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Environment - Transport - 12.02.2020
Small altitude changes could cut contrail impact of flights by up to 59 per cent
Altering the altitudes of less than two per cent of flights could reduce contrail-linked climate change by 59 per cent, says a new Imperial study. This new method could very quickly help to reduce the overall climate impact of the aviation industry. Dr Marc Stettler Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering Aircraft contrails - the white streaks aircraft leave in the sky - could be as bad for the climate as their carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions.

Environment - Transport - 12.02.2020
Small altitude changes could cut climate impact of aircraft by up to 59 per cent
Altering the altitudes of less than two per cent of flights could reduce contrail-linked climate change by 59 per cent, says a new Imperial study. Aircraft contrails - the white streaks aircraft leave in the sky - could be as bad for the climate as their carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. Now, Imperial College London-led research has found that flight altitude changes of just 2,000 feet could lessen their effect.

Environment - 12.02.2020
Polar bears in Baffin Bay skinnier, having fewer cubs due to less sea ice
Polar bears in Baffin Bay skinnier, having fewer cubs due to less sea ice
Polar bears are spending more time on land than they did in the 1990s due to reduced sea ice, new University of Washington-led research shows. Bears in Baffin Bay are getting thinner and adult females are having fewer cubs than when sea ice was more available. The new study , recently published in Ecological Applications, includes satellite tracking and visual monitoring of polar bears in the 1990s compared with more recent years.

Environment - Health - 12.02.2020
Half of U.S. deaths related to air pollution are linked to out-of-state emissions
Half of U.S. deaths related to air pollution are linked to out-of-state emissions
Study tracks pollution from state to state in the 48 contiguous United States. More than half of all air-quality-related early deaths in the United States are a result of emissions originating outside of the state in which those deaths occur, MIT researchers report today in the journal Nature . The study focuses on the years between 2005 and 2018 and tracks combustion emissions of various polluting compounds from various sectors, looking at every state in the contiguous United States, from season to season and year to year.

Environment - Career - 12.02.2020
Fighting climate change at the sink: A guide to greener dishwashing
If you're an environmentally conscious consumer, you've probably heard that today's highly efficient dishwashers use less energy and water than traditional hand-washing techniques. While that's true in most cases, there's one manual washing technique-the two-basin method, in which dishes are soaked and scrubbed in hot water and then rinsed in cold water-that is associated with fewer greenhouse gas emissions than machine dishwashing.

Environment - 12.02.2020
Biodiversity offsetting is contentious - here’s an alternative
A new approach to compensate for the impact of development may be an effective alternative to biodiversity offsetting - and help nations achieve international biodiversity targets. University of Queensland scientists say target-based ecological compensation provides greater certainty and clarity, while ensuring the management of impacts from projects like new mines, roads or housing estates directly contributes to broader conservation goals.

Environment - Earth Sciences - 11.02.2020
Plant nutrient map sheds light on carbon sinks
Natural areas that can absorb huge quantities of carbon dioxide could play a crucial role in combatting climate change. However, our ability to identify and employ these carbon sinks has been hobbled by a lack of information about where plants grow best. Now, research from Stanford University reveals a global map of areas where insufficient nutrients in the soil could limit plant growth.

Social Sciences - Environment - 11.02.2020
Using the power of pop to change minds over sea turtle meat consumption
Using the power of pop to change minds over sea turtle meat consumption
Researchers at the University of Oxford and Programa Tatô have developed a catchy way to reach communities on the island of São Tomé, in West Africa. Having utilised consumer research methods to source answers anonymously, they discovered that people have high levels of trust in TV and radio. Using these insights, they persuaded the island's favourite singer, João Seria, to produce an original music video with a song called 'Mém di Omali' which means, Mother of the Sea.

Life Sciences - Environment - 10.02.2020
New world map of fish genetic diversity
New world map of fish genetic diversity
An international research team has studied genetic diversity among fish around the world for the first time. Their research produced a map that will serve as a tool in improving the protection of species and genetic diversity in the future. In a population of animals or plants, genetic diversity can decline much more quickly than species diversity in response to various stress factors: disease, changes to habitat or climate, and so on.

Earth Sciences - Environment - 10.02.2020
Geothermal energy: drilling a 3,000 metres deep well
Geothermal energy: drilling a 3,000 metres deep well
Researchers from the University of Geneva have studied the seismic activity recorded during the drilling of a geothermal well and shown that it did not spark any major earthquake. Although stopping climate change is challenging, it is imperative to slow it down as soon as possible by reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

Environment - 10.02.2020
New material created to clean up fossil fuel industry
New material created to clean up fossil fuel industry
Researchers at the University of Sydney have created a new material that has the potential to reduce CO2 emissions released during the refinement process of crude oil by up to 28 percent. Silica-alumina materials are among the most common solid acids that have been widely commercialised as efficient and environmentally-friendly catalysts in the petrochemical and bio-refinery industries.

Environment - Life Sciences - 10.02.2020
'Rule breaking' plants may be climate change survivors
’Rule breaking’ plants may be climate change survivors
Plants that break some of the ‘rules' of ecology by adapting in unconventional ways may have a higher chance of surviving climate change, according to researchers from the University of Queensland and Trinity College Dublin. Dr Annabel Smith , from UQ's School of Agriculture and Food Sciences , and Professor Yvonne Buckley, from UQ's School of Biological Sciences and Trinity College Dublin Ireland, studied the humble plantain ( Plantago lanceolate ) to see how it became one of the world's most successfully distributed plant species.

Environment - Economics / Business - 07.02.2020
Biodiversity yields financial returns
Biodiversity yields financial returns
Farmers could increase their revenues by increasing biodiversity on their land. This is the conclusion reached by an interdisciplinary research team including the fields of agricultural sciences, ecology and economics at ETH Zurich and other universities. Many farmers associate grassland biodiversity with lower yields and financial losses.

Environment - 07.02.2020
Climate change a key driver of bumblebee decline
Increasingly hot temperatures appear to be driving declines in bumblebee populations across Europe and North America, according to a UCL and University of Ottawa study. The study, published in Science , found that in the course of a single human generation, the likelihood of a bumblebee population surviving in a given place has declined by an average of over 30%.

Materials Science - Environment - 06.02.2020
Researchers develop a roadmap for growth of new solar cells
Researchers develop a roadmap for growth of new solar cells
Starting with higher-value niche markets and then expanding could help perovskite-based solar panels become competitive with silicon. Materials called perovskites show strong potential for a new generation of solar cells, but they've had trouble gaining traction in a market dominated by silicon-based solar cells.

Materials Science - Environment - 06.02.2020
Fast and cheap track to new types of solar cells
Fast and cheap track to new types of solar cells
The semiconductor perovskite is seen as a new hope to bring the production price of solar cells down below that of silicon used so far. Empa is developing new manufacturing processes to make perovskite solar cells not only cheaper but also faster to produce and make them ready for industrial use. Since the development of the first perovskite solar cell in 2009, its efficiency is now equal to that of a conventional silicon cell.

Materials Science - Environment - 06.02.2020
Fast and cheap track to new types of
Fast and cheap track to new types of
The semiconductor perovskite is seen as a new hope to bring the production price of solar cells down below that of silicon used so far. Empa is developing new manufacturing processes to make perovskite solar cells not only cheaper but also faster to produce and make them ready for industrial use. Since the development of the first perovskite solar cell in 2009, its efficiency is now equal to that of a conventional silicon cell.

Environment - Materials Science - 06.02.2020
Simple, solar-powered water desalination
Simple, solar-powered water desalination
System achieves new level of efficiency in harnessing sunlight to make fresh potable water from seawater. A completely passive solar-powered desalination system developed by researchers at MIT and in China could provide more than 1.5 gallons of fresh drinking water per hour for every square meter of solar collecting area.

Health - Environment - 05.02.2020
Birmingham’s liquid lead in cracking global energy storage challenge
Fireworks associated with festival celebrations such as Australia Day, China's Lunar New Year and Fourth of July, in the USA, may have a significant impact on the health of vulnerable people - a new study reveals. Using fireworks during these celebrations generates anthropogenic source of air pollutants with significant impacts on local air quality, creating up to eight times the average of particulate matter (PM) concentration in the environment during and immediately after the event.

Environment - 05.02.2020
Our carbon footprint is highly impacted by how we live
Swiss households have excessively large carbon footprints. However, that footprint depends more on socio-economic status than location - whether the household is in the countryside or the city - because people travel more in the country but consume more in cities. Swiss households enjoy a high standard of living, but this results in a large carbon footprint.

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