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Saturday, November 29, 2014

ScienceDaily: Top Environment News

ScienceDaily: Top Environment News

Emergence of modern sea ice in Arctic Ocean, 2.6 million years ago

Posted: 28 Nov 2014 05:06 AM PST

The extent of sea ice cover in Arctic was much less than it is today between four and five million years ago. The maximum winter extent did not reaching its current location until around 2.6 million years ago. "We have not seen an ice free period in the Arctic Ocean for 2,6 million years. However, we may see it in our lifetime." says a marine geologist.

Love at first smell: Can birds choose mates by their odors?

Posted: 28 Nov 2014 05:06 AM PST

Mate choice is often the most important decision in the lives of humans and animals. Scientists have found the first evidence that birds may choose their mate through odor. The researchers compared the preen gland chemicals of black-legged kittiwakes with genes that play a role in immunity. Kittiwakes that smell similarly to each other also have similar genes for immunity. Since the birds prefer to mate with unrelated mates, the scientists have now found the likely mechanism by which they recognize relatedness.

Another human footprint in the ocean: Rising anthropogenic nitrate levels in North Pacific Ocean

Posted: 27 Nov 2014 06:23 PM PST

Human-induced changes to Earth's carbon cycle -- for example, rising atmospheric carbon dioxide and ocean acidification -- have been observed for decades. However, a new study has shown that human activities, in particular industrial and agricultural processes, have also had significant impacts on the upper ocean nitrogen cycle.

Genomes of malaria-carrying mosquitoes sequenced

Posted: 27 Nov 2014 06:23 PM PST

Scientists have sequenced the genomes of 16 Anopheles mosquito species from around the world. Anopheles mosquitoes are responsible for transmitting human malaria parasites that cause an estimated 200 million cases and more than 600 thousand deaths each year. However, of the almost 500 different Anopheles species, only a few dozen can carry the parasite and only a handful of species are responsible for the vast majority of transmissions.

Education is key to climate adaptation

Posted: 27 Nov 2014 06:23 PM PST

According to new research, education makes people less vulnerable to natural disasters such as floods, landslides, and storms that are expected to intensify with climate change.

Impact of climate change on the soil ecosystem

Posted: 27 Nov 2014 05:23 AM PST

Scientists are working to evaluate the impact of climate change on the ecosystems of the soil by monitoring its microbial properties over time. The research areas are located at altitudes of between 1,500 and 2,600 meters, which provides a broad range of different climate conditions and makes it possible to observe how the altitude affects the properties of the soil and the micro-organisms living in it. Preliminary results indicate that microbial properties are highly dependent on the physical and chemical properties of the soil on a small scale and on the environmental conditions existing at the moment when the samples are gathered.

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