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July 21, 2014

Examining the causes of a devastating debris flow

Storm-triggered landslides cause loss of life, property damage, and landscape alterations. For instance, the remnants of Hurricane Camille in 1969 caused 109 deaths in central Virginia, after 600 mm of rain fell in mountainous terrain in 6 hours. More recently, on 8 August 2010, a rainstorm-induced landslide devastated the Chinese county of Zhouqu, causing more than 1000 deaths. A new modeling study by Ren examines the multiple factors, both natural and human caused, that came together to produce this event.

July 21, 2014

Mammals Metabolize Some Pesticides to Limit Their Biomagnification

The concentrations of many historically used, and now widely banned, pesticides and other toxic chemicals—called legacy contaminants—can become magnified in an animal that eats contaminated food; however, a new Environmental Toxicology & Chemistry study has found that Arctic mammals metabolize some currently used pesticides, preventing such ‘biomagnification.’

July 21, 2014

Replacing Coal and Oil with Natural Gas Will Not Help Fight Global Warming

Both shale gas and conventional natural gas have a larger greenhouse gas footprint than do coal or oil, especially for the primary uses of residential and commercial heating.

July 21, 2014

Researchers Simplify Process to Purify Water Using Seed Extracts

Researchers have streamlined and simplified a process that uses extracts from seeds of Moringa oleifa trees to purify water, reducing levels of harmful bacteria by 90% to 99%. The hardy trees that are drought resistant are cultivated widely throughout many countries of Africa, Asia, and Latin America.

July 21, 2014

Study Provides Insights into Birds' Migration Routes

By tracking hybrids between songbird species, investigators have found that migration routes are under genetic control and could be preventing interbreeding. The research, which is published in Ecology Letters, was conducted using geolocators that, like GPS, record the position of a bird and allow its long distance movement to be tracked.

12:00 AM EDT June 18, 2014

Study Examines El Niño-Southern Oscillation’s Impacts on Water, Agriculture, and Health

Researchers who reviewed the impact of El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) on society have found that there are significant differences in the uptake of forecasts across sectors, with the highest use in agriculture, intermediate use in water resources management, and the lowest in health.

June 16, 2014

High-Altitude Weight Loss May Have an Evolutionary Advantage

Weight loss at high altitudes—something universally experienced by climbers and people who move to higher terrain—may not be a detrimental effect, but rather is likely an evolutionarily-programmed adaptation, according to a new article in BioEssays.

June 16, 2014

New Advance Allows Gels to Wiggle Through Water

Using a worm’s contracting and expanding motion, researchers have designed a way for gels to swim in water. The advance, which is described in a Journal of Applied Polymer Science paper, involves the use of a hand-held laser to shrink and swell polymer gels comprised mostly of water.

7:00 PM EDT June 04, 2014

Crooning in the Concrete Jungle: Taiwan’s Frogs Use Drains to Amplify Mating Calls

Journal of Zoology reports on how Taiwan's tiny mientien tree frog is using the cities storm drains to amplify mating calls.

June 02, 2014

Going Grey: Chinese Plants Evolve Alpine Camouflage to Avoid Attack

New Phytologist has found that a Chinese species of herb uses its grey leaves to blend into its mountainside surroundings.

June 02, 2014

New Arctic Permafrost Will Disappear Within 70 Years, Study Shows

Research in Geophysical Research Letters explores permafrost growth at Twelvemile Lake in north central Alaska.

May 19, 2014

Citizen Scientists Map the Flyways of North American Birds

New research in the Journal of Biogeography uses citizen science to explore America's flyways

May 19, 2014

Different Types of El Niño Have Different Effects on Global Temperature

Geophysical Research Letters reports that some types of El Niño could explain recent decade-scale slowdowns in global warming.

May 13, 2014

New Study Indicates Loss of West Antarctic Glaciers Appears Unstoppable

Geophysical Research Letters finds a rapidly melting section of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet appears to be in an irreversible state of decline, with nothing to stop the glaciers in this area from melting into the sea.

 

May 06, 2014

How Have Changing Sea-Levels Influenced Evolution on the Galapagos Islands?

new research shows that the islands’ own geological past may have influenced the evolution of the Galapagos Islands' native species.

May 06, 2014

Scientists Challenge FIFA in Advance of the 2014 World Cup: Save the Three-Banded Armadillo

New research in Biotropica asks FIFA to follow through with its environmental claims. The 2014 FIFA (Fédération Internationale de Football Association) World Cup will be played in Brazil. Its “Football for the Planet” program aims to monitor greenhouse gasses, provide environmentally friendly stadiums, and better waste management. However, FIFA has not maximized this opportunity. 

May 05, 2014

$200 Bird Scaring Line for Trawlers Can Cut Albatross Deaths by over 90%

New research in Animal Conservation reveals that a simple bird scaring line can reduce the mortality rate by over 90%.

April 29, 2014

Alternative Ecological Risk Assessment:

An Innovative Approach to Understanding Ecological Assessments for Contaminated Sites

12:00 AM EDT April 10, 2014

Iceberg Risk Greater Today Than the Titanic Year of 1912, Study Claims

Scientists are challenging the theory that icebergs made 1912, the year RMS Titanic was lost to the North Atlantic, an exceptionally hazardous year for shipping.

April 07, 2014

Arctic Warming Faster Than Any Place on Earth, Space Imagery Shows

The Arctic is a region in the midst of a historical transformation and satellite imagery is allowing scientists to observe these changes unfolding, explains WIREs Climate Change

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