Feature Channels: Environmental Science

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Newswise: Drought Affects Aspen Survival Decades Later, New NAU Study Finds
Released: 24-Jun-2021 12:05 PM EDT
Drought Affects Aspen Survival Decades Later, New NAU Study Finds
Northern Arizona University

Research specialist Melissa Boyd and Regents' professor Michelle Mack from Northern Arizona University led the study, which demonstrated the long-term effects of climate change on this vegetation.

Released: 24-Jun-2021 9:50 AM EDT
Are Zebra Mussels Eating or Helping Toxic Algae?
Michigan State University

While invasive zebra mussels consume small plant-like organisms called phytoplankton, Michigan State University researchers discovered during a long-term study that zebra mussels can actually increase Microcystis, a type of phytoplankton known as “blue-green algae” or cyanobacteria, that forms harmful floating blooms.

Released: 24-Jun-2021 9:45 AM EDT
Russian Forests Are Crucial To Global Climate Mitigation
International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis

A new study by IIASA researchers, Russian experts, and other international colleagues have produced new estimates of biomass contained in Russian forests, confirming a substantial increase over the last few decades.

Newswise: How Toxic is the Water’s Surface on Florida’s Indian River Lagoon?
Released: 23-Jun-2021 5:50 PM EDT
How Toxic is the Water’s Surface on Florida’s Indian River Lagoon?
Florida Atlantic University

Specific health effects of toxins on the water surface of the Indian River Lagoon are not fully understood. Scientists collected water samples during the 2018 wet and 2019 dry seasons and analyzed them. Results showed that concentrations of Microcystis aeruginosa, harmful algal blooms, and saxitoxin, a neurotoxin, were both generally higher during the wet season. Microcystins, produced by blue-green algae, were present only under specific environmental conditions.

Released: 23-Jun-2021 1:25 PM EDT
Reactive and inconsistent practices hamstring efforts to manage invasive plants in the US
University of Massachusetts Amherst

As summer unfolds, more than 500 species of invasive plants will be taking root in fields, lawns, and gardens across the US. As plants continue to move north driven by climate change, the number of invasives will only increase.

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Released: 23-Jun-2021 12:05 PM EDT
The origins of farming insects
University of Barcelona

A beetle bores a tree trunk to build a gallery in the wood in order to protect its lay. As it digs the tunnel, it spreads ambrosia fungal spores that will feed the larvae.

18-Jun-2021 11:25 AM EDT
Mining Precious Rare-Earth Elements From Coal Fly Ash With A Reusable Ionic Liquid
American Chemical Society (ACS)

Researchers in ACS’ Environmental Science & Technology report a simple method for recovering these elements from coal fly ash using an ionic liquid.

22-Jun-2021 9:00 AM EDT
New UN Report Calls For Urgent Help For World’s Oceans
University of Portsmouth

A new United Nations report calls for an urgent change in the way the world’s oceans are managed.

Newswise: New Research Reveals Remarkable Resilience of Sea Life in the Aftermath of Mass Extinctions
Released: 23-Jun-2021 5:05 AM EDT
New Research Reveals Remarkable Resilience of Sea Life in the Aftermath of Mass Extinctions
University of Bristol

Pioneering research has shown marine ecosystems can start working again, providing important functions for humans, after being wiped out much sooner than their return to peak biodiversity.

22-Jun-2021 8:05 AM EDT
How Does the One-Humped Arabian Camel Survive Without Drinking?
University of Bristol

Research led by scientists at the University of Bristol has shed new light on how the kidneys of the one-humped Arabian camel play an important role in helping it to cope with extremes.

Released: 23-Jun-2021 3:05 AM EDT
Asian Elephants Do More Than Just Trumpet- They Buzz Their Lips To Squeak
University of Vienna

Communication is crucial for elephants that live in complex multi-tiered social systems. Apart from their iconic trumpets uttered through the trunk, Asian elephants also produce species-specific squeaks by buzzing their lips. This demonstrates once again the elephant’s flexibility in sound production.

21-Jun-2021 10:20 AM EDT
Teachers Want to Encourage Children to Take a Public Stand Against Climate Change
University of Bristol

More than half of teachers in England are in favour of teaching children to take direct action against climate change and break the rules to make their point, according to a new survey.

Newswise: Antelope’s Fate Shrouded by Social, Political Forces
Released: 22-Jun-2021 11:00 AM EDT
Antelope’s Fate Shrouded by Social, Political Forces
University of Georgia

The story of efforts to conserve the endangered oribi in South Africa represent a diaspora of issues as varied as the people who live there.

