Environmental

Environmental News

Environmental News

Environmental News

  • Charged particles may be small, but they matter to astronauts. NASA’s Human Research Program (HRP) is investigating these particles to solve one of its biggest challenges for a human journey to Mars: space radiation and its effects on the human body.

  • The Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda, Gaston Alphonso Browne, told the United Nations General Assembly today that after the largest storm ever in the Atlantic Ocean, “the island of Barbuda is decimated; its entire population left homeless; and its buildings reduced to empty shells.”

  • Outdoor air pollution has long been linked to major health conditions such as heart disease, stroke, cancer, asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. A new study now adds kidney disease to the list, according to researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis and the Veterans Affairs (VA) St. Louis Health Care System.

  • Researchers have developed a new remote sensing instrument based on light detection and ranging (LIDAR) that could offer a simple and robust way to accurately measure wind speed. The detailed, real-time wind measurements could help scientists to better understand how hurricanes form and provide information that meteorologists can use to pinpoint landfall earlier, giving people more time to prepare and evacuate.“As hurricane Harvey approached the U.S., hurricane hunters flew directly into the storm and dropped sensors to measure wind speed,” said Xiankang Dou, leader of the research team at the University of Science and Technology of China (USTC). “Our Doppler LIDAR instrument can be used from a plane to remotely measure a hurricane’s wind with high spatial and temporal resolutions. In the future, it could even make these measurements from aboard satellites.”

  • Within Danish cattle breeding the semen of one breeding bull is used to inseminate a lot of cows. Due to the many inseminations one bull can thus father thousands of calves. Therefore, it is vital to determine whether breeding bulls carry hereditary diseases.

  • A partnership between QUT, the NSW Government and farmers could lead to the eventual eradication of the highly invasive African lovegrass which is threatening pastures and native grasslands Australia-wide.

  • Diet and exercise may improve treatment outcomes in pediatric cancer patients, according to a study at The University of Texas MD Anderson Children’s Cancer Hospital.

Agriculture & Biofuel

Ecosystems

  • West Coast rockfish species in deep collapse only 20 years ago have multiplied rapidly in large marine protected areas off Southern California, likely seeding surrounding waters with enough offspring to offer promise of renewed fishing, a new study has found.

  • A new study suggests that nations have a bit more time than previously thought if they want to cut greenhouse gas emissions and limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit). The research, published in the journal Nature Geoscience, finds that the world’s economies can emit an additional 700 billion tons of carbon dioxide before exceeding 1.5 degrees — more than twice previous estimates.

  • The onset of the last ice age may have forced some bird species to abandon their northerly migrations for thousands of years, says new research led by a University of Nebraska-Lincoln ornithologist.

  • First, the good news. Washington State University researchers have found that a rat exposed to a popular herbicide while in the womb developed no diseases and showed no apparent health effects aside from lower weight.

  • In the past 540 million years, the Earth has endured five mass extinction events, each involving processes that upended the normal cycling of carbon through the atmosphere and oceans. These globally fatal perturbations in carbon each unfolded over thousands to millions of years, and are coincident with the widespread extermination of marine species around the world. 

  • Forest fires in Southeast Asia during the El Niño droughts of 2015 caused considerable disruption to the biodiversity of the region due to the smoke-induced ‘haze’ they created, according to new research led by Benjamin Lee at the University of Kent and the National Parks Board in Singapore.

  • A deadly amphibian disease called severe Perkinsea infections, or SPI, is the cause of many large-scale frog die-offs in the United States, according to a new study by the U.S. Geological Survey. Frogs and salamanders are currently among the most threatened groups of animals on the planet. The two most common frog diseases, chytridiomycosis and ranavirus infection, are linked to frog population declines worldwide. The new study suggests that that SPI is the third most common infectious disease of frogs.