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Ecological News

Satellite Shows Storms on Both U.S. Coasts for Thanksgiving Travelers

ENN Climate - Thu, 11/23/2017 - 00:29
Satellites are keeping an eye on the U.S. and NOAA’s GOES East satellite showed two storm systems for pre-Thanksgiving travelers on Wednesday, Nov. 22, 2017. One system was exiting the northeastern U.S. while the other was affecting the Pacific Northwest.
Categories: Ecological News

Methane Bubbles Are Effect and Cause of Rise in Temperature

ENN Climate - Thu, 11/23/2017 - 00:23
"Never before have such unequivocal, strong relationships between temperature and emissions of methane bubbles been shown on such a wide, continent-spanning scale.", says biologist Sarian Kosten of Radboud University.
Categories: Ecological News

The Genome of Leishmania Reveals How This Parasite Adapts to Environmental Changes

ENN Health - Thu, 11/23/2017 - 00:17
Leishmaniasis is an important human and veterinary disease caused by Leishmania parasites that affect 12 million people in over 98 endemic countries. The disease is now emerging in Europe due to climate change and massive population displacement. The parasite is known to rapidly adapt to novel environments with important consequences for disease outcome. It has therefore been recognized as an emerging public health threat for the EU.
Categories: Ecological News

The Genome of Leishmania Reveals How This Parasite Adapts to Environmental Changes

ENN Climate - Thu, 11/23/2017 - 00:17
Leishmaniasis is an important human and veterinary disease caused by Leishmania parasites that affect 12 million people in over 98 endemic countries. The disease is now emerging in Europe due to climate change and massive population displacement. The parasite is known to rapidly adapt to novel environments with important consequences for disease outcome. It has therefore been recognized as an emerging public health threat for the EU.
Categories: Ecological News

Reducing Phosphorus Runoff

ENN Agriculture - Thu, 11/23/2017 - 00:12
Throughout the United States, toxic algal blooms are wreaking havoc on bodies of water, causing pollution and having harmful effects on people, fish and marine mammals.
Categories: Ecological News

Reducing Phosphorus Runoff

ENN Pollution - Thu, 11/23/2017 - 00:12
Throughout the United States, toxic algal blooms are wreaking havoc on bodies of water, causing pollution and having harmful effects on people, fish and marine mammals.
Categories: Ecological News

Ribbed Mussels Could Help Improve Urban Water Quality

ENN Pollution - Thu, 11/23/2017 - 00:06
Ribbed mussels can remove nitrogen and other excess nutrients from an urban estuary and could help improve water quality in other urban and coastal locations, according to a study in New York City’s Bronx River. The findings, published in Environmental Science and Technology, are part of long-term efforts to improve water quality in the Bronx River Estuary.
Categories: Ecological News

Climate Change Models of Bird Impacts Pass the Test

ENN Climate - Wed, 11/22/2017 - 20:23
A major study looking at changes in where UK birds have been found over the past 40 years has validated the latest climate change models being used to forecast impacts on birds and other animals.
Categories: Ecological News

The Social Cost of Carbon Doubles

ENN Pollution - Wed, 11/22/2017 - 19:59
The “social cost of carbon” — an influential figure used by policymakers to weigh the value of efforts that reduce greenhouse gas emissions — is outdated and underestimated. Updated estimates focused on the agricultural sector alone more than double the social cost of carbon, according to analysis from the University of California, Davis, and Purdue University.
Categories: Ecological News

3 Reasons This Isn’t a Decisive Win for the KXL Pipeline

Yes! Magazine - Wed, 11/22/2017 - 13:30
The path toward Keystone XL construction is much less certain than recent news headlines might lead you to believe.
Categories: Ecological News

Human Activity Increasing Rate of Record-Breaking Hot Years

Ecology Today - Wed, 11/22/2017 - 02:48

American Geophysical Union (AGU) Press Release

A new study finds human-caused global warming is significantly increasing the rate at which hot temperature records are being broken around the world.

Global annual temperature records show there were 17 record hot years from 1861 to 2005. The new study examines whether these temperature records are being broken more often and if so, whether human-caused global warming is to blame.

The results show human influence has greatly increased the likelihood of record-breaking hot years occurring on a global scale. Without human-caused climate change, there should only have been an average of seven record hot years from 1861 to 2005, not 17. Further, human-caused climate change at least doubled the odds of having a record-breaking hot year from 1926 to 1945 and from 1967 onwards, according to the new study.

The study also projects that if greenhouse gas emissions remain high, the chance of seeing new global temperature records will continue to increase. By 2100, every other year will be a record breaker, on average, according to the new study accepted for publication in Earth’s Future, a journal of the American Geophysical Union.

The new findings show how climate change is visibly influencing Earth’s temperature, said Andrew King, a climate extremes research fellow at the University of Melbourne in Australia and lead author of the new study.

“We can now specifically say climate change is increasing the chance of observing a new temperature record each year,” he said. “It’s important to point out we shouldn’t be seeing these records if human activity weren’t contributing to global warming.”

The study strengthens the link between human activity and recent temperature trends, according to Michael Mann, a climatologist and director of the Earth System Science Center at Pennsylvania State University, who was not involved with the new research.

“This work builds on previous research establishing that, without a doubt, the record warmth we are seeing cannot be explained without accounting for the impact of human activity on the warming of the planet,” Mann said.

