Doesn’t the Tree of Life make for a beautiful infographic? Shown is bird evolution according to the Hackett backbone tree – one of two studied by the researchers. Using the world’s first family tree linking every known bird species, scientists … Continue reading →
How have humans influenced Earth? Can geoscientists measure when human impacts began overtaking those of Earth’s other inhabitants and that of the natural Earth system? Responding to increasing scientific recognition that humans have become the foremost agent of change at … Continue reading →
Sea levels are rising faster than expected from global warming, and University of Colorado geologist Bill Hay has a good idea why. The last official IPCC report in 2007 projected a global sea level rise between 0.2 and 0.5 meters … Continue reading →
Until now, we knew that ticks primarily transmit two pathogens to humans in Switzerland: the bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi – which causes borreliosis – and the early-summer-meningoencephalitis virus, which can cause cerebral inflammation.
Now, microbiologists from the University of Zurich confirm the existence of another tick disease in Switzerland – neoehrlichiosis.
Now a group including renowned climatologists and leading geoengineering thinkers Ken Caldeira and David Keith tries to investigate ways to alleviate some of the (likely) unwanted side effects of Arctic solar geoengineering.
The last ice age is known for periods of high climate variability like the period between the Last Glacial Maximum and the Younger Dryas, towards its end. Also about halfway through the ice age temperatures spiked and dipped rapidly. And then about 41,000 years ago suddenly Earth’s magnetic field weakened by some 95%, allowing a bombardment of cosmic rays, and a couple of centuries during which your compass would direct you towards Antarctica. Following this Earth´s northern hemisphere experienced the biggest volcanic eruption of the last 100,000 years, which occured in Italy.
The identified critical threshold for dangerous climate change saying that the increase in global temperature should be below 2 degrees Celsius seems not to have helped the climate negotiations so far. New research from the University of Gothenburg and Columbia … Continue reading →
Scientists at the University of York are to lead an international team that will explore the use of plants to recover precious metals from mine tailings around the world.
Researchers in the University’s Green Chemistry Centre of Excellence and the Centre for Novel Agricultural Products (CNAP) aim to develop ways to extract platinum group metals (PGM) discarded during mine processing which might then be used in catalysis. The research will investigate “phyto-mining,” which involves growing plants on mine waste materials to sponge up PGM into their cellular structure.
Scientists from the University of Aberdeen’s Marine Biodiscovery Centre and the University of St Andrews last week presented their work on the components of a new type of computer chip created using molecules from a sea squirt sourced from the bottom of the Great Barrier Reef, at the British Science Festival 2012.
Their research – which is the first of its kind in the world – could lead to the development of a computer which is greener to produce, processes information faster and is more compact in size. Continue reading →