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  • April 19, 2014
  • 05:34 AM

Dump fossil fuels for the health of our hearts

by Andy Extance in Simple Climate

Cleaning up air pollution will provide immediate health gains as well as longer-term climate benefits, highlights New York University's George Thurston... Read more »

Thurston, G. (2013) Mitigation policy: Health co-benefits. Nature Climate Change, 3(10), 863-864. DOI: 10.1038/nclimate2013  

Rice, M., Thurston, G., Balmes, J., & Pinkerton, K. (2014) Climate Change. A Global Threat to Cardiopulmonary Health. American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, 189(5), 512-519. DOI: 10.1164/rccm.201310-1924PP  

  • April 14, 2014
  • 12:13 PM

North Greenland Glacier Ice-Ocean Interactions 2014

by Andreas Muenchow in Icy Seas

I will travel to Spitsbergen in six weeks to board the German research icebreaker Polarstern. She will sail west across the Fram Strait towards northern Greenland where some of the last remaining glaciers exist that still discharge their ice via … Continue reading →... Read more »

  • April 12, 2014
  • 05:59 AM

Detailed regional data reduce warming-drought link doubts

by Andy Extance in Simple Climate

In Portugal and Spain climate change has already driven over 2°C of warming in summer, and new findings from Sergio Vicente-Serrano from the Pyrenean Institute of Ecology are dispelling uncertainties that the temperatures are making drought more severe and widespread. ... Read more »

Vicente-Serrano, S., Lopez-Moreno, J., Beguería, S., Lorenzo-Lacruz, J., Sanchez-Lorenzo, A., García-Ruiz, J., Azorin-Molina, C., Morán-Tejeda, E., Revuelto, J., Trigo, R.... (2014) Evidence of increasing drought severity caused by temperature rise in southern Europe. Environmental Research Letters, 9(4), 44001. DOI: 10.1088/1748-9326/9/4/044001  

  • April 10, 2014
  • 10:44 AM

Saturn’s hexagon: an amazing phenomenon

by Perikis Livas in Tracing Knowledge

Researchers at the Planetary Sciences Group of the UPV/EHU-University of the Basque Country reveal some of the secrets of Saturn’s mysterious hexagonal wave, including its rotation period, which could be that of the planet itself

News Release April 8, 2014 University of the Basque Country... Read more »

Sánchez-Lavega, A., del Río-Gaztelurrutia, T., Hueso, R., Pérez-Hoyos, S., García-Melendo, E., Antuñano, A., Mendikoa, I., Rojas, J., Lillo, J., Barrado-Navascués, D.... (2014) The long-term steady motion of Saturn's hexagon and the stability of its enclosed jet stream under seasonal changes. Geophysical Research Letters, 41(5), 1425-1431. DOI: 10.1002/2013GL059078  

  • April 7, 2014
  • 08:53 AM

Hummingbirds: still evolving endless forms most wonderful | @GrrlScientist

by GrrlScientist in GrrlScientist

A new study finds that the rising Andes is tied to the rapid speciation of hummingbirds. This study also predicts that hummingbirds will evolve twice as many species as what we see today.... Read more »

McGuire Jimmy A. , Witt Christopher C. , Remsen, Jr. J.V. , Corl Ammon , Rabosky Daniel L. , Altshuler Douglas L. , & Dudley Robert . (2014) Molecular Phylogenetics and the Diversification of Hummingbirds. Current Biology. DOI:  

Hoorn C., Wesselingh F. P., ter Steege H., Bermudez M. A., Mora A., Sevink J., Sanmartin I., Sanchez-Meseguer A., Anderson C. L., & Figueiredo J. P. (2010) Amazonia Through Time: Andean Uplift, Climate Change, Landscape Evolution, and Biodiversity. Science, 330(6006), 927-931. DOI: 10.1126/science.1194585  

