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Thursday, August 27, 2020

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Climate and the Environment News from Newswise 27-Aug-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.


Misconceptions About Weather and Seasonality Impact COVID-19 Response

Misconceptions about the way climate and weather impact exposure and transmission of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, create false confidence and have adversely shaped risk perceptions, say a team of Georgetown University researchers.

– Georgetown University Medical Center

Nature Communications

Embargo expired on 27-Aug-2020 at 05:00 ET

Mount Everest summit success rates double, death rate stays the same over last 30 years

A new study led by researchers at the University of Washington and the University of California, Davis, finds that the success rate of summiting Mount Everest has doubled in the last three decades, even though the number of climbers has greatly incre...

– University of Washington

PLOS ONE, Aug-2020

Embargo expired on 26-Aug-2020 at 14:00 ET

Char Application Restores Soil Carbon and Productivity

After two years of char application, researchers find increased soil Carbon, magnesium, and sodium concentrations.

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

Journal of Environmental Quality

A climatic crystal ball: How changes in ancient soil microbes could predict the future of the Arctic

Microbial communities in Arctic permafrost changed drastically at the end of the ice age—and this shift could happen again due to modern climate change, according to a new study by University of Alberta scientists.

– University of Alberta

Frontiers in Environmental Science

Ocean acidification causing coral ‘osteoporosis' on iconic reefs

Scientists have long suspected that ocean acidification is affecting corals’ ability to build their skeletons, but it has been challenging to isolate its effect from that of simultaneous warming ocean temperatures, which also influence coral growth...

– Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution

Geophysical Research Letters

Fossil evidence of ‘hibernation-like’ state in 250-million-year-old Antarctic animal

Scientists report evidence of a hibernation-like state in Lystrosaurus, an animal that lived in Antarctica during the Early Triassic 250 million years ago. The fossils are the oldest evidence of a hibernation-like state in a vertebrate, and indicate ...

– University of Washington

Communications Biology

Getting to the root of the problem

Researchers analyze bean root architecture for better breeding

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

Crop Science

Plant scientists use robotics to study the interaction of heat stress responses in corn

A new study shows how two responses in separate locations inside plant cells work in concert to help corn plants respond to heat stress. The research was made possible by the Enviratron, an innovative plant sciences facility at Iowa State University ...

– Iowa State University

The Plant Cell

New study warns: We have underestimated the pace at which the Arctic is melting

Temperatures in the Arctic Ocean between Canada, Russia and Europe are warming faster than researchers' climate models have been able to predict.

– University of Copenhagen

Nature Climate Change

Domesticated chickens have smaller brains

Researchers from Linköping University suggest a process by which the timid junglefowl from the rain forest could have become today's domesticated chicken.

– Linkoping University

Royal Society Open Science

NAU researchers co-author study that finds water efficiency achievable throughout U.S. without decrease in economic activity

Ben Ruddell and Richard Rushforth, with collaborators throughout the country, looked at how much water conservation can readily and affordably be achieved in each region and industry by looking at what conservation measures were already working and c...

– Northern Arizona University

Environmental Research Letters

Experts reveal major holes in international ozone treaty

A new paper, co-authored by a University of Sussex scientist, has revealed major holes in an international treaty designed to help repair the ozone layer, putting human health at risk and increasing the speed of climate change.

– University of Sussex

Nature Communications

Some of America’s Favorite Produce Crops May Need to Get a Move On by 2045

New research from Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) shows that by the years 2045-2049 future temperatures will have more of an effect on when cool-season crops, such as broccoli and lettuce, can be grown than on where, while for wa...

– Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

Science of the Total Environment

Scientists Catalogue Shark and Ray Distribution in Florida Lagoon

A study is the first long-term, in-depth analysis of the elasmobranch community in Florida’s Indian River Lagoon and develops capacity to understand how these species may respond to further environmental changes. From 2016 to 2018, researchers caug...

– Florida Atlantic University

Estuaries and Coasts

New Theory to Calculate Emissions Liability—"A Profound Business Risk for Some Companies"

A new study by Michigan Tech researchers questions conventional methods of calculating carbon emissions liability based on point source pollution by introducing new “bottleneck” theory.

– Michigan Technological University


Study shines new light on young tree seedlings

X-ray images show a plant’s power source may be different than thought

– University of Georgia

American Journal of Botany

Coastal development, changing climate threaten sea turtle nesting habitat

A research team led by Florida State University found that sea turtles in the U.S. will have less suitable nesting habitat in the future because of climate change and coastal development. Researchers found areas that will remain or become suitable fo...

