What does it take for palm trees, the unofficial trademark of tropical landscapes, to expand into northern parts of the world that have long been too cold for palm trees to survive? A new study, led by Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory researcher Tammo Reichgelt, attempts to answer this question. He and his colleagues analyzed a broad dataset to determine global palm tree distribution in relation to temperature.
Interest in human evolution has stimulated new geological work in the southern rift valley of Kenya. A new Geological Society of America Bulletin article by Anna K. Behrensmeyer and colleagues presents the results of more than 15 years of field research on complex strata representing the last 500,000 years of geological history in an active rift system.
Didik Prasetyo's passion is learning more about the endangered apes and trying to conserve their habitats and populations, which face enormous pressure from deforestation from logging, palm oil and paper pulp production and hunting. He co-authored an alarming recent study in Current Biology on the estimated loss of more than 100,000 Bornean orangutans between 1999 and 2015.
The burden of yellow fever in any given area is known to be heavily dependent on climate, particularly rainfall and temperature which can impact both mosquito life cycle and viral replication. Now, researchers from Imperial College London and the World Health Organization (WHO) have developed a new model to quantify yellow fever dynamics across Africa using not only annual averages of these climatic measures, but seasonal dynamics. Their work is described in PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases.
The extreme wet and dry periods Mongolia has experienced in the late 20th and early 21st centuries are rare but not unprecedented and future droughts may be no worse. An international team of researchers developed a climate record stretching 2,060 years into Mongolia's past using tree rings. The team then combined the tree-ring record of past climate with computer models that can project future regional climate.
From 1990 to 2010, the nation's wildland-urban interface grew rapidly, increasing from 30.8 to 43.4 million homes (41 percent growth) and expanding in area from 143,568,227 acres to 190,271,144 acres in area, or 33 percent. The vast majority of new WUI areas were caused by new housing (97 percent), not an increase in wildland vegetation.
The occurrence of low-level turbulence around Hong Kong International Airport, which can influence the landing and departure of aircraft and is closely related to aviation safety, is an important topic of study. By utilizing the Doppler Light Detection and Range (LIDAR) system at HKIA and radiosonde data at King's Park Meteorological Station, it was found that the possibility of turbulence occurrence is related to the strength of southerly winds.
The Mekong River traverses six Southeast Asian countries and supports the livelihoods of millions of people. New efforts to provide hydroelectric power to a growing and modernizing population include more than eight proposed main-stem dams and 60 or more existing tributary dams in the lower Mekong basin. A new article from University of Illinois and Iowa State University scientists lays out what dam construction could mean for residents and the environment in the region.
Individuals who release low numbers of schistosome eggs in their feces may not be detected by classical methods to detect schistosomiasis. Instead, the Helmintex method -- which uses a magnetic field to isolate eggs -- is more sensitive for these low intensity schistosomiasis infections, researchers report in PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases.
The East Asian summer monsoon and desertification in Eurasia is driven by fluctuating Northern Hemisphere ice volume and global sea level during the Ice Age, as shown in a study published in Nature Communications. Today, two thirds of the world's population is dependent on agriculture sustained by rains of the East Asian summer monsoon, and future climate change in this region can therefore have a major impact on global food production.