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Environment - Paleontology - 16.09.2020
Discovery of a new mass extinction
Discovery of a new mass extinction
Summary of major extinction events through time, highlighting the new, Carnian Pluvial Episode at 233 million years ago. © D. Bonadonna/ MUSE, Trento. 16 September 2020 It's not often a new mass extinction is identified; after all, such events were so devastating they really stand out in the fossil record.

Environment - 14.09.2020
Mediterranean and tropical biodiversity most vulnerable to human pressures
Animals in tropical and Mediterranean areas are the most sensitive to climate change and land use pressures, finds a new study by UCL researchers. The findings, published today in Nature Ecology & Evolution , show how extinction risks are not evenly distributed worldwide, and suggest that large declines in tropical biodiversity are likely to occur imminently.

Environment - Earth Sciences - 11.09.2020
Loss of sea otters accelerating the effects of climate change
The impacts of predator loss and climate change are combining to devastate living reefs that have defined Alaskan kelp forests for centuries, according to new research published in Science. "We discovered that massive limestone reefs built by algae underpin the Aleutian Islands' kelp forest ecosystem," said Douglas Rasher, a senior research scientist at Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences and the lead author of the study.

Environment - Life Sciences - 10.09.2020
Global wildlife populations declined by two-thirds since 1970
Global wildlife populations declined by two-thirds since 1970
Global animal populations have on average declined by two-thirds in less than half a century, according to the WWF's Living Planet Report 2020 involving UCL researchers, released today. The Living Planet Index (LPI), provided by the Zoological Society of London (ZSL), shows that factors believed to increase the planet's vulnerability to pandemics such as COVID-19 - including land-use change and the use and trade of wildlife - were also some of the drivers behind the 68% average decline in global mammal, bird, amphibian, reptile and fish populations between 1970 and 2016.

Environment - Earth Sciences - 10.09.2020
66 million years of Earth’s climate uncovered from ocean sediments
Changes in the Earth's climate over the last 66 million years have been revealed in unprecedented detail by a team involving UCL researchers, highlighting four distinctive climatic states and the natural millionand thousand-year variability that Earth's climate has experienced. , the new global "climate reference curve" created by the team is the first record to continually and accurately trace how the Earth's climate has changed since the great extinction of the dinosaurs 66 million years ago.

Economics / Business - Environment - 08.09.2020
Multinationals’ supply chains account for a fifth of global emissions
A fifth of carbon dioxide emissions come from multinational companies' global supply chains, according to a new study led by UCL and Tianjin University that shows the scope of multinationals' influence on climate change. The study, published , maps the emissions generated by multinationals' assets and suppliers abroad, finding that the flow of investment is typically from developed countries to developing ones - meaning that emissions are in effect outsourced to poorer parts of the world.

Earth Sciences - Environment - 07.09.2020
'Wild West' mentality lingers in US mountain regions
’Wild West’ mentality lingers in US mountain regions
Distinct psychological mix associated with mountain populations is consistent with the theory that harsh frontiers attracted certain personalities.  This psychological fingerprint for mountainous areas may be an echo of the personality types that sought new lives in unknown territories Friedrich Götz When historian Frederick Jackson Turner presented his famous thesis on the US frontier in 1893, he described the "coarseness and strength combined with acuteness and acquisitiveness" it had forged in the American character.

Environment - Life Sciences - 28.08.2020
Understanding past warming can limit climate change effects
Understanding past warming can limit climate change effects
Evidence from Earth's past warming events should be built into forecasts showing how today's climate change could affect different species and ecosystems. Durham's bioscientists were part of an international team of researchers that identified and examined past increases in temperature similar to those anticipated in the coming decades.

Environment - Astronomy / Space Science - 27.08.2020
Majority of groundwater stores resilient to climate change
Majority of groundwater stores resilient to climate change
Fewer of the world's large aquifers are depleting than previously estimated, according to a new study by the University of Sussex and UCL. Groundwater, the world's largest distributed store of freshwater, plays a critical role in supplying water for irrigation, drinking and industry, and sustaining vital ecosystems.

Environment - Health - 26.08.2020
Address major holes in ozone hole treaty to avert stronger climate change and serious health risks, experts warn
Address major holes in ozone hole treaty to avert stronger climate change and serious health risks, experts warn
A new paper, co-authored by a University of Sussex scientist, has revealed major holes in an international treaty designed to help repair the ozone layer, putting human health at risk and increasing the speed of climate change. Evidence amassed by scientists in the 1970s and 1980s showed that the depletion of the ozone layer in the stratosphere was one of the first truly global threats to humanity.

Environment - Chemistry - 24.08.2020
Wireless device makes clean fuel from sunlight, CO2 and water
Researchers have developed a standalone device that converts sunlight, carbon dioxide and water into a carbon-neutral fuel, without requiring any additional components or electricity. We hope this technology will pave the way toward sustainable and practical solar fuel production Erwin Reisner The device, developed by a team from the University of Cambridge, is a significant step toward achieving artificial photosynthesis - a process mimicking the ability of plants to convert sunlight into energy.

Earth Sciences - Environment - 20.08.2020
Carbon dioxide 'pulses' are a common feature of the carbon cycle
Carbon dioxide ’pulses’ are a common feature of the carbon cycle
Researchers have found that pulse-like releases of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere are a pervasive feature of the carbon cycle and that they are closely connected to major changes in Atlantic Ocean circulation.

Environment - 20.08.2020
Abrupt changes in Earth's past climate occurred synchronously
Abrupt changes in Earth’s past climate occurred synchronously
A study from the Universities of Cambridge and Melbourne has found that the onset of past climate changes was synchronous over an area extending from the Arctic to the low latitudes. These findings provide confirmation of a persistent but, until now, unsubstantiated assumption that climate changes between the tropics and the Arctic were synchronous Eric Wolff The Last Glacial Period, between 115,000 and 11,700 years ago, was punctuated by a series of severe climate changes: warm periods where temperatures in Greenland spiked by 8-16°C over the course of a decade.

Environment - 13.08.2020
Adding a metre between meals boosts vegetarian appeal - study
Researchers have identified the optimal dish positions to help "nudge" diners into picking more planet-friendly meals in cafeterias. More research is needed on how to set up our society so that the self-interested default decision is the best one for the climate Emma Garnett Meat-heavy diets not only risk our health but that of the planet, as livestock farming on a massive scale destroys habitats and generates greenhouse gases.

Environment - 13.08.2020
Researchers identify human influence as key agent of ocean warming patterns in the future
The oceans play an important role in regulating our climate and its change by absorbing heat and carbon. Scientists from the Department of Physics at Oxford University have discovered that the influence of circulation changes on shaping ocean warming will diminish in the future. This is despite having been identified and modelled as a key factor over the past 60 years.

Environment - History / Archeology - 12.08.2020
Researchers unlock secrets of the past with new carbon dating standard
Radiocarbon dating is set to become more accurate than ever after an international team of scientists improved the technique for assessing the age of historical objects. The team of researchers at the Universities of Belfast, Sheffield, Bristol, Glasgow, Oxford, St Andrews and Historic England, plus international colleagues, used measurements from almost 15,000 samples from objects dating back as far as 60,000 years ago, as part of a seven-year project.

Environment - 12.08.2020
Britons hope to keep sustainable habits beyond Covid-19 lockdown
Britons are keen to continue with low-carbon lifestyle choices adopted during lockdown, according to research by Cardiff University and The University of Manchester. Two wide-ranging surveys conducted by the UK Centre for Climate and Social Transformation (CAST), which is coordinated by Cardiff University, suggested lockdown had upended people's habits, from buying and travelling less, to reduced energy use and cutting down on food waste.

Health - Environment - 05.08.2020
Land use changes may increase disease outbreak risks
Global changes in land use are disrupting the balance of wild animal communities in our environment, and species that carry diseases known to infect humans appear to be benefiting, finds a new UCL-led study. The research team, led by the UCL Centre for Biodiversity & Environment Research, studied evidence from 6,801 ecological communities from six continents, and found that animals known to carry pathogens (disease-causing microorganisms) that can infect humans were more common in landscapes intensively used by people.

Environment - Physics - 31.07.2020
Opinion: John Tyndall - the forgotten co-discoverer of climate science
Honorary Research Associate Sir Roland Jackson (UCL Science & Technology Studies) calls for more public recognition of Irish scientist John Tyndall, who worked alongside Louis Pasteur, made discoveries in physics and was an early thinker in the field of climate science. It is surprising that the Irish scientist John Tyndall, born 200 years ago on August 2 1820, is not better known.

Environment - Life Sciences - 28.07.2020
Analysis: Mysterious evolution of wonky whale skulls revealed by new study
PhD student Ellen Coombs (UCL Biosciences and Natural History Museum) discusses a new study on 'wonky' whale skulls, explaining that whales have evolved increasingly asymmetrical skulls and discusses the likely reasons for this. Some whales are wonky. You might not know it to look at them, but their skulls are actually incredibly asymmetrical.
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