– Florida State University

Regional Environmental Change

Fossil Pollen Record Suggests Vulnerability to Mass Extinction Ahead

Reduced resilience of plant biomes in North America could be setting the stage for the kind of mass extinctions not seen since the retreat of glaciers and arrival of humans about 13,000 years ago, cautions a new study published August 20 in the journ...

– Georgia Institute of Technology

Global Change Biology; 1655898; 1945013

Genomic analysis reveals many animal species may be vulnerable to SARS-CoV-2 infection

Humans are not the only species facing a potential threat from SARS-CoV-2, the novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19, according to a new study from the University of California, Davis.

– University of California, Davis

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences

Arctic ocean moorings shed light on winter sea ice loss

The eastern Arctic Ocean's winter ice grew less than half as much as normal during the past decade, due to the growing influence of heat from the ocean's interior, researchers have found.

– University of Alaska Fairbanks

Journal of Climate

Japanese expedition identifies East Antarctic melting hotspot

Ice is melting at a surprisingly fast rate underneath Shirase Glacier Tongue in East Antarctica due to the continuing influx of warm seawater into the Lützow-Holm Bay.

– Hokkaido University

Nature Communications

New species of Cretaceous brittle star named in honour of Nightwish vocalist

Palaeontologists from the Natural History Museums in Luxembourg and Maastricht have discovered a previously unknown species of brittle star that lived in the shallow, warm sea which covered parts of the present-day Netherlands at the end of the Dinos...

– PeerJ


Less flocking behavior among microorganisms reduces the risk of being eaten

When algae and bacteria with different swimming gaits gather in large groups, their flocking behaviour diminishes, something that may reduce the risk of falling victim to aquatic predators. This finding is presented in an international study led from...

– Lund University

Physical Review Letters

Meet the hedge fund managers of avian world

In uncertain times, it makes sense to manage risk in your endeavors — whether it’s investing in money-making opportunities or deciding where to lay your eggs. Brood parasites are birds that are known to lay their eggs in other birds’ nests. Cow...

– Washington University in St. Louis

Nature Communications

UCI and international institutions link Southeast Asia megadrought to drying in Africa

Irvine, Calif., Aug. 21, 2020 – Physical evidence found in caves in Laos helps tell a story about a connection between the end of the Green Sahara – when once heavily vegetated Northern Africa became a hyper-arid landscape – and a previously un...

– University of California, Irvine

Nature Communications, Aug.-2020

Understanding how birds respond to extreme weather can inform conservation efforts

How do different bird species respond to extreme weather events that occur for different amounts of time, ranging from weekly events like heat waves to seasonal events like drought? And how do traits unique to different species — for example, how f...

– University of Wisconsin-Madison

May 26, 2020 Global Change Biology

Research links Southeast Asia megadrought to drying in Africa

Physical evidence found in caves in Laos helps tell a story about a connection between the end of the Green Sahara, when once heavily vegetated Northern Africa became a hyper-arid landscape, and a previously unknown megadrought that crippled Southeas...

– University of Pennsylvania

Nature Communications

February lockdown in China caused a drop in some types of air pollution, but not others

Atmospheric nitrogen dioxide, which comes from transportation, was half of what would be expected over China in February 2020. Other emissions and cloud properties, however, showed no significant changes.

– University of Washington

Geophysical Research Letters

Fossil leaves show high atmospheric carbon spurred ancient 'global greening'

Scientists studying leaves from a 23-million-year-old forest have for the first time linked high levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide with increased plant growth, and the hot climate off the time.

– Earth Institute at Columbia University

Climate of the Past

Robots Map Ocean Heat Content in Advance of Hurricane Laura

Researchers are using unmanned underwater robots to map ocean heat content in advance of Hurricane Laura

– Gulf of Mexico Coastal Ocean Observing System-Regional Association (GCOOS-RA)


Dr. Arumugam “Ram” Manthiram on a Pandemic Wake-up Call

In ECS series, The ECS Community Adapts and Advances, Dr. Arumugam “Ram” Manthiram shares how he is in awe of his research team's ability to remain creative and productive amidst to COVID-19 pandemic. He also urges the science community to be pr...

– The Electrochemical Society

Journal of the Electrochemical Society

Tiny socks help improve survival rate of fawns

Researchers use face coverings to keep fawns calm while necessary data is collected.

