Archive | Environment

climate

Urgent rethink required on Earth’s carbon-sinks, suggests study

In a new study that expands our understanding of how humans contribute to global warming, scientists have discovered that human activity has changed the terrestrial biosphere to make it a significant contributor to climate change. Published in Nature, the study looked at the net balance of the three major greenhouse gases – carbon dioxide, methane, and […]

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Researchers find link between cannabis use and fewer parasites




The more that hunter-gatherers in the Congo smoke cannabis, the less they are infected by parasitic intestinal worms, according to Washington State University (WSU) researchers who say that the tribe may unconsciously be, in effect, smoking medical marijuana. Ed Hagen, a WSU Vancouver anthropologist, explored cannabis use among the Aka foragers to see if people […]




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wissard

Viable ecosystems found in subglacial lake deep beneath West Antarctic Ice Sheet




Analysis of water samples taken from subglacial Lake Whillans – hidden beneath 2,600 feet of ice in Antarctica – has revealed a diverse and exotic microbial community. This provides the first definitive evidence that a functional microbial ecosystem exists beneath the Antarctic ice sheet, confirmingmore than a decade of speculation. The finding, detailed in the […]




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Fences causing “ecological meltdown,” claims new study




A general belief by conservationists that fences can help prevent the spread of diseases, protect wildlife from poachers, and help manage populations of threatened species has been overturned by a new study that shows fences are actually causing extinctions and destroying ecosystems. The counterintuitive new findings, appearing in the journal Science, reviewed the pros and […]




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holiday

Flickr holiday snaps yield tourism data gold




Stanford University scientists have been using the vast number of vacation snaps on photo-sharing site Flickr to measure where and when people are using natural areas for recreation and tourism. While a great deal is known about how man-made tourist destinations, such as theme parks, contribute to local economies, it has always been more difficult […]




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pollinators

Human longevity linked to loss of species




In a fascinating new study, human life expectancy – which is rarely included in analyses of human impacts on the environment – emerged as the key predictor of invasive species and extinctions. The study, published inEcology and Society, examined a combination of 15 social and ecological variables – from tourism and per capita gross domestic […]




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Giant channels discovered under Antarctic ice




Beneath the floating Filchner-Ronne Ice Shelf in West Antarctica, scientists have discovered huge ice channels that are 800 feet high and stretch for hundreds of miles. The discovery, by researchers from the University of Exeter, Newcastle University, the University of Bristol, the University of Edinburgh, the British Antarctic Survey, and the University of York is […]




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