news 2020



Results 81 - 100 of 165.

Environment - Life Sciences - 29.05.2020
Global environmental changes are leading to shorter, younger trees - new study
Ongoing environmental changes are transforming forests worldwide, resulting in shorter and younger trees with broad impacts on global ecosystems, scientists say. In a global study published in the 29 May 2020 , researchers including experts at the University of Birmingham, showed how rising temperatures and carbon dioxide have been altering the world's forests.

Environment - 28.05.2020
Antarctic ice sheets capable of retreating up to 50 metres per day
The ice shelves surrounding the Antarctic coastline retreated at speeds of up to 50 metres per day at the end of the last Ice Age, far more rapid than the satellite-derived retreat rates observed today, new research has found.

Life Sciences - Environment - 28.05.2020
50 billion years of evolutionary history threatened by human activity
Unique animals with long evolutionary histories are under increased threat of extinction around the world, according to a new study. Our analyses reveal the incomprehensible scale of the losses we face if we don't work harder to save global biodiversity. Rikki Gumbs Many of these unique species live in areas that are facing unprecedented levels of human pressure from activities such as urban development, deforestation and road building, including the Caribbean, the Western Ghats of India, and large parts of Southeast Asia.

Astronomy / Space - Environment - 26.05.2020
Astronomers create cloud atlas for hot, Jupiter-like exoplanets
Giant planets in our solar system and circling other stars have exotic clouds unlike anything on Earth, and the gas giants orbiting close to their stars - so called hot Jupiters - boast the most extreme. A team of astronomers from the United States, Canada and the Universities of Bristol and Oxford in the UK have now come up with a model that predicts which of the many types of proposed clouds, from sapphire to smoggy methane haze, to expect on hot Jupiters of different temperatures, up to thousands of degrees Kelvin.

Earth Sciences - Environment - 26.05.2020
Dinosaur-dooming asteroid struck Earth at ’deadliest possible’ angle
New simulations from Imperial College London have revealed the asteroid that doomed the dinosaurs struck Earth at the -deadliest possible- angle. The simulations show that the asteroid hit Earth at an angle of about 60 degrees , which maximised the amount of climate-changing gases thrust into the upper atmosphere.

Environment - Life Sciences - 22.05.2020
First evidence of microplastics passing from insects to predators in rivers
A species of river bird is swallowing hundreds of plastic fibres every day via their insect prey, research by Cardiff University and the Greenpeace Research Laboratories at the University of Exeter has shown. Dippers are also inadvertently feeding thousands of plastic fibres contained in insects to their nest-bound chicks during their development.

Environment - 21.05.2020
World can likely capture and store enough carbon dioxide to meet climate targets
The world is currently on track to fulfil scenarios on diverting atmospheric CO2 to underground reservoirs, according to a new study by Imperial. The capture and storage of carbon dioxide (CO2) underground is one of the key components of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change 's (IPCC) reports keeping global warming to less than 2°C above pre-industrial levels by 2100.

Life Sciences - Environment - 18.05.2020
Big-brained minnows of tomorrow could face cognitive challenges in warmer waters
Climate change could leave freshwater fish with bigger brains but a reduced ability to effectively explore their surroundings, scientists have found. In order to survive, the world's aquatic life will need to adapt to the warmer waters which global heating will produce in the coming decades. New research by University of Glasgow biologists suggests that the physiological changes fish will undergo in warmer rivers might require them to trade brains for brawn, with potentially challenging consequences.

Environment - Life Sciences - 18.05.2020
Analysis of 10,000 bird species reveals how wings adapted to their environment and behaviour
Bird wings adapted for long-distance flight are linked to their environment and behaviour, according to new research on an extensive database of wing measurements, led by the University of Bristol. The Arctic tern flies from the Arctic to the Antarctic and back again each year, while the Inaccessible Island rail - the world's smallest flightless bird - never leaves its five-square-mile island.

Environment - Life Sciences - 18.05.2020
45,000 bird wing measurements reveal where the best fliers live
How adapted birds are to flying is linked to their lifestyle and environment, according to new research on the shape of their wings. By examining the wings of more than 45,000 birds from 10,000 species, researchers have shown that birds living at higher latitudes are more able to disperse - to move over a wide area.

