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Environmental Policy News — ScienceDaily Environmental Policy. Read policy recommendations from scientists and scientific organizations on many aspects of environmental policy. Background research available.

  • Will climate change outpace species adaptation?
    on March 4, 2021 at 6:34 pm

    Many species might be left vulnerable in the face of climate change, unable to adapt their physiologies to respond to rapid global warming. According to a team of international researchers, species evolve heat tolerance more slowly than cold tolerance, and the level of heat they can adapt to has limits.

  • Want to cut emissions that cause climate change? Tax carbon
    on March 4, 2021 at 5:53 pm

    Putting a price on producing carbon is the cheapest, most efficient policy change legislators can make to reduce emissions that cause climate change, new research suggests.

  • Gender assumptions harm progress on climate adaption and resilience
    on March 4, 2021 at 3:04 pm

    Outdated assumptions around gender continue to hinder effective and fair policymaking and action for climate mitigation and adaptation, experts say in a new article.

  • Limiting invasive species may be a better goal than eliminating them
    on March 4, 2021 at 3:04 pm

    Managing invasive species — not eliminating them altogether — is a better use of time and conservation resources in many cases, according to a biologist.

  • High end of climate sensitivity in new climate models seen as less plausible
    on March 3, 2021 at 9:16 pm

    Researchers found that the latest generation of high-sensitivity climate models do not provide a plausible scenario of Earth’s future climate. These models project that clouds moderate greenhouse gas-induced warming — particularly in the northern hemisphere — much more than climate records show actually happens. The results provide a cautionary tale on interpreting climate simulations, which can determine the aggressiveness of carbon-mitigation policies.

Global Warming News — ScienceDaily Global Warming Research. Learn about the causes and effects of global warming. Consider possible global warming solutions. Read predictions of rising sea levels, coral reef bleaching and mass extinctions climate change may cause.

  • Small volcanic lakes tapping giant underground reservoirs
    on March 5, 2021 at 6:37 pm

    In its large caldera, Newberry volcano (Oregon, USA) has two small volcanic lakes, one fed by volcanic geothermal fluids (Paulina Lake) and one by gases (East Lake). These popular fishing grounds are small windows into a large underlying reservoir of hydrothermal fluids, releasing carbon dioxide (CO2) and hydrogen sulfide (H2S) with minor mercury (Hg) and methane into East Lake.

  • Antarctic seals reveal worrying threats to disappearing glaciers
    on March 5, 2021 at 1:01 pm

    More Antarctic meltwater is surfacing than was previously known, modifying the climate, preventing sea ice from forming and boosting marine productivity- according to new research. For the first time, researchers have been able to obtain full-depth glacial meltwater observations in winter, using instruments attached to the heads of seals living near the Pine Island Glacier, in the remote Amundsen Sea in the west of Antarctica.

  • The collapse of Northern California kelp forests will be hard to reverse
    on March 5, 2021 at 1:01 pm

    Satellite imagery shows that the area covered by kelp forests off the coast of Northern California has dropped by more than 95 percent, with just a few small, isolated patches of bull kelp remaining. Species-rich kelp forests have been replaced by ‘urchin barrens,’ where purple sea urchins cover a seafloor devoid of kelp and other algae. A new study documents this dramatic shift in the coastal ecosystem and analyzes the events that caused it.

  • Apparent Atlantic warming cycle likely an artifact of climate forcing
    on March 4, 2021 at 9:11 pm

    Volcanic eruptions, not natural variability, were the cause of an apparent ‘Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation,’ a purported cycle of warming thought to have occurred on a timescale of 40 to 60 years during the pre-industrial era, according to a team of climate scientists who looked at a large array of climate modeling experiments.

  • Field study shows icing can cost wind turbines up to 80% of power production
    on March 4, 2021 at 9:10 pm

    Researchers took their studies of wind-turbine icing out of the lab and into the field to learn how and where ice accumulates on rotating blades. They learned ice on the blades can reduce power production by up to 80%. The field experiments also validated their experimental findings, theories and predictions.

Exotic Species News — ScienceDaily Learn how invasive species threaten ecosystems. Read current research on biodiversity loss due to introduced species and more.

Exotic Species News — ScienceDaily Learn how invasive species threaten ecosystems. Read current research on biodiversity loss due to introduced species and more.

Water News — ScienceDaily Learn about Earth’s water resources. Read current research on the water cycle, water pollution, groundwater depletion and lake protection.

  • What can stream quality tell us about quality of life?
    on March 5, 2021 at 4:35 pm

    Findings reveal that demographics such as race and population density, as well as health indices such as cancer rates and food insecurity, show strong correlations with water quality across Virginia.

  • ‘Falling insect’ season length impacts river ecosystems
    on March 5, 2021 at 2:24 pm

    Insects that fall from the surrounding forest provide seasonal food for fish in streams. Researchers have shown that the lengthening of this period has a profound effect on stream food webs and ecosystem functions. These research results provide proof that changes in forest seasonality also affect the ecosystems of nearby rivers. This finding also highlights the importance of predicting the effects of climate change.

