Reshuffled Rivers Bolster the Amazon’s Hyper-Biodiversity

Reshuffled Rivers Bolster the Amazon’s Hyper-Biodiversity

The relationship between geographic change and biodiversity is “one of the most contentious topics in evolutionary biology,” said Musher, who did the study as part of his doctoral work.

‘Plastitar’ Is the Unholy Spawn of Oil Spills and Microplastics

‘Plastitar’ Is the Unholy Spawn of Oil Spills and Microplastics

“We saw that the tar was completely full of mainly plastics,” says Javier Hernández-Borges, an analytical chemist at the University of La Laguna and coauthor of a new paper in the journal Science of the Total Environment.

Why Was the Tonga Eruption So Massive? Scientists Have New Clues

Why Was the Tonga Eruption So Massive? Scientists Have New Clues

A team of scientists from New Zealand’s National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research, or NIWA, recently observed something different.The slopes of the underwater volcano are still largely as they were before the eruption; the same features still contour the surrounding seafloor.

Farming Drives Toward ‘Precision Agriculture’ Technologies

Farming Drives Toward ‘Precision Agriculture’ Technologies

Agribusiness as a whole is betting that the world has reached the tipping point where desperate need caused by a growing population, the economic realities of conventional farming, and advancing technology converge to require something called precision agriculture, which aims to minimize inputs and the costs and environmental problems that go with them.

Anchors cause “extensive, persistent” damage to seafloor

Anchors cause “extensive, persistent” damage to seafloor

“It seems that this problem is ‘out of sight, out of mind’ because the environmental footprint of anchoring is not yet considered in official reporting of global human impacts on the marine ecosystem,” Dr Watson said.

Give Fitbits (of Sorts) to the Trees

Give Fitbits (of Sorts) to the Trees

Using off-the-shelf accelerometers, researchers have been quantifying how trees sway differently over time: when they’re warmer or colder, hydrated or dehydrated, weighed down by snow or unburdened.But with accelerometers, scientists have a new way of measuring how much rain or snow a particular tree in a forest ends up intercepting.

Understanding why our giant glaciers disappeared in the past gives clues to the future

Understanding why our giant glaciers disappeared in the past gives clues to the future

An international team of climate scientists is working in North Canterbury to try to understand the reasons why giant glaciers disappeared thousands of years ago.

What Will Replace Insects When They're Gone?

What Will Replace Insects When They're Gone?

This story is adapted from The Insect Crisis: The Fall of the Tiny Empires That Run the World, by Oliver Milman.If the fall of insects’ tiny empires causes whole ecosystems to unravel, toppling previously solid certainties about the way our world functions, what then.

Cities Are Unlikely Yet Powerful Weapons to Fight Climate Change

Cities Are Unlikely Yet Powerful Weapons to Fight Climate Change

Today, some three and a half billion people are highly vulnerable to the ravages of climate change—rising seas , heat waves , droughts , wildfires .“One of the most striking conclusions in our report is that we're seeing adverse impacts being much more widespread, and being much more negative than expected in prior reports,” said coauthor Camille Parmesan of the University of Plymouth and University of Texas at Austin, speaking at a Sunday press conference announcing the findings.

Why Cities Want Old Buildings Taken Down Gently

Why Cities Want Old Buildings Taken Down Gently

Christensen thinks of Good Wood, which also remills and sells the reclaimed lumber, as a kind of modern and sustainable forestry company, without the felling trees part.

Serious, Salty Trouble Is Brewing Under Antarctic Glaciers

Serious, Salty Trouble Is Brewing Under Antarctic Glaciers

Last month, Milillo and other scientists reported that tidal pumping is forcing the rapid retreat of the grounding lines of other West Antarctica glaciers—Pope, Smith, and Kohler.

Can Super-Fast Battery Charging Fix the Electric Car?

Can Super-Fast Battery Charging Fix the Electric Car?

If the goal is to charge up your electrical vehicle in, say, five minutes, that extra current meeting resistance means temperature-related problems inside the battery and out.“I question the wisdom of why we need to have 500-mile range in an electric car and also want fast charging in five minutes,” he says.

The Mysteries of the Ponderosa Pine

The Mysteries of the Ponderosa Pine

© Scott Carpenter/TNC Photo Contest 2021 Stick your nose into the bark of a tall, old ponderosa pine, and you’ll get a distinctive whiff of vanilla or butterscotch.Like an unruly family, the chemicals, plants, insects and birds do their thing, unwittingly helping the trees and the forest.

Can ‘Green’ Ammonia Be a Climate Fix?

Can ‘Green’ Ammonia Be a Climate Fix?

The wind powers a chemical plant that makes ammonia, which can not only be spread as fertilizer under the turbines, but also fuels an experimental tractor, stores energy for a non-windy day, and—soon—will heat the barns that dry their grains.

A New Database Reveals How Much Humans Are Messing With Evolution

A New Database Reveals How Much Humans Are Messing With Evolution

In an initial paper published in November 2021 using the new data set (which is called Proceed, for Phenotypic Rates of Change Evolutionary and Ecological Database), Hendry and colleagues reexamined five key questions raised by previous work.

