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Environment - Health - 29.12.2016
Languages still a major barrier to global science, new research finds
Languages still a major barrier to global science, new research finds
Over a third of new conservation science documents published annually are in non-English languages, despite assumption of English as scientific ‘lingua franca'. Researchers find examples of important science missed at international level, and practitioners struggling to access new knowledge, as a result of language barriers.

Life Sciences - Environment - 22.12.2016
Bigger brains outsmart harsh climates
Bigger brains outsmart harsh climates
It helps to have a larger brain if you're living in an extreme climate, according to a study of birds published in Nature Communications . The research suggests that birds have evolved larger brains to cope in harsh environments where the tasks of finding food, evading predators and finding shelter are more demanding.

Environment - 21.12.2016
’Belief in climate change found to be influenced by the local weather’
New research finds local temperatures may play an important role in whether people believe in climate change. The study, published in the  Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) , found that of the Americans surveyed, belief that the earth is warming related to the frequency of record-high and record-low temperatures they had experienced themselves.

Health - Environment - 19.12.2016
El Niño fuelled Zika outbreak, new study suggests
Scientists at the University of Liverpool have shown that a change in weather patterns, brought on by the 'Godzilla' El Niño of 2015, fuelled the Zika outbreak in South America. The findings were revealed using a new epidemiological model that looked at how climate affects the spread of Zika virus by both of its major vectors, the yellow fever mosquito ( Aedes aegypti ) and the Asian tiger mosquito ( Aedes albopictus ).

Environment - Earth Sciences - 12.12.2016
8,000-year record of climate change
8,000-year record of climate change
An international team of researchers has found that the Antarctic Ice Sheet plays a major role in regional and global climate variability - a discovery that may also help explain why sea ice in the Southern Hemisphere has been increasing despite the warming of the rest of the Earth. The Antarctic Ice Sheet has experienced much greater natural variability in the past than previously anticipated.

Life Sciences - Environment - 12.12.2016
Extent of human threat to lion populations
Two new studies led by scientists at Oxford University have highlighted the threat posed to lions by human activity - including trophy hunting. The first paper, published in the Journal of Applied Ecology , analysed the deaths of 206 lions in Hwange National Park, Zimbabwe - home of Cecil the lion - between 1999 and 2012.

Environment - Earth Sciences - 06.12.2016
Longest-living animal gives up ocean secrets
Analysis of the quahog clam reveals how the oceans affected the climate over the past 1000 years A study of the longest-living animal on Earth, the quahog clam, has provided researchers with an unprecedented insight into the history of the oceans. By studying the chemistry of growth rings in the shells of the quahog clam, experts from the School of Earth and Ocean Sciences have pieced together the history of the North Atlantic Ocean over the past 1000 years and discovered how its role in driving the atmospheric climate has drastically changed.

Environment - Earth Sciences - 23.11.2016
Hurricane risk to Northeast USA coast increasing
Hurricane risk to Northeast USA coast increasing
The Northeastern coast of the USA could be struck by more frequent and more powerful hurricanes in the future due to shifting weather patterns, according to new research. Hurricanes have gradually moved northwards from the western Caribbean towards northern North America over the past few hundred years, the study led by Durham University, UK, found.

History / Archeology - Environment - 21.11.2016
Rice farming in India much older than thought, used as 'summer crop' by Indus civilisation
Rice farming in India much older than thought, used as ’summer crop’ by Indus civilisation
Thought to have arrived from China in 2000 BC, latest research shows domesticated rice agriculture in India and Pakistan existed centuries earlier, and suggests systems of seasonal crop variation that would have provided a rich and diverse diet for the Bronze Age residents of the Indus valley.

Earth Sciences - Environment - 18.11.2016
Scientist contributes to dinosaur extinction impact site study
An international team of scientists have shown how a massive crater caused by the impact of the asteroid which killed the dinosaurs also deformed rocks in a way that may have produced habitats for early life. Around 65 million years ago, a massive asteroid crashed into the Gulf of Mexico causing an impact so huge that the blast and subsequent knock-on effects wiped out around 75 per cent of all life on Earth, including most of the dinosaurs.

