Earth

A University of Oklahoma-led project is showing how citizen science programs provide valuable data on rivers in southwestern United States. The datasets of ecological and hydrological data obtained from intermittent rivers (rivers that dry at some point in space or time) in Arizona are input into a nationwide network. Trained citizen scientists are mapping three rivers in Arizona: the San Pedro River, Cienega Creek and Agua Fria River. The wet and dry data collected yearly from these programs map information on how to best manage water resources under a changing climate.

CORVALLIS, Ore. - The string of volcanoes in the Cascades Arc, ranging from California's Mt. Lassen in the south to Washington's Mt. Baker in the north, have been studied by geologists and volcanologists for over a century. Spurred on by spectacular events such as the eruption of Mount Lassen in 1915 and Mount St. Helens in 1980, scientists have studied most of the Cascade volcanoes in detail, seeking to work out where the magma that erupts comes from and what future eruptions might look like.

More and more products carry ethical labels such as fair-trade or organic, which consumers usually view positively. Nevertheless, the sales figures of these products often remain low, even though they offer advantages for the environment or for society. A team of scientists from the University of Göttingen has investigated to what extent factors which affect consumers' own benefit - such as the so-called "Warm Glow of Giving" - influence consumers' purchasing intentions. The "warm glow" is the personal benefit that people feel when they do good.

Luke Frishkoff, University of Texas at Arlington assistant professor of biology, explores how human land use expedites biodiversity loss in a paper recently published in Nature Ecology & Evolution.

For a study conducted at the University of Toronto, Frishkoff, as a postdoctoral fellow, and his collaborators traveled to the Dominican Republic to take a census of the region's Anolis lizard species along an elevation gradient affected by deforestation. The species is a common group of tropical lizards that are a model system in ecology and evolutionary biology.

New research suggests that targeted use of behavioural 'nudges' can encourage people to conserve water.

Researchers at the University of East Anglia (UEA) found that rather than giving people general information about the importance of saving water, emphasising the water conserving actions of others in the same social group - for example university students or local residents - encourages similar behaviour changes and reduces water demand.

Seychelles warblers live and breed in family groups on the tiny island of Cousin. In each group, a dominant female and male reproduce. When helpers assist the with incubation and feeding of chicks, the dominant female breeders age more slowly and live longer, a study by biologists from the University of Groningen and colleagues from the Universities of East Anglia, Leeds, Sheffield, and Wageningen shows.

Female birds age more slowly and live longer when they have help raising their offspring, according to new research from the University of Sheffield.

Researchers studied the relationship between ageing and offspring rearing patterns in the Seychelles warbler, and found that females who had assistance from other female helpers benefitted from a longer, healthier lifespan.

The findings help explain why social species, such as humans, which live in groups and cooperate to raise offspring, often have longer lifespans.

Thawing permafrost in high-altitude mountain ecosystems may be a stealthy, underexplored contributor to atmospheric carbon dioxide emissions, new University of Colorado Boulder research shows.

The new findings, published today in the journal Nature Communications, show that alpine tundra in Colorado's Front Range emits more CO2 than it captures annually, potentially creating a feedback loop that could increase climate warming and lead to even more CO2 emissions in the future.

When you flush the toilet, you probably don't think about the traces of the medicine and personal care products in your body that are winding up in sewage treatment plants, streams, rivers, lakes, bays and the ocean.

NASA's Aqua satellite provided a view of Tropical Cyclone Veronica after it developed off the northern coast of Western Australia.