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Thursday, December 19, 2019

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Climate and the Environment News from Newswise 19-Dec-2019

Climate Change and Environmental News and Experts for the Media

Newswise provides experts for the media on hurricanes, wildfires, and other natural disasters, as well as the latest research in Environmental Science and Climate Science.


Australian desalination plant attracts fish

Researchers in Environmental Science & Technology report that a large desalination plant in Australia has the unexpected benefit of attracting some species of fish, increasing their abundance at the discharge site.

– American Chemical Society (ACS)

Environmental Science & Technology

Embargo expired on 18-Dec-2019 at 08:00 ET

Resident Orcas' Appetite Likely Reason for Decline of Big Chinook Salmon

Large, old Chinook salmon have mostly disappeared from the West Coast. A new University of Washington and NOAA study points to the recent rise of resident killer whales, and their insatiable appetite for large Chinook salmon, as the main driver behin...

– University of Washington

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences

Embargo expired on 16-Dec-2019 at 15:00 ET

How microbes reflect the health of coral reefs

Microorganisms play important roles in the health and protection of coral reefs, yet exploring these connections can be difficult due to the lack of unspoiled reef systems throughout the global ocean. A collaborative study led by scientists at the Wo...

– Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution

Environmental Microbiology

Fossils of the Future to Mostly Consist of Humans, Domestic Animals

In a co-authored paper published online in the journal Anthropocene, University of Illinois at Chicago paleontologist Roy Plotnick argues that the fossil record of mammals will provide a clear signal of the Anthropocene era.

– University of Illinois at Chicago


Switching Cereals in India for Improved Nutrition, Sustainability

A new study offers India a pathway to improve nutrition, climate resilience and the environment by diversifying its crop production. And it also offers global insights into the need to consider sustainable approaches to agriculture.

– University of Delaware

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences

In global south, urban sanitation crisis harms health, economy

Researchers spent a year examining 15 cities in the global south, and found that 62% of sewage and fecal sludge is unsafely managed. Their findings are detailed in a report from the World Resources Institute/Ross Center for Sustainable Cities.

– Cornell University

World Resources Report, Dec. 2019

Ancient events are still impacting mammals worldwide

In the first study of its kind, researchers have discovered that events from 20,000 years ago or more are still impacting the diversity and distribution of mammal species worldwide.

– Rice University

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences

Degraded soils mean tropical forests may never fully recover from logging

Continually logging and re-growing tropical forests to supply timber is reducing the levels of vital nutrients in the soil, which may limit future forest growth and recovery, a new study suggests. This raises concerns about the long-term sustainabili...

– University of Cambridge

Global Change Biology

New ice river detected at Arctic glacier adds to rising seas

Geologists, examining the desolate Vavilov ice cap on the northern fringe of Siberia in the Arctic Circle, have for the first time observed rapid ice loss from an improbable new river of ice, according to new research in the journal Geophysical Resea...

– Cornell University

Geophysical Research Letters, Nov. 2019

Some Online Shoppers Willing to Try New Systems, But Wary of Workplace Delivery

While most people enjoy giving and receiving gifts throughout the season, there’s increasing concern over the rise in congestion, emissions, and energy consumption associated with an influx of deliveries. A new survey conducted by a research tea...

– Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI)

Neutrons optimize high efficiency catalyst for greener approach to biofuel synthesis

Researchers led by the University of Manchester used neutron scattering at Oak Ridge National Laboratory in the development of a catalyst that converts biomass into liquid fuel with remarkably high efficiency and provides new possibilities for manufa...

– Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Nature Materials

Moths and Perhaps Other Animals Rely on Precise Timing of Neural Spikes

Extracting nectar from flowers that may be dancing in the wind requires precise, millisecond timing between the brain and muscles. By capturing and analyzing nearly all of the brain signals sent to the wing muscles of hawk moths (Manduca sexta), whic...