Doorn G. S. v., Noest A. J., & Hogeweg P. (1998) Sympatric speciation and extinction driven by environment dependent sexual selection. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 265(1408), 1915-1919. DOI: 10.1098/rspb.1998.0520  

  • April 5, 2014
  • 03:07 AM

Weather extremes take twin crop and disease toll

by Andy Extance in Simple Climate

Extreme rain has boosted harvests and droughts have harmed them, but both are linked to outbreaks of deadly viruses show NASA's Assaf Anyamba and his colleagues.... Read more »

  • March 31, 2014
  • 01:45 PM

BGS Publishes Report on Global Oil, Gas Well Integrity

by dailyfusion in The Daily Fusion

The British Geological Survey (BGS) in partnership with the ReFINE (Researching Fracking in Europe) consortium, led by Durham University, published a review of global oil and gas well integrity in the journal Marine and Petroleum Geology.... Read more »

Davies, R., Almond, S., Ward, R., Jackson, R., Adams, C., Worrall, F., Herringshaw, L., Gluyas, J., & Whitehead, M. (2014) Oil and gas wells and their integrity: Implications for shale and unconventional resource exploitation. Marine and Petroleum Geology. DOI: 10.1016/j.marpetgeo.2014.03.001  

  • March 31, 2014
  • 04:00 AM

‘Hidden Architecture’ of 1,000-Year-Old Village Discovered in New Mexico

by Blake de Pastino in Western Digs

An Ancestral Puebloan settlement appears to be giving up some of its secrets, and changing the perspectives of archaeologists, as new technology allows them to see under the desert floor.... Read more »

  • March 29, 2014
  • 07:31 AM

Climate sensitivity wrangles don’t change the big picture on emissions

by Andy Extance in Simple Climate

Modelling studies from Joeri Rogelj at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, ETH Zurich show we still need to release fewer greenhouse gases even if the world does warm more slowly in response to them than today’s best estimates suggest. ... Read more »

  • March 22, 2014
  • 07:03 AM

Fairness instinct trumps economic expectations on climate costs

by Andy Extance in Simple Climate

Students taking the role of rich countries in climate negotiation games make generous offers to pay towards the cost of cutting greenhouse gas emissions on fairness grounds, finds Robert Gampfer from ETH Zurich, who suggests that governments doing the same might get popular support. ... Read more »

  • March 15, 2014
  • 07:01 AM

Real-world grounding could cool 21st century outlook

by Andy Extance in Simple Climate

Initialised decadal predictions, the middle ground between weather forecasting and climate modelling, get closer to simulating the current warming slowdown than uninitialised ones do, NCAR climate scientists Jerry Meehl and Haiyan Teng have shown. ... Read more »

  • March 13, 2014
  • 11:27 AM

Fram Strait Ice, Oil, and Glaciers

by Andreas Muenchow in Icy Seas

Tomorrow I fly to Germany to prepare for an ocean experiment in the shallow waters off northern Greenland. Together with oceanographers from the Alfred Wegener Institute (AWI), Germany, I hope to deploy 5 ocean current measuring devices on the bottom … Continue reading →... Read more »

  • March 8, 2014
  • 07:52 AM

The climate challenges that my morning toast poses

by Andy Extance in Simple Climate

Differing effects in different countries means that a warmer, more populated, world could meet demand for wheat used to make flour and other food – but with important implications for greenhouse gas emissions and fairness. ... Read more »

  • March 6, 2014
  • 04:00 AM

Mesa Verde’s ‘Mummy Lake’ Was Built to Hold Rituals, Not Water, Study Says

by Blake de Pastino in Western Digs

A grand, sandstone-walled pit in Mesa Verde National Park has for decades been seen as an achievement of prehistoric hydrology, part of a system of cisterns and canals used by Ancestral Puebloans to harvest rainwater on the arid plateau as much as 1,100 years ago.

