News 2019



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Life Sciences - Environment - 21.10.2019
Humpback whale population on the rise after near miss with extinction
A population of humpback whales in the South Atlantic has rebounded from near extinction, a new study shows. Hristov A population of humpback whales in the South Atlantic has rebounded from the brink of extinction. Intense pressure from the whaling industry in the 20 th century saw the western South Atlantic population of humpbacks diminish to only 450 whales.

Environment - Earth Sciences - 21.10.2019
Coral discovery equips researchers with new environmental monitoring method
A rare element discovered in Great Barrier Reef coral skeletons will help scientists understand the environmental history of nearby regions. Researchers at The University of Queensland's Sustainable Minerals Institute (SMI) and School of Earth and Environmental Sciences (SEES) found concentrations of the element vanadium in coral is directly linked to forest burning and land clearing in the area.

Life Sciences - Environment - 18.10.2019
Krill’s role in global climate should inform fishing policy in Antarctica
Krill ' small crustaceans eaten by whales, seals and penguins ' play a vital role in removing carbon from the atmosphere, according to a new study. A study on how krill affect the Southern Ocean's ability to take in carbon from the atmosphere and bury it on the seafloor has revealed the small crustaceans play an outsized role in the process.

Chemistry - Environment - 17.10.2019
New catalyst helps turn carbon dioxide into fuel
New catalyst helps turn carbon dioxide into fuel
A new process shows promise in turning the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide back into usable fuels, and yields four times as much fuel as previous approaches. Imagine grabbing carbon dioxide from car exhaust pipes and other sources and turning this main greenhouse gas into fuels like natural gas or propane: a sustainability dream come true.

Environment - Palaeontology - 17.10.2019
How ocean ecosystems recovered after mass extinction event 66 million years ago
How ocean ecosystems recovered after mass extinction event 66 million years ago
An international team of scientists, led by the University of Bristol, have produced an unprecedented record of the biotic recovery of ocean ecosystems that followed after the last mass extinction, 66 million years ago. In an article published in the journal Nature , the team, which includes researchers from Southampton, University College London, Frankfurt and California, present a 13 million-year record of fossil plankton dynamics in the aftermath of near annihilation, providing a remarkable glimpse into how the marine ecosystem ‘reboots'.

Environment - Agronomy / Food Science - 17.10.2019
Biodiversity Improves Crop Production
Biodiversity Improves Crop Production
10/17/2019 Around 20 percent of the world's agricultural areas yields less than it did 20 years ago. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization FAO, humans are the culprit: we have not done enough to protect biodiversity. In many respects, nature is an outstanding service provider for agriculture.

Environment - Life Sciences - 16.10.2019
Important species interactions can destabilize aquatic ecosystems in response to nutrient inputs
Important species interactions can destabilize aquatic ecosystems in response to nutrient inputs
Ecosystems provide numerous benefits, supplying food, clean water and other resources. So, it is vital that ecosystem stability is maintained in the face of disturbances such as drought, heatwaves or nutrient inputs. Nutrient inputs can be particularly problematic in aquatic ecosystems if they lead to algal blooms.

Environment - Innovation - 16.10.2019
Major implications for global metal demand without industry change
Major implications for global metal demand without industry change
The effects environmental, social and governance (ESG) risks will have on the global supply of metals without major innovations in the mining industry have been highlighted by University of Queensland researchers. Researchers from UQ's Sustainable Minerals Institute (SMI) designed a matrix to assess the ESG context of more than 600 individual copper, iron and bauxite orebodies and then analysed how it may affect global supply.

Health - Environment - 15.10.2019
Predicting Ebola outbreaks by understanding how ecosystems influence human health
The next Ebola outbreak could be predicted using a new UCL-developed model that tracks how changes to ecosystems and human societies combine to affect the spread of the deadly infectious disease. The model could help policymakers to decide where to target vaccine deployment, or develop healthcare infrastructure, to reduce the risk of zoonotic disease outbreaks - illnesses that spread between animals and humans.

Economics / Business - Environment - 15.10.2019
US green economy worth $1.3 trillion per year
The US green economy is estimated to generate over $1.3 trillion in revenue per year, representing 16.5% of the global green economy, according to a new study by UCL. The green economy - broadly defined as an economy that is low carbon, resource efficient and socially inclusive - is a major source of jobs in the US, employing an estimated 9.5 million people.