– University of Georgia

Physical Scientists Turn to Deep Learning to Improve Earth Systems Modeling

The role of AI in science is at a turning point, with weather, climate, and Earth systems modeling emerging as an exciting application area for physics-informed deep learning. In this Q&A, NERSC's Karthik Kashinath discusses what is driving the scien...

– Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

Extreme Chemistry of Nuclear Wastes

The PNNL-led IDREAM Energy Frontier Research Center is exploring complex chemical phenomena to enable innovations in radioactive waste processing.

– Pacific Northwest National Laboratory

How is disease affecting soybean yields?

Farmers are using spore traps to win the battle against Asian soybean rust

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

Sustainable Secure Food Blog


Expert available to discuss potential impact on supply chains, especially fuel supply, from storms Marco and Laura

– Northern Arizona University

Expert: Devastating Hurricane Laura storm surge could push miles inland

– Georgia Institute of Technology

IU experts available to comment on Hurricane Laura and Storm Surge

– Indiana University

Experts on evacuations, recovery efforts and storm surge available as Hurricane Laura approaches Louisiana and Texas

– University of Delaware

Hurricane Preparedness and Recovery Experts

– Texas A&M AgriLife

New Flood Risk Database for Homeowners Lacks Reliability: UMD Risk Expert

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

UCLA Fielding School of Public Health experts available for comment regarding public health issues related to hurricanes

– UCLA Fielding School of Public Health

Marco and Laura: Two storms join pandemic and ongoing recovery as crises in the Gulf of Mexico

– University of Delaware

Hurricane Katrina, 15 years later: Lessons learned could help as Tropical Storms Marco and Laura approach

– University of Delaware

How do wildfires affect ecosystems, the atmosphere, & human health? Connecting wildfire fuel to how fires behave & what ends up in the smoke

– Michigan Technological University

UCLA Fielding School of Public Health expert available for media to comment regarding intersection of wildfires, smoke, and the COVID-19 pandemic

– UCLA Fielding School of Public Health

Gulf Coast braces for hurricane and tropical storm warnings, coastal experts available to discuss emergency preparation, disaster response and recovery

– Virginia Tech


Scientists building 3D-printed nuclear reactor core use HFIR to test novel materials

The Transformational Challenge Reactor will use novel materials. Researchers are testing their performance in a reactor core by irradiating them in the High Flux Isotope Reactor.

– Oak Ridge National Laboratory

University of Kentucky, ORNL $10 Million Research Partnership to Turn Coal Into High-value Carbon Fiber

Coal-to-carbon fiber research shows great promise to positively impact the nation’s sluggish coal industry.

– University of Kentucky

UAlbany Researchers to Develop AI Solutions for Winter Weather at New $20 Million NSF Institute

Researchers at the University at Albany’s Atmospheric Sciences Research Center (ASRC) are contributing to a new National Science Foundation (NSF) institute that will advance the use of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning technologies ...

– University at Albany, State University of New York

OU Receives $20 Million Grant to Lead Inaugural National Science Foundation Artificial Intelligence Institute

NSF recently announced an investment of more than $100 million to establish five AI Institutes to support research and education hubs nationwide. Amy McGovern, an OU professor with dual appointments in the School of Computer Science in the Gallogly C...

– University of Oklahoma, Gallogly College of Engineering

Topic for 2021 Dreyfus Prize in Chemical Sciences will focus on Environmental Chemistry

Nominations open at

– Newswise

Rensselaer Scholars Aim To Reimagine Engineering by Launching New Prize

A new prize recognizing the work of engineers who promote social justice, human rights, peace, and environmental protection has launched with the help of two faculty members from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.

– Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI)

UCLA Fielding School of Public Health team leading COVID-19 epidemiology study among animal health care professionals

A team led by Anne Rimoin, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health professor of epidemiology and Director of the UCLA Center for Global and Immigrant Health, has just launched an epidemiologic study to understand occupational exposure to SARS-CoV-2 and...

– UCLA Fielding School of Public Health

OpenTopography Collaboration Awarded New Four-Year Grant

The National Science Foundation (NSF) has renewed funding for OpenTopography, a science gateway that provides online access to Earth science oriented high-resolution topography data and processing tools to a broad user community advancing research an...

– University of California San Diego


Tulane University launches new degree program in renewable energy

With the growing role of renewables in the nation’s energy mix, Tulane University’s A. B. Freeman School of Business has launched a program to teach students how to bring renewable and sustainable energy projects from concept to completion.

– Tulane University





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