news 2020



Results 101 - 120 of 165.

Health - Environment - 21.04.2020
COVID-19 severity associated with increased levels of air pollution in England, preliminary study finds
Scientists at the University of Cambridge have found an association between living in an area of England with high levels of air pollution and the severity of COVID-19, the disease caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus. Our study adds to growing evidence from Northern Italy and the USA that high levels of air pollution are linked to deadlier cases of COVID-19 Miguel Martins Because of the urgent need to share information relating to the pandemic, the researchers have published their report on MedRXiv.

Life Sciences - Environment - 20.04.2020
Stay cool to save energy
Birds in the wild appear to lower their bill temperature to prevent heat loss in order to preserve energy when food is scarce, according to new research. The study, led by a team of researchers at the University of Glasgow and published in the Journal of Experimental Biology, used thermal imaging technology to measure the body surface temperature of the small songbird, the Great Tit, when faced with temporary food shortage.

Environment - 16.04.2020
Road traffic noise causes bat activity to decrease by two thirds, as bats find it ’irritating’
A new study has shown that road traffic noise causes bat activity to decrease by about two thirds and suggests that the negative effects could be felt considerable distances from the source. Researchers from the University of Sussex conducted the first controlled field experiment to investigate the effects of traffic noise on both bat activity and feeding behaviour, working with five different bat species.

Environment - Life Sciences - 09.04.2020
3D printed corals could improve bioenergy and help coral reefs
Researchers have designed bionic 3D-printed corals that could help energy production and coral reef research. We hope that our technique will be scalable so it can ultimately reduce greenhouse gas emissions that are responsible for coral reef death Daniel Wangpraseurt Researchers from Cambridge University and University of California San Diego have 3D printed coral-inspired structures that are capable of growing dense populations of microscopic algae.

Environment - Life Sciences - 09.04.2020
Vexing Nemo: motorboat noise makes clownfish stressed and aggressive
Working on the reefs around Moorea in French Polynesia, an international team of scientists exposed 40 pairs of clownfish to recordings of natural reef sounds or motorboat noise for up to two days. Motorboat noise caused clownfish to hide in the protective tentacles of their host anemone, move less into open water to feed and to be more aggressive towards domino damselfish that also reside in the anemone.

Environment - Life Sciences - 08.04.2020
Climate change could cause sudden biodiversity losses worldwide
A warming global climate could cause sudden, potentially catastrophic losses of biodiversity in regions across the globe throughout the 21st century, finds a new UCL-led study. The findings and suggests that the first waves could already be happening. The study's lead author, Dr Alex Pigot (UCL Centre for Biodiversity & Environment Research): "We found that climate change risks to biodiversity don't increase gradually.

Astronomy / Space - Environment - 06.04.2020
Saturn’s ’energy crisis’ solved with data from Cassini’s final mission
Data gathered by the Cassini spacecraft during the final months of its mission show why Saturn's upper atmosphere is much hotter than expected. Scientists have long wondered why Saturn's upper atmosphere is hotter than would be expected by heating from the Sun alone - a conundrum dubbed Saturn's 'energy crisis'.

Earth Sciences - Environment - 03.04.2020
Plant root hairs key to reducing soil erosion
Soil erosion can have a devastating impact across the globe and a serious threat for modern agriculture. The increased demand for agriculture has led to forests and natural grasslands being converted to farm fields and pastures. However, many of the plants grown, such as coffee, cotton and palm oil, can significantly increase soil erosion beyond the soil's ability to maintain and renovate.

Environment - Paleontology - 01.04.2020
Traces of ancient rainforest in Antarctica point to a warmer prehistoric world
Researchers have found evidence of rainforests near the South Pole 90 million years ago, suggesting the climate was exceptionally warm at the time. A team from the UK and Germany discovered forest soil from the Cretaceous period within 900 km of the South Pole. Their analysis of the preserved roots, pollen and spores shows that the world at that time was a lot warmer than previously thought.

Environment - 01.04.2020
Natural light flicker can help prevent detection
Movement breaks camouflage, making it risky for anything trying to hide. New research, published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B today [1 April] has shown that dynamic features common in many natural habitats, such as moving light patterns, can reduce being located when moving. Dynamic illumination is particularly common in coral reefs, where patterns known as 'water caustics' play chaotically in the shallows.

