ScienceDaily: Earth & Climate News

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ScienceDaily: Earth & Climate News


Farmer adjustments can offset climate change impacts in corn production
Plastic microfibers found for first time in wild animals' stool, from S. A. fur seals
Improving city parks may be one path to help make residents more active
Making wind farms more efficient
Pollution in cities damaging insects and ecosystems
Ragweed may expand its range northward with climate change
New tool to predict which plants will become invasive
Transforming carbon dioxide into industrial fuels
Rainforest destruction from gold mining hits all-time high in Peru
Exploiting epigenetic variation for plant breeding
Marine Protected Areas overlook a large fraction of biodiversity hotspots
Amazon forests failing to keep up with climate change
Researchers generate plants with enhanced drought resistance without penalizing growth
One million years of precipitation history of the monsoon reconstructed
Goldilocks and the optimal mating distance: Neither too small nor too large but just right


Farmer adjustments can offset climate change impacts in corn production



Posted: 09 Nov 2018 03:57 PM PST


New research looks closely at the future of maize crop yields with the effects of climate change.


Plastic microfibers found for first time in wild animals' stool, from S. A. fur seals



Posted: 09 Nov 2018 03:57 PM PST


For the first time, plastic microfibers have been discovered in wild animals' stool, from South American fur seals. The findings were made by scientists who suggest examining scat from pinnipeds can be an efficient way to monitor environmental levels of microfibers and microplastics in the environment.


Improving city parks may be one path to help make residents more active



Posted: 09 Nov 2018 12:55 PM PST


Researchers found that small improvements to a city's ParkScore -- an evaluation of a city's park system -- could lead to more physical exercise for its residents. The Trust for Public Land created the ParkScore as an index to rank the park systems of the nation's largest 100 cities, they added.


Making wind farms more efficient



Posted: 09 Nov 2018 09:26 AM PST


With energy demands rising, researchers have completed an algorithm -- or approach -- to design more efficient wind farms, helping to generate more revenue for builders and more renewable energy for their customers.


Pollution in cities damaging insects and ecosystems



Posted: 09 Nov 2018 08:27 AM PST


High levels of pollution found in many of the world's major cities are having negative effects on plants and insects, according to new research.


Ragweed may expand its range northward with climate change



Posted: 08 Nov 2018 05:53 PM PST


A new predictive model developed by ecologists and climate scientists suggests that climate change may allow common ragweed to extend its growing range northward and into major northeast metro areas, worsening conditions for millions of people with hay fever and asthma.


New tool to predict which plants will become invasive



Posted: 08 Nov 2018 11:22 AM PST


New research provides insight to help predict which plants are likely to become invasive in a particular community. The results showed that non-native plants are more likely to become invasive when they possess biological traits that are different from the native community and that plant height can be a competitive advantage.


Transforming carbon dioxide into industrial fuels



Posted: 08 Nov 2018 10:05 AM PST


One day in the not-too-distant future, the gases coming from power plants and heavy industry, rather than spewing into the atmosphere, could be captured and chemically transformed from greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide into industrial fuels or chemicals thanks to a new system that can use renewable electricity to reduce carbon dioxide into carbon monoxide -- a key commodity used in a number of industrial processes.


Rainforest destruction from gold mining hits all-time high in Peru



Posted: 08 Nov 2018 10:05 AM PST


Small-scale gold mining has destroyed more than 170,000 acres of primary rainforest in the Peruvian Amazon in the past five years, according to a new analysis.


Exploiting epigenetic variation for plant breeding



Posted: 08 Nov 2018 07:59 AM PST


Epigenetic changes can bring about new traits without altering the sequence of genes. This may allow plants to respond quicker to changes in their environment. Plant biologists have now demonstrated that epigenetic variation is also subject to selection and can be inherited. This could expand the possibilities for crop breeding.


Marine Protected Areas overlook a large fraction of biodiversity hotspots



Posted: 08 Nov 2018 06:13 AM PST


Around 75 percent of marine biodiversity in Finnish waters is left unprotected, reveals a performance assessment of the country's current Marine Protected Area network. Increasing protection by just 1 percent in the most biodiverse areas could double conservation of the most important species. In addition to identifying areas of high conservation value, the methodology can also be used in ecosystem-based marine spatial planning and impact avoidance, including siting of wind energy, aquaculture and other human activities.


Amazon forests failing to keep up with climate change



Posted: 08 Nov 2018 06:13 AM PST


New research has assessed the impact of global warming on thousands of tree species across the Amazon to discover the winners and losers from 30 years of climate change. The analysis found the effects of climate change are altering the rainforest's composition of tree species but not quickly enough to keep up with the changing environment.


Researchers generate plants with enhanced drought resistance without penalizing growth



Posted: 08 Nov 2018 06:13 AM PST


Extreme drought is one of the effects of climate change that is already being perceived. A team has obtained plants with increased drought resistance by modifying the signaling of the plant steroid hormones, known as brassinosteroids. The study is among the first to find a strategy to increase plant hydric stress resistance without affecting overall plant growth.


One million years of precipitation history of the monsoon reconstructed



Posted: 08 Nov 2018 06:13 AM PST


With its wind and precipitation patterns, the South Asian Monsoon influences the lives of several billion people. Recent studies indicate that its drivers are more complex than previously assumed. Scientists have now published a reconstruction of precipitation over the eastern Indian Ocean over the past one million years. It points to connections with controlling processes in the southern hemisphere that have received little attention so far.


Goldilocks and the optimal mating distance: Neither too small nor too large but just right



Posted: 07 Nov 2018 11:34 AM PST


Evolutionary theory predicts that the fitness of an individual is maximized when the genetic differences between its parents are neither too small nor too large but some ideal amount known as the optimal mating distance.
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