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Thursday, July 23, 2020

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Climate and the Environment News from Newswise 23-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.


Making Comprehensive Water Resources Modeling More Accessible

A new large-scale, open source hydrological and water resources model will enable different stakeholder groups and scientific communities to engage with a hydrological model and support their investigations.

– International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis

Geoscientific Model Development

Embargo expired on 21-Jul-2020 at 02:00 ET

Lithium Ion Battery Waste Used in Biodiesel Production from Discarded Vegetable Oil

Brazilian researchers demonstrated a new chemical approach for producing biodiesel from domestic cooking oil waste by using hydroxide lithium mixed with either sodium hydroxides or potassium hydroxides as catalysts. Their work, published in the Journ...

– American Institute of Physics (AIP)

Journal of Renewable and Sustainable Energy

Embargo expired on 21-Jul-2020 at 11:00 ET

Free Trade Can Prevent Hunger Caused by Future Shifts in Climate Patterns

International trade can compensate for regional reductions in agricultural production and reduce hunger when protectionist measures and other barriers to trade are eliminated.

– International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis

Nature Climate Change

Embargo expired on 20-Jul-2020 at 11:00 ET

Big Wheel Ruts, Big Economic Losses

Research suggests the economic loss from wheel-traffic compaction for farmers in North Dakota and Minnesota could exceed 1 billion USD

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

Agricultural & Environmental Letters

New international analysis narrows the range in sensitivity of climate to CO2

The most advanced and comprehensive analysis of climate sensitivity undertaken has revealed with more confidence than ever how sensitive the Earth’s climate is to carbon dioxide. This new research finds that the true climate sensitivity is unlik...

– Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory

American Geophysical Union’s Reviews of Geophysics, July 22

Biotelemetry Provides Unique Glimpse into Whitespotted Eagle Rays’ Behavior

Using uniquely coded transmitters and acoustic telemetry, a study is the first to characterize the ecology and fine-scale habitat use of whitespotted rays in Florida while also identifying areas of potential interactions between this species and mult...

– Florida Atlantic University

Endangered Species Research

COVID-19 shutdown led to increased solar power output

As the Covid-19 shutdowns and stay-at-home orders brought much of the world's travel and commerce to a standstill, people around the world started noticing clearer skies as a result of lower levels of air pollution.

– Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)


Plastics found in sea-bed sharks

Microplastics have been found in the guts of sharks that live near the seabed off the UK coast.

– University of Exeter

Scientific Reports

International analysis narrows range of climate's sensitivity to CO2

The most advanced and comprehensive analysis of climate sensitivity yet undertaken has revealed with more confidence than ever before how sensitive the Earth's climate is to carbon dioxide.

– University of New South Wales

Reviews of Geophysics

What Happens in Vegas, May Come From the Arctic?

Climate records from a cave in the southern Great Basin show that Nevada was even hotter and drier in the past than it is today, and that one 4,000-year period in particular may represent a true, “worst-case” scenario for the Southwest and the Co...

– University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV)


Dragonflies reveal mercury pollution levels across US national parks

A citizen science program that began over a decade ago has confirmed the use of dragonflies to measure mercury pollution, according to a study in Environmental Science & Technology.

– Dartmouth College

Environmental Science & Technology

Novel ‘On-off’ Switch Discovered in Plant Defenses

Researchers investigating plant defenses—from threats spanning insects to pathogens—have discovered an “on-off” switch. The finding lays the groundwork for improved plant disease resistance and food stability.

– University of California San Diego

Nature Plants, July-2020

New study takes closer look at how environment affects daily life of brown-throated three-toed sloth

Scientists studying brown-throated three-toed sloths, where predators are extinct and food is more accessible, have found that the animals adapt to have a primarily diurnal, or daytime, schedule.

– University of Notre Dame

Mammalian Biology

Bright Spots Could Be Key to Securing the Future of Declining Coral Reefs

In recent decades, the decline of living hard coral on reefs around the world has raised concerns among marine experts. For years, the presumption was that decline signaled that an entire reef’s future was threatened. A study by Florida State Univ...

– Florida State University

Global Change Biology

Popular seafood species in sharp decline around the world

Fish market favourites such as orange roughy, common octopus and pink conch are among the species of fish and invertebrates in rapid decline around the world, according to new research.

– University of British Columbia

Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science

Eating habits of baby predator starfish revealed

Adult crown-of-thorns starfish pose one of the greatest threats to the Great Barrier Reef due to their coral diet.

– University of Sydney


New research reveals how hurricane Lane brought fire and rain to Hawaiian islands

Hurricane Lane was an impactful event for the Hawaiian Islands.

– University of Hawaii at Manoa

Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society

Geoengineering is Just a Partial Solution to Fight Climate Change

Could we create massive sulfuric acid clouds that limit global warming and help meet the 2015 Paris international climate goals, while reducing unintended impacts? Yes, in theory, according to a Rutgers co-authored study in the journal Earth System D...

– Rutgers University-New Brunswick

Earth System Dynamics; Rutgers Today

If It’s Big Enough and Leafy Enough the Birds Will Come

A new study from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology highlights specific features of urban green spaces that support the greatest diversity of bird species. The findings were published today in the journal Landscape and Urban Planning. The study focus...

– Cornell University

Landscape and Urban Planning; Wolf Creek Charitable Foundation; DBI-1939187

Argonne’s pivotal research discovers practices, technologies key to sustainable farming

Scientists study how sustainable farming practices could reduce emissions.

– Argonne National Laboratory

Environmental Research Letters

Experts' high-flying study reveals secrets of soaring birds

New research has revealed when it comes to flying the largest of birds don't rely on flapping to move around. Instead they make use of air currents to keep them airborne for hours at a time.

