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Environment - Social Sciences - 18.04.2024
New study on Amazonia’s fire crises urges action ahead of the next burning season
In response to the escalating fire crises in the Amazon, a timely study has revealed alarming shortcomings in the emergency fire bans implemented by the Brazilian Government. Initially seen as a promising solution in 2019, these bans have consistently fallen short in subsequent years, revealing a pressing need for strategies that address the underlying causes of each type of fire.

Life Sciences - Environment - 18.04.2024
Environmental changes influence microbial diversity
Environmental changes influence microbial diversity
Environmental changes influence microbial communities, which are crucial for the health of the earth and humans. For instance, altered eating habits with heavily processed foods can lead to disrupted gut flora, or intensive agricultural practices can disturb the carbon cycle in the soil, respectively.

History / Archeology - Environment - 18.04.2024
Secrets of cave from the Early Upper Palaeolithic, when Neanderthals and the first Homo sapiens co-existed
Secrets of cave from the Early Upper Palaeolithic, when Neanderthals and the first Homo sapiens co-existed
VUB researcher reveals secrets of cave from the Early Upper Palaeolithic, when Neanderthals and the first Homo sapiens co-existed Mughr el-Hamamah, meaning "pigeon cave" in Arabic, is a site in northwestern Jordan, renowned for its prehistoric findings dating between 39,000 and 45,000 years old. Numerous stone tools, hearths, and animal and hominin bones have been excavated there.

Environment - 17.04.2024
Group antenatal care still too little known, despite proven benefits
The Horizon2020 programme Group Care for the First 1000 Days is coming to an end. Researchers in seven countries, including three from the VUB, have worked with colleagues in the US to investigate the provision of antenatal care in participating countries. The study looked at group sessions rather than traditional monitoring through individual consultations, as is standard in Belgium.

Life Sciences - Environment - 17.04.2024
How soil microbes survive in harsh desert environments
How soil microbes survive in harsh desert environments
As desertification spreads worldwide, scientists discover how desert microbes endure harsh drought periods Prolonged droughts followed by sudden bursts of rainfall - how do desert soil bacteria manage to survive such harsh conditions? This long-debated question has now been answered by an ERC project led by microbiologist Dagmar Woebken from the Centre for Microbiology and Environmental Systems Science (CeMESS) at the University of Vienna.

Life Sciences - Environment - 17.04.2024
Interspecies competition led to even more forms of ancient human - defying evolutionary trends in vertebrates
Interspecies competition led to even more forms of ancient human - defying evolutionary trends in vertebrates
Competition between species played a major role in the rise and fall of hominins, and produced a "bizarre" evolutionary pattern for the Homo lineage. This is almost unparalleled in evolutionary science Laura van Holstein Climate has long been held responsible for the emergence and extinction of hominin species.

Environment - Innovation - 17.04.2024
Clearing the air: wind farms more land efficient than previously thought
Wind power is a source of energy that is both affordable and renewable. However, decision-makers have been reluctant to invest in wind energy due to a perception that wind farms require a lot of land compared to electric power plants driven by fossil fuels. Research led by McGill University and based on the assessment of the land-use of close to 320 wind farms in the U.S. (the largest study of its kind) paints a very different picture.

Environment - 17.04.2024
Understanding carbon release from the tundra
The warming climate shifts the dynamics of tundra environments and makes them release trapped carbon, according to a new study published in Nature. These changes could transform tundras from carbon sinks into a carbon source, exacerbating the effects of climate change. Open-top chambers (OTCs) in Latnjajaure, Sweden provide a controlled environment to study simulated warming of the tundra ecosystem.

Environment - Life Sciences - 17.04.2024
Coral reef microbes point to new way to assess ecosystem health
Coral reef microbes point to new way to assess ecosystem health
A new study shows that ocean acidification is changing the mix of microbes in coral reef systems, which can be used to assess ecosystem health. The study, published today in Microbiome , looked at coral reefs specifically, but the researchers say it could be widely applicable as a method for measuring how ecosystems are responding to human activities.

Environment - Life Sciences - 16.04.2024
The response capacity of marine phytoplankton species to global warming confirmed
Mara Segovia, Erasmus+ researcher at the Cavanilles Institute of Biodiversity and Evolutionary Biology (ICBiBe) of the University of Valencia, has participated in a study that reveals the response capacity of seaweed to the effects of climate change. Over the last 60 years, diatoms - the subject of this study - have increased their optimal temperature by 1°C to adapt to global warming.