Environment - 12.05.2020
Female sea turtles do not disguise their nests - but create a decoy trail
Two endangered species of sea turtle are using diversionary tactics to protect their nests, according to research led by the University of Glasgow. When female sea turtles cover their nest chambers in which they have laid their eggs, they spend considerable time and effort on scattering sand around the next site.

Materials Science - Environment - 11.05.2020
Working up a sweat could power future wearable devices
A new generation of wearable devices could be powered by human sweat instead of conventional, environmentally-unfriendly batteries, scientists say. In a new paper published today in the journal Advanced Materials, engineers from the Bendable Electronics and Sensing Technologies (BEST) group at the University of Glasgow describe how working up a sweat could be enough to generate power for exercise monitors and other electronic devices in the future.

Environment - Life Sciences - 06.05.2020
Opinion: Will three billion people really live in temperatures as hot as the Sahara by 2070?
Professor Mark Maslin (UCL Geography) comments on human adaptability in adversity in relation to a new study discussing the potential impact of climate change on human living conditions. Humans are amazing creatures, in that they have shown they can live in almost any climate. Think of the Inuit who live in the Arctic or the Bedouins in the deserts of North Africa.

Materials Science - Environment - 06.05.2020
New material engineered to capture carbon dioxide emissions
Researchers at UCL and Newcastle University have developed a new class of self-forming membrane to separate carbon dioxide from a mixture of gases. Operating like a coffee filter, it lets harmless gases, such as nitrogen, exit into the atmosphere and allows the carbon dioxide to be processed separately.

Environment - Economics - 05.05.2020
Green policies essential for UK’s economic recovery
Green policies such as increasing use of renewable energy and investing in electric vehicles should be at the heart of Government recovery plans after the Covid-19 crisis, according to a briefing paper co-authored by Professor Paul Ekins (UCL Institute for Sustainable Resources). The document, put together by the COP26 Universities Network of which UCL is a member, draws on new research assessing the economic and climate impact of taking a green route out of the crisis.

Environment - 05.05.2020
Seabird nests are full of discarded plastic debris
Researchers have found that plastic debris is incorporated in up to 80% of seabird nests. For the first time, it has now been identified where that plastic might come from - at least for some of the species studied. Surveys carried out in 2018 on an uninhabited island off the west coast of Scotland found that more than a quarter of all nests contained plastic, while the presence of plastic debris in nests of European shags (Phalacrocorax aristotelis) was as high as 80%.

Environment - Materials Science - 30.04.2020
Largest amount of microplastics found on ocean floor
Our researchers have helped record the highest level of microplastics ever found on the ocean floor - with up to 1.9 million pieces in an area of just one square metre. The discovery highlights the problem of plastic pollution in our seas, 99 per cent of which lies beneath the waves. Working as part of an international team the researchers have shown how deep-sea currents act as conveyor belts, transporting tiny plastic fragments and fibres across the seafloor.

Environment - Earth Sciences - 24.04.2020
Dramatic decrease in cold-water plankton during industrial era
There has been a dramatic decrease in cold-water plankton during the 20th century, in contrast to thousands of years of stability, according to a new UCL-led study. The research, published iná Geophysical Research Letters , analysed the fossilised remains of plankton, sampled from the Northeast Atlantic Ocean, south of Iceland.

Environment - Earth Sciences - 23.04.2020
Ocean biodiversity has not increased substantially for hundreds of millions of years - new study
A new way of looking at marine evolution over the past 540 million years has shown that levels of biodiversity in our oceans have remained fairly constant, rather than increasing continuously over the last 200 million years, as scientists previously thought. A team led by researchers from the School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences at the University of Birmingham have used a big data approach to study this question, which has been disputed by palaeobiologists in recent years.

Environment - 23.04.2020
Falling visibility shows African cities suffering major air pollution increases - study
Falling visibility in three major African cities reveals that air pollution has increased significantly over the last 45 years - leaving citizens facing further short-term increases in man-made pollution due to increasing urbanization and economic development, a new study reveals. Africa is not well-equipped with air quality monitoring, so scientists have used visibility data for capital cities in Ethiopia, Kenya and Uganda as a substitute measurement.