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Environment - Earth Sciences - 23.12.2021
Controlled burning of natural environments could help offset our carbon emissions
Planting trees and suppressing wildfires do not necessarily maximise the carbon storage of natural ecosystems. A new study has found that prescribed burning can actually lock in or increase carbon in the soils of temperate forests, savannahs and grasslands. When managed properly, fire can be good - both for maintaining biodiversity and for carbon storage Adam Pellegrini The finding points to a new method of manipulating the world's natural capacity for carbon capture and storage, which can also help to maintain natural ecosystem processes.

Environment - Earth Sciences - 22.12.2021
Safer carbon capture and storage
Safer carbon capture and storage
Atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) levels have increased significantly over the last 50 years, resulting in higher global temperatures and abrupt changes to Earth's climate. Carbon capture and storage (CCS) is one of the new technologies that scientists hope will play an important role in tackling the climate crisis.

Environment - Earth Sciences - 20.12.2021
Could life be making its own habitable environment in the clouds of Venus?
Scientists have proposed a new theory which suggests that possible lifeforms in the clouds of Venus could be setting off a cascade of chemical reactions that is making the environment much more habitable. This self-sustaining chain of events could also explain many of the strange anomalies present in the planet's upper atmosphere that have been puzzling scientists for decades.

Life Sciences - Environment - 13.12.2021
The genetic changes caused by fishing may be linked to fish population size
The genetic changes caused by fishing may be linked to fish population size
Commercial fishing, particularly in reduced fish populations, may be responsible for genetic changes and affect overall population resilience if not carefully managed. A new study, led by the University of Glasgow and published in PNAS, examined how commercial fishing practices - such as trawling - impacted the genetic evolution of fish populations, both directly and through reduced fish population density, mimicking declines in stocks due to over-fishing.

Environment - Life Sciences - 08.12.2021
Tropical frogs can adapt to climate change, but rapid warming still a huge threat
Tropical frogs can adapt to climate change, but rapid warming still a huge threat
A population of Seychelles frog have adapted to a warmer climate over time, but as these adaptations have evolved gradually, the rapidly warming climate still poses a threat to species' survival, according to a new study led by a UCL researcher. In the study published in Global Change Biology , the researchers report that a subgroup of the Seychelles frog ( Sooglossus sechellensis) adapted to historic sea level rise after finding themselves on an island with a different climate.

Environment - Earth Sciences - 07.12.2021
Melting glaciers may produce thousands of kilometers of new Pacific salmon habitat
Melting glaciers may produce thousands of kilometers of new Pacific salmon habitat
Retreating glaciers in the Pacific mountains of western North America could produce around 6,150 kilometers of new Pacific salmon habitat by the year 2100, according to a new study. Scientists have 'peeled back the ice' from 46,000 glaciers between southern British Columbia and south-central Alaska to look at how much potential salmon habitat would be created when underlying bedrock is exposed and new streams flow over the landscape.

Environment - Earth Sciences - 06.12.2021
Trees are biggest methane 'vents' in wetland areas - even when they're dry
Trees are biggest methane ’vents’ in wetland areas - even when they’re dry
Most of the methane gas emitted from Amazon wetlands regions is vented into the atmosphere via tree root systems - with significant emissions occurring even when the ground is not flooded, say researchers at the University of Birmingham. In a study published in the Royal Society journal, Philosophical Transactions A , the researchers have found evidence that far more methane is emitted by trees growing on floodplains in the Amazon basin than by soil or surface water and this occurs in both wet and dry conditions.

Environment - Campus - 02.12.2021
First report published on UCL and the UN Sustainable Development Goals
First report published on UCL and the UN Sustainable Development Goals
UCL has published its first report setting out how the university is addressing the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Developed by the UCL Sustainable Development Goals Initiative (SDGI), the report showcases a selection of the hundreds of ways UCL's staff and student communities are supporting the SDGs across their research, teaching and extra-curricular activities, as well as how the university operates.

Environment - Physics - 01.12.2021
Putting the fizz into salty water
Putting the fizz into salty water
A new study sheds light on the way salty water acts in deep-sea aquifers, paving the way for further research into carbon storage deep beneath the seabed. Pools of salty water (brine) trapped beneath the seabed offer an unparalleled opportunity to sequester carbon and keep it trapped for millennia. Yet research in this area remains rudimentary, as little is known about the way sodium chloride (salt) behaves when it-s combined with carbon dioxide several kilometres beneath the surface of the earth, where conditions of heat and pressure are extreme.

Transport - Environment - 29.11.2021
First in-flight 100% sustainable-fuels emissions study of passenger jet shows early promise
Initial findings from a world-first study of the impact of 100% sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) on both engines of a commercial jet have provided promising early results. The ECLIF3 study, involving Airbus , Rolls-Royce , German research centre DLR , and SAF producer Neste , marks the first time 100% SAF has been measured simultaneously on both engines of a commercial passenger aircraft - an Airbus A350 aircraft powered by Rolls-Royce Trent XWB engines.

