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Ocean Tides Have Changed Substantially

March 6, 2015 7:00 am | by Univ. of Southampton | News | Comments

Scientists have found that ocean tides have changed significantly over the last century at many coastal locations around the world. Increases in high tide levels and the tidal range were found to have been similar to increases in average sea level at several locations.

‘Pee-power’ Toilet Brings Light to Disaster Zones

March 6, 2015 7:00 am | by Univ. of the West of England | Videos | Comments

A toilet, conveniently situated near the Student Union Bar at a university, is proving pee can...

Scientists Concerned About Nicaraguan Canal

March 6, 2015 7:00 am | by Rice Univ. | News | Comments

A consortium of environmental scientists has expressed strong concern about the impact of a...

Algae Key to Lakes' Ability to Lower Methane Emissions

March 6, 2015 7:00 am | by Eawag | News | Comments

Methane emissions are strongly reduced in lakes with anoxic bottom waters. But– contrary to what...

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Algae Key to Lakes' Ability to Lower Methane Emissions

March 6, 2015 7:00 am | by Eawag | News | Comments

Methane emissions are strongly reduced in lakes with anoxic bottom waters. But– contrary to what has previously been assumed– methane removal is not because of archaea or anaerobic bacteria. A new study shows that the microorganisms responsible are aerobic proteobacteria. The oxygen they require is produced in situ by photosynthetic algae.

Stream Pollution Killing Aquatic Life

March 5, 2015 3:00 pm | by Univ. of Georgia | News | Comments

An important food resource has been disappearing from streams without anyone noticing, until now. In a new study, ecologists are reporting that nutrient pollution causes a significant loss of forest-derived carbon from stream ecosystems, reducing the ability of streams to support aquatic life.

Startup Swaps Recyclables for Rewards

March 5, 2015 3:00 pm | by MIT, Rob Matheson | News | Comments

A startup named Wecyclers deploys a fleet of cargo bikes to collect recyclables from houses in poor areas of Lagos in return for rewards. Launched in 2012, the startup has collected more than 600 tons of recyclables, with more than 6,500 households signed on to its program.


Proven: Drought-ridden Forests Inhale Less Carbon

March 4, 2015 3:00 pm | by Univ. of Oxford | News | Comments

For the first time, an international research team has provided direct evidence of the rate at which individual trees in the Amazonian basin “inhale” carbon from the atmosphere during a severe drought. They measured the growth and photosynthesis rates of trees at 13 rainforest plots across Brazil, Peru and Bolivia, comparing plots that were affected by the strong drought of 2010 with unaffected plots.

Researchers Find More Effective Carbon Capture Method

March 4, 2015 3:00 pm | by ACS | News | Comments

Trapping carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from power plants and various industries could play a significant role in reducing greenhouse gas emissions in the future. But current materials that can collect CO2— from smokestacks, for example— have low capacities or require very high temperatures to work.

Pollution Levels Linked to Cognitive Development Speed

March 3, 2015 3:00 pm | by PLOS | News | Comments

Attendance at schools exposed to high levels of traffic-related air pollution is linked to slower cognitive development among seven to 10-year-old children in Barcelona. Researchers measured three cognitive outcomes— working memory, superior working memory and attentiveness— every three months over a 12-month period in 2,715 primary school children attending 39 schools.

Climate Change May Have Fed Syrian War

March 3, 2015 7:00 am | by The Earth Institute at Columbia Univ. | News | Comments

A new study says a record drought that ravaged Syria in 2006 to 2010 was likely stoked by ongoing man-made climate change, and that the drought may have helped propel the 2011 Syrian uprising. Researchers say the drought destroyed agriculture in the breadbasket region of northern Syria, driving dispossessed farmers to cities, where poverty, government mismanagement and other factors created unrest.

Chemistry of Smog May Reveal Pollution Sources

March 3, 2015 7:00 am | by Univ. of Utah | News | Comments

The chemical signature of water vapor emitted by combustion sources such as vehicles and furnaces has been found in the smoggy winter inversions that often choke Salt Lake City. The discovery may give researchers a new tool to track down the sources of pollutants and climate-changing carbon dioxide gas.


Genes Show Where Penguins Lived During Ice Age

March 2, 2015 7:00 am | by Univ. of Southampton | News | Comments

A study of how climate change has affected emperor penguins over the last 30,000 years found that only three populations may have survived during the last ice age, and that the Ross Sea in Antarctica was likely the refuge for one of these populations.

Algae Key to Coral Survival in the World's Hottest Reefs

February 27, 2015 3:00 pm | by Univ. of Southampton | News | Comments

A new species of algae has been discovered in reef corals of the Persian Gulf where it helps corals to survive seawater temperatures of up to 36 C— temperatures that would kill corals elsewhere.

Pollution Drives Nuisance Algae Growth

February 27, 2015 7:00 am | by McGill Univ. | News | Comments

The organisms commonly known as blue-green algae have proliferated much more rapidly than other algae in lakes across North America and Europe over the past two centuries– and in many cases the rate of increase has sharply accelerated since the mid-20th century.

