Referral Banners

Friday, November 14, 2014

ScienceDaily: Top Environment News

ScienceDaily: Top Environment News

Lightning expected to increase by 50 percent with global warming

Posted: 13 Nov 2014 11:21 AM PST

Atmospheric scientists looked at predictions of precipitation and cloud buoyancy in 11 different climate models and concluded that their combined effect will generate 50 percent more electrical discharges to the ground by the end of the century because of global warming. The main cause is water vapor, which fuels explosive deep convection in the atmosphere. The more convection, the greater the charge separation and the more cloud-to-ground strikes.

Magnetic fields frozen into meteorite grains tell a shocking tale of solar system birth

Posted: 13 Nov 2014 11:21 AM PST

Astrophysicists say that magnetic clues in a meteorite outline the earliest steps in the formation of the solar system and Earth-like planets.

Bacteria become 'genomic tape recorders', recording chemical exposures in their DNA

Posted: 13 Nov 2014 11:20 AM PST

Engineers have transformed the genome of the bacterium E. coli into a long-term storage device for memory. They envision that this stable, erasable, and easy-to-retrieve memory will be well suited for applications such as sensors for environmental and medical monitoring.

Females protect offspring from infanticide by forcing males to compete through sperm

Posted: 13 Nov 2014 11:20 AM PST

New research shows the females of some species will have many mates to ensure unclear paternity, so that males can't resort to killing their rival's offspring for fear of killing their own. This forces males to evolve to compete through sperm quantity, leading to ever-larger testicles. Scientists find that as testis size increases, infanticide disappears.

Promising technology to expand hard cider industry

Posted: 13 Nov 2014 11:00 AM PST

Mechanical harvesting of cider apples can provide labor and cost savings without affecting fruit, juice, or cider quality, a study shows. The study is one of several focused on cider apple production in Washington State. It was conducted in response to growing demand for hard cider apples in the state and the nation.

Alaska shows no signs of rising Arctic methane, NASA study shows

Posted: 13 Nov 2014 10:48 AM PST

Despite large temperature increases in Alaska in recent decades, a new analysis of NASA airborne data finds that methane is not being released from Alaskan soils into the atmosphere at unusually high rates, as recent modeling and experimental studies have suggested. The new result shows that the changes in this part of the Arctic have not yet had enough impact to affect the global methane budget.

Cats and athletes teach robots how to fall

Posted: 13 Nov 2014 09:32 AM PST

Scientists are studying mid-air orientation and impact behavior in both cats and humans as it applies to reduced impact in falling robots, especially those that one day may be used for search-and-rescue missions in hazardous conditions.

How Campylobacter exploits chicken 'juice' highlights need for hygiene

Posted: 13 Nov 2014 09:32 AM PST

Campylobacter's persistence in food processing sites and the kitchen is boosted by 'chicken juice.' Organic matter exuding from chicken carcasses appears to provide these bacteria with the perfect environment to persist in the food chain. This emphasizes the importance of cleaning surfaces in food preparation, and may lead to more effective ways of cleaning that can reduce the incidence of Campylobacter.

Ocean primed for more El Niño, experts say

Posted: 13 Nov 2014 09:31 AM PST

Salinity and temperature records from corals in a remote Pacific island in Kiribati show the ocean has warmed over the last sixty years and has set up the conditions for stronger El NiƱo weather events, which could significantly affect Australian weather.

Intimidating chimpanzee males are more likely to become fathers

Posted: 13 Nov 2014 09:29 AM PST

Chimpanzee males that treat females aggressively father more offspring over time. The findings are based on genetic evidence of paternity and suggest that sexual coercion via long-term intimidation is an adaptive strategy for males in chimpanzee society.

Combatting illegal fishing in offshore marine reserves

Posted: 13 Nov 2014 08:03 AM PST

Conservation scientists say there needs to be a new approach to protecting offshore marine reserves. They have found a way to predict illegal fishing activities to help authorities better protect marine reserves.

Disease could cost black walnut industry millions, forest specialist warns

Posted: 13 Nov 2014 07:54 AM PST

Thousand cankers disease, which kills black walnut trees, has been confirmed in 15 states. Now experts are warning people to avoid moving firewood or lumber this winter to prevent spreading the disease to other states.

Cold-induced pain linked to the garlic, mustard receptor

Posted: 13 Nov 2014 05:51 AM PST

Some people experience cold not only as feeling cold, but actually as a painful sensation. This applies even to fairly mild temperatures -- anything below 20°C. A group of researchers has now identified the mechanism in the body that creates this connection between cold and pain. It turns out that it is the same receptor that reacts to the pungent substances in mustard and garlic.

Switching on a dime: How plants function in shade, light

Posted: 13 Nov 2014 04:51 AM PST

Plants grow in environments where the availability of light fluctuates quickly and drastically, for example from the shade of clouds passing overhead or of leaves on overhanging trees blowing in the wind. Plants thus have to rapidly adjust photosynthesis to maximize energy capture while preventing excess energy from causing damage. So how do plants prevent these changes in light intensity from affecting their ability to harvest the energy they need to survive? The response has to be extremely swift.

Architecture of a lipid transport protein revealed

Posted: 13 Nov 2014 04:50 AM PST

The complex architecture of a protein that controls the transport of lipids between the two layers of a cell membrane has been described for the first time. With this structure, biochemists have now gained insight into processes that trigger blood coagulation.

Did men evolve navigation skill to find mates? Spatial ability, roaming distance linked to number of lovers

Posted: 13 Nov 2014 04:48 AM PST

A new study of two African tribes found evidence that men evolved better navigation ability than women because men with better spatial skills – the ability to mentally manipulate objects – can roam farther and have children with more mates.

Genetic tweak gave yellow fever mosquitoes a nose for human odor

Posted: 12 Nov 2014 05:33 PM PST

One of the world's deadliest mosquitoes sustains its taste for human blood thanks in part to a genetic tweak that makes it more sensitive to human odor, according to new research.

Secrets in stone: Art historian cracks the code of an ancient temple

Posted: 12 Nov 2014 05:26 PM PST

For 13 centuries, the Virupaksha Temple in Pattadakal has been one of the most recognizable landmarks in Indian art -- a towering layer cake of elaborate, hand-carved friezes populated by a bevy of Hindu deities and symbols. Now a professor of Asian art history has shown that these figures are more than just architectural decoration.

High-tech authentication of ancient artifacts

Posted: 12 Nov 2014 05:38 AM PST

A geologist, accustomed to putting his lab's high-tech nanoscale scanning electron microscope (nanoSEM) to work evaluating the mineral composition of rocks and meteorites, has now been enlisted for a different kind of task: determining the authenticity of ancient Mesoamerican artifacts.

No comments: