ENN : Environment (49)

Green infrastructure: New tool by University of Toronto researchers to help construction industry reduce carbon footprint

A team of researchers from the University of Toronto is partnering with the construction industry to help reduce the carbon footprint of buildings, bridges, public transit and other major infrastructure projects.What we're building is a decision-support tool that can be used in the early stages of ...

University of Florida study: Bird evolves virtually overnight to keep up with invasive prey

The federally endangered bird, the snail kite, was faced with an interesting dilemma: The island apple snail was good to eat, but about two to five times bigger than the native snail that the bird usually consumed. What's a hungry bird to do? Evolve – quickly.A study by a team of University of ...

Continued Emissions May Cause Global North-to-South Shift in Wind Power By End of Century

The rapidly growing wind energy industry may be challenged by changes in locations of wind resources

Scientists unveil new satellite-based global drought severity index

Enhanced monitoring tool adds groundwater storage to assessment factors

Sustainable dams — are they possible?

Humans have been altering natural waterways for centuries, but only in the last several decades have dams raised ecological concerns.N. LeRoy Poff, professor of biology at Colorado State University, studies the ecological impact to rivers from human-caused changes, such as dam building, and how ...

U of T neuroscientist on how advances in AI may help us better understand why neurons are shaped the way they are

The shape of our neurons may indicate our brains actually employ a type of learning, dubbed deep learning,' that was developed to drive artificial intelligence, or AI, applications, a University of Toronto researcher has found.

Canola Oil Linked to Worsened Memory and Learning Ability in Alzheimer's Disease, Temple Researchers Report

Canola oil is one of the most widely consumed vegetable oils in the world, yet surprisingly little is known about its effects on health. Now, a new study published online December 7 in the journal Scientific Reports by researchers at the Lewis Katz School of Medicine at Temple University ...

Yeast can be engineered to create protein pharmaceuticals

It took several years, but a research team headed by Professor Jens Nielsen at Chalmers University of Technology has finally succeeded in mapping out the complex metabolism of yeast cells. The breakthrough, recently published in an article in Nature Communications, means a huge step forward in the ...

Exposure to Air Pollution Just Before or After Conception Raises Risk of Birth Defects

Women exposed to air pollution just prior to conception or during the first month of pregnancy face an increased risk of their children being born with birth defects, such as cleft lip or palate or abnormal hearts.

How a Wayward Arctic Current Could Cool the Climate in Europe

For millennia, the Beaufort Gyre — a massive wind-driven current in the Arctic Ocean — has been regulating climate and sea ice formation at the top of the world. Like a giant spinning top, the gyre corrals vast amounts of sea ice. Trapped in this clockwise swirl, the ice has historically had ...

Cinnamon turns up the heat on fat cells

New research from the University of Michigan Life Sciences Institute has determined how a common holiday spice—cinnamon—might be enlisted in the fight against obesity.Scientists had previously observed that cinnamaldehyde, an essential oil that gives cinnamon its flavor, appeared to protect mice ...

Climate change could increase volcano eruptions

Shrinking glacier cover could lead to increased volcanic activity in Iceland, scientists have warned.A new study, led by the University of Leeds, found there was less volcanic activity in Iceland when glacier cover was more extensive. As the glaciers melted, volcanic eruptions increased due to ...

Extreme fieldwork, drones, climate modeling yield new insights about Greenland's melting ice sheet

A new UCLA-led study reinforces the importance of collaboration in assessing the effects of climate change.The research, published today in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, offers new insights about previously unknown factors affecting Greenland's melting ice sheet, and ...

Already on Brink, Right Whales Are Pushed Closer to the Edge

North Atlantic right whales are one of the world's most critically endangered large whales, but if you're lucky, you can still see them: a mother nursing her newborn in the warm waters off the Georgia or Florida coast, their only known calving grounds; right whales socializing and feeding in the ...

Marine organisms can shred a carrier bag into 1.75 million pieces, study shows

A single plastic carrier bag could be shredded by marine organisms into around 1.75million microscopic fragments, according to new research.

Transformation to wind and solar could be achieved with low indirect greenhouse gas emissions

Different low carbon technologies from wind or solar energy to fossil carbon capture and sequestration differ greatly when it comes to indirect greenhouse gas emissions in their life cycle. This is the result of a comprehensive new study conducted by an international team of scientists that is now ...

Guanidinium stabilizes perovskite solar cells at 19% efficiency

With the power-conversion efficiency of silicon solar cells plateauing around 25%, perovskites are now ideally placed to become the market's next generation of photovoltaics. In particular, organic-inorganic lead halide perovskites offer manufacturing versatility that can potentially translate into ...

Device makes power conversion more efficient

Power electronics, which do things like modify voltages or convert between direct and alternating current, are everywhere. They're in the power bricks we use to charge our portable devices; they're in the battery packs of electric cars; and they're in the power grid itself, where they mediate ...

Stopping the next wave of invasive species in Saskatchewan lakes

Invasive species continue to be a critical threat to freshwater ecosystems in Saskatchewan and across North America.But the species that have yet to enter Saskatchewan waters might be of greatest concern.

Scientists Home in on Causes of High Radium Levels in Key Midwestern Aquifer

Oxygen levels, dissolved minerals among factors responsible for high concentrations of radium in untreated water from aquifer that underlies six statesU.S. Geological Survey scientists have shed new light on processes that happen deep underground.

Researchers establish long-sought source of ocean methane

An abundant enzyme in marine microbes may be responsible for production of the greenhouse gas.  Industrial and agricultural activities produce large amounts of methane, a greenhouse gas that contributes to global warming. Many bacteria also produce methane as a byproduct of their metabolism. Some ...

Transportation Replaces Power in U.S. as Top Source of CO2 Emissions

Power plants have been the biggest source of greenhouse gas emissions in the United States for more than 40 years. But according to new data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration, transportation has now claimed the top spot.

New screening technique will allow crop breeders to develop drought resistant varieties faster

Chithra Karunakaran and Karen Tanino's team developed a simple non-destructive method to screen hundreds of wheat leaf samples in a day, reducing the time and cost associated with traditional breeding programs to select varieties for drought tolerance. Their findings were published in the November ...

Successful Nigerian business-NGO partnerships rooted in collaboration

What's the key ingredient to successful partnerships? York University Development Studies Professor Uwafiokun Idemudia reviewed existing research on an unorthodox union between a non-governmental organization and an oil company with a history of spills in Nigeria. He found that collaboration was ...

Quantifying the Greenhouse Gas Footprint of Crop Cultivation

"Climate-smart' crop cultivation, characterized by a low greenhouse gas footprint, low synthetic nitrogen consumption, and simultaneously high yields , is an approach in agriculture for implementing the Paris Agreement as part of mitigating climate change. The GHG footprint is an index used to ...

Clean Energy: Experts Outline How Governments Can Successfully Invest Before It's Too Late

Governments need to give technical experts more autonomy and hold their nerve to provide more long-term stability when investing in clean energy, argue researchers in climate change and innovation policy in a new paper published today.

Researchers Model Optimal Amount of Rainfall for Plants

Researchers have determined what could be considered a Goldilocks' climate for rainfall use by plants: not too wet and not too dry. 

Satellite Tracking Provides Clues About South Atlantic Sea Turtles' 'Lost Years'

A University of Central Florida biologist whose groundbreaking work tracking the movements of sea turtle yearlings in the North Atlantic Ocean attracted international attention has completed a similar study in the South Atlantic with surprising results.

Decades-Past Logging Still Threatens Spotted Owls in National Forests

Logging of the largest trees in the Sierra Nevada's national forests ended in the early 1990s after agreements were struck to protect species' habitat.

ShakeAlert System Continues Progress toward Public Use

A decade after beginning work on an earthquake early warning system, scientists and engineers are fine-tuning a U.S. West Coast prototype that could be in limited public use in 2018.

Traffic pollution putting unborn babies' health at risk, warn experts

Traffic pollution, but not traffic noise, linked to low birth weightAir pollution from road traffic is having a detrimental impact upon babies' health in London, before they are born, finds a study.

