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Newswise Special Wire
Thursday, September 17, 2020

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Climate and the Environment News from Newswise


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.

Siberia's permafrost erosion has been worsening for years

The Arctic is warming faster than any other region on the planet. As a result, permafrost that is thousands of years old is now being lost to erosion.

– Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research

Frontiers in Earth Science

Marine animals live where ocean is most ‘breathable,’ but ranges could shrink with climate change

Research shows that many marine animals already inhabit the maximum range of breathable ocean that their physiology allows. The findings are a warning about climate change: Since warmer waters harbor less oxygen, stretches of ocean that are breathabl...

– University of Washington


Turbulence affects aerosols and cloud formation

Turbulent air in the atmosphere affects how cloud droplets form. New research from Michigan Technological University’s cloud chamber changes the way clouds, and therefore climate, are modeled.

– Michigan Technological University

PNAS, July-2020; National Science Foundation NSF AGS-1754244 ; Department of Energy DE-SC0018931

Researchers ask: how sustainable is your toothbrush?

Researchers at Trinity College Dublin have examined the sustainability of different models of the most commonly used oral health product - the toothbrush - to ascertain which is best for the planet and associated human health.

– Trinity College Dublin

British Dental Journal

Study: Europe’s Old-Growth Forests at Risk

A new study presents the first comprehensive assessment of the conservation status of primary forests in Europe—and shows that many of them are not protected and at risk of being destroyed. The researchers conclude that formal conservation of these...

– University of Vermont

Diversity and Distributions

Mapping Cavefish Brains Leads to Neural Origin of Behavioral Evolution

While studied for nearly a century, little is known about how cavefish brains differ. A study is the first to look inside their brains with millimeter resolution to start to understand how the individual neurons and brain regions that drive complex b...

– Florida Atlantic University

Science Advances

Isle Royale Winter Study: Fewer Wolves, Fewer Moose

There are at least 12 wolves on the island and an estimated 1,876 moose. Twenty-five moose were outfitted with GPS-enabled radio collars this year.

– Michigan Technological University

Wolves & Moose of Isle Royale

Climate change threatens Komodo dragons

The world’s largest lizard, the Komodo dragon, could be driven to extinction by climate change unless significant measures to intervene are taken soon.

– University of Adelaide

Ecology and Environment, September 2020

Research shows potential of gene editing in barley

An international team of plant scientists have shown the potential to rapidly improve the quality of barley grain through a genetic tool known as CRISPR or gene editing.

– University of Adelaide

The Plant Journal, September 2020

New Great Lakes modeling improves operational forecast system

Forecasting the water levels, temperatures, and currents of the Great Lakes is important because conditions on the lakes affect commerce, recreation, and community well-being. These forecasts comprise the Great Lakes Operational Forecast System (GLOF...

– Michigan Technological University


Ocean Algae Get “Coup de Grace” from Viruses

Scientists have long believed that ocean viruses always quickly kill algae, but Rutgers-led research shows they live in harmony with algae and viruses provide a “coup de grace” only when blooms of algae are already stressed and dying. The study, ...

– Rutgers University-New Brunswick

Nature Communications; Rutgers Today

Tracking hammerhead sharks reveals conservation targets to protect a nearly endangered species

They are some of the most iconic and unique-looking creatures in our oceans. While some may think they look a bit “odd,” one thing researchers agree on is that little is known about hammerhead sharks. And thanks to a team of researchers, that's a...

– Nova Southeastern University

Frontiers in Marine Science

Study: Decreasing Wildfires Observed Over Central Africa

A new observational study has revealed a decreasing burned area trend that could impact African ecosystems.

– University at Albany, State University of New York

Environmental Research Letters

Study reveals impact of centuries of human activity in American tropics

The devastating effects of human activity on wildlife in the American tropics over the last 500 years are revealed in a new study published today.

– University of East Anglia

Scientific Reports

Tail regeneration in lungfish provides insight into evolution of limb regrowth

A new study published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B from researchers at the University of Chicago and Universidade Federal do Pará explores regenerative ability in the tails of West African lungfish for the first time, and finds that the...

– University of Chicago Medical Center

Proceedings of the Royal Society B; Brazilian National Council for Scientific and Technological Development Universal Program ; CAPES/DAAD PROBRAL

How are wetland plants and soils different from drier soils?

Wetlands are characterized by saturation levels, hydric soils, and hydrophytic plants

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

Soils Matter Blog

Prometheus Fuels licenses energy-saving ORNL ethanol-to-jet-fuel process

The current state-of-the-art process for converting biomass-derived ethanol into aviation fuels is a costly endeavor, both in terms of energy use and capital cost. Zhenglong Li, an ORNL scientist, simplified the process by developing a catalyst that ...

– Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Wolf Pups Born in Isle Royale National Park

Isle Royale National Park and the SUNY College of Environmental Sciences and Forestry (ESF) have documented reproduction for wolves introduced to Isle Royale in 2018 and 2019, a key element of the National Park Service wolf introduction program’s s...

– SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry

Climate change triggers migration

According to a new study, environmental hazards affect populations worldwide and can drive migration under specific conditions, especially in middle-income and agricultural countries.

– International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis

Nature Climate Change

Embargo expired on 14-Sep-2020 at 11:00 ET

Digging into soil organic matter

A new study found patterns in how soil organic matter forms across a wide range of climate types. Understanding how soils break down or preserve organic matter is important because organic matter plays a central role in the kind of services soils can...

– Iowa State University

Nature Geoscience (2020), Hall, S.J., Ye, C., Weintraub, S.R. et al. Molecular trade-offs in soil organic carbon composition at continental scale

Florida State-led team offers new rules for algae species classification

A team of evolutionary biologists and ecologists, led by a Florida State University researcher, has a new idea for how scientists should classify algae species.

– Florida State University

Journal of Phycology

Using Nature-Inspired Designs To Protect Coastal Communities

Nearly half the world’s population lives within 100 kilometers of a coastline, putting them at risk of rising sea levels, eroding coastlines and more frequent storms and hurricanes. Dr. Jens Figlus and his team are safeguarding these coastal commu...

– Texas A&M University

Journal of Coastal Research

Michigan Tech expert available: Mega wildfires release soil carbon into the atmosphere

Evan Kane, soil carbon expert, is available to speak about how increasingly severe wildfires are accelerating the climate change feedback loop.

Expert Available

– Michigan Technological University

Climate change recasts the insect communities of the Arctic

Through a unique research collaboration, researchers at the University of Helsinki have exposed major changes taking place in the insect communities of the Arctic.

– University of Helsinki

Global Change Biology

More than 90% of protected areas are disconnected

Ongoing land clearing for agriculture, mining and urbanisation is isolating and disconnecting Earth's protected natural areas from each other, a new study shows.

– University of Queensland

Nature Communications

Wildfire Experts

Expert Available

– University of California San Diego

The $500 billion question: what’s the value of studying the ocean’s biological carbon pump?

A new study puts an economic value on the benefit of research to improve knowledge of the biological carbon pump and reduce the uncertainty of ocean carbon sequestration estimates.

– Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution

Science of the Total Environment

China’s ecological restoration projects deplete terrestrial water stores

Irvine, Calif., Sept. 10, 2020 – Through concerted, policy-driven efforts, China has converted large swaths of desert into grassland over the past few decades, but this success has come at a cost. In a study published recently in Nature Sustainabil...

– University of California, Irvine

Nature Sustainability, Sept-2020

New ‘tree dragon’ discovered in Mexican forest

Named Abronia morenica, the lizard is part of the “alligator lizard” family, and it is the 30th known species in its genus.

– University of Georgia


Uncovering the science of Indigenous fermentation

Australian wine scientists are shedding scientific light on the processes underlying traditional practices of Australian Aboriginal people to produce fermented beverages. The scientists from the University of Adelaide and the Australian Wine Research...

– University of Adelaide

Scientific Reports


Fact-checking President Trump's claims that CA, other states to blame for wildfires due to states' bad forest management, and asserts that climate change is not a factor

President Donald Trump, in a briefing on Western wildfires on Monday, continued to reject the role of climate change in California’s fire season and blamed California and other states for not managing forest land properly.

– Newswise


FAU Lands $11 Million from U.S. Office of Naval Research for Oceanic Bioluminescence

FAU’s Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute has landed an $11,179,001 four-year contract from the U.S. Office of Naval Research to develop a next-generation, high-intake, compact, bathyphotometer sensor for natural oceanic bioluminescence assessmen...

– Florida Atlantic University

United States Office of Naval Research (ONR)

FSU communication, engineering researchers awarded grant to study natural disaster response

When Hurricane Michael devastated rural inland communities in the Florida Panhandle in 2018, public libraries played a critical role in the natural disaster response. It also exposed the need for improved upon procedures and policies for public libra...

– Florida State University

DHS S&T Provides Critical Chemical Hazard Support as Gulf Coast Braces for Major Storm

With Hurricane Sally expected to make landfall on Tuesday, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) Chemical Security Analysis Center (CSAC) is providing critical chemical hazard support.

– Homeland Security's Science And Technology Directorate

Newly funded study aims to convert paper and plastic wastes into food

Researchers at Iowa State University and their partners will create a system that converts wastes generated by military expeditionary forces into food.

– Iowa State University

UAH gets $600,000 to create more accurate analysis of soil moisture

A $600,000 grant to create a more accurate analysis of soil moisture for drought depiction, agricultural assessments and flood potential has been awarded to the interim dean of the College of Science at The University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH) b...

– University of Alabama Huntsville

Florida State University appoints new Coastal and Marine Laboratory director

Florida State University has appointed Joel Trexler as the next director of the FSU Coastal and Marine Laboratory, a research laboratory and base camp for field studies located in St. Teresa, Florida.

– Florida State University

Expert Pitch

Wildfires reveal safety in city living

– Cornell University

Emily Vosper, climate scientist at Bristol: Hurricane Sally could be the 2nd stalling hurricane to hit the US in recent years

– University of Bristol

Hurricane and climate experts from @IndianaUniv are available to comment on #HurricaneSally's landfall in Alabama

– Indiana University

University of Redlands environmental economist says "It makes sense to take extremely aggressive action against further climate change to mitigate these wildfires."

– University of Redlands

Hurricane Sally: Disaster Research experts can discuss danger to the region, preparedness, sea-level rise and more

– University of Delaware

Florida State University experts are among the world leaders in the study of hurricanes and their impact on people, property and the environment.

– Florida State University

Michigan Tech Expert on Wildfire Smoke, Human Health

– Michigan Technological University

Climate risk management takes bigger role in business and markets

– Cornell University

West Coast wildfires: Disaster research experts can discuss evacuation plans, multiple crises, health concerns and more

– University of Delaware

James Randerson, UCI professor of Earth system science, available to comment on western U.S. wildfires

– University of California, Irvine

Cost of climate change comes due with California wildfires

– Cornell University





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