  • Antarctic seals reveal worrying threats to disappearing glaciers
    on March 5, 2021 at 1:01 pm

    More Antarctic meltwater is surfacing than was previously known, modifying the climate, preventing sea ice from forming and boosting marine productivity- according to new research. For the first time, researchers have been able to obtain full-depth glacial meltwater observations in winter, using instruments attached to the heads of seals living near the Pine Island Glacier, in the remote Amundsen Sea in the west of Antarctica.

  • The collapse of Northern California kelp forests will be hard to reverse
    on March 5, 2021 at 1:01 pm

    Satellite imagery shows that the area covered by kelp forests off the coast of Northern California has dropped by more than 95 percent, with just a few small, isolated patches of bull kelp remaining. Species-rich kelp forests have been replaced by ‘urchin barrens,’ where purple sea urchins cover a seafloor devoid of kelp and other algae. A new study documents this dramatic shift in the coastal ecosystem and analyzes the events that caused it.

  • Ghosts of past pesticide use can haunt organic farms for decades
    on March 3, 2021 at 7:26 pm

    Although the use of pesticides in agriculture is increasing, some farms have transitioned to organic practices and avoid applying them. But it’s uncertain whether chemicals applied to land decades ago can continue to influence the soil’s health after switching to organic management. Now, researchers have identified pesticide residues at 100 Swiss farms, including all the organic fields studied, with beneficial soil microbes’ abundance negatively impacted by their occurrence.

Drought News — ScienceDaily Drought Research. Read where droughts are predicted, and what can be done about them.

  • Temperature and aridity fluctuations over the past century linked to flower color changes
    on March 3, 2021 at 7:25 pm

    Researchers combined descriptions of flower color from museum flower specimens dating back to 1895 with longitudinal- and latitudinal-specific climate data to link changes in temperature and aridity with color change in the human-visible spectrum (white to purple).

  • Climate change threatens European forests
    on March 1, 2021 at 2:11 pm

    Well over half of Europe’s forests are potentially at risk from windthrow, forest fire and insect attacks.

  • Short-term climate modeling forecasts drought for Southeast US
    on February 25, 2021 at 4:32 pm

    Many climate models focus on scenarios decades into the future, making their outcomes seem unreliable and problematic for decision-making in the immediate future. In a proactive move, researchers are using short-term forecasts to stress the urgency of drought risk in the United States and inform policymakers’ actions now.

  • New tool to study stress in root-colonizing bacteria
    on February 24, 2021 at 2:07 pm

    One solution to agriculture’s many challenges is to develop smarter fertilizers that aim not only to nourish the plant but also to maximize soil bacteria’s positive effects on the plant. Researchers analyzed the effects of potential fertilizers on a health-promoting bacterium native to the roots of dryland wheat in Northern Utah, bringing the ‘microbiome revolution’ to agriculture.

  • Groundwater recharge rates mapped for Africa
    on February 16, 2021 at 1:30 pm

    Rapid population growth in many African countries plus climate change has focused attention on the increased development of groundwater for irrigation and drinking water supplies.

Wildfires News — ScienceDaily Learn about the science of wildfires — risk factors, smoke emissions, effective controls, role in forest ecology and long-term problems.

  • Fine particulate matter from wildfire smoke more harmful than pollution from other sources
    on March 5, 2021 at 1:01 pm

    Researchers examining 14 years of hospital admissions data conclude that the fine particles in wildfire smoke can be several times more harmful to human respiratory health than particulate matter from other sources such as car exhaust. While this distinction has been previously identified in laboratory experiments, the new study confirms it at the population level.

  • Post-wildfire landslides becoming more frequent in southern California
    on February 25, 2021 at 7:38 pm

    Southern California can now expect to see post-wildfire landslides occurring almost every year, with major events expected roughly every ten years, a new study finds. The results show Californians are now facing a double whammy of increased wildfire and landslide risk caused by climate change-induced shifts in the state’s wet and dry seasons, according to researchers who mapped landslide vulnerability in the southern half of the state.

  • Forests’ long-term capacity to store carbon is dropping in regions with extreme annual fires
    on February 25, 2021 at 4:33 pm

    Researchers have analysed decades’ worth of data on the impact of repeated fires on ecosystems across the world. Their results show that repeated fires are driving long-term changes to tree communities and reducing their population sizes.

  • How wildfires may have larger effects on cloud formation than previously thought
    on February 25, 2021 at 4:32 pm

    As the frequency and size of wildfires continues to increase worldwide, new research shows how the chemical aging of the particles emitted by these fires can lead to more extensive cloud formation and intense storm development in the atmosphere.

  • How outdoor pollution affects indoor air quality
    on February 22, 2021 at 9:41 pm

    Just when you thought you could head indoors to be safe from the air pollution that plagues the Salt Lake Valley, new research shows that elevated air pollution events, like horror movie villains, claw their way into indoor spaces.