Newswise: New Machine Learning Methods Could Improve Environmental Predictions
Released: 22-Jun-2021 10:45 AM EDT
New Machine Learning Methods Could Improve Environmental Predictions
University of Minnesota College of Science and Engineering

A team of researchers from the University of Pittsburgh, University of Minnesota, and U.S. Geological Survey have developed a new machine learning technique that could improve environmental predictions.

Newswise: Molecular Connections from Plants to Fungi to Ants
Released: 22-Jun-2021 7:05 AM EDT
Molecular Connections from Plants to Fungi to Ants
Department of Energy, Office of Science

Leaf-cutter ants tend fungal gardens that convert lipids in leaves into lipids the ants can use for energy, building cells, and communication between organisms. New research has found that different regions of the ants’ fungal gardens were enriched with different lipids. This helps scientists understand communications between organisms in different kingdoms of life.

Released: 22-Jun-2021 6:05 AM EDT
The Humidity of Flowers Acts As An Invisible Attractor For Bumblebees
University of Bristol

As well as bright colours and subtle scents, flowers possess many invisible ways of attracting their pollinators, and a new study shows that bumblebees may use the humidity of a flower to tell them about the presence of nectar, according to scientists at the Universities of Bristol and Exeter.

Newswise: New Crab Species with Asymmetrical Reproductive Units Identified by NUS Researchers and Their Japanese Collaborators
Released: 21-Jun-2021 10:05 PM EDT
New Crab Species with Asymmetrical Reproductive Units Identified by NUS Researchers and Their Japanese Collaborators
National University of Singapore

Researchers from the National University of Singapore and University of the Ryukyus have recently identified and described a new genus and species of xanthid crab found in Okinawa Island, Ryukyu Islands, Japan. Named Mabui calculus, it is the first among the 7,800 species of known crabs to have strongly asymmetrical male and female reproductive structures.

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Released: 21-Jun-2021 4:05 PM EDT
Poaching Affects Behavior Of Endangered Capuchin Monkeys In Brazilian Biological Reserve
Fundação de Amparo à Pesquisa do Estado de São Paulo

A study conducted in the Una Biological Reserve in the state of Bahia, Brazil, shows that in a habitat with high hunting pressure the risk of predation has such a significant impact on the behavior of the Yellow-breasted capuchin monkey Sapajus xanthosternos that it even avoids areas offering an abundant supply of plant biomass and invertebrates, its main sources of food.

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Released: 21-Jun-2021 3:50 PM EDT
Climate Change Is Driving Plant Die-Offs In Southern California, UCI Study Finds
University of California, Irvine

Irvine, Calif., June 21, 2021 – A shift is happening in Southern California, and this time it has nothing to do with earthquakes. According to a new study by scientists at the University of California, Irvine, climate change is altering the number of plants populating the region’s deserts and mountains. Using data from the Landsat satellite mission and focusing on an area of nearly 5,000 square miles surrounding Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, the research team found that between 1984 and 2017, vegetation cover in desert ecosystems decreased overall by about 35 percent, with mountains seeing a 13 percent vegetation decline.

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Released: 18-Jun-2021 4:55 PM EDT
Earlier flood forecasting could help avoid disaster in Japan
University of Tokyo

In Japan, thousands of homes and businesses and hundreds of lives have been lost to typhoons. But now, researchers have revealed that a new flood forecasting system could provide earlier flood warnings, giving people more time to prepare or evacuate, and potentially saving lives.

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Released: 18-Jun-2021 3:55 PM EDT
Climate Warming Can Influence Fungal Communities on Oak Leaves Across the Growing Season
Stockholm University

Climate warming plays a larger role than plant genes in influencing the number and identity of fungal species on oak leaves, especially in autumn.

Newswise:Video Embedded managed-retreat-all-options-on-the-table
Released: 17-Jun-2021 2:05 PM EDT
War against climate change must include managed retreat – now
University of Delaware

Climate change will shape the future of coastal communities, with flood walls, elevated structures and possibly floating cities used to combat sea level rise. New research has found that managed retreat must be part of the solution now, and not a last resort.

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Released: 17-Jun-2021 12:50 PM EDT
Alpine plant spins its own flavonoid wool
University of Cambridge

Like the movie version of Spider-Man who shoots spider webs from holes in his wrists, a little alpine plant has been found to eject cobweb-like threads from tiny holes in specialised cells on its leaves.

Newswise: A New Rapid Assessment To Promote Climate-Informed Conservation and Nature-Based Solutions
Released: 17-Jun-2021 12:05 PM EDT
A New Rapid Assessment To Promote Climate-Informed Conservation and Nature-Based Solutions
Wildlife Conservation Society

A new article, published as a Perspective in the journal Conservation Science and Practice, introduces a rapid assessment framework that can be used as a guide to make conservation and nature-based solutions more robust to future climate.