Life Sciences - Environment - 27.03.2020
Scientists document seasonal migrations of fish across the deep-sea floor for the first time
Scientists have, for the first time, documented seasonal migrations of fish across the seafloor in deep-sea fish, revealing an important insight that will further scientific understanding of the nature of our planet. The study - published today in the Journal of Animal Ecology and led by the University of Glasgow and Nova Southeastern University in Florida - analysed over seven years of deep-sea photographic data from West Africa, linking seasonal patterns in surface-ocean productivity with observed behavioural patterns of fishes at 1500 metres.

Life Sciences - Environment - 27.03.2020
Scientists predict the size of plastics animals can eat
A team of scientists at Cardiff University has, for the first time, developed a way of predicting the size of plastics different animals are likely to ingest. The researchers, from the University's Water Research Institute, looked at the gut contents of more than 2,000 animals to create a simple equation to predict the size of a plastic item an animal can eat, based on the length of its body.

Environment - Life Sciences - 26.03.2020
Marine species respond as oceans warm
A global analysis of over 300 marine species spanning more than 100 years, shows that mammals, plankton, fish, plants and seabirds have been changing in abundance as our climate warms. At the cool edge of species ranges marine life is doing well as warming opens up habitat that was previously inaccessible, while at the warmer edge species are declining as conditions become too warm to tolerate.

Environment - Life Sciences - 25.03.2020
Pablo Escobar’s hippos might have helped to restore local ecological diversity
Hippos imported into Colombia by drug lord Pablo Escobar could have helped to restore ecological diversity in the surrounding area, according to a new study. An international group of researchers, including Dr Chris Sandom and Owen Middleton at the University of Sussex, conducted a worldwide analysis comparing the ecological traits of introduced herbivores, like Escobar's hippos, to those of the past.

Life Sciences - Environment - 25.03.2020
Urban birds need to be smart or fast-breeding
To thrive in urban environments, birds need to either have large brains, or breed many times over their life, according to a new study involving UCL. The study, published in Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution , suggests that birds have two alternative strategies for coping with the difficulties of humanity's increasingly chaotic cities.

Earth Sciences - Environment - 25.03.2020
Scientists get first look at cause of ’slow motion’ earthquakes
An international team of scientists has for the first time identified the conditions deep below the Earth's surface that lead to the triggering of so-called 'slow motion' earthquakes. These events, more commonly known as slow slip events, are similar to regular sudden and catastrophic earthquakes but take place on much longer timescales, usually from days to months.

Life Sciences - Environment - 24.03.2020
Bristol develops photosynthetic proteins for more sustainable solar-powered devices
The initiative is part of a broader effort in the field of synthetic biology to use proteins in place of man-made materials which are often scarce, expensive and can be harmful to the environment when the device becomes obsolete. The aim of the study, published today , was the development of "chimera" photosynthetic complexes that display poly-chromatic solar energy harvesting.

Environment - Transport - 23.03.2020
Electric cars better for climate in 95% of the world
Fears that electric cars could actually increase carbon emissions are unfounded in almost all parts of the world, new research shows. Understanding the effect of low-carbon innovations on relevant sectors of the economy, such as heating and transport, is crucial for the development of effective policy Pablo Salas Reports have questioned whether electric cars really are 'greener' once emissions from production and generating their electricity are taken into account.

Environment - 23.03.2020
Uncertainty about facts can be reported without damaging public trust in news - study
A series of experiments - including one on the BBC News website -finds the use of numerical ranges in news reports helps us grasp the uncertainty of stats while maintaining trust in data and its sources. Ultimately we'd like to see the cultivation of psychological comfort around the fact that knowledge and data always contain uncertainty Sander van der Linden The numbers that drive headlines - those on Covid-19 infections, for example - contain significant levels of uncertainty: assumptions, limitations, extrapolations, and so on.

Environment - 20.03.2020
The right dose of geoengineering could reduce climate change risks
Injecting the right dose of sulphur dioxide into Earth's upper atmosphere to thicken the layer of light reflecting aerosol particles artificially could reduce the effects of climate change overall, according to UCL and Harvard researchers. Stratospheric aerosol geoengineering is the idea that adding a layer of aerosol particles to the upper atmosphere can reduce climate changes caused by greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide.