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Thursday, July 16, 2020

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Climate and the Environment News from Newswise 16-Jul-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.


Study of Natural Gas Flaring Finds High Risks to Babies

UCLA & USC study of natural gas flaring finds high risks to babies; researchers found exposure was associated with 50% higher odds of preterm birth compared with no exposure.

– UCLA Fielding School of Public Health

Environmental Health Perspectives; National Institutes of Health/National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (R21-ES028417).

Embargo expired on 15-Jul-2020 at 09:15 ET

A GoPro for beetles: Researchers create a robotic camera backpack for insects

Researchers at the University of Washington have developed a tiny wireless steerable camera that can ride aboard an insect or an insect-sized robot.

– University of Washington

Science Robotics

Embargo expired on 15-Jul-2020 at 14:00 ET

No evidence that predator control will save mountain caribou, study says

Addressing potential threats from predators has not slowed the dramatic decline of mountain caribou in British Columbia and Alberta, according to a new study by scientists from the University of Alberta and two other western Canadian universities.

– University of Alberta

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) ; Biodiversity and Conservation

Embargo expired on 14-Jul-2020 at 07:00 ET

‘Blinking” Crystals May Convert CO2 into Fuels

Imagine tiny crystals that “blink” like fireflies and can convert carbon dioxide, a key cause of climate change, into fuels. A Rutgers-led team has created ultra-small titanium dioxide crystals that exhibit unusual “blinking” behavior and may...

– Rutgers University-New Brunswick

Angewandte Chemie; Rutgers Today

Breeding new rice varieties will help farmers in Asia

New research shows enormous potential for developing improved short-duration rice varieties

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

Crop Science; 18KK0169

Breakthrough in studying ancient DNA from Doggerland that separates the UK from Europe

Thousands of years ago the UK was physically joined to the rest of Europe through an area known as Doggerland. However, a marine inundation took place during the mid-holocene, separating the British landmass from the rest of Europe, which is now cove...

– University of Warwick

Journal Geosciences

How much fluorine is too much fluorine?

Research investigates how fluorine levels affect beneficial soil microbes

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

Journal of Environmental Quality

Geoengineering’s Benefits Limited for Apple Crops in India

Geoengineering – spraying sulfur dioxide into the atmosphere to combat global warming – would only temporarily and partially benefit apple production in northern India, according to a Rutgers co-authored study. But abruptly ending geoengineering ...

– Rutgers University-New Brunswick

Climatic Change; Rutgers Today

Data analytics can help predict global warming trends and heat waves

New data analytics process evaluates how global energy consumption, as well as urban green infrastructure, can affect climate change.

– Arizona State University (ASU)

Geophysical Research Letters; NSF #AGS-1930629

Extinction Rebellion's activists more likely to be new to protesting, study shows

Ten per cent of those who took part in the group's protests in April 2019 were first-time demonstrators, twice the proportion of "novices" at climate marches a decade before.

– University of Exeter

Centre for the Understanding of Sustainable Prosperity

Study First to Show Tiger Sharks’ Travels and Desired Hangouts in the Gulf of Mexico

Using sophisticated satellite telemetry, a study is the first to provide unique insights into how tiger sharks move and use habitats in the Gulf of Mexico across life-stages. Data provide an important baseline for comparison against, and/or predictin...

– Florida Atlantic University


Dietary guidelines incompatible with global targets

A team of researchers, including the University of Adelaide, has found most dietary recommendations provided by national governments are incompatible with global health and environmental targets such as the Paris Climate Agreement, and are in need of...

– University of Adelaide


For Chimpanzees, Salt and Pepper Hair Not a Marker of Old Age

A new study published in the journal PLOS ONE finds graying hair is not indicative of a chimpanzee’s age.

– George Washington University


Pesticide mixtures a bigger problem than previously thought

New research led by The University of Queensland has provided the first comprehensive analysis of pesticide mixtures in creeks and rivers discharging to the Great Barrier Reef.

