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Environment - Life Sciences - 22.03.2023
Changing temperatures increase pesticide risk to bees
Temperature influences how badly pesticides affect bees' behaviour, suggesting uncertain impacts under climate change, according to a new study. The findings indicate that future extreme temperature events under climate change could increase the impact of pesticides on bee populations and their pollination services.

Agronomy / Food Science - Environment - 22.03.2023
New animal welfare scoring system could enable better-informed food and farming choices
New animal welfare scoring system could enable better-informed food and farming choices
Cambridge scientists have come up with a system of measuring animal welfare that enables reliable comparison across different types of pig farming. This means that animal welfare can now, for the first time, be properly considered alongside other impacts of farming to help identify which farming systems are best.

Environment - Veterinary - 20.03.2023
Toxic pet flea and tick treatments are polluting UK freshwaters
Parasite treatments and preventatives we put on our pets are finding their way into UK waters in concentrations that are toxic to aquatic species. Parasiticides are commonly applied as 'spot-on' treatments on dogs and cats to prevent or kill fleas or ticks, but they contain toxic chemicals that are making it into UK rivers and ponds, particularly in urban areas.

Environment - 20.03.2023
Billions of tonnes of ice lost from Antarctic Ice sheet
Billions of tonnes of ice lost from Antarctic Ice sheet
Scientists have calculated that the fastest changing Antarctic region-the Amundsen Sea Embayment-has lost more than 3,000 billion tonnes of ice over a 25-year-period. If all the lost ice was-piled on London, it would stand-over 2-km-tall -or 7.4 times the height of the Shard. If it were to cover Manhattan, it would stand at 61 km- or 137 Empire State Buildings placed-on top of one another.

Earth Sciences - Environment - 16.03.2023
Giant underwater waves affect the ocean's ability to store carbon
Giant underwater waves affect the ocean’s ability to store carbon
Underwater waves deep below the ocean's surface - some as tall as 500 metres - play an important role in how the ocean stores heat and carbon, according to new research.

Environment - Life Sciences - 11.03.2023
Remarkable squirting mussels captured on film
Cambridge researchers have observed a highly unusual behaviour in the endangered freshwater mussel, Unio crassus. Who'd have thought that a mussel, that doesn't even have a head or a brain, knows to move to the river margin and squirt jets of water back into the river during springtime? David Aldridge In spring, female mussels were seen moving to the water's edge and anchoring into the riverbed, with their back ends raised above the waterline.

Environment - 08.03.2023
Low-carbon solutions can provide energy for displaced people
Low-carbon solutions can provide energy for displaced people
Using solar and battery power can reduce costs and emissions associated with providing power to refugee camps, researchers have found. It's important that work is done to de-risk investing in low-carbon energy infrastructure in humanitarian settings Hamish Beath Researcher, Grantham Institute - Climate Change and the Environment Most refugee camps use diesel generators to power essential services including hospitals, police stations, and lighting.

Computer Science - Environment - 07.03.2023
Phone-based measurements provide fast, accurate information about the health of forests
Phone-based measurements provide fast, accurate information about the health of forests
Researchers have developed an algorithm that uses computer vision techniques to accurately measure trees almost five times faster than traditional, manual methods. Ground-based measurements are hugely valuable, but also time-consuming. We wanted to know whether we could automate this process. Amelia Holcomb The researchers, from the University of Cambridge, developed the algorithm, which gives an accurate measurement of tree diameter, an important measurement used by scientists to monitor forest health and levels of carbon sequestration.

Earth Sciences - Environment - 02.03.2023
New perspective on processes behind Earth system change
The incoming head of the School of Geographical and Earth Sciences has contributed a Perspective article to the latest edition of the journal Science . Professor Todd Ehlers, currently of the University of Tübingen, Germany, was invited to contribute the piece in response to research published in the same issue which discusses a new computer-model reconstruction of global topography over the last 100 million years.

Environment - 01.03.2023
Reduced rainfall in tropics linked to deforestation
Reduced rainfall in tropics linked to deforestation
Deforestation is resulting in reduced rainfall across large parts of the tropics, according to new research. People living in tropical forest communities have often complained that the climate gets hotter and drier once trees are cleared but until now scientists have not been able to identify a clear link between the loss of tree cover and a decline in rainfall.

