news 2012



Results 41 - 60 of 88.

Environment - Life Sciences - 08.08.2012
Climate impacts on hibernating squirrels
Changing climates are impacting on squirrel populations by prolonging their hibernation, a study suggests. Research into Columbian ground squirrels, which live in the Rocky Mountains, has revealed that heavy winter snowfalls are delaying the animals' emergence from their winter burrows. This could prevent female ground squirrels from gaining enough weight during their short summer to give birth to healthy offspring and to survive the next season's hibernation.

Earth Sciences - Environment - 02.08.2012
Scientists uncover first direct evidence of time when palm trees grew on Antarctica
Research published today in the journal Nature gives a detailed picture of how scientists are looking to the much warmer Antarctic climate of the distant past to learn more about how the planet could look in the future if climate change continues unchecked. The University of Glasgow's James Bendle is one of the authors of the paper, which is part of a major international research project to examine the Earth's climate during the 'Greenhouse world' of the early Eocene epoch, between 48 and 55 million years ago.

Environment - 23.07.2012
Adding iron to the sea could combat climate change
Adding iron to the sea could combat climate change
Scientists at the University of Liverpool have found that adding iron to the sea could alleviate the impact of climate change. The team showed that much of the algae which grows when iron is added to the sea dies and falls into the deep ocean, taking with it the carbon it has absorbed. They added several tonnes of iron sulphate to a 1,67sq km patch within an ocean eddy near Antarctica which, within a week, had caused a large algae growth in the iron-limited but nutrient-rich ocean region.

Environment - Economics - 17.07.2012
SUPERGEN Hub to address burning bioenergy questions
SUPERGEN Hub to address burning bioenergy questions
The University of Manchester is heading up a new research hub that will investigate the efficiency and whole-life impact of a variety of bioenergy techniques. Science and Universities Minister David Willetts announced the £3.5m SUPERGEN Bioenergy Hub which will look at ways of accelerating the deployment of sustainable bioenergy.

Environment - Administration - 09.07.2012
Energy-sustainable cities: councils have the vision, but now need help
Researchers at the University of Leeds have found that while UK local authorities are willing to think strategically about energy sustainability, their limited resources make it difficult to act. A study published in the journal Energy Policy , shows that while local authorities may have a vision to make cities sustainable in terms of energy use, it is difficult to implement a strategy to make this happen during this challenging time for local government.

Environment - Life Sciences - 04.07.2012
Seagulls feel the benefits of climate change
Scientists have shown that climate change has resulted in winners as well as losers with a study revealing that lesser black-backed gulls are booming in the North Sea. The warming water has created an abundance of swimming crabs that are picked off by the greedy gulls. The experts have identified that the arrival of a new warm water species - Henslow's swimming crab, Polybius henslowii - might by an important crustacean in the cycle.

Environment - 03.07.2012
Scientists identify tropical oceans as 'beating heart' of climate change
The world’s oceans are increasingly pumping tropical warm water towards the poles with important consequences for life on Earth, according to a new study. The tropical regions of the Indian, Pacific and Atlantic Oceans appear to be “acting like a heart”, accumulating heat and then pulsing it in bursts across the planet.

Environment - 02.07.2012
Exploring one of climate's 'known unknowns'
Exploring one of climate’s ’known unknowns’
Researchers at the University of Bristol with collaborators from ETH-Zurich have shown that the rate of condensation of water on organic aerosol particles in the atmosphere can be very slow, taking many hours for a particle to change in size. This could have significant consequences for understanding how clouds are formed, affecting climate.

Civil Engineering - Environment - 29.06.2012
Britain's urban rivers bounce back
Britain’s urban rivers bounce back
Urban rivers throughout England and Wales have improved dramatically in water quality and wildlife over the last 20 years. That's the conclusion of one the largest studies of national trends in river health ever undertaken. After decades of pollution, typically from poorly treated sewage and industrial waste, rivers in or near Britain's major urban areas are regaining insects such as mayflies and stoneflies that are typical of fast-flowing, oxygen-rich waters.

Environment - Earth Sciences - 15.06.2012
Bugs in key role of CO2 storage method
Tiny microbes are at the heart of a novel agricultural technique to manage harmful greenhouse gas emissions. Scientists have discovered how microbes can be used to turn carbon dioxide emissions into soil-enriching limestone. Their technique uses help from a type of tree that thrives in tropical areas, such as West Africa.

