchers at Stanford University's Hopkins Marine Station investigated the role of expanded marine protected areas (MPAs) on grey reef sharks and found that the aquatic no-fishing zones were an effective tool for protecting this near-threatened species.

Life Sciences - Environment - 30.01.2017
Genomic tools for species discovery inflate estimates of species numbers, U-Michigan biologists contend
Genomic tools for species discovery inflate estimates of species numbers, U-Michigan biologists contend
ANN ARBOR?Increasingly popular techniques that infer species boundaries in animals and plants solely by analyzing genetic differences are flawed and can lead to inflated diversity estimates, according to a new study from two University of Michigan evolutionary biologists. Lacey Knowles and Jeet Sukumaran investigated the accuracy of inferences made by a mathematical model widely used to quickly determine the boundaries between species without the time-consuming, painstaking process of comparing specimens in museum collections.

Politics - Environment - 26.01.2017
Antidote for partisanship? In science, curiosity seems to work
Disputes over science-related policy issues such as climate change or fracking often seem as intractable as other politically charged debates. But in science, at least, simple curiosity might help bridge that partisan divide, according to new research. In a study slated for publication in the journal Advances in Political Psychology , a Yale-led research team found that people who are curious about science are less polarized in their views on contentious issues than less-curious peers.

Life Sciences - Environment - 25.01.2017
Early onset of winter triggers evolution towards smaller snow voles in Graubünden
Early onset of winter triggers evolution towards smaller snow voles in Graubünden
Adaptive evolution, i.e. genetic change via natural selection, plays a central role in how plant and animal populations guarantee their long-term survival. Although this process is well understood in breeding conditions and in the lab, it is still largely unclear how often and how rapidly it takes place under natural conditions.

Environment - Sport - 25.01.2017
Game of thrones in crab world
Crabs that invade smaller crab species' habitat overpower and evict incumbents from their burrows, but the two species ultimately co-exist and join forces against other invading crabs in a game of thrones once they establish territorial boundaries, new research finds. Lead researcher Huon Clark from ANU said the finding overturns the theory that interactions between species of fiddler crabs result in the dominant species pushing the weaker ones out of a habitat.

Environment - 24.01.2017
Cooperation helps mammals survive in tough environments
Cooperation helps mammals survive in tough environments
New research suggests that cooperative breeding makes mammal species such as meerkats better suited to dry, harsh climates. Cooperative breeders may also persist in areas where changes in climate make life increasingly difficult Tim Clutton-Brock Cooperatively breeding mammal species, such as meerkats and naked-mole rats, where non-breeding helpers assist breeding females in raising their offspring, are better able to cope with living in dry areas than related non-cooperative species, new research reveals.

Environment - Philosophy - 24.01.2017
Pope’s picture spurs Republicans to shift climate views
After Pope Francis framed climate change as a moral issue in his second encyclical , conservative Republicans shifted and began to see that environmental dilemma in the same way, according to a new study led by Cornell communication researchers. 'When Pope Francis issued his encyclical paper in June 2015, he emerged as a strong advocate for climate action,' said Jonathon P. Schuldt, assistant professor of communication.

Life Sciences - Environment - 23.01.2017
Study of microbes gives new insight into Earth’s geology and carbon cycles
Tiny microbes play a big role in cycling carbon and other key elements through our air, water, soil and sediment. Not only do microbes capture and release carbon, contributing to a cycle that is central to life on Earth, they also release compounds that can change existing minerals and form new ones'in turn shaping the geology of the world around us.

Environment - Psychology - 23.01.2017
Psychological 'vaccine' could help immunise public against 'fake news' on climate change - study
Psychological ‘vaccine’ could help immunise public against ‘fake news’ on climate change - study
New research finds that misinformation on climate change can psychologically cancel out the influence of accurate statements. However, if legitimate facts are delivered with an 'inoculation' - a warning dose of misinformation - some of the positive influence is preserved. There will always be people completely resistant to change, but we tend to find there is room for most people to change their minds, even just a little Sander van der Linden In medicine, vaccinating against a virus involves exposing a body to a weakened version of the threat, enough to build a tolerance.
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