news 2017



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Environment - Politics - 20.12.2017
Political instability and weak governance lead to loss of species, study finds
Big data study of global biodiversity shows ineffective national governance is a better indicator of species decline than any other measure of "anthropogenic impact". Even protected conservation areas make little difference in countries that struggle with socio-political stability.

Environment - Administration - 20.12.2017
Wildlife conservation needs effective governance more than GDP or space
Protecting an area for wildlife can work-but only if there is robust political governance. That's the research conclusion of twenty-three years of bird counting by an international team of researchers, including a scientist from the Milner Centre for Evolution at the University of Bath and published in the journal Nature .

Environment - 19.12.2017
Untouched forests fight climate change, but face threats
The world's rainforests take up extra carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, but their ability to do so is threatened by drought and fragmentation. Human activities pump extra carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, but only around half of it stays there. The oceans and forests of the world are known to be carbon 'sinks', absorbing much of the excess atmospheric carbon.

Life Sciences - Environment - 19.12.2017
Study into catastrophic population decline for flying insects is UK’s most discussed scientific paper of 2017
Study into catastrophic population decline for flying insects is UK's most discussed scientific paper of 2017 A research project involving the University of Sussex detailing the catastrophic loss of insect populations on nature reserves has been named the most discussed journal article in the UK in 2017.

Environment - 11.12.2017
Presenting facts as ’consensus’ bridges conservative-liberal divide over climate change
New evidence shows that 'social fact' highlighting expert consensus shifts perceptions across US political spectrum - particularly among highly educated conservatives. Facts that encourage agreement are a promising way of cutting through today's 'post-truth' bluster, say psychologists. Even in our so-called post-truth environment, hope is not lost for the fact Sander van der Linden In the murk of post-truth public debate, facts can polarise.

Health - Environment - 05.12.2017
Air pollution from London traffic is affecting the health of unborn babies
Exhaust fumes, soot and dust spewed out from road traffic in the UK capital may be putting the health of thousands of unborn babies at risk. The findings come from a study of more than half a million infants, which suggests that pregnant mothers exposed to air pollution from London's busy roads are more likely to give birth to babies that are underweight or smaller than they should be.

Environment - Life Sciences - 04.12.2017
Medium-sized carnivores most at risk from environmental change
In a surprise ecological finding, researchers discover medium-sized carnivores spend the most time looking for food, making them vulnerable to change. Mammalian predators (commonly called carnivores) spend a significant part of their day foraging for food, and the more time they spend, the more energy they use.

Environment - Life Sciences - 30.11.2017
Migration makes breeding harder for seabirds
An international collaboration has for the first time revealed the key drivers of seabird migration.áThe new study suggests that puffin colonies that travel great distances during the winter often find it more difficult to breed than others, and that escaping your habitat with far-flung migration therefore carries a cost.

Environment - Astronomy / Space - 24.11.2017
Can citizen scientists locate the world’s seagrass?
Citizen scientists have the potential to secure a future for seagrass meadows by collecting new data about the meadows globally, according to the lead author of a new study and a scientific adviser for BBC's Blue Planet II . Led by Cardiff University's Sustainable Places Research Institute along with Swansea University and James Cook University in Australia, the study suggests that citizen scientists may be key to helping answer global questions about seagrass meadows, their location, health, reproductive status and associated fauna.

Earth Sciences - Environment - 24.11.2017
Going underground: Cambridge digs into the history of geology with landmark exhibition
A box full of diamonds, volcanic rock from Mount Vesuvius, and the geology guide that Darwin packed for his epic voyage on the Beagle will go on display in Cambridge this week as part of the first major exhibition to celebrate geological map-making. We show how for the first time people were encouraged to think about the secretive world beneath their feet.