Life Sciences - Environment - 29.11.2021
Monkeys go fishing to survive harsh Japanese winters
Monkeys go fishing to survive harsh Japanese winters
Snow monkeys living in one of the world's coldest regions survive by 'going fishing' - scooping live animals, including brown trout, out of Japanese rivers and eating them to stay alive, a new study reveals. The snow monkey (Japanese macaque Macaca fuscata) is native to the main islands of Japan, except Hokkaido.

Life Sciences - Environment - 29.11.2021
Extent of migration of sooty terns presents conservation challenges
Sooty terns' wide ranging migration patterns present big challenges for conservationists working to understand and address a sharp population decline, according to scientists at the University of Birmingham. The team used GLS ('geolocator') tracking data to show the migration patterns of sooty terns from the largest breeding population of terns in the Atlantic, based on Ascension Island in the southern Atlantic Ocean.

Health - Environment - 24.11.2021
Robust approach needed to reduce risk of disease transmission between humans and wild animals
The threat of disease transmission from conservationists moving wild animals between habitats or back into the wild needs to be urgently assessed to minimise risk. Experts at the University of Birmingham are calling on local and national health authorities and wildlife managers to adopt a robust approach.

Health - Environment - 24.11.2021
Morning exposure to deep red light improves declining eyesight
Morning exposure to deep red light improves declining eyesight
Just three minutes of exposure to deep red light once a week, when delivered in the morning, can significantly improve declining eyesight, finds a pioneering new study by UCL researchers. Published in Scientific Reports , the study builds on the team's previous work*, which showed daily three-minute exposure to longwave deep red light 'switched on' energy producing mitochondria cells in the human retina, helping boost naturally declining vision.

Life Sciences - Environment - 11.11.2021
Introduced birds are not replacing roles of human-caused extinct species
Introduced birds are not replacing roles of human-caused extinct species
Human-caused bird extinctions are driving losses of functional diversity on islands worldwide, and the gaps they leave behind are not being filled by introduced (alien) species, finds a new study led by UCL and University of Gothenburg researchers. The study, published in Science Advances , shows how human impacts such as habitat destruction and climate change are impoverishing ecosystems, even on islands where alien birds actually outnumber the species that have gone extinct.

Environment - Computer Science - 03.11.2021
New software predicts the movements of large land animals
New software can help determine the movements of large wild animals, thereby minimising conflicts with people. Large land animals have a significant impact on the ecology and biodiversity of the areas they inhabit and traverse. If, for example, the routes and stopping places of cattle, horses, sheep, and also those of wolves or bears overlap with those of people, this often leads to conflicts.

Environment - Life Sciences - 03.11.2021
Hungry caterpillars an underappreciated driver of carbon emissions | University of Cambridge
Hungry caterpillars an underappreciated driver of carbon emissions | University of Cambridge
A study led by the has found that periodic mass outbreaks of leaf-munching caterpillars can improve the water quality of nearby lakes - but may also increase the lakes' carbon dioxide emissions. From a water quality perspective they're a good thing, but from a climate perspective they're pretty bad Sam Woodman Outbreaks of caterpillars of invasive gypsy moths, Lymantria dispar dispar , and forest tent caterpillar moths, Malacasoma disstria occur at least every five years in temperate forests.

Environment - Earth Sciences - 03.11.2021
Revealing ecological risks of climate change on global river basins
Rising global temperatures will impact major river basins differently around the world, with rivers in South America, southern Africa and Australia among those most at risk of extreme ecological changes, a new study led by UCL has found. For the first time, researchers from UCL Geography, the University of Nottingham and the UK Centre for Ecology & Hydrology combined large datasets with an environmental flow approach to predict how changes of between 1-3C in the Earth's temperature would impact 321 of the world's biggest river basins.

Chemistry - Environment - 02.11.2021
Electric vehicles could be powered by Hydrogen harvested from sewage
Hydrogen is valuable as it is a renewable source, and could be sold to the chemicals and plastics industry or used in hydrogen fuel cells for energy storage or electric vehicles The ability to take hydrogen from waste water provides a new economic and environmental opportunity, however until now it has been incredibly expensive to suffice Using a recycled carbon fibre mat, researchers from WMG, University of Warwick, have been able to produce Hydrogen from wastewater for Severn Trent Wastewater treatment is vital to remove pathogens, but is incredibly energy intensive.

Astronomy / Space Science - Environment - 01.11.2021
Satellite monitoring of Greenland ice melting highlights global flood risk
Global warming has caused extreme ice melting events in Greenland to become more frequent and intense over the past 40 years, raising sea levels and flood risk worldwide, finds new research involving UCL academics. Over the past decade alone, 3.5 trillion tonnes of ice has melted from Greenland's surface and flowed into the ocean - enough to cover the UK with around 15m of meltwater, or all of New York City with around 4500m.
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