Environment - 04.06.2012
Warming turns tundra to forest
Warming turns tundra to forest
In just a few decades shrubs in the Arctic tundra have turned into trees as a result of the warming Arctic climate, creating patches of forest which, if replicated across the tundra, would significantly accelerate global warming. Scientists from Finland and Oxford University investigated an area of around 100,000 km2, known as the northwestern Eurasian tundra, stretching from western Siberia to Finland.

Environment - 29.05.2012
Blowing in the wind: how hidden flower features are crucial for bees
Blowing in the wind: how hidden flower features are crucial for bees
Many of our common garden flowers have beautiful conical cells if you look closely - roses have rounded conical petal cells while petunias have really long cells, giving petunia flowers an almost velvety appearance, particularly visible in the dark-coloured varieties." —Dr Beverley Glover As gardeners get busy filling tubs and borders with colourful bedding plants, scientists at the Universities of Cambridge and Bristol have discovered more about what makes flowers attractive to bees rather than humans.

Environment - 18.05.2012
Impact of ocean acidification on marine life
A Plymouth University academic researching the impact of ocean acidification on marine life is finding out exactly what we can expect as our seas soak up more and more carbon dioxide. PhD student Vivienne Johnston is working with Jason Hall-Spencer at Plymouth focusing on the effects of ocean acidification on ecosystems close to volcanic carbon dioxide vents.

Environment - Agronomy / Food Science - 14.05.2012
Wasted milk is a drain on resources
Milk poured down Britain's kitchen sinks each year creates a carbon footprint equivalent to that of thousands of cars, research shows. University scientists say the 360,000 tonnes of milk wasted in the UK each year creates greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to 100,000 tonnes of CO2. This is the same as is emitted by about 20,000 cars annually.

Environment - Earth Sciences - 09.05.2012
Antarctic ice sheet on brink of change
A project to map part of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet has shown that the region may be on the threshold of change. Scientists from the University have mapped the ice-covered, largely unexplored landscape from the air. They uncovered a deep sub-glacial basin close to the edge of the ice sheet near the Weddell sea.

Life Sciences - Environment - 09.05.2012
Antarctic octopuses 10,000km apart “genetically similar”
Scientists at the University have found that genetic information on the Antarctic octopus supports studies indicating that the West Antarctic Ice Sheet could have collapsed during its history, possibly as recently as 200,000 years ago. Genes from more than 450 Turquet's octopuses, collected from species in the Southern Ocean that surrounds Antarctica, were analysed to shed new light on how animals disperse across the varied ocean landscape.

Environment - Life Sciences - 02.05.2012
Male orangutans need quality forests
Male orangutans need quality forests
Cardiff University researchers have discovered further proof that orangutans need large swaths of forests to survive. The study, recently published in the scientific journal Molecular Ecology, showed that the male orangutan would navigate much longer distances than the females and suggests changes are needed to ensure that males are able to move between suitable habitat patches.

Life Sciences - Environment - 30.04.2012
Ancient network of rivers and lakes found in Arabian Desert
Ancient network of rivers and lakes found in Arabian Desert
Satellite images have revealed that a network of ancient rivers once coursed their way through the sand of the Arabian Desert, leading scientists to believe that the region experienced wetter periods in the past. The images are the starting point for a major potentially ground-breaking research project led by the University of Oxford into human evolutionary heritage.

Health - Environment - 27.04.2012
Asian tiger mosquito alert
Research at the University has shown that future projections of Europe's climate could allow the Asian tiger mosquito to live in northern regions. The Asian tiger mosquito, originally from south-east Asia, is an invasive species with potential to transmit infectious disease, including dengue and chikungunya fever.

Environment - 16.04.2012
Earlier relatives may have climbed out of family tree
Earlier relatives may have climbed out of family tree
It has long been believed that coming down from the trees was a crucial evolutionary shift. The behaviour of these chimpanzees suggests a more deep-seated, gradual transition." —Kathelijne Koops The first study into rarely-documented ground nest-building by wild chimpanzees has offered new clues about the ancient transition of early hominins - our "human-like" ancestors  – from sleeping in trees to sleeping on the ground.