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Newswise Special Wire
Thursday, December 20, 2018

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Climate News and Experts from Newswise 20-Dec-2018

New study first to predict which oil and gas wells are leaking methane

A new study in Environmental Geosciences is the first to predict, with up to 87% accuracy, which oil and natural wells are most likely to be leaking methane. Research published in Science estimated that natural gas wells are leaking 60% more methane ...

– University of Vermont

Environmental Geosciences

Cyanobacteria Study Seeks to Reveal Evolution of Oxygen on Earth

In Hope Johnson's Dan Black Hall laboratory, she and student researchers are growing cultures of cyanobacteria — bacteria that produces oxygen during photosynthesis.

– California State University, Fullerton

Anchor discovery provides clues in the search for the Lost Ships of Cortés

Nearly five hundred years later, the fleet’s final resting place remains undiscovered. But an international collaboration of underwater archaeologists is conducting the first modern-day search for the scuttled vessels, as well as 16 others that Cor...

– Texas State University

NUS study: In response to heat, the more affluent use air-conditioners; low-income households use water

Results from a study, conducted by Associate Professor Alberto Salvo from the National University of Singapore, have revealed that Singapore households from different socioeconomic groups vary significantly in their use of water and electricity for t...

– National University of Singapore

Nature Communications

Rabbit gene helps houseplant detoxify indoor air

Our homes are supposed to be safe havens from the outside world. However, studies have shown that household air is more polluted than either office or school air, exposing children and home workers to higher levels of carcinogens than the general pop...

– American Chemical Society (ACS)

Environmental Science & Technology

Embargo expired on 19-Dec-2018 at 08:00 ET

Nightlights for Stream Dwellers? No, Thanks.

When the critters that live in and around streams and wetlands are settling into their nighttime routines, streetlights and other sources of illumination filter down through the trees and into their habitat, monkeying with the normal state of affairs...

– Ohio State University

Ecological Applications

Embargo expired on 19-Dec-2018 at 00:05 ET

Cover crops may increase winter temperatures in North America

Cover crops grown in fields during winter may be warming temperatures in the northern United States and southern Canada, according to a new study by scientists at the National Center for Atmospheric Research. The crops, a land management strategy far...

– National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR)

Geophysical Research Letters

New composite advances lignin as a renewable 3D printing material

Scientists at Oak Ridge National Laboratory have created a recipe for a renewable 3D printing feedstock that could spur a profitable new use for an intractable byproduct: lignin.

– Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Science Advances, 14 Dec 2018

Peanuts that do more with less water

Researchers are studying peanut varieties to find a ‘water conservation’ trait. It would help the plant maintain a high yield during a drought.

– American Society of Agronomy (ASA), Crop Science Society of America (CSSA), Soil Science Society of America (SSSA)

Crop Science, October 4, 2018

The Secret Life of Cloud Droplets

Do water droplets cluster inside clouds? Researchers confirm two decades of theory with an airborne imaging instrument.

– Michigan Technological University

Physical Review Letters

Researchers develop a new houseplant that can clean your home's air

Researchers at the University of Washington have genetically modified a common houseplant to remove chloroform and benzene from the air around it.

– University of Washington

Environmental Science & Technology

Groups of pilot whales have their own dialects

In humans, different social groups, cities, or regions often have distinct accents and dialects. Those vocal traits are not unique to us, however. A new study from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) has found that short-finned pilot whal...

– Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution

Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology

Dive-bombing for love: Male hummingbirds dazzle females with a highly synchronized display

When it comes to flirting, animals know how to put on a show. In the bird world, males often go to great lengths to attract female attention, like peacocks shaking their tail feathers and manakins performing complex dance moves. These behaviors often...

– Princeton University

Nature Communications

Why is sea level rising faster in some places along the US East Coast than others?

Sea levels are rising globally from ocean warming and melting of land ice, but the seas aren't rising at the same rate everywhere. Sea levels have risen significantly faster in some U.S. East Coast regions compared to others. A new study led by the W...

– Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution


Red wolf DNA found in mysterious Texas canines

Though red wolves were declared extinct in the wild by 1980, a team of biologists has found their DNA in a group of canines living on Galveston Island off the coast of Texas.

– Princeton University


'Sonic Thunder' explores shock waves

A sonic boom and a thunderclap may seem like different phenomena, but their behavior is the same--that's one of the approaches used to explain shock waves in "Sonic Thunder."