– Georgia Institute of Technology

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences; DGE-1650044 ; 1554790

NUS study: Common species tolerant of environmental crisis shown to have much lower genetic diversity than decades ago

A team of researchers from the National University of Singapore has found that the effective population size and genetic diversity of Singapore’s Cynopterus brachyotis, believed to remain widely unaffected by urbanisation, has shrunk significantly...

– National University of Singapore

Current Biology, Volume 29, Issue 24, PR1299-R1300, December 16, 2019

Wetlands, crops can mitigate storm damageto coastal cities, study led by UAH finds

Coastal cities can be spared some wind destruction from intensifying hurricanes or tropical storm systems if they have functional wetland ecosystems and agricultural croplands in the area, according to new computer modeling.

– University of Alabama Huntsville

Scientific Reports Nov. 2019

An Urbanized Florida Means More Stormwater Ponds, Invasive Plants

In their first attempt to quantify stormwater ponds, researchers with the UF Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences found about 76,000 such ponds statewide. Many master-planned communities, especially in Florida, rely on stormwater ponds for flo...

– University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences

Science of the Total Environment

Barrels of ancient Antarctic air aim to track history of rare gas

An Antarctic field campaign last winter led by the U.S. and Australia has successfully extracted some of the largest samples of air dating from the 1870s until today. Researchers will use the samples to look for changes in the molecules that scrub th...

– University of Washington


Slime Santa beard likes hot peppers

A slime Santa beard has been made by Ian Hands-Portman at the University of Warwick using slime molds, a myxomycete which is a single giant cell with multiple nuclei that lives in dark damp places and likes to feed off bacteria and fungi and things t...

– University of Warwick

Tip of the ICEBERG: Planetary scientists developing large-scale ‘imagery-computing superhighway’

Northern Arizona University assistant professor Mark Salvatore and doctoral student Helen Eifert are working on an NSF-funded project to analyze data across the frozen landscape of Antarctica, which will eventually help scientists produce detailed ge...

– Northern Arizona University

NSF Award No. 1740450; NSF Award No. 1933896

Extraordinary Natural Science Collection Gifted to SoMAS

An extraordinary scientific collection of archived fish, as well as fish and water quality data taken from the Hudson River over more than five decades, has been gifted by Entergy Corporation (Entergy), to the Stony Brook University School of Marine ...

– Stony Brook University

UW scientist to lead NASA field study of East Coast snowstorms

To better understand large, disruptive snowstorms, a University of Washington atmospheric scientist will lead a NASA field campaign this winter to fly through major snowstorms along the East Coast. The multi-institutional team will observe snow as i...

– University of Washington

Visualizing 2020: Trends to Watch

CFR experts spotlight some of the most important trends they will be tracking in the year ahead.

Expert Available

– Council on Foreign Relations (CFR)

Edward Alden, Paul J. Angelo, Michelle Gavin, Bruce Hoffman, Amy M. Jaffe, Adam Segal, and Sheila A. Smith, December 12, 2019.

Crist Introduces Regional Ocean Partnership Bill, Addresses Gulf of Mexico and Coastal Concerns

U.S. Representative Charlie Crist (D-FL), along with Representatives Steven Palazzo (R-MS), Alan Lowenthal (D-CA), and Chris Smith (R-NJ), introduced the Regional Ocean Partnership Act (H.R. 5390). The bill would authorize Regional Ocean Partnerships...

– Gulf of Mexico Alliance


Rutgers Experts Available to Discuss Report on Rising Seas and Changing Coastal Storms in N.J.

– Rutgers University-New Brunswick

Adirondack’s Boreal Birds Heading for Lean Times

– Wildlife Conservation Society

 "Relative contribution of climate and non-climate drivers in determining dynamic rates of boreal birds at the edge of their ran

Spending to save: What will it cost to halt Australia's extinction crisis?

– Wildlife Conservation Society

Conservation Letters





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