Earth

Forest and watercourse interplay important for restorations

Forest and watercourse interplay important for restorations

Humans utilise forests and watercourses in a way that depletes ecosystem habitats, biodiversity and ecosystem services. Many areas are restored to break the trend, but to succeed you need to consider not only the ecosystem in mind, but also surrounding ecosystems. This according to researchers in Umeå in Sweden in an article published in BioScience.

Direct and active parent involvement key to healthy living for kids

Parents who directly and actively engage their children in healthy living behaviour - instead of passively 'supporting' the behaviour - are significantly more likely to see their kids meet Canadian guidelines when it comes to physical activity, healthy eating and screen time, new research from Public Health Ontario (PHO) has found.

Nutrition matters: Stress from migratory beekeeping may be eased by access to food

Nutrition matters: Stress from migratory beekeeping may be eased by access to food

In the first large-scale and comprehensive study on the impacts of transporting honey bees to pollinate various crops, research from North Carolina State University shows that travel can adversely affect bee health and lifespan. Some of these negative impacts may be reduced by moving bee colonies into patches with readily available food or by providing supplemental nutrition when there are few flowers for honey bees to visit, the researchers say.

Study reveals surprising role of haze in the warming of Chinese cities

A new Yale-led study published in the journal Nature Communications sheds light on the surprising role that haze in China plays in promoting the urban heat island effect [UHI], a process whereby city centers tend to be significantly warmer than surrounding rural areas.

The past, present & future of gravitational-wave astronomy, with Kip Thorne & Rainer Weiss

In an extensive interview published online this week, the winners of the 2016 Kavli Prize in Astrophysics discuss their 40-year effort to detect gravitational waves, the elusive ripples in the fabric of space-time that Albert Einstein so boldly predicted. The discussion, with physicists Kip Thorne and Rainer Weiss, covers the challenges of eavesdropping on gravitational waves, why their discovery has captured the world's imagination, and what the future holds for astronomy.

New insights on the relationship between erosion and tectonics in the Himalayas

New insights on the relationship between erosion and tectonics in the Himalayas

Earth's climate interacts with so called surface processes - such as landslides or river erosion - and tectonics to shape the landscape that we see. In some regions, the sheer force of these processes has led scientists to believe that they may even influence the development of tectonics. An international team of researchers headed by the Cologne-based geographer Dr. Georgina King have now disproved this assumption. The results of their study, "Northward migration of the eastern Himalayan syntaxis revealed by OSL-thermochronometry," will appear in Science on 19 August 2016.

LiH mediates low-temperature ammonia synthesis

LiH mediates low-temperature ammonia synthesis

Nearly half of the world population is fed by the industrial N2 fixation, i. e., the Harbor-Bosch process. Although exergonic in nature, NH3 synthesis from N2 and H2 catalyzed by the fused Fe has to be conducted at elevated temperatures and high pressures. It consumes over 1% of the world's annual energy supply. Developing efficient catalysts that enable NH3 synthesis under mild conditions is a grand scientific challenge and is of great practical need.

Unraveling the crystal structure of a -70° Celsius superconductor, a world first

Unraveling the crystal structure of a -70° Celsius superconductor, a world first

For the first time in the world, a research group led by Osaka University, Japan, clarified the crystal structure of hydrogen sulfide in its superconducting phase at the high temperature of -70°C. This was achieved by conducting a combination of experiments at one of the world's largest synchrotron radiation facilities, SPring-8 in Japan. These results mark a huge step towards developing room-temperature superconductors, which may provide promising solutions to energy problems.

New approach to determining how atoms are arranged in materials

Researchers from North Carolina State University, the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) have developed a novel approach to materials characterization, using Bayesian statistical methods to glean new insights into the structure of materials. The work should inform the development of new materials for use in a variety of applications.

NIST's compact gyroscope may turn heads

NIST's compact gyroscope may turn heads

Shrink rays may exist only in science fiction, but similar effects are at work in the real world at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST).

After successfully miniaturizing both clocks and magnetometers based on the properties of individual atoms, NIST physicists have now turned to precision gyroscopes, which measure rotation.