Forests in the Pacific Northwest will be less vulnerable to drought and fire over the next three decades than those in the Rocky Mountains and Sierra Nevada, computer modeling shows.
Technology first used by NASA to grow plants extra-terrestrially is fast tracking improvements in a range of crops. Scientists at John Innes Centre and the University of Queensland have improved the technique, known as speed breeding, adapting it to work in vast glass houses and in scaled-down desktop growth chambers.
Currently, half of the world's measured precipitation that falls in a year falls in just 12 days, according to a new analysis of data collected at weather stations across the globe. By century's end, climate models project that this lopsided distribution of rain and snow is likely to become even more skewed, with half of annual precipitation falling in 11 days.
Demand for biofuels to fight climate change clouds the future for biodiversity, says the Executive Secretary of the Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES). The demand could cause a 10- to 30-fold expansion of green energy-related agricultural land use, adding crushing pressure on habitat for plants and animals and undermining the essential diversity of species on Earth. Anne Larigauderie made the remarks at a major UN biodiversity meeting in Egypt.
The discovery addresses two challenges prevalent in the developing world: sanitation and growing energy needs. The researchers said the reaction that creates the hydrochar sterilizes the waste material, so it becomes safe to handle. The 'coals' can potentially be utilized for household heating and cooking, while the liquid byproduct (the aqueous phase) could be used as fertilizer.
A study using animal-attached technology to measure food consumption in four very different wild vertebrates has revealed that animals using a high-risk strategy to find rarer food are particularly susceptible to becoming extinct, as they fail to gather food for their young before they starve.
Groundwater, which has been used to irrigate crops, satiate livestock and quench thirst in general for thousands of years, continues to be a vital resource around the world.
The first scientific assessment of polar bears that live in the Chukchi Sea region that spans the US and Russia finds the population is healthy and does not yet appear to be suffering from declining sea ice.
When rains fell on the arid Atacama Desert, it was reasonable to expect floral blooms to follow. Instead, the water brought death. An international team of planetary astrobiologists has found that after encountering never-before-seen rainfall three years ago at the arid core of Peru's Atacama Desert, the heavy precipitation wiped out most of the microbes that had lived there.
Christopher A. Williams, associate professor in Clark University's Graduate School of Geography and postdoctoral research scientist Huan Gu, Ph.D., worked with The Nature Conservancy and close to two dozen institutional partners on 'Natural Climate Solutions for the United States,' published today in Science Advances. The new study highlights natural solutions in the United States that offer the most promise to help limit warming to 1.5 degrees Centigrade (approximately 3 degrees Fahrenheit).