Environment - Health - 27.02.2023
Voluntary UK initiatives to phase out toxic lead shot for pheasant hunting have had little impact
Voluntary UK initiatives to phase out toxic lead shot for pheasant hunting have had little impact
Three years into a five-year pledge to completely phase out lead shot in UK game hunting, a Cambridge study finds that 94% of pheasants on sale for human consumption were killed using lead. If UK game hunters are going to phase out lead shot voluntarily, they are not doing very well so far Rhys Green The pledge, made in 2020 by nine major UK game shooting and rural organisations, aims to protect the natural environment and ensure a safer supply of game meat for consumers.

Environment - Earth Sciences - 27.02.2023
Satellites reveal speed-up of Antarctic glaciers
Satellites reveal speed-up of Antarctic glaciers
Glaciers along the Antarctic peninsula are flowing faster in the summer because of a combination of melting snow and warmer ocean waters, say researchers. On average, the glaciers - giant blocks of moving ice - travel at around 1km a year. But a new study has found a seasonal variation to the speed of the ice flow, which increases by up to 22% in summer when temperatures are warmer.

Health - Environment - 24.02.2023
Microphones could help track disease risk in the wild
Researchers have shown how sounds recorded by low-cost microphones could be used to help track infectious disease risks in the rainforest and in other rapidly changing landscapes. The study - published in Trends in Parasitology and led by the University of Glasgow - discusses how listening to the sounds of an ecosystem can inform our understanding of factors that drive the spread of disease between animals and people.

Earth Sciences - Environment - 23.02.2023
Origins of mysterious patterns created by salt deserts 
Origins of mysterious patterns created by salt deserts 
The curious landscapes formed by dried out salt lakes are caused by the movement of fluids in the soil beneath the surface, according to new research published today. The characteristic honeycomb patterns are found worldwide, including in Death Valley in California where they attract tens of thousands of tourists.

Health - Environment - 22.02.2023
People in urban areas have worse hay fever symptoms, analysis suggests
People living in urban areas report significantly worse hay fever symptoms according to the first study to compare pollution levels with the severity and duration of real-time symptoms. The University of Manchester led team studied 36,145 symptom reports submitted over 5 years - from 2016 to 2020 - by over 700 Britons using a citizen science application called Britain Breathing.

Environment - Earth Sciences - 21.02.2023
Accuracy at risk as governments reject specialist mapping tools
Accuracy at risk as governments reject specialist mapping tools
Governments are not using the latest mapping technology to report key environmental data about tropical forests to the UN, say researchers. Under what is known as the UN's Global Stocktake , set up as part of the Paris Agreement, governments report on the level of carbon emitted or removed in forested areas.

Environment - Earth Sciences - 15.02.2023
Origins of biodiversity gradient
Origins of biodiversity gradient
Researchers have used nearly half a million fossils to solve a scientific mystery - why the number of different species is greatest near the equator and decreases towards polar regions. The results, published in the journal Nature , give valuable insight into how biodiversity is generated over long timescales, and how climate change can affect the richness of global species.

Environment - Life Sciences - 14.02.2023
Microbes that co-operate contribute more carbon emissions
Communities of microbes that work together release more carbon dioxide than competitive communities, contributing more to climate change. Despite being small, microbes, and especially bacteria, contribute a lot to the global carbon cycle - the movement of carbon in various forms through nature. Its level in the atmosphere, and so its influence on climate change, is controlled by a series of sources and sinks, such as respiration and photosynthesis respectively.

Earth Sciences - Environment - 10.02.2023
Earth's atmosphere adds a quick pinch of salt to meteorites, scientists find
Earth’s atmosphere adds a quick pinch of salt to meteorites, scientists find
New analysis of the Winchcombe meteorite has revealed just how quickly space rocks which fall to Earth can be contaminated by our atmosphere. The meteorite, which landed in Gloucestershire in February last year, was the first to be recovered on UK soil in nearly 30 years. Fragments were recovered from a domestic driveway hours after it entered the Earth's atmosphere.

Health - Environment - 08.02.2023
Sustainable computer memory, AI for autophagy and more: News from the College
Here's a batch of fresh news and announcements from across Imperial. From AI being used to identify key proteins in cell degradation, to a shellfish component being used in sustainable computer memory devices, here is some quick-read news from across the College. AI for autophagy A team led by Dr Tolga Bozkurt , Dr Doryen Bubeck and colleagues in the Department of Life Sciences at Imperial have used artificial intelligence (AI) to discover key regulators of autophagy - a form of cell degradation that is important in biological development, aging and numerous diseases.
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