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Released: 17-Jun-2021 11:30 AM EDT
First report of dorsal navigation in a flying insect
Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute

People--who get lost easily in the extraordinary darkness of a tropical forest--have much to learn from a bee that can find its way home in conditions 10 times dimmer than starlight.

Newswise: Numerical Study First to Reveal Origin of ‘Motion of the Ocean’ in the Straits of Florida
Released: 17-Jun-2021 8:30 AM EDT
Numerical Study First to Reveal Origin of ‘Motion of the Ocean’ in the Straits of Florida
Florida Atlantic University

Using a numerical model that simulates ocean currents, researchers are shedding light on the important “motion of the ocean” in the Straits of Florida. They have conducted a first-of-its-kind study identifying the mechanisms behind the formation of sub-mesoscale eddies, which have important environmental implications and play a significant role in the health of the Florida Keys coral reef ecosystem.

Released: 17-Jun-2021 6:05 AM EDT
Supporting Sustainable Development In The Agricultural Sector
International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis

IIASA, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), and the Environmental System Research Institute (ESRI) are proud to announce the launch of version 4 of the Global Agro-Ecological Zones platform (GAEZ v4) to support sustainable development in the agricultural sector.

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Released: 16-Jun-2021 4:50 PM EDT
Microbes in ocean play important role in moderating Earth's temperature
Harvard University

Methane is a strong greenhouse gas that plays a key role in Earth's climate. Anytime we use natural gas, whether we light up our kitchen stove or barbeque, we are using methane.

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Released: 16-Jun-2021 4:40 PM EDT
Climate change leads to unprecedented Rocky Mountain wildfires
University of Wyoming

Last fall, the Mullen fire west of Laramie raged for the better part of two months, burning more than 176,000 acres and 70 structures in Wyoming's Carbon and Albany counties, and in Jackson County, Colo.

Released: 16-Jun-2021 3:05 PM EDT
New Beetle Species Discovered and Named After Iconic Sci-fi Heroines
Michigan State University

The original Star Trek television series took place in a future when space is the final frontier, but humanity hasn’t reached that point quite yet. As researchers like Michigan State University entomologists Sarah Smith and Anthony Cognato are reminding us, there’s still plenty to discover right here on Earth. Working in Central and South America, the duo discovered more than three dozen species of ambrosia beetles — beetles that eat ambrosia fungus — previously unknown to science. Smith and Cognato described these new species on June 16 in the journal ZooKeys.

Newswise: Computers Help Researchers Find Materials to Turn Solar Power Into Hydrogen
Released: 16-Jun-2021 2:40 PM EDT
Computers Help Researchers Find Materials to Turn Solar Power Into Hydrogen
Penn State Institute for Computational and Data Sciences

A Penn State-led team of researchers report they have taken a step toward overcoming the challenge of inexpensive hydrogen production by using supercomputers to find materials that could help accelerate hydrogen separation when water is exposed to light, a process called photocatalysis.

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Released: 16-Jun-2021 2:25 PM EDT
Fossil research shows woodlice cousins roamed Ireland 360 million years ago
University College Cork

The old cousins of the common woodlice were crawling on Irish land as long as 360 million years ago, according to new analysis of a fossil found in Kilkenny.

Newswise: What Factors Put Philippine Birds at Risk of Extinction?
Released: 16-Jun-2021 12:05 PM EDT
What Factors Put Philippine Birds at Risk of Extinction?
University of Utah

A new study from University of Utah researchers suggests that, due to deforestation and habitat degradation, more bird species may be endangered that previously thought – including species that may not have been discovered yet.

Newswise: Icebergs drifting from Canada to Southern Florida
Released: 16-Jun-2021 11:05 AM EDT
Icebergs drifting from Canada to Southern Florida
Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution

Woods Hole, MA (June 16,2021) -- Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) climate modeler Dr. Alan Condron and United States Geological Survey (USGS) research geologist Dr. Jenna Hill have found evidence that massive icebergs from roughly 31,000 years ago drifted more than 5000km (> 3,000 miles) along the eastern United States coast from Northeast Canada all the way to southern Florida. These findings were published today in Nature Communications.

10-Jun-2021 11:25 AM EDT
Ozone pollution has increased in Antarctica
American Chemical Society (ACS)

Researchers reporting in ACS’ Environmental Science & Technology have analyzed more than 25 years of Antarctic data, finding that ozone concentrations near the ground arose from both natural and human-related sources.

