’2 degrees climate target fails because politicians cannot handle a margin of scientific uncertainty’

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

Natural sulfur aerosol emissions provide support for Gaia hypothesis

Is Earth really a sort of giant living organism as the Gaia hypothesis predicts? A new discovery made at the University of Maryland may provide a key to answering this question. This key of sulfur could allow scientists to unlock heretofore hidden interactions between ocean organisms, atmosphere, and land — interactions that might provide evidence supporting this famous theory.

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Booming economic growth has not increased Chinese life satisfaction

Economic growth Richard Easterlin

Richard A. Easterlin is University Professor and Professor of Economics, University of Southern California. He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, a former Guggenheim Fellow, and past president of the Population Association of America, and the Economic History Association.

Study of last 2 decades shows growing happiness gap between wealthy Chinese and the poorest, reflecting rising unemployment and deteriorating safety net, according to economist Richard Easterlin.

Despite an unprecedented rate of economic growth, Chinese people are less happy overall than they were two decades ago, reveals timely new research from Easterlin, one of the founders of the field of “happiness economics” and namesake of the Easterlin Paradox.

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Biodiversity often means linguistic diversity

Biodiversity hot spots — the world’s biologically richest and most threatened locations on Earth — and high biodiversity wilderness areas — biologically rich but less threatened — are some of the most linguistically diverse regions on our planet, according to a team of conservationists.

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Meet Olavius algarvensis: the worm that eats carbon monoxide and hydrogen sulphide

Eating is actually a big word for the marine worm Olavius algarvensis, since the worm completely lacks a digestive system. Over the course of evolution the worm has gathered millions of symbiotic bacteria that have found a home under its … Continue reading

Late Ordovician mass extinction caused by tropical cooling and habitat loss

The second-largest mass extinction in Earth’s history coincided with a short but intense ice age during which enormous glaciers grew and sea levels dropped. Although it has long been agreed that the so-called Late Ordovician mass extinction — which occurred about 450 million years ago — was related to climate change, exactly how the climate change produced the extinction has not been known. Now, a team led by scientists at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) has created a framework for weighing the factors that might have led to mass extinction and has used that framework to determine that the majority of extinctions were caused by habitat loss due to falling sea levels and cooling of the tropical oceans.

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Sharing the Blame for the Mammoth’s Extinction

Wooly mammoths

The wooly mammoths may have succumbed to a combination of rapid climate change and human depredation, possibly by overhunting. Credit: Creative Commons/Wikimedia

The past few tens of millennia were hard times for the megafauna of the world. Hundreds of big-bodied species—from the mammoths of North America to the 3-meter-tall kangaroos of Australia to the 200-kilogram-plus flightless birds of New Zealand—just disappeared from the fossil record. A new, broad analysis continues the century-long debate over the loss of the big animals, coming down on the middle ground between blaming migrating humans for wiping them all out and climate change alone for doing them in.

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Arctic warming cold winter hypothesis loses one year

And it also loses a study, but then it gains two… We’ll just admit a small prejudice. Are gut feelings allowed in science?