Life Sciences - Environment - 14.10.2019
Conclusive sighting of rare whale confirmed
Conclusive sighting of rare whale confirmed
The first conclusive evidence of a rare whale species - the True's beaked whale (Mesoplodon mirus) - inhabiting a region of the North East Atlantic has been confirmed by a research team involving UCL. Images taken during a wildlife photography trip in the Bay of Biscay in July 2018 have given conservationists the opportunity to study this species in exquisite new detail.

Environment - 14.10.2019
How uncertainty in scientific predictions can help and harm credibility
The ways climate scientists explain their predictions about the impact of global warming can either promote or limit their persuasiveness. The more specific climate scientists are about the uncertainties of global warming, the more the American public trusts their predictions, according to new research by Stanford scholars.

Environment - 14.10.2019
Making conservation ’contagious’
New research reveals conservation initiatives often spread like disease, a fact which can help scientists and policymakers design programs more likely to be taken up. The study, including University of Queensland researchers, modelled how conservation initiatives are adopted until they reach “scale” - a level where they can have real impact on conserving or improving biodiversity.

Life Sciences - Environment - 11.10.2019
Best way to protect ocean fisheries’ Let nations profit from them
Overfishing is a major problem for the world's oceans, but a strategy adopted nearly 50 years ago has helped protect fisheries: giving nations exclusive rights to waters 200 miles offshore and letting them police their own fish stocks. A study by UC Berkeley graduate student Gabriel Englander shows that the nations that reap the most value from fisheries within their exclusive economic zones (EEZs) are the most effective at keeping other nations out.

Environment - Economics / Business - 11.10.2019
Financial crises cause one-step forward, two steps back when it comes to air quality
New research has shed light on the impact of financial crises on air pollution showing that, while emissions are reduced during a financial crisis, the positive impacts are unexpectedly short-lived as new patterns of pollution emerge. A study led by Dr Andreas Antoniades and Dr Alexander Antonarakis at the University of Sussex shows that the break out of a financial crisis is associated with reductions in carbon dioxide (CO2) sulphur dioxide (SO2), and nitrogen dioxide (NO x ), and emissions.

Environment - Psychology - 10.10.2019
Scientists 'must be allowed to cry' about destruction of nature
Scientists ’must be allowed to cry’ about destruction of nature
Scientists witnessing the destruction of the natural world must be supported and "allowed to cry", researchers say. In a letter published in the journal Science , three leading researchers say it is "dangerously misguided" to assume scientists are dispassionate observers. They say many scientists experience "strong grief responses" to the current ecological crisis, and there are profound risks to ignoring this emotional trauma.

Astronomy / Space Science - Environment - 10.10.2019
What moons in other solar systems reveal about planets like Neptune and Jupiter
What is the difference between a planet-satellite system as we have with the Earth and Moon, versus a binary planet — two planets orbiting each other in a cosmic do-si-do? I am an astronomer interested in planets orbiting nearby stars, and gas giants — Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune in our solar system — are the largest and easiest planets to detect.

Environment - Innovation - 10.10.2019
Interactive map shows nature’s contributions to people
The researchers set out to understand where nature contributes the most to people and how many people may be affected by future changes. By 2050, up to 5 billion people could be at higher risk of water pollution, coastal storms and underpollinated crops. Nature supports people in critical ways, often at a highly local level.

Astronomy / Space Science - Environment - 10.10.2019
River relic spied by Mars Express
River relic spied by Mars Express
Mars may seem to be an alien world, but many of its features look eerily familiar - such as this ancient, dried-up river system that stretches out for nearly 700 kilometres across the surface, making it one of the longest valley networks on the planet. The area of Mars shown in these new images from ESA's Mars Express spacecraft lies just south of the planet's equator, and is known to have been shaped by a mix of flowing water and impacts: events where rocks sped inwards from space to collide with the martian surface.

Environment - Life Sciences - 10.10.2019
Placenta transit of an environmental estrogen
Placenta transit of an environmental estrogen
Researchers show path of zearalenone through the womb using new technology The human foetus is considered to be particularly sensitive to environmental contaminants. A team led by Benedikt Warth from the Faculty of Chemistry at the University of Vienna and Tina Bürki from the Swiss Materials Science and Technology Institute, Empa, has now been able to demonstrate for the first time how the widespread food estrogen zearalenone behaves in the womb.
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