Scientists Are Racing to Understand the Fury of Tonga’s Volcano

Scientists Are Racing to Understand the Fury of Tonga’s Volcano

Ten-thousand miles away in England, Simon Proud, a satellite data researcher at the University of Oxford, began to monitor the twitching volcano using an array of satellites.Then, early in the morning on January 14 local Tongan time, a 12-mile-high plume of ash pierced the sky.

How Body Farms and Human Composting Can Help Communities

How Body Farms and Human Composting Can Help Communities

The body farm in Western North Carolina was one stop on my yearlong journey to explore human composting, conservation cemeteries, green burial, water cremation, end-of-life doulas, and home funerals.

Renewable Energy Is Great—but the Grid Can Slow It Down

Renewable Energy Is Great—but the Grid Can Slow It Down

“We’re not suggesting that we don’t need those new high-voltage lines carrying renewables from the Dakotas or West Texas to urban areas,” Gilmer says, alluding to two of the nation’s most productive areas for wind power.

All That Glitters Isn't Litter

All That Glitters Isn't Litter

Just adding five milligrams will change the color of an entire kilogram of cellulose, making the crystals refract shorter wavelengths, like greens and blues.The team also figured out how to control the production process carefully so that they can now create meter-long sheets of glitter using a roll-to-roll machine, a common piece of industrial equipment.

Hints of New Life in the Shadows of Venezuela's Last Glacier

Hints of New Life in the Shadows of Venezuela's Last Glacier

Today, only one glacier remains in Venezuela: on the second highest peak, Pico Humboldt.“It’s an era that is [almost] completely finished now,” says Melfo, a particle physicist at the University of the Andes, who has recently been working on projects involving biology and ecology, including research on this last glacier.

The Science Museum Wants Their Plastic Samples. They Refused

The Science Museum Wants Their Plastic Samples. They Refused

When a curator from the Science Museum in London asked Deonie and Steve Allen whether they would like their work to be added to the museum’s permanent collection of artifacts, they jumped at the chance.

A Vaccine Against Valley Fever Finally Works—for Dogs

A Vaccine Against Valley Fever Finally Works—for Dogs

An experimental vaccine that could protect millions of people living in the American Southwest from valley fever —an infection caused by a soil-dwelling fungus that is difficult to treat and can cause disability and death—has passed its first test of efficacy and is moving toward federal approval, possibly within two years.

Growing Crops Under Solar Panels? Now There’s a Bright Idea

Growing Crops Under Solar Panels? Now There’s a Bright Idea

Khanna will be studying what the ideal solar array might be for a particular crop, for instance, if it needs bigger or smaller gaps between panels to let sunlight pass through.

NASA Is Preparing for the Ravages of Climate Change

NASA Is Preparing for the Ravages of Climate Change

The agency’s newly released report highlights five areas of focus, including planning for climate risks as new missions move forward, adapting infrastructure as much as possible, and ensuring access to space, which could be disrupted if, say, a flooded road delayed the delivery of rocket fuel to a launchpad.

Deadly Heat Is Baking Cities. Here’s How to Cool Them Down

Deadly Heat Is Baking Cities. Here’s How to Cool Them Down

“So that means less clean air coming into the city, which would tend to make pollutant concentrations higher,” says Ban-Weiss, plus the loss of the breeze that itself keeps people cool.

Making Beetles Pee Can Protect Your Garden

Making Beetles Pee Can Protect Your Garden

Give these research teams a bit more time and between pee and fear, your garden could have new tools to protect it against insect pests – without the use of indiscriminate pesticides.

This 3D-Printed Chicken Breast Was Cooked With Frickin’ Lasers

This 3D-Printed Chicken Breast Was Cooked With Frickin’ Lasers

“Cooking is essential for nutrition, flavor, and texture development in many foods, and we wondered if we could develop a method with lasers to precisely control these attributes.” They used a blue diode laser (5-10 watts) as the primary heating source but also experimented with lasers in the near- and mid-infrared for comparison, as well as a conventional toaster oven.

A Stanford Proposal Over AI's 'Foundations' Ignites Debate

A Stanford Proposal Over AI's 'Foundations' Ignites Debate

Thomas Dietterich, a professor at Oregon State University and former president of the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence, says he has “huge respect” for the researchers behind the new Stanford center, and he believes they are genuinely concerned about the problems these models raise.

A Flawed, Strange Covid-19 Origin Theory Is Gaining Traction

A Flawed, Strange Covid-19 Origin Theory Is Gaining Traction

That means not only that the virus was in the lab, but that it was amplified to make more of it so it could be used as a control to develop the test, says Michael Worobey, an evolutionary biologist at the University of Arizona.

A Third of Shark and Ray Species May Face Extinction

A Third of Shark and Ray Species May Face Extinction

The health of “entire ocean ecosystems” and food security is in jeopardy, said Dulvy, a former co-chair of the shark specialist group of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).The number of species of sharks, rays, and chimaeras, known together as chondrichthyan fishes, facing “a global extinction crisis” has more than doubled in less than a decade, according to the paper published September 6 in the journal Current Biology.