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Life Sciences - Environment - 10.07.2020
Whale skulls are wonkier than ever
The skulls of toothed whales have become more asymmetric over time, according to a new study led by UCL and the Natural History Museum in London. The team also found that early ancestors of living whales had little cranial asymmetry and likely were not able to echolocate, in the findings published in BMC Biology .

Health - Environment - 10.07.2020
Smoking risks and automated soundscaping: News from the College
Here's a batch of fresh news and announcements from across Imperial. From a study into the risks of smokers developing more severe forms of COVID-19, to a new method for automatically detecting the ‘fingerprint' of soundscapes, here is some quick-read news from across the College. Smokers more at risk? Smokers hospitalised with COVID-19 may be more likely to progress to more severe forms of the disease, including admission to intensive care.

Environment - Computer Science - 10.07.2020
Counting wheat heads for more ecology
Counting wheat heads for more ecology
To Achim Walter it's clear: the budding artificial intelligence will decisively advance agroecology. But before we can harvest the fruits of AI, computers still have a lot to learn. Over-fertilised fields, compacted soils, greenhouse gases and insect death - the list of problems in agroecology is both old and long.

Environment - Computer Science - 09.07.2020
'Regime shift' happening in the Arctic Ocean
’Regime shift’ happening in the Arctic Ocean
Stanford scientists find the growth of phytoplankton in the Arctic Ocean has increased 57 percent over just two decades, enhancing its ability to soak up carbon dioxide. While once linked to melting sea ice, the increase is now propelled by rising concentrations of tiny algae. Scientists at Stanford University have discovered a surprising shift in the Arctic Ocean.

Environment - Chemistry - 09.07.2020
Finds less impact from wildfire smoke on climate
Observations suggest smaller warming effects of brown carbon than published model assessments In a unique megafire study, a Los Alamos National Laboratory-led research team studied the properties of smoke from Arizona's massive Woodbury Fire last summer using a powerful set of observing techniques. LOS ALAMOS, N.M., July 9, 2020-New research revealed that tiny, sunlight-absorbing particles in wildfire smoke may have less impact on climate than widely hypothesized because reactions as the plume mixes with clean air reduce its absorbing power and climate-warming effect.

Environment - 09.07.2020
Scientists Propose Plan to Determine If Planet Nine Is a Primordial Black Hole
Scientists at Harvard University and the Black Hole Initiative (BHI) have developed a new method to find black holes in the outer solar system, and along with it, determine once-and-for-all the true nature of the hypothesized Planet Nine. The paper, accepted to The Astrophysical Journal Letters , highlights the ability of the future Legacy Survey of Space and Time (LSST) mission to observe accretion flares, the presence of which could prove or rule out Planet Nine as a black hole.

Environment - Earth Sciences - 07.07.2020
1.5 Billion People Will Depend on Water from Mountains
1.5 Billion People Will Depend on Water from Mountains
Global water consumption has increased almost fourfold in the past 100 years, and many regions can only meet their water demand thanks to essential contributions from mountain regions.

Environment - Life Sciences - 07.07.2020
Evolutionary physiology and adaptation in the moor frog
Evolutionary physiology and adaptation in the moor frog
Organisms exposed to challenging environments face evolutionary pressure to adapt, which could lead to modifications in a variety of traits, such as morphology, physiology and behaviour. Katja Räsänen from the Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology Eawag holds a deep interest in mechanisms of adaptation in natural populations.

Environment - Earth Sciences - 07.07.2020
Most lakes continuously release nitrogen into the atmosphere
In a process that may help lakes maintain healthy levels of nutrients, new research from the University of Minnesota College of Biological Sciences shows that a majority of the lakes examined are continuously shedding nitrogen into the atmosphere. Nitrogen, along with phosphorus, is a nutrient that can be found in excess in some lakes.

Environment - Earth Sciences - 07.07.2020
Bores lasting effect on landscape
Bores lasting effect on landscape
Artificial watering points in rangelands are posing an increasing threat to surrounding biodiversity long after the removal of livestock, according to University of Queensland research. UQ researcher Graham Fulton studied the behaviour and impact of 20 bird species on Faure Island in Western Australia's Shark Bay - a nature and conservation reserve which had previously been a pastoral station.

