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Newswise Special Wire
Thursday, February 13, 2020

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Climate and the Environment News from Newswise 13-Feb-2020

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.


Small altitude changes could cut the climate impact of aircraft

Contrails — the white, fluffy streaks in the sky that form behind planes — can harm the environment. Now, scientists report in ACS’ Environmental Science & Technology that small flight path adjustments could reduce the climate impact of these e...

– American Chemical Society (ACS)

Environmental Science & Technology

Embargo expired on 12-Feb-2020 at 08:00 ET

Soil nutrients limit carbon uptake to slow climate change

A Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory scientist and international collaborators have developed a framework for testing nutrient limitations and a benchmark of nitrogen and phosphorus limitation for models to be used for predictions of the terrestr...

– Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory

Nature Geoscience, Feb. 10; Nature Climate Change

Embargo expired on 10-Feb-2020 at 11:00 ET

I spy with my digital eye … a tiger’s breathing, a lion’s pulse

A pilot study undertaken by researchers from the University of South Australia at Adelaide Zoo, has developed a new way to undertake basic health checks of exotic wildlife using a digital camera, saving them the stress of an anaesthetic.

– University of South Australia


New study shows Deepwater Horizon oil spill larger than previously thought

Toxic and invisible oil spread well beyond the known satellite footprint of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, according to a new study led by scientists at the University of Miami (UM) Rosenstiel school of Marine and Atmospheric Science.

– University of Miami, Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science

Science Advances

Extinct giant turtle had horned shell of up to three meters

The tropical region of South America is one of the world's hot spots when it comes to animal diversity.

– University of Zurich

Science Advances

Reconnecting with nature key for the health of people and the planet

Individuals who visit natural spaces weekly, and feel psychologically connected to them, report better physical and mental wellbeing, new research has shown.

– University of Plymouth

Journal of Environmental Psychology

Harnessing the sun to bring fresh water to remote or disaster-struck communities

Researchers at the University of Bath have developed a revolutionary desalination process that has the potential to be operated in mobile, solar-powered units.

– University of Bath


Do soils need a low-salt diet?

New findings suggest soils exposed to salt release more greenhouse gas

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

2019 ASA-CSSA-SSSA International Annual Meeting; 160060

Polar bears in Baffin Bay skinnier, having fewer cubs due to less sea ice

Satellite tracking of adult females and visual monitoring of polar bears in Baffin Bay show changes from the 1990s to the period from 2009 to 2015. Bears in Baffin Bay are getting thinner and adult females are having fewer cubs than when sea ice was ...

– University of Washington

Ecological Applications

Fighting climate change at the sink: A guide to greener dishwashing

If you're an environmentally conscious consumer, you've probably heard that today's highly efficient dishwashers use less energy and water than traditional hand-washing techniques.

– University of Michigan

Environmental Research Communications

Small marsupials in Australia may struggle to adjust to a warming climate

Numerous questions remain unanswered as to how the planet's species will respond to climate change.

– Frontiers

Frontiers in Physiology

Ancient Antarctic ice melt increased sea levels by 3+ meters -- and it could happen again

Mass melting of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet was a major cause of high sea levels during a period known as the Last Interglacial (129,000-116,000 years ago), an international team of scientists led by UNSW's Chris Turney has found.

– University of New South Wales

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences

Coronavirus outbreak raises question: Why are bat viruses so deadly?

It's no coincidence that some of the worst viral disease outbreaks in recent years -- SARS, MERS, Ebola, Marburg and likely the newly arrived 2019-nCoV virus -- originated in bats.

– University of California, Berkeley


The Nose Knows: Study Establishes Airborne Exposure to Harmful Algal Blooms’ Toxins

There are no limits specific to airborne concentrations of microcystins (blue-green algae) or inhalation guidelines. Little is known about recreational and occupational exposure to these toxins. New research provides evidence of aerosol exposure to m...

– Florida Atlantic University

Harmful Algae

Citizen scientists may be an untapped resource for water quality improvement

Raising awareness and offering technological tools to the thousands of citizens groups in the U.S. that monitor water quality might help community leaders tap these volunteers as a way to improve access to plentiful, clean water and possibly avoid w...

– Penn State Institute for Computational and Data Sciences

Interacting With Computers

Hot climates to see more variability in tree leafing as temperatures rise

The researchers examined satellite imagery, air temperature data and phenology (plant life cycle) models for 85 large cities and their surrounding rural areas from 2001 through 2014 to better understand changes in tree leaf emergence, also called bud...

– Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, Feb-2020

Climate change could trigger more landslides in High Mountain Asia

More frequent and intense rainfall events due to climate change could cause more landslides in the High Mountain Asia region of China, Tibet and Nepal, according to the first quantitative study of the link between precipitation and landslides in the ...