... Read more »

Benson, L., Griffin, E., Stein, J., Friedman, R., & Andrae, S. (2014) Mummy Lake: an unroofed ceremonial structure within a large-scale ritual landscape. Journal of Archaeological Science, 164-179. DOI: 10.1016/j.jas.2014.01.021  

  • March 1, 2014
  • 06:15 AM

Renewable energy beats ‘clean coal’ on cost in Australia

by Andy Extance in Simple Climate

Simulations done by scientists from the University of New South Wales in Sydney suggest 100% renewable electricity would be cheaper than fossil fuels with carbon capture in Australia. ... Read more »

  • February 26, 2014
  • 08:10 AM

Strange Insects Taste

by Mark Lasbury in As Many Exceptions As Rules

New research is describing the ways that arthropods use gustatory receptors. Drosophila use a muscular reflex to extend or retract the proboscis, based on the sweet or bitter taste they experience. In silica studies are showing that female behaviors are driving gene duplication and evolution of taste receptor genes, while specific taste receptors are responsible for male female interactions in fruit fly courtship rituals.
... Read more »

Briscoe AD, Macias-Muñoz A, Kozak KM, Walters JR, Yuan F, Jamie GA, Martin SH, Dasmahapatra KK, Ferguson LC, Mallet J.... (2013) Female behaviour drives expression and evolution of gustatory receptors in butterflies. PLoS genetics, 9(7). PMID: 23950722  

  • February 15, 2014
  • 03:36 AM

Is our weird weather linked to climate change? Oddly, sport can show us the score.

by Andy Extance in Simple Climate

Though extreme events can happen by chance, our emitting CO2 is changing the odds, like match-fixing does in sport – and the climate stakes are too high not to realise this. ... Read more »

Stefan Rahmstorf and, & Dim Coumou. (2011) Increase of extreme events in a warming world. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1101766108  

Haarsma, R., Hazeleger, W., Severijns, C., de Vries, H., Sterl, A., Bintanja, R., van Oldenborgh, G., & van den Brink, H. (2013) More hurricanes to hit Western Europe due to global warming. Geophysical Research Letters. DOI: 10.1002/grl.50360  

  • February 14, 2014
  • 12:17 PM

Lithium-Ion Batteries Get A Boost

by Whitney Campbell in Green Screen

After lithium-ion batteries were introduced to the public in the early 1990s, they've charged all kinds of products, from handheld cell phones to jumbo airplanes. But as their prevalence has grown, so have concerns with their safety.

In January 2013, airlines had to ground their fleets of Boeing Dreamliners due to fires linked to the "thermal runaway" of lithium-ion batteries. Likewise, lithium-ion-powered cars, such as the Tesla Model S, have caught fire "20 or so [times]........ Read more »

  • February 8, 2014
  • 07:23 AM

Warming makes flowers change dates, or don skates

by Andy Extance in Simple Climate

Plants that fail to reset their flowering times have to move to keep their cool as the climate changes, Tatsuya Amano at the University of Cambridge and his teammates have found.... Read more »

Tatsuya Amano, Robert P. Freckleton, Simon A. Queenborough, Simon W. Doxford, Richard J. Smithers, Tim H. Sparks and William J. Sutherland. (2014) Links between plant species’ spatial and temporal responses to a warming climate. Proceedings of the Royal Society B. DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2013.3017  

  • February 7, 2014
  • 08:22 AM

A Parched Future: Global Land and Water Grabbing

by Jalees Rehman in Fragments of Truth

Land grabbing refers to the large-scale acquisition of comparatively inexpensive agricultural land in foreign countries by foreign governments or corporations. In most cases, the acquired land is located in under-developed countries in Africa, Asia or South America, while the grabbers are investment funds based in Europe, North America and the Middle East. The acquisition can take the form of an outright purchase or a long-term-lease, ranging from 25 to 99 years, that gives the grabbing entity e........ Read more »

Rulli MC, Saviori A, & D'Odorico P. (2013) Global land and water grabbing. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 110(3), 892-7. PMID: 23284174  

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