Freezing trees, finding answers

Researchers study impact of ice storms, climate change

New species discovered in Malaysian rainforest during unprecedented, top-to-bottom survey

California Academy of Sciences team joins Malaysian colleagues to survey region's rich biodiversity; data to support UNESCO nomination.

Stress Test: New Study Finds Seals are Stressed-Out by Sharks

Researchers test the effects predators have on their prey's cortisol levels in the wild

More-severe climate model predictions could be the most accurate: study

The climate models that project greater amounts of warming this century are the ones that best align with observations of the current climate, according to a new paper from Carnegie's Patrick Brown and Ken Caldeira published by Nature.  Their findings suggest that the models used by the ...

London air pollution cancels positive health effects of exercise in over-60s

Exposure to air pollution on city streets is enough to counter the beneficial health effects of exercise in older adults, according to new research.

Go with the flow

Queen's University researchers are using magnetic fields to influence a specific type of bacteria to swim against strong currents, opening up the potential of using the microscopic organisms for drug delivery in environments with complex microflows – like the human bloodstream.MTB have tiny ...

Avian Flu From Abroad Can Spread in North American Poultry, Wild Birds

Some avian influenza, or bird flu, viruses that are able to enter North America from other continents through migrating birds can be deadly to poultry and can infect waterfowl populations, according to a recently published U.S. Geological Survey study.

NASA Gets a Final Look at Tropical Cyclone Ockhi's Rainfall

Tropical Cyclone Ockhi is quickly weakening in the Arabian Sea and is expected to dissipate on Dec. 6 when it makes landfall in northwestern India. The Global Precipitation Measurement mission or GPM core satellite passed over Ockhi and looked at its rainfall as wind shear was affecting the ...

Seaweed Could Hold Key to Environmentally Friendly Sunscreen

A compound found in seaweed could protect human skin from the damaging impact of the sun without causing harm to marine ecosystems. 

Working in the Cold

When it is cold in winter, cars tend to have starting problems. This is not much better with electric cars, which inevitably lose capacity of their rechargeable lithium-ion batteries at freezing temperatures. Now, Chinese scientists have offered a strategy to avoid plunging battery kinetics. In a ...

WASP-18b Has Smothering Stratosphere Without Water

A NASA-led team has found evidence that the oversized planet WASP-18b is wrapped in a smothering stratosphere loaded with carbon monoxide and devoid of water. The findings come from a new analysis of observations made by the Hubble and Spitzer space telescopes.

Beyond Wind Speed: A New Measure for Predicting Hurricane Impacts

Six major hurricanes that engulfed the Atlantic Basin in 2017 were a devastating reminder of the vulnerability of coastal communities, where more than half the U.S. population resides.

Obesity Prevented in Mice Fed High-Fat Diet

Researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have identified a way to prevent fat cells from growing larger, a process that leads to weight gain and obesity. By activating a pathway in fat cells in mice, the researchers found they could feed the animals a high-fat diet ...

Augmented-Reality Technology Could Help Treat 'Lazy Eye'

When signals between the brain and one eye go awry, input from the other eye can become predominant, a condition called amblyopia or lazy eye.' Amblyopia is common and it is typically treated by forcing the less dominant eye to adapt, either through lab-based training or wearing an eyepatch. But ...

Study Finds Variation Within Species is a Critical Aspect of Biodiversity

Concerns about biodiversity tend to focus on the loss of species from ecosystems, but a new study suggests that the loss of variation within species can also have important ecological consequences.

Superior hydrogen catalyst just grows that way

Replacing your everyday gas guzzler with a hydrogen fueled car could drastically reduce your carbon footprint. So why don't we all make the switch?

New Test Provides Accurate Measure of DNA Damage from Chemical Compounds

A new biomarker test developed by researchers at Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center and their colleagues can help predict, with up to 90 percent certainty, which chemical compounds can cause DNA damage that could lead to cancer. The study was published early online the week of December ...

Despite city tree benefits, Calif. urban canopy cover per capita lowest in U.S.

Trees in California communities are working overtime. From removing carbon dioxide and pollutants from the air, intercepting rainfall and increasing property values, California's 173.2 million city trees provide ecosystem services valued at $8.3 billion a year. However, according to a recent ...