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Life Sciences - Environment - 16.01.2020
Scientists uncover how an explosion of new genes explain the origin of land plants
Scientists have made a significant discovery about the genetic origins of how plants evolved from living in water to land 470 million years ago. The new study, led by scientists from the universities of Bristol and Essex and published today [16 January] in Current Biology , challenge the established view of the origin of plants on land, and reveal that compared to the origin of animals, plants are better at inventing new genes during periods of evolution.

Environment - Social Sciences - 16.01.2020
Small change for climate change: Why research funding to save the world needs to be drastically stepped up
Small change for climate change: Why research funding to save the world needs to be drastically stepped up
Researchers from the Norwegian Institute of International Affairs and the University of Sussex analysed USD 1.3 trillion of research funding around the world. Between 1990 and 2018, less than 4.59% of the funding was spent on climate-related research. Only 0.12% of the research funding was spent on a critical issue: how to change societies to mitigate climate change.

Environment - Earth Sciences - 16.01.2020
Predicting hydraulic fracture propagation more accurately
Predicting hydraulic fracture propagation more accurately
Researchers at EPFL have developed a new model to calculate hydraulic fracture propagation. Acclaimed for its accuracy by experts, the model better predicts fracture geometry and the energy cost of hydraulic fracturing - a widely used technique in areas such as CO2 storage, hydrocarbon extraction, dams and volcano hazard monitoring.

Earth Sciences - Environment - 16.01.2020
Asteroid impact, not volcanic eruptions, killed the dinosaurs
Volcanic activity did not play a direct role in the mass extinction event that killed the dinosaurs and about 75 per cent of Earth's species 66 million years ago, according to a team involving UCL and University of Southampton researchers.

Life Sciences - Environment - 16.01.2020
Glimpse into ancient hunting strategies of dragonflies and damselflies
Dragonflies and damselflies are animals that may appear gentle, but are - in fact - ancient hunters. The closely related insects shared an ancestor over 250 million years ago - long before dinosaurs - and provide a glimpse into how an ancient neural system controlled precise and swift aerial assaults.

Environment - 15.01.2020
Irrigation alleviates hot extremes
Irrigation alleviates hot extremes
Researchers from ETH Zurich and other universities found evidence that expanding irrigation has dampened anthropogenic warming during hot days, with particularly strong effects over South Asia. Large-scale irrigation is one of the land management practices with the largest effect on climate conditions - and especially hot extremes - in various regions across the globe.

Life Sciences - Environment - 14.01.2020
Tracking animals with DNA
Tracking animals with DNA
Genetic material left behind by animals can provide critical clues to aid conservation and research. New research shows studying DNA in soil samples can be more effective, efficient and affordable than traditional tracking methods, such as camera traps, for assessing biodiversity. It's hard to protect something you can't find.

Environment - 14.01.2020
Thanks to clouds, new climate simulations predict more warming than predecessors
Thanks to clouds, new climate simulations predict more warming than predecessors
A new study suggests global warming effect is underestimated, but climate scientists say more research is needed. The most up-to-date computer simulations suggest that greenhouse gases emitted by human activity will leave the planet hotter than previously thought, researchers have found. A study that combines the outputs of nearly 30 new computer models that simulate the Earth's climate suggests that, if the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere doubles, then the average global temperature should increase by 3.9‘C.

Environment - 14.01.2020
Climate change increases the risk of wildfires confirms new review
Human-induced climate change promotes the conditions on which wildfires depend, increasing their likelihood. This is according to a review of research on global climate change and wildfire risk published today. Wildfires can't be prevented, and the risks are increasing because of climate change. This makes it urgent to consider ways of reducing the risks to people.

Agronomy / Food Science - Environment - 13.01.2020
Global diets have seen dramatic changes over past 50 years, reveals study
International food supply patterns are supporting healthier diets in parts of the world, but causing malnutrition and obesity elsewhere. Research carried out by the University of Kent and Imperial College London has revealed diets are changing in complex ways worldwide. Advances in science and technology, together with growing incomes, have allowed many nations to have access to a diversity of foods.