– NASA Goddard Space Flight Center


New research shows that El Niño contributes to insect collapse in the Amazon

Hotter and drier El Niño events are having an alarming effect on biodiversity in the Amazon Rainforest and further add to a disturbing global insect collapse, scientists show.

– Lancaster University


Heat trapped in urban areas tricks trees into thinking spring has arrived earlier

Satellite data of 85 U.S. cities shows plants begin turning green earlier in the spring in urban areas than in surrounding rural areas. It’s a symptom of the way cities trap heat, a phenomenon known as the “heat-island effect,” according to a r...

– Iowa State University


Adapting to Climate Change: We’re Doing It Wrong

When it comes to adapting to the effects of climate change, scientists and policymakers are thinking too small, according to a new research review.

– Ohio State University

Nature Climate Change

Scientists resurrect mammoth’s broken genes

Woolly mammoths on Wrangel Island may have been the last of their kind anywhere on Earth. To learn about the forces that contributed to their extinction, scientists have resurrected a Wrangel Island mammoth’s mutated genes. The goal was to study wh...

– University at Buffalo

Genome Biology and Evolution

Global climate trend since Dec. 1 1978: +0.13 C per decade

Global Temperature Report: January 2020

– University of Alabama Huntsville

Mediterranean sea urchins are more vulnerable than previously thought

The sea urchin Paracentrotus lividus, an eatable species of great commercial interest found in the Mediterranean and North-East Atlantic, is more vulnerable than so far believed.

– Universitat de Barcelona

Diversity and Distributions

Secondary forests provide deforestation buffer for old-growth primary forests

Currently, re-growing forests comprise roughly 21% of previously deforested areas in the Brazilian Amazon. However, these forests, referred to as secondary vegetation, have been little studied, despite occupying a total area similar to that of the Un...

– University of Leeds

Nature Sustainability

Majority of U.S. Adults Believe Climate Change Is Most Important Issue Today

As the effects of climate change become more evident, more than half of U.S. adults (56%) say climate change is the most important issue facing society today, yet 4 in 10 have not made any changes in their behavior to reduce their contribution to cli...

– American Psychological Association (APA)

The Harris Poll

University of Utah Law research questions whether national monument management plans follow federal law

New research from the University of Utah S.J. Quinney College of Law’s Wallace Stegner Center for Land, Resources and the Environment questions whether the federal government followed the law in finalizing management plans for the Bears Ears and Gr...

– University of Utah

Natural Resources & Environment

East African Fish In Need of Recovery

A study of East African coral reefs has uncovered an unfolding calamity for the region: plummeting fish populations due to overfishing, which in turn could produce widespread food insecurity.

– Wildlife Conservation Society

Marine Ecology


‘How I Fell for My Field’

As the adage goes, “Choose a job you love, and you'll never work a day in your life." The CSU is lucky to be replete with faculty and staff across its 23 campuses who've found their true calling. And for those who work with them—whether students ...

– California State University (CSU) Chancellor's Office

Around the World, Cornell Fellows Guide Climate Action

More than 1,200 international professionals from about 25 countries applied to participate as members of the spring 2019 and fall 2019 cohorts of the Cornell Climate Online Fellows. About 35 individuals per semester were selected. The fellows partici...

– Cornell University

HU research gives blue iguanas a fighting chance

A team of Harrisburg University professors and students have embarked on a unique research journey that involves the use of drones and imaging technology to help save an endangered iguana species in the Cayman Islands.

– Harrisburg University of Science and Technology

Where the sky meets the sea: Exploring the sea-surface microlayer

The separation between sky and sea is only one millimeter at its thickest and, yet, this sea-surface microlayer plays a major role in global phenomena. Dr. Aarthi Sekaran is taking a deeper look into how flow instabilities in this microlayer affects ...

– Texas A&M University

Gulf of Mexico Alliance Gulf Star Program Yields Cumulative Results

The Gulf of Mexico Alliance released the 2019 Gulf Star Program annual report. It showcases the successful results of the regional public-private partnership. Gulf Star funds projects related to seafood, habitat, water resources, and much more.

– Gulf of Mexico Alliance


Virginia Tech expert available to discuss lower barriers to invasive species

– Virginia Tech

Embargo expired on 07-Feb-2020 at 13:05 ET

Former advisor to the EPA’s Office of Pesticide Program available to talk about recent EPA decisions on pesticides

– Indiana University

Decline of the mayfly and its impact on ecosystems around the world

– Virginia Tech

The Philippines has rated ‘Golden Rice’ safe, but farmers might not plant it

– Washington University in St. Louis

Britain’s ambitious shift to electric vehicles poised to have dramatic health, environmental impacts

– Cornell University





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