Earth

Brazilian and German scientists have completed a collaborative project to sequence and analyze the whole genome of Arapaima gigas, a giant freshwater fish known in Brazil as pirarucu and elsewhere as arapaima or paiche. Its growth rate is the fastest among known freshwater fish species. Its natural distribution covers most of the Amazon River basin in Peru and Brazil.

A new publication in the journal Estuaries and Coasts investigates the use of a fluorescent dye to track movements of young oysters. The publication, "Field mark-recapture of calcein-stained larval oysters (Crassostrea virginica) in a freshwater-dominated estuary", provides new knowledge on methods for tracking oysters in low salinity environments common to coastal waters, particularly in the northern Gulf of Mexico.

Monarch butterflies purchased from a commercial breeder did not fly in a southward direction, even in offspring raised outdoors, in a new study conducted by scientists at the University of Chicago. Wild-caught monarchs bred indoors under simulated outdoor conditions also did not orient south, suggesting that captive breeding disrupts the monarch's famous annual migratory behavior.

You might expect that plants hoping to thrive in California's boom-or-bust rain cycle would choose to set down roots in a place that can store lots of water underground to last through drought years.

But some of the most successful plant communities in the state -- and probably in Mediterranean climates worldwide -- that are characterized by wet winters and dry summers have taken a different approach. They've learned to thrive in areas with a below-ground water storage capacity barely large enough to hold the water that falls even in lean years.

New research led by climate scientists from the University of Bristol suggests that the representation of clouds in climate models is as, or more, important than the amount of greenhouse gas emissions when it comes to projecting future Greenland ice sheet melt.

Recent research shows that the whole of the Greenland ice sheet could be gone within the next thousand years, raising global sea level by more than seven metres.

New York, NY--June 24, 2019--For decades, scientists studying a key climate phenomenon have been grappling with contradictory data that have threated to undermine confidence in the reliability of climate models overall. A new study, published today in Nature Geoscience, settles that debate with regard to the tropical atmospheric circulation.

Nestled between the Pacific Ocean and the Andes mountains, Peru's coastal region relies on surface water from the Andes for drinking water, industry, and animal and crop farming.

The region, which includes Peru's capital city Lima, is often overwhelmed with rain in the wet season - but by the time the dry season comes, water is scarce.

These factors, together with Lima's rapidly growing population, mean the city struggles to supply water to its 12 million residents during the dry months of May to October.

TROY, N.Y. -- Increased solar radiation penetrating through the damaged ozone layer is interacting with the changing climate, and the consequences are rippling through the Earth's natural systems, effecting everything from weather to the health and abundance of sea mammals like seals and penguins. These findings were detailed in a review article published today in Nature Sustainability by members of the United Nations Environment Programme's Environmental Effects Assessment Panel, which informs parties to the Montreal Protocol.

The latest supplement to the American Ornithological Society's checklist of North and Middle American birds is being published in The Auk: Ornithological Advances, and it includes several major updates to the organization of the continent's bird species. The official authority on the names and classification of the region's birds, the checklist is consulted by birdwatchers and professional scientists alike and has been published since 1886.

Logging roads are expanding dramatically in the Congo Basin, leading to catastrophic collapses in animal populations living in the world's second-largest rainforest, according to research co-led by a scientist at James Cook University in Australia.

Just as worrying is that the rate of forest destruction caused by new roads in the Congo Basin has risen sharply over time, quadrupling since 2000.

Against the background of global warming, extreme heat has occurred more frequently and caused adverse socioeconomic effects. In the midsummer of 2018, a severe extreme heat episode attacked Northeast Asia, causing numerous fatalities. For instance, the extreme heat that attacked Japan in July 2018 resulted in about 24 000 hospitalized patients and more than 90 deaths. To understand what caused the extreme heat over Northeast Asia, a scientific collaboration of climatologists examined the forces of the tropical circulation and sea surface temperature.

Photoreceptor cells in our eyes can adjust to both weak and strong light levels, but we still don't know exactly how they do it. Emeritus Professor Fumio Hayashi of Kobe University and his colleagues revealed that the photoreceptor protein rhodopsin forms transient clusters within the disc membranes in retina. These clusters are concentrated in the center of disc membranes, and act as platforms in the process of light to chemical signal conversion. The findings were published as a highlighted paper in Communications Biology on June 14.

BELLEVUE, WA --The frigid lakeshores of Saturn's moon Titan might be encrusted with strange, unearthly minerals, according to new research being presented here.

Scientists re-creating Titan-esque conditions in their laboratory have discovered new compounds and minerals not found on Earth, including a co-crystal made of solid acetylene and butane.

Researchers from the Beijing Institute of Nanoenergy and Nanosystems and the University of Chinese Academy of Sciences have developed a bionic stretchable nanogenerator (BSNG) that takes inspiration from electric eels.

The scientists hope the new technology will meet the tough demands of wearable equipment applications for stretchability, deformability, biocompatibility, waterproofness and more.

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. -- Before designing the next generation of soft materials, researchers must first understand how they behave during rapidly changing deformation. In a new study, researchers challenged previous assumptions regarding polymer behavior with newly developed laboratory techniques that measure polymer flow at the molecular level.

This approach may lead to the design of new biomedical, industrial and environmental applications - from polymers that aid in blood clotting to materials that more efficiently extract oil and gas from wells.