– Swansea University

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences

Native bushland's fertility secret

In hotter, dryer conditions with climate change, a secret agent for more sustainable agricultural production could lie in harvesting the diverse beneficial soil microbiome in native bushland settings, scientists say. New research from CSIRO, Flind...

– Flinders University

Soil Biology and Biochemistry

The Azores: Exotic insect species increase on islands through human impact

Various scientific studies have warned of a global decline in the abundance and diversity of insects.

– University of Helsinki

Insect Conservation and Diversity

A new idea on how Earth's outer shell first broke into tectonic plates

The activity of the solid Earth - for example, volcanoes in Java, earthquakes in Japan, etc - is well understood within the context of the ~50-year-old theory of plate tectonics.

– University of Hong Kong

Nature Communications

Baleen whales have changed their distribution in the Western North Atlantic

Researchers have been using passive acoustic recordings of whale calls to track their movements.

– NOAA Northeast Fisheries Science Center

Global Change Biology

FSU biologist part of team that discovered new record for highest-living mammal

It was a surprising thing to see on the otherwise lifeless peak of a South American volcano — a mouse, specifically a yellow-rumped leaf-eared mouse, or Phyllotis xanthopygus, scurrying among the rocks on the summit.The find was especially startlin...

– Florida State University

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences

Antarctica more widely impacted by humans than previously thought

Antarctica is considered one of the Earth's largest, most pristine remaining wildernesses. Yet since its formal discovery 200 years ago, the continent has seen accelerating and potentially impactful human activity.

– University of the Witwatersrand


Reduction in commercial flights due to COVID-19 leading to less accurate weather forecasts

Weather forecasts have become less accurate during the COVID-19 pandemic due to the reduction in commercial flights, according to new research.

– American Geophysical Union (AGU)

Geophysical Research Letters

Wonders of animal migration: How sea turtles find small, isolated islands

One of Charles Darwin's long-standing questions on how turtles find their way to islands has been answered thanks to a pioneering study by scientists.

– Swansea University

Current Biology

COVID-19 lockdown reduced dangerous air pollutants in five Indian cities by up to 54 percent

A team of 10 interdisciplinary researchers from the University of Surrey's renowned Global Centre for Clean Air Research (GCARE), including PhD students and post-doctoral researchers, have united to develop a rapid assessment of the impact COVID-19 h...

– University of Surrey

Sustainable Cities and Society

Fish reef domes a boon for environment, recreational fishing

In a boost for both recreational fishing and the environment, new UNSW research shows that artificial reefs can increase fish abundance in estuaries with little natural reef.

– University of New South Wales

Journal of Applied Ecology

Antarctica more widely impacted than previously thought

Antarctica is considered one of the Earth's largest, most pristine remaining wildernesses. Yet since its formal discovery 200 years ago, the continent has seen accelerating and potentially impactful human activity.

– Monash University



How do the various soil types in Puerto Rico support different crops?

Unique geography allows for wide variety of soils

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

Sustainable Secure Food Blog

NRPA Applauds Congressional Passage of Great American Outdoors Act

Today, the U.S. House of Representatives voted to pass the Great American Outdoors Act. The legislation will definitively fully fund the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF).

– National Recreation and Park Association

Scientists look to space to track plant pathogens coasting through atmosphere

To better understand how plant pathogens that travel the globe with dust particles might put crops at risk, a Cornell University-led team of scientists will use data from NASA’s Earth Observing Satellites to identify areas of potential disease and ...

– Cornell University

WHOI Scientists, Staff, and Students Make Woods Hole Film Festival Appearance

Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) scientists are featured in two short films at this year’s Woods Hole Film Festival (WHFF). In addition, scientists will also participate in Q&A sessions connected to three of the festival’s feature-len...

– Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution

Bedrock drilling project to unlock Greenland Ice Sheet’s secrets

The GreenDrill team aims to unearth new details about the history of the Greenland Ice Sheet. The data could improve predictions of how much global sea levels will rise in the 21st century as ice sheets shrink, researchers say.

– University at Buffalo


Cornell launches New York solar farm study

New York state has set ambitious goals to wean its economy off fossil fuels by 2050 while cutting greenhouse gas emissions by 85%. To help reach those goals, Cornell University researchers are studying ways the state’s mix of sun and farmland will ...

– Cornell University

Rutgers Expert Can Discuss Heat Wave and Hot Summer in N.J.

– Rutgers University-New Brunswick

GW Expert Available to Discuss Double Threat of COVID-19 and Extreme Heat

– George Washington University


Grant to help scientists, industry and farmers harness biomass and manure to fuel farms

A $10 million federal grant will power a multi-institutional consortium aiming to create new value chains on U.S. farms. The consortium will innovate methods for farmers to make more efficient use of resources with an emphasis on the generation of re...

– Iowa State University

Embargo expired on 21-Jul-2020 at 10:00 ET

AgTech NEXT Summit Goes Virtual

Virtual AgTech NEXT conference sessions will be held from 12 – 1 PM CDT on Tuesdays, beginning September 22 with a keynote by Dr. Pat Brown, founder and CEO of Impossible Foods through November 10.

– Donald Danforth Plant Science Center

USDA funds study of dairy cattle’s environmental footprint

A new open-source computer model being developed by a Cornell University-led interdisciplinary team will simulate production and quantify the environmental effects of management decisions made on dairy farms.

– Cornell University

WHOI names Peter de Menocal President and Director

Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) today announced that Dr. Peter de Menocal has been named the eleventh President and Director of the Institution. De Menocal is a marine geologist and paleo-oceanographer who studies deep-sea sediments as ar...

– Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution





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