Environment - Life Sciences - 13.01.2020
Global database of all bird species shows how body shape predicts lifestyle
A database of 10,000 bird species shows how measurements of wings, beaks and tails can predict a species' role in an ecosystem. Given that many bird species perform important ecological functions, such as pollinating plants, spreading seeds, or controlling pests, the database may help scientists to understand and predict how the loss of species will affect ecosystem health.

Astronomy / Space Science - Environment - 13.01.2020
NASA Planet Hunter Finds its 1st Earth-size Habitable-zone World
NASA's Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) has discovered its first Earth-size planet in its star's habitable zone, the range of distances where conditions may be just right to allow the presence of liquid water on the surface. Scientists confirmed the find, called TOI 700 d, using NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope and have modeled the planet's potential environments to help inform future observations.

Environment - Business / Economics - 13.01.2020
Can Solar Geoengineering Mitigate both Climate Change and Income Inequality?
Potential economic benefits of reversing rising temperatures would benefit developing countries greatly, representing a global GDP growth of 200 percent New research from the University of California San Diego finds that solar geoengineering—the intentional reflection of sunlight away from the Earth's surface—may reduce income inequality between countries.

Environment - Life Sciences - 13.01.2020
Researcher unites with global scientists to compile insect recovery action plan
Researcher unites with global scientists to compile insect recovery action plan
A Cardiff University scientist has joined forces with more than 70 other experts from around the world to create an action plan aimed at halting the dramatic decline of insects. Dr Hefin Jones, from Cardiff University's School of Biosciences, is among the experts who have collaborated on the roadmap for insect conservation and recovery.

Environment - Administration - 10.01.2020
Water governance: could less sometimes be more?
Water governance: could less sometimes be more?
Researchers from UNIGE and UNIL analysed water governance in six European countries from 1750 onwards. They demonstrated that there has been an inflationary trend in the number of regulations, and that - far from improving the situation - this has led to serious malfunctions in the system. The use of environmental resources has been regulated for centuries with the aim of improving the management and behaviour of private and public actors on an on-going basis.

Environment - Earth Sciences - 09.01.2020
Scientists use ancient marine fossils to unravel long-standing climate puzzle
Scientists use ancient marine fossils to unravel long-standing climate puzzle
During this period, known as the middle Miocene Climate Optimum, global temperatures were as much as 3 to 4 degrees warmer than today's average temperatures, similar to estimates for 2100. The position of the continents were similar to today and the seas were flourishing with life. This period, which occurred between 15 and 17 million years ago, has puzzled geologists for decades as they have tried to explain the initial cause of the global warming and the environmental conditions that existed on Earth afterwards.

Environment - 09.01.2020
Using sea-level rise to define climate targets
Using sea-level rise to define climate targets
One major consequence of global warming is the rising sea level. A study conducted at Universität Hamburg's Cluster of Excellence for climate research CLICCS now shows: if we assume that sea-level rise is the most critical effect of climate change, then it is not only more sensible, but also less expensive, to set a maximum limit for sea-level rise that corresponds to the two-degree target, rather than a temperature-based target.

Environment - Earth Sciences - 09.01.2020
Improved Functioning of Diverse Landscape Mosaics
Improved Functioning of Diverse Landscape Mosaics
It is well-established that biodiverse ecosystems generally function better than monocultures. Ecologists at the University of Zurich have now shown that the same is true on a larger scale: Having a mix of different land-covers including grassland, forest, urban areas and water bodies improves the functioning and stability of a landscape - irrespective of the plant species diversity, region and climate.

Environment - 08.01.2020
Sea-ice-free Arctic makes permafrost vulnerable to thawing
New research led by scientists at the University of Oxford's Department of Earth Sciences, and at the Geological Survey of Israel, provides evidence from Siberian caves suggesting that summer sea ice in the Arctic Ocean plays an essential role in stabilising permafrost and its large store of carbon.

Environment - Psychology - 08.01.2020
Pathways to changing the minds of climate deniers
By reviewing the psychology behind climate change rejection, a Stanford researcher suggests four approaches that can sway climate deniers and help overcome obstacles to implementing solutions. Want to sway the opinion of climate deniers' Start by acknowledging and respecting people's beliefs. That's one of four suggestions a Stanford researcher unearthed in a review of the psychology behind why some people reject climate change despite knowledge or access to the facts.
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