Earth Sciences - Environment - 17.11.2016
Asteroid impacts could create niches for life, suggests Chicxulub crater study
Asteroid impacts could create niches for life, suggests Chicxulub crater study
Scientists studying the Chicxulub crater have shown how large asteroid impacts deform rocks in a way that may produce habitats for early life. Around 65 million years ago a massive asteroid crashed into the Gulf of Mexico causing an impact so huge that the blast and subsequent knock-on effects wiped out around 75 per cent of all life on Earth, including most of the dinosaurs.

Earth Sciences - Environment - 15.11.2016
Cliff erosion rates in Sussex have accelerated ten-fold in the past 200 years
Cliff erosion rates in Sussex have accelerated ten-fold in the past 200 years
The erosion rates of cliffs along the Sussex coast have rapidly sped up in the last 200 years, a new study has found. The research shows that the erosion rates along Beachy Head and Seaford Head in Sussex had remained relatively stable, at around two to six centimetres each year, for thousands of years.

Life Sciences - Environment - 14.11.2016
Competitive males are a blessing and a curse, study reveals
Competitive males are a blessing and a curse, study reveals
Showy ornaments used by the male of the species in competition for mates, such as the long tail of a peacock or shaggy mane of a lion, could indicate a species' risk of decline in a changing climate, according to a new study from Queen Mary University of London (QMUL).         Males of many animal species compete for mates, either by producing showy ornaments to attract females, such as the plumes and bright colours of male Birds of Paradise, or, like stags and elephant seals, by fighting with other males for access to mates.

Environment - Life Sciences - 10.11.2016
Plant-species hotspot maps identify priority conservation areas of tropical Africa
Identifying critical areas for global biodiversity is an important step when prioritising areas for conservation, and generating biodiversity hotspot maps based on global species ranges - at a scale usable by local management - has been a long-term ambition in the field.  New research led by the University of Oxford has realised this ambition for tropical Africa, making use of 3.1 million global distribution records of more than 40,000 African plant species to map the areas that are home to the world's rarest plants.

Earth Sciences - Environment - 09.11.2016
Cosmic rays from space reveal the history of our eroding coasts
New research on how the Sussex coast has eroded over the last seven millennia could help provide insight into how climate change might affect UK cliffs in the future. In a new paper published today in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, researchers from the Universities of Glasgow and Colorado, Imperial College London, the British Geological Survey and the Environment Agency describe how they have used a process known as cosmogenic dating to learn how rapidly the chalk cliffs at Beachy Head and Seaford Head have eroded.

Environment - 08.11.2016
New evidence that coral reefs can survive in the face of adversity
A new study of the health of highly impacted coral reefs off Singapore over a 27-year period has shown they are more resilient to the effects of human activity and sea warming than previously thought. University of Nottingham coral reef scientist Dr David Feary was part of an international team that found that shallow coral reefs rebounded rapidly from a major bleaching episode in 1998, despite experiencing such high levels of sedimentation that underwater visibility was typically less than two metres.

Environment - Life Sciences - 03.11.2016
Scientists reconstruct largest ever family tree of major flowering plant group
Scientists reconstruct largest ever family tree of major flowering plant group
Scientists have developed the largest ever family tree of a major group of flowering plants called monocots, which could help protect their diversity. Monocots account for a quarter of all flowering plants. They are among the most diverse and economically important plants on the planet, but their evolutionary lines have never been properly mapped.

Environment - Agronomy / Food Science - 01.11.2016
New study provides food carbon footprint pecking order
New study provides food carbon footprint pecking order
Researchers have compiled the first comprehensive carbon footprint league table for fresh food so chefs, caterers and everyday foodies can cook meals without cooking the planet. The greenhouse gas emissions dataset by researchers at Lancaster University and RMIT University and will help consumers and catering firms calculate the environmental impact of the fresh food they eat and the menus they serve.

Life Sciences - Environment - 31.10.2016
The effectiveness of 3D camouflage
The effectiveness of 3D camouflage
Over 100 years ago, the American artist Abbot Thayer proposed that the reason so many animals are darker on their backs than their bellies is to disguise their 3D shape and so improve camouflage. This theory has been tested by scientists from the Universities of Bristol, St Andrews and Abertay and their findings are published today in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, USA .

Environment - 31.10.2016
New study delves into origins of Scots place-names
What is in a name? Well researchers at the University of Glasgow have discovered many Scottish place names reveal a lot about the country's past culture, heritage and history.
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