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Making clothes out of gelatin could reduce agricultural waste

June 26, 2015 10:30 am | by American Chemical Society | News | Comments

From gummy bears to silky mousses, gelatin is essential for making some of our favorite sweets. Now scientists are exploring another use for the common food ingredient: spinning it into yarn so it can be made into clothing. And because gelatin comes from livestock by-products, the new technique would provide an additional use for agricultural leftovers. The report appears in Biomacromolecules.

Analysis shows increased carbon intensity from Canadian oil sands

June 26, 2015 10:23 am | by Greg Cunningham, Argonne National Laboratory | News | Comments

Argonne National Laboratory released a study that shows gasoline and diesel refined from...

Backward-moving glacier helps scientists explain glacial earthquakes

June 26, 2015 7:21 am | by Jim Erickson, Univ. of Michigan | Videos | Comments

The relentless flow of a glacier may seem unstoppable, but a team of researchers has shown that...

Analyzing ocean mixing reveals insight on climate

June 25, 2015 1:30 pm | by Nancy Ambrosiano, Los Alamos National Laboratory | News | Comments

Scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory have developed a computer model that clarifies the...

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Study: Weather patterns that bring heatwaves happening more

June 24, 2015 2:06 pm | by Seth Borenstein, AP Science Writer, Associated Press | News | Comments

Daily weather patterns have changed in recent decades, making eastern North America, Europe and western Asia more prone to nastier summer heatwaves that go beyond global warming, a new study finds. A team of climate scientists at Stanford Univ. looked at weather patterns since 1979 and found changes in frequency and strength in parts of the world.

Top doctors' prescription for feverish planet: Cut out coal

June 22, 2015 8:04 pm | by Seth Borenstein, AP Science Writer, Associated Press | News | Comments

Some top international doctors and public health experts have issued an urgent prescription for a feverish planet Earth: Get off coal as soon as possible. Substituting cleaner energy worldwide for coal will reduce air pollution and give Earth a better chance at avoiding dangerous climate change, recommended a global health commission.

Scientists make new estimates of the deep carbon cycle

June 22, 2015 8:23 am | by Stuart Wolpert, UCLA | News | Comments

Over billions of years, the total carbon content of the outer part of the Earth has gradually increased, scientists reported in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Craig Manning, a professor of geology and geochemistry at UCLA, and Peter Kelemen, a geochemistry professor at Columbia Univ., present new analyses that represent an important advance in refining our understanding of Earth's deep carbon cycle.

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Climate change won’t reduce winter deaths

June 19, 2015 9:12 am | by Institute of Physics | News | Comments

In a study that contradicts the received wisdom on health impacts of climate change, scientists say that we shouldn’t expect substantial reduction in winter deaths as a result of global warming. This new research is published in Environmental Research Letters.

New calculations to improve carbon dioxide monitoring from space

June 15, 2015 8:01 am | by Rebecca Caygill, Univ. College London | News | Comments

How light of different colors is absorbed by carbon dioxide can now be accurately predicted using new calculations developed by a Univ. College London (UCL)-led team of scientists. This will help climate scientists studying Earth's greenhouse gas emissions to better interpret data collected from satellites and ground stations measuring carbon dioxide.

Cutting carbon emissions could have indirect effects on hunger

June 11, 2015 9:05 am | by American Chemical Society | News | Comments

As many of the world’s nations prepare and implement plans to cut greenhouse gas emissions, researchers say another critical factor needs to be considered. A new study has found for the first time that efforts to keep global temperatures in check will likely lead to more people going hungry. That risk, they say, doesn’t negate the need for mitigation but highlights the importance of comprehensive policies.

Ocean helps unravel mysteries of cloud formation

June 10, 2015 8:17 am | by Libby Dowdall, Univ. of Wisconsin-Madison | News | Comments

In a recently published study, a research team peels back the mysteries of the structures of tiny aerosol particles at the surface of the ocean. The work shows how the particles' chemical composition influences their abilities to take in moisture from the air, which indicates whether the particle will help to form a cloud, a key to many basic problems in climate prediction.