Environment - Economics - 16.04.2024
For more sustainable palm oil production
For more sustainable palm oil production
Research team outlines ways to make oil palm cultivation more ecologically and economically sustainable Palm oil is a widely used ingredient in many foods and cosmetics. The boom in oil palm cultivation in Indonesia in recent decades has improved the living conditions of many farmers, but has led to a loss of biodiversity and the large-scale destruction of rainforests.

Environment - Economics - 16.04.2024
Most countries struggle to meet climate pledges from 2009
Nineteen out of 34 countries surveyed failed to fully meet their 2020 climate commitments set 15 years ago in Copenhagen, according to a new study led by UCL researchers. The study, published in Nature Climate Change , compared the actual net carbon emissions of more than 30 nations to their 2009 pledged emission reduction targets set during the Copenhagen Climate Summit.

Environment - Life Sciences - 15.04.2024
Bumblebees don't care about pesticide cocktails
Bumblebees don’t care about pesticide cocktails
In their natural environment, wild bees are exposed to various pesticides that can have a potentially toxic effect. A study by the University of Würzburg has now shown that bumblebees are relatively resistant to these products. Bumblebees appear to be quite resistant to common pesticides. This is shown by a new study, the results of which have now been published by scientists from Julius-Maximilians-Universität Würzburg (JMU) in the journal Environment International .

Life Sciences - Environment - 15.04.2024
How blue-green algae manipulate microorganisms
How blue-green algae manipulate microorganisms
Research team at the University of Freiburg discovers previously unknown gene that indirectly promotes photosynthesis Cyanobacteria - also called blue-green algae - are known as the "plants of the ocean" because they carry out photosynthesis on a gigantic scale, produce oxygen and extract the greenhouse gas CO2 from the environment.

Life Sciences - Environment - 15.04.2024
How blue-green algae manipulate microorganisms
How blue-green algae manipulate microorganisms
Research team at the University of Freiburg discovers a previously unknown gene that indirectly promotes photosynthesis Cyanobacteria are also known as blue-green algae and are considered the "plants of the ocean" because they photosynthesize on a gigantic scale, produce oxygen and extract the greenhouse gas CO2 from the environment.

Environment - 15.04.2024
Tropical forests can't recover naturally without fruit eating birds
Tropical forests can’t recover naturally without fruit eating birds
Natural forest regeneration is hailed as a cost-effective way to restore biodiversity and sequester carbon. However, the fragmentation of tropical forests has restricted the movement of large birds limiting their capacity to disperse seeds and restore healthy forests. New research from the Crowther Lab at ETH Zurich illustrates a critical barrier to natural regeneration of tropical forests.

Environment - Innovation - 15.04.2024
Global North energy outsourcing demands more attention
Global North energy outsourcing demands more attention
Outsourcing energy-intensive industrial processes to Global South is creating problems for our planet Manufacturing nations in the Global North are stockpiling energy and emission problems by outsourcing energy-intensive industrial processes to countries in the Global South, a new study reveals. Global North countries use their advantages in capital and technology to grab a large amount of energy through outsourcing - creating a 'false decoupling' of energy consumption from economic growth.

Chemistry - Environment - 12.04.2024
Will plastics soon be easier to degrade?
Will plastics soon be easier to degrade?
A research team has developed a new type of polymer, the main component of plastics, which is more easily degradable than conventional materials. Mechanical treatment such as grinding, combined with the use of an alkaline solution, is all that's needed to facilitate chemical recycling and reduce environmental impact .

Environment - 12.04.2024
Storks fly with a little help from their friends
With long legs and large wings, the white stork is a prominent star of the pageant that is animal migration. Flying from Europe towards Africa in autumn, and then back again in spring, birds can be seen taking to the sky in conspicuous flocks that herald the changing of the seasons. Now, a study from the Max Planck Institute of Animal Behavior in Konstanz, Germany, has an explanation for how this collective phenomenon forms: the storks are choosing to fly together.

Environment - Health - 11.04.2024
Study improves understanding of effects of household air pollution during pregnancy
In a new study, researchers from Oxford's Nuffield Department of Women's & Reproductive Health have found that pregnant mothers' exposure to air pollution from indoor stoves did not affect the development of their babies in any statistically significant way, challenging conventional wisdom regarding the impact of household air pollution on fetal growth.
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