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Earth Climate News

Earth Science News. From earthquakes and hurricanes to global warming and energy use, read the latest research news here.

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Quantum light improves sensitivity of biological measurements
In a new study, researchers showed that quantum light can be used to track enzyme reactions in real time. The work brings together quantum physics and biology in an important step toward the development of quantum sensors for biomedical applications.

A century later, plant biodiversity struggles in wake of agricultural abandonment
Decades after farmland was abandoned, plant biodiversity and productivity struggle to recover, according to new research.

Researchers clear the path for 'designer' plants
A team of researchers has found a way to identify gene regulatory elements that could help produce 'designer' plants and lead to improvements in food crops at a critical time.

Synthetic biologists developing a new class of high-performance materials
Synthetic biologists have developed a process that could lead to a new class of synthetic polymers that may create new high-performance materials and therapeutics for Soldiers.

Learning from traditional Indian building techniques
Dense, humid broadleaf forests, monsoon-swollen rivers and deep ravines -- in the Indian state of Meghalaya wooden bridges easily decay or are washed away in floodwaters. Bridges made from steel and concrete are pushed to their limits here as well. But bridges made of living tree roots can survive here for centuries. Researchers have investigated these special structures and proposes integrating this extraordinary building technique in modern architecture.

Pollution from Athabasca oil sands affects weather processes
Scientists have been looking at pollution affecting the air, land and water around the Athabaska Oil Sands for some time. After looking at contaminants in snow taken from up-to 25 km away from the oil sands, a McGill-led scientific team now suggests that oil sand pollution is also affecting the weather patterns in the surrounding regions.

Saving 'half Earth' for nature would affect over a billion people
Plans to save biodiversity must take into account the social impacts of conservation if they are to succeed, say researchers.

How gene expression noise shapes cell fate
Researcher develops a method for measuring gene expression noise across single cells in complex tissue.

Novel Direct Thermal Charging Cell Converts low-grade waste heat to usable electricity
Engineers can now efficiently convert heat into electricity, creating a huge potential to reduce greenhouse effects by capturing exhaust heat and cutting down primary energy wastage.

New findings on the largest natural sulfur source in the atmosphere
An international research team was able to experimentally show in the laboratory a completely new reaction path for the largest natural sulfur source in the atmosphere. The team is now reporting on the new degradation mechanism for dimethyl sulfide (DMS), which is released mainly by the oceans.

How much energy do we really need?
Two fundamental goals of humanity are to eradicate poverty and reduce climate change, and it is critical that the world knows whether achieving these goals will involve trade-offs. New research for the first time provides a basis to answer this question, including the tools needed to relate basic needs directly to resource use.

Unlikely wasp enemy of a serious alien pest in North America named Idris elba
Idris is a worldwide genus of microscopic, parasitic wasps. A new species of Idris from Mexico (Guanajuato) and the United States (California, New Mexico) proved to be an unlikely enemy of the invasive bagrada bug, a major pest of various crops, including cruciferous vegetables.

Nitrous oxide levels are on the rise
Nitrous oxide is a greenhouse gas and one of the main stratospheric ozone depleting substances on the planet. According to new research, we are releasing more of it into the atmosphere than previously thought.

The forests of the Amazon are an important carbon sink
The world's tropical forests store huge quantities of carbon in their biomass and thus constitute an important carbon sink. However, current estimates of the amount of carbon dioxide stored in tropical forests of the Amazon vary largely. Scientists have developed an approach that uses recent satellite data to provide much more precise estimates of the amount of biomass in tropical forests than in the past.

Amazon deforestation and number of fires show summer of 2019 not a 'normal' year
The perceived scale of the Amazon blazes received global attention this summer. However, international concerns raised at the time were countered by the Brazilian Government, which claimed the fire situation in August was 'normal' and 'below the historical average'. A new report finds that the number of active fires in August was actually three times higher than in 2018 and the highest number since 2010.

Ketogenic diet helps tame flu virus
A high-fat, low-carbohydrate diet like the Keto regimen has its fans, but influenza apparently isn't one of them. Mice fed a ketogenic diet were better able to combat the flu virus than mice fed food high in carbohydrates, according to a new study.

Plants use a single communication route when developing new chloroplasts
When a plant begins growing its first leaves, it is in a race for survival to build its chloroplasts. Research reveals that a chain of communication from the developing chloroplast to the cell's central DNA center, the nucleus, is controlled in-part by a protein that defied characterization for the past quarter-century and there is also a role for a molecule recently made famous by the plant-based 'meat' industry: plant heme.

Squid camouflage may lead to next gen of bio-inspired synthetic materials
Squids, octopuses and cuttlefish are undisputed masters of deception and camouflage. Their extraordinary ability to change color, texture and shape is unrivaled, even by modern technology.

Bacterial protein impairs important cellular processes
Researchers have discovered a new function of antibiotic resistant bacteria.

Secret of explosive volcanism unlocked
When will the next eruption take place? Examination of samples from Indonesia's Mount Merapi show that the explosivity of stratovolcanoes rises when mineral-rich gases seal the pores and microcracks in the uppermost layers of stone. These findings result in new possibilities for the prediction of an eruption.