Pipe: Climate and Health

Making oxygen before life: Oxygen can form directly from carbon dioxide in upper atmosphere

Fri, 2014-10-03 09:22
About one-fifth of the Earth's atmosphere is oxygen, pumped out by green plants as a result of photosynthesis and used by most living things on the planet to keep our metabolisms running. Scientists have now shown that oxygen can be formed directly from carbon dioxide in the upper atmosphere, changing models of how the atmosphere evolved early in Earth's history.

Funding boost for UK bioscience studies

Fri, 2014-10-03 06:02
£125m has been allocated to support research into food security, bioenergy and health

Staying Upbeat and Engaged in a Turbulent, Complicated Climate

Thu, 2014-10-02 17:38
Seven climate-focused people explain how they sustain their energy and enthusiasm.

Longevity and the sense of smell: The scent of death

Wed, 2014-10-01 15:18

Vital organ? PEOPLE whose hearts are failing, or who have had cancer or lung disease, have good reason to be concerned about their future. People who have merely lost their sense of smell might not be so worried. Actually, though, their prospects are worse. You are more likely to die within five years if you cannot recognise common smells than if you have ever been diagnosed with one of those more obviously deadly illnesses. That, at least, is the conclusion of a sobering study just published in PLOS ONE, by Martha McClintock and Jayant Pinto of the University of Chicago.Dr McClintock and Dr Pinto were prompted to conduct their investigation because they knew olfactory problems can forewarn of neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. They are also associated with abnormally shortened telomeres (the caps on the ends of chromosomes), and that shortening is, in turn, implicated in the process of ageing. Moreover, a good sense of smell helps keep people healthy by detecting...

Nanoparticles accumulate quickly in wetlands: Aquatic food chains might be harmed by molecules 'piggybacking' on carbon nanoparticles

Wed, 2014-10-01 10:26
Using mesocosms that closely approximate wetland ecosystems, researchers show carbon nanotubes accumulate quickly in sediments -- a tendency that could indirectly damage aquatic food chains by piggybacking harmful molecules.

Ocean data shows 'climate dance' of plankton

Tue, 2014-09-30 11:34
The greens and blues of the ocean color from NASA satellite data have provided new insights into how climate and ecosystem processes affect the growth cycles of phytoplankton -- microscopic aquatic plants important for fish populations and Earth's carbon cycle.

Florida's climate boosts soil-carbon storage, cuts greenhouse emissions

Tue, 2014-09-30 11:16
Sequestration helps mitigate carbon-based gases from getting into the atmosphere. A new study shows Florida's warm, wet climate helps keep carbon in the soil. Soil-stored carbon can slow the build-up of carbon-based gases in the atmosphere, a phenomenon believed to be a cause of global climate change.

Growing, and Growing Vulnerable

Tue, 2014-09-30 00:00
A new report from the National Research Council found that the effect of climate change is especially harsh on the United States barrier islands, which are also pressured by rapid development.

Human-Related Climate Change Led to Extreme Heat, Scientists Say

Tue, 2014-09-30 00:00
Five groups of researchers analyzing last year’s Australian heat waves came to the same conclusion: They could not have been as severe without human influence.

A Group Shout on Climate Change

Sun, 2014-09-28 00:00
People on the streets, and executives in boardrooms, are helping to move the fight against global warming forward.

President’s Drive for Carbon Pricing Fails to Win at Home

Sun, 2014-09-28 00:00
The United States, which is under growing international pressure to price carbon, is missing from a World Bank declaration calling on all nations to enact laws forcing industries to pay for carbon emissions.

Letter From the Editor: The Larger Meaning of Risk

Sat, 2014-09-27 00:00
Trying to play it too safe, whether when playing football or confronting the prospect of a warming planet, often makes things worse in the end.

A Sizzling Cocktail That Serves as a Climate Warning

Sat, 2014-09-27 00:00
This drink deliciously, if disturbingly, evokes the plight of the planet, starting off with cool, fruity notes and ending up “hot and polluted.”

Young sea stars suffer more from ocean acidification than adults

Fri, 2014-09-26 11:21
Young sea stars from the Baltic Sea suffer more from the effects of ocean acidification than adults. In a laboratory experiment, scientists showed that younger animals already eat less and grow more slowly at only slightly elevated carbon dioxide concentrations.

Certainties, Uncertainties and Choices with Global Warming

Fri, 2014-09-26 11:00
We can be certain about climate change uncertainty but still address the risk.

With few data, Arctic carbon models lack consensus

Fri, 2014-09-26 10:18
As climate change grips the Arctic, how much carbon is leaving its thawing soil and adding to Earth's greenhouse effect? The question has long been debated by scientists. A new study conducted as part of NASA's Carbon in Arctic Reservoirs Vulnerability Experiment (CARVE) shows just how much work still needs to be done to reach a conclusion on this and other basic questions about the region where global warming is hitting hardest.

Fertilizer and fuel: Nitrogen-fixing enzyme also produces hydrocarbons

Fri, 2014-09-26 08:58
Plants need nitrogen and carbon to grow. Photosynthesis allows them to take in the latter directly from the air, but they have to procure nitrogen through their roots in the form of organic molecules like ammonia or urea. Even though nitrogen gas makes up approximately 80 percent of Earth's atmosphere, the plant can only access it in a bound - or 'fixed' - form. Farmers thus use fertilizers to provide their crops with nitrogen. The only living beings that can convert nitrogen from the air into usable molecules are microorganisms - for example nodule bacteria.

Green light for clever algae

Fri, 2014-09-26 08:58
Phytoplankton not only constitutes the foundation of the food chain in the oceans, it also fixes carbon through photosynthesis and generates oxygen with the help of solar energy. A considerable part of phytoplankton is made up of cryptophytes, complex single-cell algae. In the course of evolution, these algae have adapted their light-harvesting mechanisms to their environment and have thus become capable of utilizing green light.

[Report] Infrared-driven unimolecular reaction of CH3CHOO Criegee intermediates to OH radical products

Thu, 2014-09-25 20:00
Spectroscopy in the laboratory elucidates key steps in ozone’s atmospheric reaction with unsaturated hydrocarbons. Authors: Fang Liu, Joseph M. Beames, Andrew S. Petit, Anne B. McCoy, Marsha I. Lester

Florida Goes Down the Drain

Thu, 2014-09-25 00:00
Maybe it’s time to start rethinking retirement plans. Who has looked at the nice condos in Detroit?