– South Dakota State University

Sonic Thunder

Clarifying Rates of Methylmercury Production

New model provides more accurate estimates of how fast microbes produce a mercury-based neurotoxin.

– Department of Energy, Office of Science

Environmental Science & Technology 52(4), 2063(2018). [DOI: 10.1021/acs.est.7b05152]

Clouds with a chance of warming

Researchers from Argonne’s Environmental Science division participated in one of the largest collaborative atmospheric measurement campaigns in Antarctica in recent decades.

– Argonne National Laboratory

Top 25 news stories for Los Alamos highlight science achievements

From space missions to disease forecasting, particle physics to artificial intelligence, the biggest science news items from Los Alamos National Laboratory in 2018 have been gathered in one place: It’s a collection that reflects the significant dep...

– Los Alamos National Laboratory

Extraordinary 'faithful father' revealed by study of smooth guardian frog of Borneo

LAWRENCE -- Stay-at-home dads might find their spirit animal in the smooth guardian frog of Borneo. A new pair of research papers authored by an investigator at the University of Kansas shows the male of the smooth guardian frog species (Limnonectes ...

– University of Kansas

Journal of Natural History

Fossils suggest flowers originated 50 million years earlier than thought

Scientists have described a fossil plant species that suggests flowers bloomed in the Early Jurassic, more than 174 million years ago, according to new research in the open-access journal eLife.

– eLife


Broading the biodiversity catalogue of spider populations in the Iberian Peninsula

The new study, covering the largest study area on this animal group in peninsular territory, is now published in the journal Biodiversity Data Journal. Other participants in the study are the experts from the Experimental Station of Arid Zones (EEZA-...

– Universidad De Barcelona

Biodiversity Data Journal

Reducing Energy Costs and Social Isolation ‘Essential Opportunities’ in Supporting Older Adults in Extreme Weather

The cost of heating and cooling the home, and increasing social isolation are significant factors in health risk of older adults during extreme weather, according to a new study by the University of Warwick.

– University of Warwick


New research suggests forests, like humans, require a balanced diet

The world’s forests are on a fast food diet of carbon dioxide, which is currently causing them to grow faster. But a researcher at West Virginia University, along with an international team of scientists, finds evidence suggesting that forest growt...

– West Virginia University - Eberly College of Arts and Sciences

Nature Ecology and Evolution

Rings of Saturn are dying

University of Leicester graduate discovers Saturn’s rings are dying at a worst-case-scenario rate

– University of Leicester


Drought Stress Changes Microbes Living at Sorghum’s Roots

Scientists explore how drought-tolerant plants communicate to nearby microorganisms, suggesting ways to engineer more resilient bioenergy crops.

– Department of Energy, Office of Science

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA 115, E4284 (2018). [DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1717308115]

The “Hairy Canary” in the Coal Mine

A new study by WCS, El Colegio de Frontera Sur, Washington State University and other key regional partners has found that the white-lipped peccary (Tayassu pecari), one of the last large herding mammals of the Americas, has been eliminated from 87 p...

– Wildlife Conservation Society

How to Best Predict Chemical Reactions of Contaminants in Water

Scientists determine the accuracy of computational methods used to study the sulfate radical approach to purifying water.

– Department of Energy, Office of Science

Environmental Science: Processes & Impacts 19, 395 (2017). [DOI: 10.1039/c7em00009j]

Researchers unveil climate change plan for Midwest's second-largest city

A task force led by researchers at the Byrd Polar and Climate Research Center (BPCRC) at The Ohio State University has released its final list of 43 recommended actions that can be taken to help central Ohio prepare for climate change.

– Ohio State University

Small Particles Play Large Role in Tropical Thunderstorms

Ultrafine aerosol particles produce bigger storm clouds and more precipitation than larger aerosols in pristine conditions.

– Department of Energy, Office of Science

Science 359, 411 (2018). [DOI: 10.1126/science.aan8461]

How to Get Nuanced Details at the Top of the World

Scientists devise new approach that gathers data on the interplay between permafrost, soil, and vegetation.

– Department of Energy, Office of Science

Journal of Geophysical Research: Biogeosciences 122(6), 1321 (2017). [DOI: 10.1002/2016JG003724]

MuSCAT2 to find Earth-like Planets in the TESS Era

A Japan-Spain team has developed a powerful 4-color simultaneous camera named MuSCAT2 for the 1.52-m Telescopio Carlos Sánchez at the Teide Observatory, Canaries, Spain. The instrument aims to find a large number of transiting exoplanets, including ...

– National Astronomical Observatory of Japan

Journal of Astronomical Telescopes, Instruments, and Systems

Warning over deep-sea 'gold rush'

A "gold rush" of seabed mining could lead to unprecedented damage to fragile deep-sea ecosystems, researchers have warned.

– University of Exeter

Frontiers in Marine Science

'Treasure trove' of dinosaur footprints found in southern England

More than 85 well-preserved dinosaur footprints - made by at least seven different species - have been uncovered in East Sussex, representing the most diverse and detailed collection of these trace fossils from the Cretaceous Period found in the UK t...

– University of Cambridge

Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology

Massive New Dark Matter Detector Gets Its ‘Eyes’

The LUX-ZEPLIN dark matter detector, which will soon begin its deep-underground search for particles thought to account for most matter in the universe, now has "eyes."

– Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

For These Critically Endangered Marine Turtles, Climate Change Could be a Knockout Blow

Researchers from FSU’s Department of Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Science suggest that projected increases in air temperatures, rainfall inundation and blistering solar radiation could significantly reduce hawksbill hatching success at a selection ...

– Florida State University


Atmospheric aerosol formation from biogenic vapors is strongly affected by air pollutants

The formation of new aerosol particles is a complicated process. Researchers have only recently started to understand this process on a molecular level after instruments able to detect nanometer-scale particles became available.

– University of Helsinki

Science Advances

Missing ocean monitoring instrument found after five years at sea

After going missing on Christmas Day five years ago, deep ocean measuring equipment belonging to the UK’s National Oceanography Centre (NOC) has just been found on a beach in Tasmania by a local resident after making an incredible 14,000 km journey...

– National Oceanography Centre

British Antarctic Survey

Ice Formed by Contact Freezing: Pressure Matters, Not Just Temperature

Distortion of water droplet surface may increase the likelihood of the droplet freezing.

– Department of Energy, Office of Science

Physical Review E 97(2), 023103 (2018). [DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevE.97.023103]

New study will track how trade wars affect the Midwest

A team of researchers is studying the effect a global trade war could have on the Midwest, specifically the effects on farming, land use issues and water and energy systems.

– Ohio State University

Climate change leading to water shortage in Andes, Himalayas

Climate change could have devastating effects on vulnerable residents in the Andes mountains and the Tibetan plateau, according to researchers at The Ohio State University who have been studying glaciers in those areas for decades. Their findings—t...

– Ohio State University

American Geophysical Union

Future Loss of Arctic Sea-Ice Cover Could Contribute to the Substantial Decrease in California’s Rainfall

A new modeling framework helps understand the consequences of future sea-ice loss in the Arctic.

– Department of Energy, Office of Science

Nature Communications 8, 1947 (2017). [DOI: 10.1038/s41467-017-01907-4]

New Research Finds Human Impact is Leading to Higher Salinity Levels in Freshwater Resources

New research finds that the combined effects of land use and climate change are resulting in increased salinity levels in rivers and streams, further highlighting an emerging threat to freshwater resources, biodiversity and ecosystem functions across...

– California State University, Monterey Bay

Philosophical Transactions B


SBUH Receives Environmental Excellence Award from DEC

Stony Brook University Hospital was among an elite group of organizations to receive the Environmental Excellence Award from the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC).

– Stony Brook Medicine

Decarbonizing Health Care

Recognizing the threat that climate change poses to both human health and the health care system itself, Harvard Medical School and its affiliated hospitals and clinical institutes have committed to extensively decarbonize their operations.

– Harvard Medical School

National Climate Assessment (NCA)

Microsoft/National Geographic Grant Will Advance Penguin Colony Location Research

Stony Brook University Associate Professor Heather J. Lynch is a recipient of a Microsoft/National Geographic AI for Earth Innovation Grant, devised to advance the uses of artificial intelligence in scientific exploration and research on critical env...

– Stony Brook University

Expert Pitch

Ecologist available to discuss UN climate talks, effectiveness of agreed-upon approach to reducing emissions

– Northern Arizona University





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