10-Jun-2021 11:30 AM EDT
Urbanization drives antibiotic resistance on microplastics in Chinese river
American Chemical Society (ACS)

Researchers reporting in Environmental Science & Technology have analyzed antibiotic-resistance genes (ARGs) on five types of microplastics at different locations along the Beilun River in China, finding much higher abundances in urban than rural regions.

Released: 15-Jun-2021 5:10 PM EDT
Researchers Reveal Complex Ecosystem Changes Cause More Greenhouse Gases To Be Emitted From Peatlands
Florida State University

Peatlands, which make up 3 percent of Earth’s total land area, are known by a number of names — moors, mires, bogs, swamps and portions of permafrost tundra. They also store a significant amount of the Earth’s carbon. A research team from Florida State University and Georgia Institute of Technology are paying close attention to these complicated systems because they’ve found that the warming Earth is stimulating complex ecosystem changes with the end result of even more greenhouse gases being released into the air.

Newswise: Biodiversity 'Hotspots' Imperiled along California’s Streams
14-Jun-2021 3:00 PM EDT
Biodiversity 'Hotspots' Imperiled along California’s Streams
SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry

A study of woodland ecosystems that provide habitat for rare and endangered species along streams and rivers throughout California reveals that some of these ecologically important areas are inadvertently benefitting from water that humans are diverting for their own needs. Though it seems a short-term boon to these ecosystems, the artificial supply creates an unintended dependence on its bounty, threatens the long-term survival of natural communities and spotlights the need for changes in the way water is managed across the state.

Newswise: Free Online Video Series Open to the Public ‘Understanding Harmful Algal Blooms in Florida’
Released: 14-Jun-2021 2:30 PM EDT
Free Online Video Series Open to the Public ‘Understanding Harmful Algal Blooms in Florida’
Florida Atlantic University

The free online series of short videos are designed to provide basic, jargon-free scientific information on harmful algal blooms: what they are; where they live and grow; and causes, impacts, and potential mitigation of blooms. The series is directed toward resource managers and decision-makers as well as the general public.

14-Jun-2021 10:05 AM EDT
Making a Meal of DNA in the Seafloor
University of Vienna

While best known as the code for genetic information, DNA is also a nutrient for specialised microbes. An international team of researchers led by Kenneth Wasmund and Alexander Loy from the University of Vienna has discovered several bacteria in sediment samples from the Atlantic Ocean that use DNA as a food source.

Released: 14-Jun-2021 4:05 AM EDT
Trees, Plants and Soil Could Help Cities Cut Their Carbon Footprints — When Used Smartly
Aalto University

Carbon footprint declarations are used in construction to ease product selection for low carbon building, but these standards don’t yet exist for green elements like soil, bushes and plants. A new study led by Aalto University is the first to map out how green infrastructure can be a resource for cities on the path to carbon neutrality.

Newswise: Endangered blue whales recorded off southwest coast of India
Released: 10-Jun-2021 2:05 PM EDT
Endangered blue whales recorded off southwest coast of India
University of Washington

Endangered blue whales are present and singing off the southwest coast of India. The results provide insight into a poorly studied population and suggest conservation measures should include this region.

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Released: 10-Jun-2021 1:10 PM EDT
The survivability of animal species depends on the number of offspring
Tel Aviv University

Researchers from Tel Aviv University took part in a new international study proposing an amendment to the widely accepted theory on the extinction of animal species - by moving the focus from the animal's body size to its reproductive capacity.

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Released: 10-Jun-2021 12:50 PM EDT
Artificial light harming clownfish
University of Melbourne

Young clownfish living closest to shore are dying faster than those further offshore because they are being exposed to artificial lighting, says an international research team.

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Released: 10-Jun-2021 12:45 PM EDT
Improved climate resilience through better seasonal forecasts
Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT)

Lack of water, floods, or crop losses: As a result of climate change, pronounced periods of drought and rainfall are occurring more frequently and more intensively all around the world, causing human suffering and major economic damage.

Newswise: Decisions, Decisions: Climate Change and Water
Released: 10-Jun-2021 11:05 AM EDT
Decisions, Decisions: Climate Change and Water
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory

PNNL’s Framework for Assessment of Complex Environmental Tradeoffs (FACET) is designed to navigate and rigorously evaluate competing environmental, economic, and social impacts to help make decisions more equitable. In an example scenario prepared using publicly available data, FACET was applied to predict tradeoffs facing the Colorado River and to balance competing demands of river flow and temperature, along with withdrawals for cities, crop irrigation, and power generation.

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