– University of Queensland

Environmental Pollution

Ancient oyster shells provide historical insights

Scientists studying thousands of oyster shells along the Georgia coast, some as old as 4,500 years, have published new insights into how Native Americans sustained oyster harvests for thousands of years, observations that may lead to better managemen...

– University of Georgia

Science Advances

Green is more than skin-deep for hundreds of frog species

Frogs and toads are green for a very good reason - it makes them harder to see in their leafy environments. Good camouflage allows them to eat and not be eaten.

– Duke University

Proceedings of National Academy of Sciences

Periods of Ice-Free Arctic Seas Could Bring More Ocean Noise in Changing Marine Habitats

Scientists examining levels of ocean noise in the Bering Sea—an important migratory seascape for whales, walruses, seals, and other acoustically sensitive animals—have confirmed that the presence of sea ice plays a central role in the soundscape ...

– Wildlife Conservation Society

Marine Pollution Bulletin

Insights into climate change during origin of dinosaurs

In a new study in the journal Gondwana Research demonstrated that the Carnian Pluvial Episode affected the southern hemisphere, specifically South America, which strengthens the case that it was a global climate event.

– University of Utah

Science Direct

Parasite infestations revealed by tiny chicken backpacks

Blood-feeding livestock mites can be detected with wearable sensor technology nicknamed "Fitbits for chickens."

– University of California, Riverside

Scientific Reports

Bat research critical to preventing next pandemic

The current SARS-CoV-2 pandemic has a likely connection to bats, and the next viral outbreak probably will too, unless scientists can quickly learn more about the thousands of viruses carried by one of the most diverse mammals on the planet.

– Washington State University

Nature Reviews Microbiology

Well-off countries need trade to cut environmental woes

International trade wins and losses don't just show up in the stock market, but also on a nation's environmental sustainability scores, a new study in Nature Sustainability shows.

– Michigan State University

Nature Sustainability

Social media inspired models show winter warming hits fish stocks

Mathematical modelling inspired by social media is identifying the significant impacts of warming seas on the world's fisheries.

– University of Queensland

Nature Climate Change

Farmers’ climate change conundrum: Low yields or revenue instability

Climate change will leave some farmers with a difficult conundrum, according to a new study by researchers from Cornell University and Washington State University: either risk more revenue volatility or live with a more predictable decrease in crop y...

– Cornell University

Nature Communications, July 2020

FSU workshop on maize genome profiling leads to new study on corn flowering

A genomic mapping technique developed in part at Florida State University has played a crucial role in a new study aimed at understanding growth in corn, a major U.S. crop.

– Florida State University

Genome Biology; Plant Physiology

Alaskan volcano linked to mysterious period with extreme climate in ancient Rome

he cold, famine and unrest in ancient Rome and Egypt after the assassination of Julius Caesar in 44 BCE has long been shrouded in mystery.

– University of Copenhagen

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences

Scientists may have found one path to a longer life

Scientists at USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences may have found the beginnings of a path toward increasing human lifespan.

– University of Southern California (USC)

Journal of Gerontology: Biological Sciences

Revealing winners & losers in projected future climates

New research reveals how winners & losers from climate change can be identified based on their ability to adapt to rising future temperatures.

– Flinders University


New evidence of long-term volcanic, seismic risks in northern Europe

An ancient European volcanic region may pose both a greater long-term volcanic risk and seismic risk to northwestern Europe than scientists had realized, geophysicists report in a study in the Geophysical Journal International.

– University of California Los Angeles (UCLA)

Geophysical Journal International

Like Humans, Beluga Whales Form Social Networks Beyond Family Ties

A groundbreaking study is the first to analyze the relationship between group behaviors, group type, group dynamics, and kinship of beluga whales in 10 locations across the Arctic. Results show that not only do beluga whales regularly interact with c...

– Florida Atlantic University

Scientific Reports

Climate change: Heavy rain after drought may cause fish kills

Fish kills are a recurring phenomenon in lakes suffering from oxygen depletion. Often the kills are triggered by factors like an algae bloom, but now a new study reports on a new, climate-related cause of fish kills.