Warmer, lower-oxygen oceans will shift marine habitats

June 5, 2015 10:20 am | by Hannah Hickey, Univ. of Washington | News | Comments

Modern mountain climbers typically carry tanks of oxygen to help them reach the summit. It’s the combination of physical exertion and lack of oxygen at high altitudes that creates one of the biggest challenges for mountaineers. Univ. of Washington researchers and collaborators have found that the same principle will apply to marine species under global warming.

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A check on runaway lake drainage

June 4, 2015 7:34 am | by Jennifer Chu, MIT News Office | News | Comments

Each summer, Greenland’s ice sheet begins to melt. Pockets of melting ice form hundreds of large, “supraglacial” lakes on the surface of the ice. Many of these lakes drain through cracks and crevasses in the ice sheet, creating a liquid layer over which massive chunks of ice can slide. This natural conveyor belt can speed ice toward the coast, where it eventually falls off into the sea.

Paleo study shows how elevation may affect evolution

June 3, 2015 7:56 am | by David Orenstein, Brown Univ. | News | Comments

Paleontologists have documented how dramatic shifts in climate have led to dramatic shifts in evolution. One such event, the Grande Coupure, was a wipeout of many European mammal species 33.9 million years ago when global temperatures and precipitation declined sharply. What has been puzzling is that during the same transition between the Eocene and Oligocene periods, North American mammals fared much better.

Saving money and the environment with 3D printing

June 3, 2015 7:47 am | by Amanda Morris, Northwestern Univ. | News | Comments

A Northwestern Univ. team has confirmed a new way to help the airline industry save dollars while also saving the environment. And the solution comes in three dimensions. By manufacturing aircrafts’ metal parts with 3D printing, airlines could save a significant amount of fuel, materials and other resources.

Greenhouse gas-caused warming felt in just months

June 2, 2015 12:38 pm | by Carnegie Institution | News | Comments

The heat generated by burning a fossil fuel is surpassed within a few months by the warming caused by the release of its carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, according to new work. The release of CO2 into the atmosphere contributes to the trapping of heat that would otherwise be emitted into outer space.

Ancient algae found deep in tropical glacier

June 1, 2015 11:04 am | by Mike Williams, Rice Univ. | News | Comments

The remains of tiny creatures found deep inside a mountaintop glacier in Peru are clues to the local landscape more than a millennium ago, according to a new study. The unexpected discovery of diatoms, a type of algae, in ice cores pulled from the Quelccaya Summit Dome Glacier demonstrate that freshwater lakes or wetlands that currently exist at high elevations on or near the mountain were also there in earlier times.

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Lab can create hurricane conditions on demand

May 29, 2015 8:57 am | by Jennifer Kay, Associated Press | News | Comments

Researchers trying to figure out what makes some hurricanes strengthen into catastrophic monsters have a new lab that allows them to generate tropical storm conditions with the flip of a switch. The lab is at the Univ. of Miami's Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science. It's known as the Surge-Structure-Atmosphere Interaction, or SUSTAIN.

Study shows influence on climate of fresh water during last Ice Age

May 29, 2015 8:26 am | by Oregon State Univ. | News | Comments

A new study shows how huge influxes of fresh water into the North Atlantic Ocean from icebergs calving off North America during the last ice age had an unexpected effect—they increased the production of methane in the tropical wetlands. Usually increases in methane levels are linked to warming in the Northern Hemisphere, but scientists have identified rapid increases in methane during particularly cold intervals.

New technique to understand cloud behavior

May 28, 2015 7:53 am | by Julie Chao, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory | News | Comments

With two off-the-shelf digital cameras situated about 1 km apart facing Miami’s Biscayne Bay, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory scientists are collecting 3-D data on cloud behavior that have never been possible to collect before. The photos allow the team to measure how fast the clouds rise, which in turn can shed light on a wide range of areas, ranging from lightning rates to extreme precipitation to the ozone hole.