Record-Breaking Heat

Record hot years have been occurring more frequently in recent decades. 2014 was the hottest year on record since 1880, but that record was quickly broken in 2015 and again in 2016. Research published earlier this year in Geophysical Research Letters found these three consecutive records in global temperatures were very likely due to anthropogenic warming.

Record-breaking temperatures tend to attract attention because they are one of the most visible signs of global warming. As a result, understanding how and why the rate of record-breaking is changing is critical for communicating the effects of climate change to the public, King said.

Previous research examined changes in rates of record-breaking temperatures in specific countries or regions. However, these studies couldn’t analyze global temperature trends because they relied on gathering large numbers of daily temperature records from different sources, according to King. Additionally, they didn’t directly attribute changes in record-breaking to human activity.

In the new study, King developed a method to isolate the human role in changing rates of record-breaking temperatures globally. Unlike previous studies, the method uses a single source of temperature data, in this case global annual temperatures, allowing King to study temperature records on a global scale.

King first looked at global temperature data from 1861 to 2005 and identified which years were hot record breakers. He then used a wide array of climate models to simulate global temperatures in this period. Some of the models included only natural influences on the climate such as volcanic eruptions, while other models featured both natural influences and human influences such as greenhouse gas emissions and the release of aerosols into the atmosphere.

King found only the climate models that included human influences had the same number of record-breaking hot years as historical temperature records—15 to 21, on average. The models without human influences only had an average of seven record-breaking hot years from 1861 to 2005.

He also determined human-caused climate change at least doubled the odds of having a record-breaking hot year from 1926 to 1945 and from 1967 onwards. The odds didn’t increase from 1945 to 1967 because man-made aerosol emissions generated a cooling effect, which counteracted warming due to anthropogenic greenhouse gases.

King’s research can also be applied to quantify the influence of human activities on a specific record-setting event. He applied his method to record-setting hot global temperatures in 2016 and record-setting hot local temperatures in central England in 2014. He found human influence led to a 29-fold increase in the likelihood of seeing both new records compared to a situation with no human influence on climate.

Categories: Ecological News

Albatrosses in decline from fishing and environmental change

ENN Climate - Wed, 11/22/2017 - 00:19
The populations of wandering, black-browed and grey-headed albatrosses have halved over the last 35 years on sub-antarctic Bird Island according to a new study published today (20 November) in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
Categories: Ecological News

Corn Genetics Research Exposes Mechanism Behind Traits Becoming Silent

ENN Agriculture - Wed, 11/22/2017 - 00:18
For more than a century, plant geneticists have been studying maize as a model system to understand the rules governing the inheritance of traits, and a team of researchers recently unveiled a previously unknown mechanism that triggers gene silencing in corn.
Categories: Ecological News

In bee decline, fungicides emerge as improbable villain

ENN Pollution - Wed, 11/22/2017 - 00:15
When a Cornell-led team of scientists analyzed two dozen environmental factors to understand bumblebee population declines and range contractions, they expected to find stressors like changes in land use, geography or insecticides.
Categories: Ecological News

Refining Pesticides to Kill Pests, Not Bees

ENN Agriculture - Tue, 11/21/2017 - 23:59
Pyrethroid pesticides are effective. Sometimes too effective.
Categories: Ecological News

Turtles & Technology Advance Understanding of Lung Abnormality

ENN Health - Tue, 11/21/2017 - 23:56
A study of an unusual snapping turtle with one lung found shared characteristics with humans born with one lung who survive beyond infancy. Digital 3D anatomical models created by Emma Schachner, PhD, Assistant Professor of Cell Biology & Anatomy at LSU Health New Orleans School of Medicine, made the detailed research possible. The work is published in the December 2017 issue of The Journal of Anatomy, the cover of which features an image of the study’s 3D models.
Categories: Ecological News

Three studies from UTA's clear lab detect harmful pathogenic bacteria in Texas groundwater near natural gas extraction sites

ENN Health - Tue, 11/21/2017 - 23:46
Three new research studies from the University of Texas at Arlington have found harmful pathogenic bacteria in Texas groundwater near unconventional natural gas extraction sites.
Categories: Ecological News

Three studies from UTA's clear lab detect harmful pathogenic bacteria in Texas groundwater near natural gas extraction sites

ENN Pollution - Tue, 11/21/2017 - 23:46
Three new research studies from the University of Texas at Arlington have found harmful pathogenic bacteria in Texas groundwater near unconventional natural gas extraction sites.
Categories: Ecological News

Professor studies evolution of climate change activism

ENN Climate - Tue, 11/21/2017 - 23:28
Climate change is a topic that is debated, doubted and covered by news outlets across the world. Luis Hestres, in the Department of Communication at The University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA), is researching the evolution of climate change activism and how advocacy groups use digital platforms to mobilize.
Categories: Ecological News

Ancient Barley Took High Road to China, Changed to Summer Crop in Tibet

ENN Agriculture - Tue, 11/21/2017 - 23:01
First domesticated 10,000 years ago in the Fertile Crescent of the Middle East, wheat and barley took vastly different routes to China, with barley switching from a winter to both a winter and summer crop during a thousand-year detour along the southern Tibetan Plateau, suggests new research from Washington University in St. Louis.
Categories: Ecological News
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