Earth

New York, NY--June 19, 2018--A major challenge in current climate prediction models is how to accurately represent clouds and their atmospheric heating and moistening. This challenge is behind the wide spread in climate prediction. Yet accurate predictions of global warming in response to increased greenhouse gas concentrations are essential for policy-makers (e.g. the Paris climate agreement).

A polar bear plunges into the icy Arctic waters in search of firmer ice; its world, which was once a sea of white, is melting beneath its paws. 'Research has documented declines in polar bear populations in some regions of the Arctic', says Anthony Pagano from the US Geological Survey, explaining that the bears now have to roam further on the receding ice to locate the seals upon which they dine.

High altitude is a particularly challenging environment - the terrain is physically challenging and the land has a relatively poor crop yield, so food can be sparse. Most importantly, oxygen levels are lower meaning that conversion of food into energy in an individual's body is not very efficient and leads to relatively limited energy available for growth.

Climate change will have a rapidly increasing effect on the structure of global ecological communities over the next few decades, with amphibians and reptiles being significantly more affected than birds and mammals, a new report by UCL finds.

The pace of change is set to outstrip loss to vertebrate communities caused by land use for agriculture and settlements, which is estimated to have already caused losses of over ten per cent of biodiversity from ecological communities.

Reviewing medical information gathered on more than 6,000 adults over a 10-year period, Johns Hopkins researchers have found that lower than normal blood levels of vitamin D were linked to increased risk of early signs of interstitial lung disease (ILD).

Researchers from the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology and Tohoku University (Japan) have explained the puzzling phenomenon of particle-antiparticle annihilation in graphene, recognized by specialists as Auger recombination. Although persistently observed in experiments, it was for a long time thought to be prohibited by the fundamental physical laws of energy and momentum conservation. The theoretical explanation of this process has until recently remained one of the greatest puzzles of solid-state physics.

In seeking to achieve fusion energy, research on magnetic field confinement of high-temperature plasma is being conducted around the world. In a high-temperature plasma there is a temperature gradient. When the temperature gradient becomes steep, turbulence is generated. Because the high-temperature regions and the low temperature areas are mixed due to the turbulence, the core temperature cannot be effectively raised.

The identification of small 'oases' in the world's oceans, where corals appear to be thriving, could offer vital insights in the race to save one of the world's most threatened ecosystems.

An international team of academics, including Dr James Guest, from Newcastle University, UK, has developed a framework that can identify small communities of corals that are flourishing against the odds while so many around the world are dying.

Ecologists from Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in the US and the French National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS) studied a population of black-browed albatross at Kerguelen Island, part of the French Southern and Antarctic Lands, where 200 breeding pairs have been monitored annually since 1979.

Reaching a wingspan of 2.5 metres, black-browed albatrosses breed on these sub-Antarctic islands during the austral summer, laying a single egg in October that will hatch in December. The chicks fledge in late March at a size similar to that of an adult.

ANN ARBOR--A diverse mix of species improves the stability and fuel-oil yield of algal biofuel systems, as well as their resistance to invasion by outsiders, according to the findings of a federally funded outdoor study by University of Michigan researchers.

U-M scientists grew various combinations of freshwater algal species in 80 artificial ponds at U-M's E.S. George Reserve near Pinckney in the first large-scale, controlled experiment to test the widely held idea that biodiversity can improve the performance of algal biofuel systems in the field.