EPA plans temporary pesticide restrictions while bees feed

May 28, 2015 12:04 am | by Seth Borenstein, AP Science Writer, Associated Press | News | Comments

If honeybees are busy pollinating large, blooming croplands, farmers wanting to spray toxic pesticides will soon have to buzz off, the Environmental Protection Agency is proposing. A federal rule to be proposed Thursday would create temporary pesticide-free zones when certain plants are in bloom around bees that are trucked from farm to farm by professional beekeepers, which are the majority of honeybees in the U.S.

Anti-pollution rules have uncertain effects

May 26, 2015 10:38 am | by Indiana Univ. | News | Comments

Air pollution regulations issued by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency are estimated to save thousands of lives annually. A new study by researchers at Indiana Univ. says these estimates are more uncertain than commonly believed. Researchers analyzed the costs and expected lifesavings of nine regulations issued between 2011 and 2013. The bulk of these regulations require national emissions standards for hazardous air pollutants.

Study: Europeans to suffer more ragweed with global warming

May 25, 2015 12:04 pm | by Seth Borenstein, AP Science Writer, Associated Press | News | Comments

Global warming will bring much more sneezing and wheezing to Europe by mid-century, a new study says. Ragweed pollen levels are likely to quadruple for much of Europe because warmer temperatures will allow the plants to take root more, and carbon dioxide will make them grow more. Other factors not related to man-made climate change will also contribute.

Natural gas versus diesel

May 20, 2015 8:24 am | by American Chemical Society | News | Comments

Some major trucking companies are turning to natural gas to fuel their fleets, and to earn “green” credit among customers. But celebrating lower emissions could be premature. Researchers have found that converting heavy-duty trucks to run on natural gas could lead to negative climate impacts if steps are not taken to improve engine efficiency and reduce methane emissions from the fuel’s supply chain.

To fight bee decline, Obama proposes more land to feed bees

May 19, 2015 2:04 pm | by Seth Borenstein, AP Science Writer, Associated Press | News | Comments

A new federal plan aims to reverse America's declining honeybee and monarch butterfly populations by making millions of acres of federal land more bee-friendly, spending millions of dollars more on research and considering the use of fewer pesticides. While putting different type of landscapes along highways, federal housing projects and elsewhere may not sound like much in terms of action.

Study backs seaweed’s carbon capture potential

May 19, 2015 8:30 am | by Univ. of Technology, Sydney | News | Comments

There are great hopes for the potential of coastal plants and seaweeds to store carbon and help counter the effects of climate change and a new study is backing that potential. Scientists have carried out the first investigation of how a diverse range of coastal plants and seaweed can contribute to "blue carbon" stocks, the carbon in leaves, sediments and roots that's naturally captured, or sequestered, by plants in coastal habitats.

Artificial enzymes to reduce carbon dioxide emissions

May 19, 2015 8:14 am | by Univ. of Nottingham Malaysia Campus | News | Comments

Enzymes are biological catalysts that accelerate chemical reactions, such as the conversion of gaseous carbon dioxide into carbonates. Carbonates are the basic component of coral reefs, mollusc shells and kidney stones. Although naturally occurring enzymes would be ideal for converting human-generated carbon dioxide emissions into carbonates, they are generally incapable of coping with the extreme conditions of industrial plants.

Future for warming U.S.: Not just the heat but the humanity

May 18, 2015 12:11 pm | by Seth Borenstein, AP Science Writer, Associated Press | News | Comments

The combination of global warming and shifting population means that by mid-century, there will be a huge increase in the number of Americans sweating through days that are extremely hot, a new study says. People are migrating into areas—especially in the South—where the heat is likely to increase more, said the authors of a study published Monday by Nature Climate Change.

How microbes acquire electricity in making methane

May 18, 2015 10:57 am | by Mark Shwartz, Stanford Univ. | News | Comments

Stanford Univ. scientists have solved a long-standing mystery about methanogens, unique microorganisms that transform electricity and carbon dioxide into methane. In a new study, the Stanford team demonstrates for the first time how methanogens obtain electrons from solid surfaces. The discovery could help scientists design electrodes for microbial "factories" that produce methane gas and other compounds sustainably.

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