Environment - 06.07.2020
Future Texas hurricanes: Fast like Ike or slow like Harvey?
Future Texas hurricanes: Fast like Ike or slow like Harvey?
Climate change will make fast-moving storms more likely in late 21st-century Texas Climate change will intensify winds that steer hurricanes north over Texas in the final 25 years of this century, increasing the odds for fast-moving storms like 2008's Ike compared with slow-movers like 2017's Harvey, according to new research.

Environment - Mathematics - 06.07.2020
Behind the dead-water phenomenon
Behind the dead-water phenomenon
What makes ships mysteriously slow down or even stop as they travel, even though their engines are working properly? This was first observed in 1893 and was described experimentally in 1904 without all the secrets of this "dead water" being understood. An interdisciplinary team from the CNRS and the University of Poitiers has explained this phenomenon for the first time: the speed changes in ships trapped in dead water are due to waves that act like an undulating conveyor belt on which the boats move back and forth.

Environment - 06.07.2020
Urban gardening and its positive impact on the emotional wellbeing of residents
As urban areas strive to enhance their residents' quality of life, research from the University of Minnesota Humphrey School of Public Affairs shows that access to gardening could have a profound effect on a person's emotional wellbeing and help address sustainable development goals.  "It's important to remember that more than 50% of the world's population lives in an urban environment," said study co-author Yingling Fan , professor in regional policy and planning in the Humphrey School of Public Affairs.

Environment - 06.07.2020
UN's latest sustainability goals pose more harm than good for environment
UN’s latest sustainability goals pose more harm than good for environment
A team of scientists has warned that the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) , designed to bring together environmental protection and socioeconomic development, are failing to protect biodiversity. The University of Queensland's Professor James Watson says as currently applied, the SDGs may actually serve as a smokescreen for further environmental destruction in the next decade.

Economics / Business - Environment - 02.07.2020
Root Economics - Between Do-It-Yourself Strategies and Fungal Outsourcing
Root Economics - Between Do-It-Yourself Strategies and Fungal Outsourcing
International group of researchers with members from Freie Universität Berlin describes the growth strategies of plant roots. No 115/2020 from Jul 02, 2020 An international group of researchers with members from Freie Universität Berlin, the German Center for Integrative Biodiversity Research (iDiv), and Wageningen University, among others, has been studying the complex belowground economy of roots.

Astronomy / Space Science - Environment - 01.07.2020
First exposed planetary core discovered
First exposed planetary core discovered
Researchers led by the University of Warwick have discovered the first exposed core of an exoplanet, which provides an unprecedented glimpse inside the interior of a planet. Christoph Mordasini from the University of Bern is leading the theoretical interpretation of this discovery. The newly discovered exoplanet TOI 849 b offers the unique opportunity to peer inside the interior of a planet and learn about its composition.

Environment - Life Sciences - 01.07.2020
Alarming long-term effects of insecticides weaken ant colonies
Alarming long-term effects of insecticides weaken ant colonies
This week, scientists of the Institute of Bee Health of the University of Bern have published an article in the peer-reviewed journal Communications Biology, which shows how even low doses of neonicotinoid insecticides, as they may realistically occur in contaminated soils, adversely affect the development of black garden ants (Lasius niger).

Earth Sciences - Environment - 01.07.2020
Making geothermal energy safer through simulation
Making geothermal energy safer through simulation
Researchers from the Swiss Seismological Service SED and ETH Zurich are working with the Swiss National Supercomputing Centre CSCS to develop a way of utilising geothermal energy safely with the help of supercomputers. According to Switzerland's Energy Strategy 2050, the plan is for deep geothermal energy to contribute to the expansion of renewable energies in the country.

Earth Sciences - Environment - 30.06.2020
Reveals how water in deep Earth triggers earthquakes and volcanic activity
Reveals how water in deep Earth triggers earthquakes and volcanic activity
Scientists have for the first time linked the deep Earth's water cycle to earthquakes and volcanic activity. Water, sulphur and carbon dioxide, which are cycled through the deep Earth, play a key role in the evolution of our planet - including in the formation of continents, the emergence of life, the concentration of mineral resources, and the distribution of volcanoes and earthquakes.

Environment - 30.06.2020
Wild bees depend on the landscape structure
Wild bees depend on the landscape structure
Research team led by University of Göttingen investigates flower strips, organic farming and small crop fields Sowing strips of wildflowers along conventional cereal fields and the increased density of flowers in organic farming encourage bumblebees as well as solitary wild bees and hoverflies. Bumblebee colonies benefit from flower strips along small fields, but in organic farming, they benefit from large fields.
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