Maritime litter is among the most urgent global pollution issues. Marine scientist Nikoleta Bellou and her team at Helmholtz-Zentrum Hereon have published an overview study of solutions for prevention, monitoring, and removal in the renowned scientifically journal Nature Sustainability. They found that reducing ocean pollution requires more support, integration, and creative political decisiveness.
Plant species with thick and dense roots are more likely to occur in warm climates, while species with thin and low density roots are more likely to occur in cold climates -- a classic trade-off. By contrast, forest species with large-diameter roots and high root tissue density were more commonly associated with dry climates, but species with the opposite trait values were not associated with wet climates. Instead, a diversity of root traits occurred in warm or wet climates.
Climate change exerts great pressure for change on species and biodiversity. A recent study conducted by the University of Helsinki and the Finnish Environment Institute indicates that the few moth and butterfly species (Lepidoptera) capable of adjusting to a changing climate by advancing their flight period and moving further north have fared the best in Finland. In contrast, roughly 40% of Lepidoptera species have not been able to respond in either way, seeing their populations decline.
Researchers from the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the UPV/EHU are studying and optimising the mechanical and thermal properties of new mortars and concrete made using industrial by-products, such as lime mud from the paper industry, brass fibres and furnace slag, with the aim of reducing the consumption of energy and natural resources and fostering the circular economy.
Soot particles from oil and wood heating systems as well as road traffic can pollute the air in Europe on a much larger scale than previously assumed. The evaluation of the sources during a measuring campaign in Germany showed that about half of the soot particles came from the surrounding area and the other half from long distances. This underlines the need to further reduce emissions of soot that is harmful to health and climate.
Researchers from Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and Fathom Bristol used a hydraulic model to consider the degree to which human-caused climate change may have affected flooding in Houston in 2017 during Hurricane Harvey. Resources at the National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center were used to quantify the increase in Houston flood area and depth and to host a portal where other scientists and the public can access and explore the resulting data.
The Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) launch a peer-reviewed report based on a 4-day virtual workshop on addressing the biodiversity and climate crises together involving 50 jointly-selected international experts.
Paleoclimatologist Niels de Winter and colleagues developed an innovative way to use the clumped isotope method to reconstruct climate in the geological past on the seasonal scale. They show that dinosaurs had to deal with hotter summers than previously thought. The results suggest that in the mid latitudes, seasonal temperatures will likely rise along with climate warming, while seasonal difference is maintained. This results in very high summer temperatures.
When nature vanishes, people of color and low-income Americans disproportionally lose critical environmental and health benefits--including air quality, crop productivity and disease control--a new study in Nature Communications finds. The research is the first national study to explore the unequal impacts on American society--by race and income--of projected declines in nature and its benefits. Researchers find multiple natural benefits will drop for people of color by an average of 224%-111% between 2020-2100, as white communities see gains.
Every five years, the UNESCO Science Report provides an update of trends in science governance. Written by 70 authors from 52 countries, it aggregates data on spending, personnel, scientific publications and patents. The latest edition tracks progress towards the UN's 2030 Sustainable Development Goals and the rapid progress of the Fourth Industrial Revolution. It also tracks the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on global research and innovation.