Environment - Innovation - 23.11.2017
’Lost’ 99% of ocean microplastics to be identified with dye?
Smallest microplastics in oceans - which go largely undetected - identified more effectively with innovative and cheap new method, developed by University of Warwick researchers New method can detect microplastics as small as the width of a human hair, using a fluorescent dye Previous scientific field work surveys report that only 1% of the plastic waste in the oceans has been found - this new research could lead to discovering the missing 99% T

Environment - Earth Sciences - 23.11.2017
Ocean floor mud reveals secrets of past European climate
Samples of sediment taken from the ocean floor of the North Atlantic Ocean have given researchers an unprecedented insight into the reasons why Europe's climate has changed over the past 3000 years. From the warmer climates of Roman times when vineyards flourished in England and Wales to the colder conditions that led to crop failure, famine and pandemics in early medieval times, Europe's climate has varied over the past three millennia.

Environment - 22.11.2017
Research to minimise scarring suffered by wounded Armed Forces personnel and civilians
Researchers have published new findings that suggest European drought trends are lining up with climate change projections. Their study, in Scientific Reports , shows that two major drought indices are deviating from one another across Europe in a manner consistent with climate change simulations. "This is one more big drop in the bucket toward climate change attribution," said lead author James Stagge, a post-doc at Utah State University 's Utah Water Research Lab.

Physics - Environment - 20.11.2017
Homes should not be abandoned after a big nuclear accident
New research suggests that few people, if any, should be asked to leave their homes after a big nuclear accident, which is what happened in March 2011 following the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster. This is the main finding of a multi-university research study led by Philip Thomas, Professor of Risk Management at the University of Bristol, involving the universities of Manchester and Warwick, The Open University and City, University of London.

Environment - Life Sciences - 15.11.2017
Amazonian streams found teeming with fish species are lacking protection
Hundreds of thousands of Amazonian streams are teeming with highly diverse populations of fish species, a new study reveals. Scientists have found that small streams, in areas of the eastern Brazilian Amazon that are a mixture of forest and farmland, contain fauna new to science, as well as very rare species.

Astronomy / Space - Environment - 07.11.2017
First coast-to-coast land motion map of Scotland derived from satellite radar images
The first country-wide map of relative land motion has been created by a team at the University of Nottingham. Using hundreds of satellite radar images the team, working with Geomatic Ventures Limited (GVL), an innovative University spin-out company, created a complete map of mainland Scotland. The map covers a two-year period from 2015 to 2017 and was created using Intermittent Small Baseline (ISBAS) analysis, a novel satellite remote sensing technique.

Environment - Electroengineering - 06.11.2017
Wallpaper bio-solar panel developed by researchers
A two-in-one solar bio-battery and solar panel has been created by researchers who printed living cyanobacteria and circuitry onto paper. Cyanobacteria are photosynthetic micro-organisms that have been on Earth for billions of years. They are thought to be the primary reason why the Earth's atmosphere is oxygen rich.

Earth Sciences - Environment - 03.11.2017
Atmospheric rivers could increase flood risk by 80 per cent
The global effect and impact of atmospheric rivers on rainfall, flooding and droughts has been estimated for the first time - revealing that in some regions the risks can be enhanced by up to 80 percent.áThe work, of which Oxford University is a key partner, also considers the number of people affected by these atmospheric phenomena across the globe.

Life Sciences - Environment - 02.11.2017
New great ape species uncovered in Indonesia
An international team, including researchers from Cardiff University, has discovered a new orangutan species within Indonesia. Pongo Tapanuliensis , otherwise known as the Tapanuli Orangutan, was found in the three Tapanuli districts of North Sumatra after close analysis of the ape inhabitants of the Batang Toru Ecosystem.

Environment - Life Sciences - 01.11.2017
Life on the Edge
Many species, such as vine snakes in the Amazon, favour the darker and more humid forest interiors. Photo: Professor Jos Barlow Breaking up the rainforest into small, isolated patches is forcing more species to live at the forest edge and putting those that are dependent on the forest core at risk. Research published today in the academic journal Nature highlights how biodiversity is changing as a result of deforestation - forcing some species to the brink of extinction while others flourish in the changing environment.
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