Complex, old-growth forests may protect some bird species in a warming climate
Fri, 15 Dec 2017 13:51:22 EST
Old forests that contain large trees and a diversity of tree sizes and species may offer refuge to some types of birds facing threats in a warming climate, scientists have found.
How much soil goes down the drain: New data on soil lost due to water
Fri, 15 Dec 2017 12:10:55 EST
According to a new study, almost 36 billion tons of soil is lost every year due to water, and deforestation and other changes in land use make the problem worse. The study also offers ideas on how agriculture can change to become a part of the solution from being part of the problem.
Heavy-petroleum fuels raising vanadium emissions
Fri, 15 Dec 2017 12:10:52 EST
Human emissions of the potentially harmful trace metal vanadium into Earth's atmosphere have spiked sharply since the start of the 21st century due in large part to industry's growing use of heavy oils, tar sands, bitumen and petroleum coke for energy, a new Duke study finds. These emissions now exceed those from all natural sources combined. Growing evidence suggests exposure to vanadium-rich aerosols can impair respiratory functions and exacerbate conditions such as asthma or COPD.
Exposure to larger air particles linked to increased risk of asthma in children
Fri, 15 Dec 2017 10:53:10 EST
Researchers report statistical evidence that children exposed to airborne coarse particulate matter — a mix of dust, sand and non-exhaust tailpipe emissions, such as tire rubber — are more likely to develop asthma and need emergency room or hospital treatment for it than unexposed children.
Northeast farmers weigh warming climate, drenched fields
Thu, 14 Dec 2017 15:33:44 EST
Farmers in the Northeast are adapting to longer growing seasons and warming climate conditions -- but they may face spring-planting whiplash as they confront fields increasingly saturated with rain, according to a research paper.
Conserving the forests
Thu, 14 Dec 2017 15:33:39 EST
Certification programs are being reevaluated as options for sustaining tropical forests, explain scientists.
Hope for one of the world's rarest primates: First census of Zanzibar Red Colobus monkey
Thu, 14 Dec 2017 15:33:22 EST
A team of scientists recently completed the first-ever range-wide population census of the Zanzibar red colobus monkey (Piliocolobus kirkii) an endangered primate found only on the Zanzibar archipelago off the coast of East Africa.
Effects of climate change could accelerate by mid-century
Thu, 14 Dec 2017 14:45:22 EST
Environmental models are showing that the effects of climate change could be much stronger by the middle of the 21st century, and a number of ecosystem and weather conditions could consistently decline even more in the future.
NASA researchers share perspective on key elements of ozone layer recovery
Thu, 14 Dec 2017 14:44:36 EST
Each year, ozone-depleting compounds in the upper atmosphere destroy the protective ozone layer, and in particular above Antarctica. While different compounds each release either reactive chlorine or bromine, the two active ozone-destroying ingredients, during a series of chemical reactions, the molecules have a range of different lifetimes in the atmosphere that can affect their ultimate impact on the ozone layer and its future recovery.
Newly declassified nuclear test videos released
Thu, 14 Dec 2017 14:21:32 EST
Researchers at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) released 62 newly declassified videos today of atmospheric nuclear tests films that have never before been seen by the public.
Allergens widespread in largest study of US homes
Thu, 14 Dec 2017 14:07:56 EST
Allergens are widespread, but highly variable in U.S. homes, according to the nation's largest indoor allergen study to date. Researchers report that over 90 percent of homes had three or more detectable allergens, and 73 percent of homes had at least one allergen at elevated levels.
Clearing the air
Thu, 14 Dec 2017 14:07:15 EST
A greater understanding of the dynamics of chemical reactions is leading to better models of atmospheric chemistry. Through this work, scientists are gaining insight into a key chemical able to break down some major air pollutants.
Climate conditions affect solar cell performance more than expected
Wed, 13 Dec 2017 14:37:25 EST
Researchers can now predict how much energy solar cells will produce at any location worldwide. Surprisingly, they identified that two types of solar cells can vary in energy output by 5 percent or more in tropical regions. This gap occurs because solar energy can shift depending on local temperature and water in the atmosphere. Their work emphasizes that solar products may behave differently depending on their environment.
Increased air pollution linked to bad teenage behavior
Wed, 13 Dec 2017 14:37:20 EST
A new study linking higher levels of air pollution to increased teenage delinquency is a reminder of the importance of clean air and the need for more foliage in urban spaces. The study suggests ambient air pollution may increase delinquent behavior among 9- to 18-year-olds in urban neighborhoods in Greater Los Angeles. The insidious effects are compounded by poor parent-child relationships and parental mental and social distress, researchers report.
World e-waste rises 8 percent by weight in 2 years as incomes rise, prices fall: UN-backed report
Wed, 13 Dec 2017 14:37:14 EST
The world's e-waste -- discarded products with a battery or plug -- reached a staggering 44.7 million metric tonnes in 2016 -- up 3.3 Mt or 8 percent from 2014. In 2016 world e-waste -- everything from end-of-life refrigerators and television sets to solar panels, mobile phones and computers -- equaled in weight almost nine Great Pyramids of Giza, or 1.23 million fully loaded 18-wheel 40-ton trucks, enough to form a line from New York to Bangkok and back.
Hydraulic fracturing negatively impacts infant health, study finds
Wed, 13 Dec 2017 14:37:03 EST
Health risks increase for infants born to mothers living within 2 miles of a hydraulic fracturing site, according to a new study.
East Antarctic Ice Sheet has history of instability
Wed, 13 Dec 2017 14:36:50 EST
The East Antarctic Ice Sheet locks away enough water to raise sea level an estimated 53 meters (174 feet). It's also thought to be among the most stable, not gaining or losing mass even as ice sheets in West Antarctica and Greenland shrink. New research has found that the East Antarctic Ice Sheet may not be as stable as it seems.
Tiny globetrotters: Bacteria which live in the Arctic and the Antarctic
Wed, 13 Dec 2017 12:57:38 EST
Geoscientists have compared micro-organisms in the polar regions, noting that some bacteria can be found in both regions of Earth.
Converting waste water from dairies to animal feed and aviation fuel
Wed, 13 Dec 2017 12:49:14 EST
Scientists have developed a bioprocess that enables conversion of acid whey, a dairy by-product, without the use of additional chemicals. Scientists used microbiome cultures similar to those in the human gut. The new bio-oil can be used in animal feed or, after further refinement, as a fuel for airplanes.
Residual strain despite mega earthquake
Wed, 13 Dec 2017 12:00:37 EST
On Christmas Day 2016, the earth trembled in southern Chile. In the same region, the strongest earthquake ever measured occurred in 1960. A comparison of data from seismic and geodetic measurements during and after both earthquakes shows that the energy released by the 2016 quake accumulated over more than 56 years. According to this, the 1960 quake, despite its immense strength, must have left some strain in the underground.

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