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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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Genetically-modified mosquitoes key to stopping Zika virus spread
In 2016, the World Health Organization called the Zika virus epidemic a 'public health emergency of international concern' due to the virus causing birth defects for pregnant women in addition to neurological problems.

Gut microbiota reveals whether drug therapies work in inflammatory bowel diseases
A study indicates that the gut microbiota of patients suffering from inflammatory gastrointestinal disorders can be used to predict whether they will benefit from expensive therapies. The study also confirms the key role of therapies that have a beneficial effect on the gut microbiota in inflammatory bowel diseases.

Energy spent avoiding humans associated with smaller home ranges for male pumas
New research shows that fear of humans causes mountain lions to increase their energy expenditures as they move through the landscape, and this can ultimately limit the size of the home ranges they're able to maintain.

Increasing ocean temperature threatens Greenland's ice sheet
Scientists have for the first time quantified how warming coastal waters are impacting individual glaciers in Greenland's fjords. Their work can help climate scientists better predict global sea level rise from the increased melting.

Air pollution linked to higher risk of sight loss from AMD
Air pollution is linked to a heightened risk of progressive and irreversible sight loss, known as age related macular degeneration (AMD), reveals a large long term study.

The surprises of color evolution
Nature is full of color. For flowers, displaying color is primarily a means to attract pollinators. Insects use their color vision not only to locate the right flowers to feed on but also to find mates. The evolutionary interaction between insects and plants has created complex dependencies that can have surprising outcomes.

Climate change in antiquity: Mass emigration due to water scarcity
The absence of monsoon rains at the source of the Nile was the cause of migrations and the demise of entire settlements in the late Roman province of Egypt. This demographic development has been compared with environmental data for the first time by professor of ancient history, leading to a discovery of climate change and its consequences.

Street trees close to the home may reduce the risk of depression
Daily contact with trees in the street may reduce the need for antidepressants. Street tree planting in cities may be a nature-based solution in urban planning to reduce the risk of depression, also addressing climate change and biodiversity loss.

Dinosaur embryo find helps crack baby tyrannosaur mystery
They are among the largest predators ever to walk the Earth, but experts have discovered that some baby tyrannosaurs were only the size of a border collie dog when they took their first steps.

Dramatic increase in microplastics in seagrass soil since the 1970s
Large-scale production of vegetables and fruit in Spain with intensive plastic consumption in its greenhouse industry is believed to have leaked microplastic contaminants since the 1970s into the surrounding Mediterranean seagrass beds. This is shown in a new study where researchers have succeeded in tracing plastic pollution since the 1930s and 1940s by analyzing seagrass sediments.

New route to chemically recyclable plastics
As the planet's burden of rubber and plastic trash rises unabated, scientists increasingly look to the promise of closed-loop recycling to reduce waste. A team of researchers announces the discovery of a new polybutadiene molecule - from a material known for over a century and used to make common products like tires and shoes - that could one day advance this goal through depolymerization.

GEFS: Searching beyond seismology for earthquake precursors
To predict when earthquakes are likely to occur, seismologists often use statistics to monitor how clusters of seismic activity evolve over time. However, this approach often fails to anticipate the time and magnitude of large-scale earthquakes, leading to dangerous oversights in current early-warning systems. For decades, studies outside the seismology field have proposed that these major, potentially devastating seismic events are connected to a range of non-seismic phenomena -- which can be observed days or even weeks before these large earthquakes occur. So far, however, this idea hasn't caught on in the wider scientific community.

Global ice loss increases at record rate
The rate at which ice is disappearing across the planet is speeding up, according to new research. And the findings also reveal that the Earth lost 28 trillion tons of ice between 1994 and 2017 - equivalent to a sheet of ice 100 meters thick covering the whole of the UK.

New skull of tube-crested dinosaur reveals evolution of bizarre crest
The first new skull discovered in nearly a century from a rare species of the iconic, tube-crested dinosaur Parasaurolophus was announced today. The exquisite preservation of the skull, especially the bizarre tube-shaped nasal passage, finally revealed the structure of the crest after decades of disagreement.

Microbes fuelled by wind-blown mineral dust melt the Greenland ice sheet
Scientists have identified a key nutrient source used by algae living on melting ice surfaces linked to rising sea levels. They discovered that phosphorus containing minerals may be driving ever-larger algal blooms on the Greenland Ice Sheet.

Litter provides habitat for diverse animal communities in rivers
In a study of local rivers, experts have discovered more invertebrates - animals without a backbone, such as insects and snails - living on litter than on rocks.

Paleoclimate study of precipitation and sea ice in Arctic Alaska
A new study in Arctic Alaska has investigated sea ice dynamics and their impact on circulation and precipitation patterns in Arctic Alaska on a long-term basis.

Nanomedicine's 'crown' is ready for its close up
An international team of researchers has developed a new method to better understand how nanomedicines -- emerging diagnostics and therapies that are very small yet very intricate -- interact with patients' biomolecules.

Nuclear war could trigger big El Niño and decrease seafood
A nuclear war could trigger an unprecedented El Niño-like warming episode in the equatorial Pacific Ocean, slashing algal populations by 40 percent and likely lowering the fish catch, according to a new study. The research shows that turning to the oceans for food if land-based farming fails after a nuclear war is unlikely to be a successful strategy - at least in the equatorial Pacific.

Women influenced coevolution of dogs and humans
A cross-cultural analysis found several factors may have played a role in building the relationship between humans and dogs, including temperature, hunting and surprisingly - gender. The analysis used ethnographic information from 144 traditional, subsistence-level societies from all over the globe. People were more likely to regard dogs as a type of person if the dogs had a special relationship with women -- such as having names and being treated as family.