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ScienceDaily: Earth & Climate News


Protecting rare species can benefit human life
Designing biological movement on the nanometer scale
Measuring plant improvements to help farmers boost production
Ritter Island gives new insights into the dynamics of volcanic landslides
Algal blooms in Lake Erie's central basin could produce neurotoxins
Shedding light on the key determinants of global land use projections
Bio-inspired material targets oceans' uranium stores for sustainable nuclear energy
Nearly a quarter of West Antarctic ice is now unstable
How plants are working hard for the planet
Global invasion routes of the red swamp crayfish, described based on genetics
People recycle more when they know what recyclable waste becomes
Improving carbon-capturing with metal-organic frameworks
Organic animal farms benefit birds nesting in agricultural environments
Research links civic engagement to resilience
Warming climate threatens microbes in alpine streams
Australian islands home to 414 million pieces of plastic pollution


Protecting rare species can benefit human life



Posted: 16 May 2019 12:53 PM PDT


Preserving rare species for the sake of global biodiversity has long been the primary focus for conservationists. To better protect rare animals, insects and plants, and to prepare for an uncertain future influenced by climate change, a team of researchers is aiming to merge this conventional wisdom with a new way of thinking: arguing researchers needs to better understand how rare species benefit people outside of their existence value.


Designing biological movement on the nanometer scale



Posted: 16 May 2019 11:29 AM PDT


Synthetic proteins have now been created that can move in response to their environment in predictable and tunable ways. These proteins can use their movement to disrupt lipid membranes in cells. They show promise as tools for drug delivery, and might eventually rival the efficiency of virus vehicles, but without some of their drawbacks.


Measuring plant improvements to help farmers boost production



Posted: 16 May 2019 10:17 AM PDT


Today, scientists have shown a new technology can more quickly scan an entire field of plants to capture improvements in their natural capacity to harvest energy from the sun.


Ritter Island gives new insights into the dynamics of volcanic landslides



Posted: 16 May 2019 08:46 AM PDT


The flanks of many island volcanoes slide very slowly towards the sea. Whether these landslides are forewarnings of a catastrophic collapse or, on the contrary, even reduce its risk, is not yet understood. Geophysicists now show that sporadic, slow landslides on the small volcanic island of Ritter Island in New Guinea preceded a catastrophic collapse.


Algal blooms in Lake Erie's central basin could produce neurotoxins



Posted: 16 May 2019 08:46 AM PDT


Harmful algal blooms pose a unique toxic threat in Lake Erie's central basin, new research has found. Not only do blooms routinely occur in this area, which previously was not thought to be an area of concern, they can also produce types of cyanobacterial toxins that aren't typically detected through routine water-safety monitoring, according to a new study.


Shedding light on the key determinants of global land use projections



Posted: 16 May 2019 08:46 AM PDT


Land use is at the core of various sustainable development goals. An international research group has endeavored to disentangle the key determinants of global land use projections.


Bio-inspired material targets oceans' uranium stores for sustainable nuclear energy



Posted: 16 May 2019 08:46 AM PDT


Scientists have demonstrated a new bio-inspired material for an eco-friendly and cost-effective approach to recovering uranium from seawater. The low-cost polymer adsorbent could help push past bottlenecks in the cost and efficiency of extracting uranium resources from oceans for sustainable energy production.


Nearly a quarter of West Antarctic ice is now unstable



Posted: 16 May 2019 08:46 AM PDT


In only 25 years, ocean melting has caused ice thinning to spread across West Antarctica so rapidly that a quarter of its glacier ice is now affected, according to a new study.


How plants are working hard for the planet



Posted: 16 May 2019 08:45 AM PDT


As the planet warms, plants are working to slow the effect of human-caused climate change -- and new research has assessed how plants are responding to increasing carbon dioxide (CO2).


Global invasion routes of the red swamp crayfish, described based on genetics



Posted: 16 May 2019 08:45 AM PDT


Researchers have identified the main introduction routes of the red swamp crayfish, Procambarus clarkii, during its global-scale invasion. This North American species is the most widely spread freshwater crayfish worldwide and is one of the worst invasive species due to its impact on the structure and functioning of freshwater ecosystems.


People recycle more when they know what recyclable waste becomes



Posted: 16 May 2019 07:37 AM PDT


A new study shows that consumers recycle more when they think about how their waste can be transformed into new products. Change the conversation from 'Where does this go?' to 'What does this create?' to increase recycling rates.


Improving carbon-capturing with metal-organic frameworks



Posted: 16 May 2019 07:37 AM PDT


Chemical engineers have designed an easy method to achieve commercially attractive carbon-capturing with metal-organic frameworks.


Organic animal farms benefit birds nesting in agricultural environments



Posted: 16 May 2019 07:14 AM PDT


Environmental subsidies for agriculture awarded by the European Union aim to improve biodiversity in agricultural environments. A recently completed Finnish study indicates that the proximity of organic animal farms increases bird numbers, and this has enabled environmental subsidies to positively impact bird populations.


Research links civic engagement to resilience



Posted: 16 May 2019 07:14 AM PDT


Flowers, home-cooked meals and time were among the items donated in the aftermath of the Christchurch terror attacks. A new study has found these simple acts of kindness not only benefited victims, but strengthened the well-being and resilience of those giving them.


Warming climate threatens microbes in alpine streams



Posted: 16 May 2019 06:08 AM PDT


Changes to alpine streams fed by glaciers and snowfields due to a warming climate threaten to dramatically alter the types of bacteria and other microbes in those streams, according to new research. But streams that are fed by underground ice insulated by rock -- called 'icy seeps' -- offer some hope that the impact of climate change will be less severe in some areas.


Australian islands home to 414 million pieces of plastic pollution



Posted: 16 May 2019 06:08 AM PDT


A survey of plastic pollution on Australia's Cocos (Keeling) Islands has revealed the territory's beaches are littered with an estimated 414 million pieces of plastic debris. The study estimated beaches on the Indian Ocean islands are littered with 238 tons of plastic, including 977,000 shoes and 373,000 toothbrushes.
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