– University of Southern Denmark

Science of the Total Environment

A New Look at Deep-Sea Microbes

Microbes found deeper in the ocean are believed to have slow population turnover rates and low amounts of available energy. But microbial communities found deeper in seafloor sediments and around hydrocarbon seepage sites have now been found to have ...

– University of Delaware

Scientific Reports

Study finds less impact from wildfire smoke on climate

New research revealed that tiny, sunlight-absorbing particles in wildfire smoke may have less impact on climate than widely hypothesized because reactions as the plume mixes with clean air reduce its absorbing power and climate-warming effect.

– Los Alamos National Laboratory

JGR: Atmospheres

Novel Measurement and Forecasting Systems Make ‘Weathering the Storm’ More Precise

In the last several decades, more than half of the deaths associated with tropical cyclones in the U.S. were due to inland flooding. Unfortunately, current forecasting capabilities are limited. Researchers are developing a warning system for more acc...

– Florida Atlantic University


Survey: Most Ophthalmologists Support Efforts to Reduce Medicine’s Big Carbon Footprint

A just published survey of more than 1,300 U.S. cataract surgeons and nurses shows 93 percent believe that something needs to be done to reduce the excessive amount of waste produced by surgery.

– American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) and ASCRS

Journal of Cataract & Refractive Surgery; New England Journal of Medicine: Climate Change – A Health Emergency

Public health emergency preparedness and response: grounding the field in evidence

UCLA faculty - including Dr. David Eisenman, professor-in-residence of the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health - contributed to a new report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine reviews and grades the evidence underpin...

– UCLA Fielding School of Public Health

National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2020. Evidence-Based Practice for Public Health Emergency Preparedness and Response. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press.

Cooperative Microorganisms Get Competitive

Organisms in phototropic microbial communities survive by exchanging oxygen and carbon dioxide with each other. Using a combination of computational modeling and experiments, researchers found that two different kinds of microorganisms can coexist in...

– Department of Energy, Office of Science

Colleen Iversen on Belowground Ecology

After working on a climate change experiment that showed plants adapt to additional carbon dioxide by putting extra carbon into their roots, Colleen Iverson has been on a mission to understand the role of roots in the environment, especially the tund...

Expert Available

– Department of Energy, Office of Science


Preparing for hurricane season during COVID-19

Hurricane season 2020 is already shattering records, and it’s only July.

Expert Available

– University of Georgia

Atlantic Hurricane Season and Mortgage Default Risk

Maryland Smith finance professor and former risk executive Clifford Rossi’s new study examines the future implications of a predicted increase in hurricane activity for the likes of borrowers and mortgage credit investors.

Expert Available

– University of Maryland, Robert H. Smith School of Business

Journal of Risk and Uncertainty

New U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service rule undermines mission to protect birds

– Cornell University

Scientists predict active hurricane season, increasing calls for managed retreat from coasts

– University of Delaware

Rutgers Expert Available to Discuss Tropical Storm Fay in N.J.

– Rutgers University-New Brunswick


Iowa State University joins the international APSIM Initiative

The Iowa State University Department of Agronomy is the first North American entity to join the Agricultural Production Systems sIMulator (APSIM) Initiative. The computer modeling tools predict crop production in light of climate, genotype, soil and ...

– Iowa State University

Urban Future Lab, Greentown Labs, and the Fraunhofer USA TechBridge Program announce the Carbon to Value Initiative

The Urban Future Lab at the NYU Tandon School of Engineering, Greentown Labs, and the Fraunhofer USA TechBridge Program launch the Carbon to Value Initiative (C2V Initiative), a partnership driving the creation of a thriving innovation ecosystem for ...

– New York University

Iowa State researcher wins Department of Energy early career award for cyclone studies

An Iowa State University researcher will use a U.S. Department of Energy grant to study tropical cyclones, including global storm numbers and regional storm intensity and rainfall.

– Iowa State University

DOE Office of Science Early Career Research Program





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