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Architecture - Environment - 22.03.2019
X-rays reveal secrets of termites' self-cooling, self-draining skyscrapers
X-rays reveal secrets of termites’ self-cooling, self-draining skyscrapers
New insight into termites' architectural strategies could help us design more energy efficient self-sustaining buildings for humans. Many species of termite, whose societies are built on hierarchies of kings, queens, workers, and soldiers, live in towering nests that are ventilated by a complex system of tunnels.

Environment - 22.03.2019
Are 'natural' fibres really better for the environment than microplastic fibres’ A new study questions the impact of this plastic alternative
Are 'natural' fibres really better for the environment than microplastic fibres' A new study questions the impact of this plastic alternative Researchers from the University of Nottingham have found a much higher percentage of ‘natural' fibres than microplastic fibres in freshwater and atmospheric samples in the UK.

Environment - 20.03.2019
Butterfly numbers down by two thirds
Butterfly numbers down by two thirds
Meadows adjacent to high-intensity agricultural areas are home to less than half the number of butterfly species than areas in nature preserves. The number of individuals is even down to one-third of that number. These are results of a research team led by Jan Christian Habel at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) and Thomas Schmitt at the Senckenberg Nature Research Society.

Environment - Law / Forensics - 20.03.2019
New tool merges climate science, law and policy to protect California coastline
A Stanford study released on March 13 in Marine Policy provides a new framework for coastal climate adaptation planning, with the potential to save local California governments money and protect the homes and livelihoods of coastal residents. The research incorporates a statewide assessment of the California coast's zoning, habitat, land use, and legal requirements into an interactive tool managers can use to identify which strategies best address threats along the coastline.

Physics - Environment - 20.03.2019
Precision work for large molecules
Precision work for large molecules
Quantum cascade lasers are able to measure the smallest molecules with high precision. But the technology has failed to measure larger gas molecules - until now! Empa researchers have succeeded in quantifying ethanol, an important organic molecule, with the aid of such a laser. In collaboration with the Swiss Federal Institute of Metrology (METAS), a team of researchers has successfully developed a method for determining the concentration of ethanol in a gas mixture with a very high proportion of water vapour and carbon dioxide.

Health - Environment - 19.03.2019
Managed retreat due to rising seas is a public health issue
Sea-level rise associated with climate change is a concern for many island and coastal communities. While the dangers may seem far off for large coastal cities like Miami or New Orleans, the advancing oceans are already displacing some small indigenous communities, and many others are at risk around the world.

Innovation / Technology - Environment - 19.03.2019
Public-sector research boosts cleantech start-ups
Cleantech start-ups in the USA that cooperate with government research agencies outperform their competitors both in terms of patents and funding. That is the conclusion of a study by the Technical University of Munich (TUM), the University of Maryland and the University of Cambridge. In the cleantech sector, where development processes can extend over many years, public-private partnerships could prove valuable in other countries, too.

Innovation / Technology - Environment - 19.03.2019
Bright Skies for Plant-Based Jet Fuels
Joint BioEnergy Institute researchers demonstrate that jet fuels made from plants could be cost competitive with conventional fossil fuels With an estimated daily fuel demand of more than 5 million barrels per day, the global aviation sector is incredibly energy-intensive and almost entirely reliant on petroleum-based fuels.

Environment - 19.03.2019
Researchers Look at Sentiment Toward Air Pollution in China
China's rapid economic development in recent years has made it one of the world's largest emitters of carbon dioxide. The air pollution is staggering, and recent studies estimate that it was responsible for anywhere from 900,000 to 1.2 million deaths in 2013, making it one of China's largest mortality risk factors.

Environment - Civil Engineering - 19.03.2019
What is on the ground in a city linked inequality in life satisfaction
Cities which have a balance between facilities, housing and natural green spaces have lower levels of socio-economic inequality in the life satisfaction of its residents, according to new research. ‌ In a European-wide study, led by the University of Glasgow MRC/CSO Social & Public Health Sciences Unit and published today in Social Science & Medicine, scientists found links between urban design and levels of inequality in life satisfaction.