African Lakes to Answer Human Evolution Questions

February 26, 2015 3:00 pm | by Aberystwyth Univ. | News | Comments

How was human evolution and migration influenced by past changes in climate? This question has led researchers to drill day and night to great depths in a dried up lake in east Africa. The Chew Bahir Drilling Project, in a remote part of south Ethiopia, will provide a sedimentary record of changes in rainfall, temperature and vegetation, spanning the last 500,000 years of human evolution.

Location Influences Electric Car Range, Emissions

February 26, 2015 7:00 am | by ACS | News | Comments

Many car buyers weighing whether they should go all electric to help the planet have at least one new factor to consider before making the switch: geography. Based on a study of a commercially available electric car, scientists are reporting that emissions and driving range can vary greatly depending on regional energy sources and climate.


First Direct Observation of CO2 Effect at Earth's Surface

February 25, 2015 3:00 pm | by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory | News | Comments

Scientists have observed an increase in carbon dioxide's greenhouse effect at the Earth's surface for the first time. The researchers measured atmospheric carbon dioxide's increasing capacity to absorb thermal radiation emitted from the Earth's surface over an eleven-year period at two locations in North America. They attributed this upward trend to rising CO2 levels from fossil fuel emissions.

Himalayas Show Chemical Ban is Working

February 25, 2015 10:50 am | by Lancaster Univ. | News | Comments

A unique study of frozen ice cores from the Tibetan Himalayas has shown that international agreements on phasing out the use of toxic persistent organic pollutants are working. Scientists collected and analyzed samples from ice cores that had been laid down over 30 years, to show how residues of Perfluoroalkyl substances in the environment have changed over time.

Saharan Dust Fertilizes Amazon Rainforest

February 25, 2015 7:00 am | by Univ. of Maryland | News | Comments

The Sahara Desert and the Amazon rainforest seem to inhabit separate worlds. Yet, they are connected: every year, millions of tons of nutrient-rich Saharan dust cross the Atlantic Ocean, bringing vital phosphorus and other fertilizers to depleted Amazon soils.

Europe-ravaging Plague Was Driven by Asia's Climate

February 24, 2015 3:00 pm | by The Conversation, Boris Schmid, Nils Stenseth | News | Comments

Plague outbreaks that ravaged Europe were thought to be caused by rodent reservoirs of infected rats. New research questions that theory. If the thesis were correct, we would expect plague outbreaks to be associated with local climate fluctuations. The study found plague outbreaks were associated with climate fluctuations– but in Asia.

Pretreatment Cuts Biofuel Cost by 30 Percent

February 24, 2015 3:00 pm | by UC Riverside | News | Comments

Researchers have invented a novel pretreatment technology that could cut the cost of biofuels production by about 30 percent or more by dramatically reducing the amount of enzymes needed to breakdown the raw materials that form biofuels.

Scientists Resuscitate Dead Fjord

February 24, 2015 7:00 am | by Univ. of Southern Denmark | News | Comments

Lack of oxygen is a major problem in many of the world's waters. Now, researchers have installed pumps in a Swedish fjord that showed a strong oxygen deficit and are reporting that all the right oxygen-loving organisms have come back to the fjord.

Ocean Acidification Threatens Costal Communities

February 23, 2015 3:00 pm | by Oregon State Univ. | News | Comments

Coastal communities in 15 states that depend on the $1 billion shelled mollusk industry— primarily oysters and clams— are at long-term economic risk from the increasing threat of ocean acidification, the first nationwide vulnerability analysis concludes.

Understanding Climate 21,000 Years Ago Key to Predictions

February 23, 2015 3:00 pm | by Vanderbilt Univ. | News | Comments

21,000 years ago, at the peak of the last Ice Age, a period known as the Last Glacial Maximum, the Southwest was wetter than it is today— much wetter— and the Northwest was drier— much drier. A team of scientists has created the first comprehensive map of the climate of the period and are using it to test and improve the global climate models that have been developed to predict how precipitation patterns will change in the future.

Garden Hoses May Nurture Legionnaires’

February 23, 2015 8:34 am | by Univ. of New South Wales | News | Comments

It is synonymous with an Aussie summer but the humble backyard hose could be a bacterial breeding ground, providing the ideal conditions for the organisms that cause Legionnaires’ disease to flourish.

Heat Causes Groups of Nanorods to Change Shapes

February 23, 2015 7:00 am | by Argonne National Laboratory | Videos | Comments

Research has revealed previously unobserved behaviors that show how details of the transfer of heat at the nanoscale cause nanoparticles to change shape in ensembles. The new finds depict three distinct stages of evolution in groups of gold nanorods, from the initial rod shape to the intermediate shape to a sphere-shaped nanoparticle.

Mysterious Antarctica Key to Answering Questions

February 20, 2015 3:00 pm | by Associated Press, Luis Andres Henao, Seth Borenstein | News | Comments

Earth's past, present and future come together on the northern peninsula of Antarctica, the wildest, most desolate and mysterious of its continents. Clues to answering humanity's most basic questions are locked in a continental freezer the size of the U.S. and half of Canada: Where did we come from? Are we alone in the universe? What's the fate of our warming planet?

Warm Ocean is Sickening Sea Lion Pups

February 20, 2015 7:00 am | by Associated Press | News | Comments

Unusually warm ocean water along the West Coast is to blame for four times more sick and dying sea lion pups getting stranded on California beaches this year. Officials with the NOAA said about 940 sick and starving young sea lions have washed up on California beaches this year.

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