ScienceDaily: Earth & Climate News
06/19/2013 05:51 PM
Current global food production trajectory won't meet 2050 needs
Crop yields worldwide are not increasing quickly enough to support estimated global needs in 2050, according to a new study.
06/19/2013 02:48 PM
New details about H7N9 influenza infections that suddenly appeared in China
Researchers have revealed new information about the latest strain of type A influenza, known as H7N9.
06/19/2013 02:48 PM
Scientists date prehistoric bacterial invasion still present in today's plant and animal cells
How long ago did bacteria invade the one-celled ancestors of plants and animals to become energy-producing mitochondria and photosynthesizing chloroplasts? Researchers developed a statistical way to analyze the variation in genes common to mitochondria, chloroplasts and the eukaryotic nucleus to more precisely date these events. They found that the cyanobacterial invasion of plants took place millions of years more recently than thought.
06/19/2013 02:47 PM
Less is more: Novel cellulose structure requires fewer enzymes to process biomass to fuel
Improved methods for breaking down cellulose nanofibers are central to cost-effective biofuel production and the subject of new research. Scientists are investigating the unique properties of crystalline cellulose nanofibers to develop novel chemical pretreatments and designer enzymes for biofuel production from cellulosic -- or non-food -- plant-derived biomass.
06/19/2013 02:47 PM
Biological fitness trumps other traits in mating game
When a new species emerges following adaptive changes to its local environment, the process of choosing a mate can help protect the new species' genetic identity and increase the likelihood of its survival. But of the many observable traits in a potential mate, which particular traits does a female tend to prefer?
06/19/2013 02:15 PM
Simple and inexpensive process to make a material for CO2 adsorption
Researchers have developed a novel, simple method to synthesize hierarchically nanoporous frameworks of nanocrystalline metal oxides such as magnesia and ceria by the thermal conversion of well-designed metal-organic frameworks (MOFs).
06/19/2013 10:22 AM
Environmentally friendly battery made from wood
Taking inspiration from trees, scientists have developed a battery made from a sliver of wood coated with tin that shows promise for becoming a tiny, long-lasting, efficient and environmentally friendly energy source. The device is 1,000 times thinner than a sheet of paper.
06/19/2013 10:21 AM
The rhythm of the Arctic summer: Diverse activity patterns of birds during the Arctic breeding season
Our internal circadian clock regulates daily life processes and is synchronized by external cues, the so-called Zeitgebers. The main cue is the light-dark cycle, whose strength is largely reduced in extreme habitats such as in the Arctic during the polar summer. Using a radiotelemetry system biologists have now found, in four bird species in Alaska, different daily activity patterns ranging from strictly rhythmic to completely arrhythmic.
06/19/2013 08:26 AM
Outlook is grim for mammals and birds as human population grows
The ongoing global growth in the human population will inevitably crowd out mammals and birds and has the potential to threaten hundreds of species with extinction within 40 years, new research shows.
06/19/2013 08:16 AM
Origins of 'The Hoff' crab revealed
The history of a new type of crab, nicknamed 'The Hoff' because of its hairy chest, which lives around hydrothermal vents deep beneath the Southern Ocean and Indian Ocean, has been revealed for the first time.
06/19/2013 08:15 AM
City slicker or country bumpkin: City-life changes blackbird personalities
The origins of a young animal might have a significant impact on its behavior later on in life. Researchers have been able to demonstrate in hand-reared blackbirds that urban-born individuals are less curious and more cautious about new objects than their country counterparts. This study sheds light on an interesting debate on whether personality differences between rural and urban birds are behavioral adjustments to urban environments, or if there is an underlying evolutionary basis to the existence of different personalities in urban habitats.
06/19/2013 08:15 AM
Siberian caves warn of permafrost meltdown
Climate records captured in Siberian caves suggest 1.5 degrees of warming is enough to trigger thawing of permafrost, according to a new article.
06/19/2013 08:14 AM
Contribution of particulate matter from air pollution to forest decline
Air pollution is related to forest decline and also appears to attack the protecting wax on tree leaves and needles. Scientists have now discovered a responsible mechanism: particulate matter salt compounds that become deliquescent because of humidity and form a wick-like structure that removes water from leaves and promotes dehydration.
06/18/2013 03:20 PM
Finding all asteroid threats to human populations: NASA announces asteroid grand challenge
NASA has announced a Grand Challenge focused on finding all asteroid threats to human populations and knowing what to do about them. The challenge is a large-scale effort that will use multi-disciplinary collaborations and a variety of partnerships with other government agencies, international partners, industry, academia, and citizen scientists. It complements NASA's recently announced mission to redirect an asteroid and send humans to study it.
06/18/2013 02:15 PM
Possible record-setting deadzone for Gulf of Mexico predicted
Scientists are forecasting that this year's Gulf of Mexico hypoxic "dead" zone will be between 7,286 and 8,561 square miles which could place it among the ten largest recorded. A second forecast, for the Chesapeake Bay, calls for a smaller than average dead zone in the nation's largest estuary.
06/18/2013 12:14 PM
Personality test finds some mouse lemurs shy, others bold
In the last 10 years the study of animal personality has gained ground with behavioral ecologists. Researchers have now found distinct personalities in the grey mouse lemur, the tiny, saucer-eyed primate native to the African island of Madagascar.
06/18/2013 11:18 AM
Early-life air pollution linked with childhood asthma in minorities
Scientists have found that exposure in infancy to nitrogen dioxide (NO2), a component of motor vehicle air pollution, is strongly linked with later development of childhood asthma among African Americans and Latinos.
06/18/2013 10:51 AM
Small dam construction to reduce greenhouse emissions is causing ecosystem disruption
Researchers conclude in a new report that a global push for small hydropower projects, supported by various nations and also the Kyoto Protocol to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, may cause unanticipated and potentially significant losses of habitat and biodiversity.
06/18/2013 09:37 AM
Seismic gap outside of Istanbul: Is this where the expected Marmara earthquake will originate from?
Earthquake researchers have now identified a 30 kilometers long and ten kilometers deep area along the North Anatolian fault zone just south of Istanbul that could be the starting point for a strong earthquake. The group of seismologists say that this potential earthquake source is only 15 to 20 kilometers from the historic city center of Istanbul.
06/18/2013 08:17 AM
Exposure to high pollution levels during pregnancy may increase risk of having child with autism
Women in the US exposed to high levels of air pollution while pregnant were up to twice as likely to have a child with autism as women who lived in areas with low pollution.