Environment - Health - 19.03.2019
Researchers explore the effects of climate change on hunger
Researchers explore the effects of climate change on hunger
As more of the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide enters the atmosphere, leading to climate change, crops might carry fewer nutrients, like zinc and iron. Stanford researchers explored this trend and regions most likely to be hurt by it. As the climate changes, where plants grow best is predicted to shift.

Environment - 18.03.2019
Researchers make a key discovery on how alpine streams work
Researchers make a key discovery on how alpine streams work
An EPFL study has showed that until now, scientists have been substantially underestimating how quickly gases are exchanged between mountain streams and the atmosphere. Based on research in the Swiss cantons of Vaud and Valais, an EPFL laboratory has shed new light on the role of mountain streams to emit greenhouse gases.

Environment - 18.03.2019
Mutually-assured destruction in heated coral-algae war
Mutually-assured destruction in heated coral-algae war
Global warming and acidifying oceans are creating an intense competition between coral and algae that both are set to lose. University of Queensland School of Biological Sciences ' Dr Kristen Brown said it was previously thought that human-induced stressors like climate change would result in an algal takeover, but experiments conducted on the southern Great Barrier Reef have suggested otherwise.

Environment - 14.03.2019
Sweet Baby Rays
Alumnus uncovers first-known manta ray nursery Gliding through the water with the slow hypnotic beat of their fins, the otherworldly manta rays are a perfect combination of size and grace. These plankton-eating marvels can reach up to 23 feet in wingspan as adults. Yet despite being so conspicuous, these gentle giants are notoriously hard to access and study, so major knowledge gaps remain in their basic biology, ecology and life history.

Earth Sciences - Environment - 14.03.2019
Tectonics in the tropics trigger Earth's ice ages
Tectonics in the tropics trigger Earth’s ice ages
Major tectonic collisions near the equator have caused three ice ages in the last 540 million years. Over the last 540 million years, the Earth has weathered three major ice ages - periods during which global temperatures plummeted, producing extensive ice sheets and glaciers that have stretched beyond the polar caps.

Environment - 14.03.2019
What ancient poop reveals about the rise and fall of civilizations
What ancient poop reveals about the rise and fall of civilizations
The pre-Columbian city of Cahokia was once among the most populous and bustling settlements north of Mexico. Nestled along the Mississippi River in what is now southern Illinois, its tens of thousands of inhabitants fished, farmed, traded and thrived. But by 1400 A.D., Cahokia's population had dwindled to virtually nothing.

Environment - Life Sciences - 14.03.2019
New cause for concern over weedkiller glyphosate
New research from McGill University reveals an overlooked impact that the widely used herbicide glyphosate may be having on the environment. First commercialized by Monsanto under the name Roundup, glyphosate has come under scrutiny in the past, mostly in relation to its potential toxicity. This new research, published recently in the Ecological Society of America's Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment, focuses not on direct health risks associated with the herbicide, but on its contribution to environmental phosphorus levels, an issue that has yet to receive much attention.

Environment - Earth Sciences - 14.03.2019
How marine snow cools the planet
How marine snow cools the planet
Researchers in the School of Geosciences have mapped out how carbonate formations have helped regulate Earth's temperature over 120 million years. Dr Adriana Dutkiewicz warns global warming could release some of that carbon into the atmosphere. University of Sydney scientists have modelled how carbonate accumulation from 'marine snow' in oceans has absorbed carbon dioxide over millennia and been a key driver in keeping the planet cool for millions of years.

Environment - 13.03.2019
Tunas, sharks and ships at sea
Tunas, sharks and ships at sea
Researchers combine maps of marine predator habitats with satellite tracks of fishing fleets to identify regions where they overlap - a step toward more effective wildlife management on the high seas. Maps that show where sharks and tunas roam in the eastern Pacific Ocean, and where fishing vessels travel in this vast expanse, could help ocean managers to identify regions of the high seas where vulnerable species may be at risk.

Environment - 13.03.2019
Only 149 trees of a wild apple species found alive
Niedzwetzky's apple, a relative of the ancestor of supermarket varieties, faces extinction as less than 150 trees have been found in its native land. Niedzwetzky's apple ( Malus niedzwetzkyana ) shares its home in Central Asia with the iconic snow leopard, but a new study shows the tree is far more endangered than the big cat, and faces extinction if immediate action is not taken.
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