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Bacteria may contribute more to climate change as planet heats up

Salt lake at Coorong National Park, South Australia (stock image). Credit: © sasimoto / Adobe Stock As bacteria adapt to hotter temperatures, they speed up their respiration rate and release more carbon, potentially accelerating climate change. By releasing more carbon as global temperatures rise, bacteria and related organisms called archaea could increase climate warming at…

Healthy mangroves help coral reef fisheries under climate stress

Mangroves (stock image). Credit: © damedias / Adobe Stock Healthy mangroves can help fight the consequences of climate change on coral reef fisheries, according to a University of Queensland-led study. UQ's Professor Peter Mumby said corals have been bleached and reefs have lost their structural complexity as a major consequence of warming seas. "Many people…

Stalled weather patterns will get bigger due to climate change

Street flooding (stock image). Credit: © rostyle / Adobe Stock Climate change will increase the size of stalled high-pressure weather systems called "blocking events" that have already produced some of the 21st century's deadliest heat waves, according to a Rice University study. Atmospheric blocking events are middle-latitude, high-pressure systems that stay in place for days…

Bacteria may contribute more to climate change as planet heats up

Salt lake at Coorong National Park, South Australia (stock image). Credit: © sasimoto / Adobe Stock As bacteria adapt to hotter temperatures, they speed up their respiration rate and release more carbon, potentially accelerating climate change. By releasing more carbon as global temperatures rise, bacteria and related organisms called archaea could increase climate warming at…

Did an extraterrestrial impact trigger the extinction of ice-age animals?

Woolly mammoth illustration (stock image). Credit: © dottedyeti / Adobe Stock A controversial theory that suggests an extraterrestrial body crashing to Earth almost 13,000 years ago caused the extinction of many large animals and a probable population decline in early humans is gaining traction from research sites around the world. The Younger Dryas Impact Hypothesis,…

California’s crashing kelp forest

Kelp washed up on beach (stock image). Credit: © Andrei / Adobe Stock First the sea stars wasted to nothing. Then the purple urchins took over, eating and eating until the bull kelp forests were gone. The red abalone starved. Their fishery closed. Red sea urchins starved. Their fishery collapsed. And the ocean kept warming.…

The last mammoths died on a remote island

Woolly mammoth illustration (stock image). Credit: © Daniel / Adobe Stock The last woolly mammoths lived on Wrangel Island in the Arctic Ocean; they died out 4,000 years ago within a very short time. An international research team from the Universities of Helsinki and Tübingen and the Russian Academy of Sciences has now reconstructed the…

Brave new world: Simple changes in intensity of weather events ‘could...

Palm trees in heavy weather (stock image). Credit: © behindlens / Adobe Stock Hurricane Dorian is the latest example of a frightening trend. Extreme weather events are becoming more frequent, more severe and more widespread as a consequence of climate change. New research from Washington University in St. Louis provides important new insights into how…

US and Canada have lost more than 1 in 4 birds...

Three swallows on a branch (stock image). Credit: © nataba / Adobe Stock A study published today in the journal Science reveals that since 1970, bird populations in the United States and Canada have declined by 29 percent, or almost 3 billion birds, signaling a widespread ecological crisis. The results show tremendous losses across diverse…

‘Fire inversions’ lock smoke in valleys

Helicopter dropping water on forest fire (stock image). Credit: © kcapaldo / Adobe Stock Smoke from a summer wildfire is more than just an eye-stinging plume of nuisance. It's a poison to the lungs and hearts of the people who breathe it in and a dense blanket that hampers firefighting operations. There's an atmospheric feedback…

Satellite study of Amazon rainforest land cover gives insight into 2019...

Brazilian Amazon forest fire (stock image). Credit: © pedarilhos / Adobe Stock Throughout August and early September 2019, media around the world have reported on the extensive forest fires ravaging Brazil's Amazon rainforest. Much of the concern stems from the Amazon's significance to regulating the world's climate. According to the Associated Press, the Amazon absorbs…

Low sea-ice cover in the Arctic

Arctic sea ice (stock image). Credit: © Maridav / Adobe Stock The sea-ice extent in the Arctic is nearing its annual minimum at the end of the melt season in September. Only circa 3.9 million square kilometres of the Arctic Ocean are covered by sea ice any more, according to researchers from the Alfred Wegener…

Atlantic Ocean may get a jump-start from the other side of...

Ocean waves crashing on beach (stock image). Credit: © Iakov Kalinin / Adobe Stock A key question for climate scientists in recent years has been whether the Atlantic Ocean's main circulation system is slowing down, a development that could have dramatic consequences for Europe and other parts of the Atlantic rim. But a new study…

Harnessing tomato jumping genes could help speed-breed drought-resistant crops

Tomato plant (stock image). Credit: © Szasz-Fabian Jozsef / Adobe Stock Once dismissed as 'junk DNA' that served no purpose, a family of 'jumping genes' found in tomatoes has the potential to accelerate crop breeding for traits such as improved drought resistance. Researchers from the University of Cambridge's Sainsbury Laboratory (SLCU) and Department of Plant…

Hope for coral recovery may depend on good parenting

Coral on Great Barrier Reef, Australia (stock image). Credit: © Pete Niesen Photo / Adobe Stock The fate of the world's coral reefs could depend on how well the sea creatures equip their offspring to cope with global warming. About half the world's coral has been lost due to warming seas that make their world…

Climate change may cut soil’s ability to absorb water

Dry soil (stock image). Credit: © Sondem / Adobe Stock Coasts, oceans, ecosystems, weather and human health all face impacts from climate change, and now valuable soils may also be affected. Climate change may reduce the ability of soils to absorb water in many parts of the world, according to a Rutgers-led study. And that…

Ages of the Navajo Sandstone

Navajo Sandstone, Antelope Canyon (stock image). Credit: © vichie81 / Adobe Stock The real Jurassic Park was as an ancient landscape home to a vast desert covered mostly in sand dunes as far as the eye could see, where dinosaurs and small mammals roamed southern Utah. The Navajo Sandstone is known for its beautiful red…

Researchers unearth ‘new’ mass-extinction

Mount Emei (Emeishan), Sichuan Province, China (stock image). Credit: © Cedar / Adobe Stock A team of scientists has concluded that earth experienced a previously underestimated severe mass-extinction event, which occurred about 260 million years ago, raising the total of major mass extinctions in the geologic record to six. "It is crucial that we know…

Global change is triggering an identity switch in grasslands

Prairie sky and landscape (stock image). Credit: © Tyler Olson / Adobe Stock Since the first Homo sapiens emerged in Africa roughly 300,000 years ago, grasslands have sustained humanity and thousands of other species. But today, those grasslands are shifting beneath our feet. Global change -- which includes climate change, pollution and other widespread environmental…

All-in-one: New microbe degrades oil to gas

Oil spill on beach rocks (stock image). Credit: © flukesamed / Adobe Stock Crude oil and gas naturally escape from the seabed in many places known as "seeps." There, these hydrocarbons move up from source rocks through fractures and sediments towards the surface, where they leak out of the ground and sustain a diversity of…

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