Earth

Oceans are not the only bodies of water that acidify due to man-made climate change; freshwater systems are likewise affected - and this, in turn, could have an impact on the organisms living in them. This is the conclusion drawn by biologists at Ruhr-Universität Bochum following an analysis of long-term data from a number of freswhater reservoirs across Germany and controlled lab experiments with freshwater organisms.

Increased fluctuations in the path of the North Atlantic jet stream since the 1960s coincide with more extreme weather events in Europe such as heat waves, droughts, wildfires and flooding, reports a University of Arizona-led team.

The research is the first reconstruction of historical changes in the North Atlantic jet stream prior to the 20th century. By studying tree rings from trees in the British Isles and the northeastern Mediterranean, the team teased out those regions' late summer weather going back almost 300 years -- to 1725.

With the increasing advantages of DNA sequencing, University of Cincinnati biologists are unraveling many evolutionary mysteries behind the complex world of spider vision.

Looking closely at the mysterious genetic blueprint for how these peepers developed and function is helping researchers see great opportunities for future research. New studies could include gene therapies in humans with visual problems like macular degeneration or retinal cancer.

Winter rains falling on recently burned ground triggered deadly mudslides in Santa Barbara County, California on January 9. NASA calculated the amount of rain fall between January 8 and 10, 2018 and calculated the potential for landslides.

Found in microbial communities around the world, Aspergillus fungi are pathogens, decomposers, and important sources of biotechnologically-important enzymes. Each Aspergillus species is known to contain more than 250 carbohydrate active enzymes (CAzymes), which break down plant cell walls and are of interest to Department of Energy (DOE) researchers working on the industrial production of sustainable alternative fuels using candidate bioenergy feedstock crops.

CAMDEN - A study led by Amy Savage, a Rutgers University-Camden assistant professor of biology, will help researchers understand how to make predictions and conservation decisions about how organisms living in cities will respond to catastrophic weather events.

Savage's analysis, conducted in New York City, compared the diversity of arthropods - insects such as ants, bees, beetles, and wasps - that were living in parks and street medians before and after Hurricane Sandy, which ravaged parts of New Jersey and New York in 2012.

Why do species die out? This is the overarching question being asked by many leading researchers. Knowing more about what leads to a species' becoming extinct could enable us to do something about it. The passenger pigeon is a famous example and the species has been studied extensively.

The passenger pigeon (Ectopistes migratorius) was once found in huge numbers in North America. Records tell of passing flocks that darkened the skies for several days at a time. The species may have peaked at five billion individuals. A more conservative estimate is three billion.

When studying the effect of climate change on biodiversity, it is important to consider the climate near the ground (microclimate) which a plant or an animal actually experiences. Deep shady depressions, dense old forests or places close to water for example are always considerably cooler than their surroundings.

Tropical Depression 5S was consolidating just offshore Cape Leveque, Western Australia when NASA's Aqua satellite gathered temperature data that showed the strongest part of the depression remained over water.

At 10 a.m. EST (1500 UTC) on Jan. 9, Tropical Cyclone 5S formed with maximum sustained winds near 30 knots (34.5 mph/55.5 kph). It was centered near 16.2 degrees south latitude and 122.4 degrees east longitude. That's about 109 nautical miles north of Broome, Australia. It was moving to the west at 2 knots (3.3 mph/3.7 kph).

Researchers at Linköping University have studied how combinations of different environmental factors affect the chlorination of organic matter in soils. The results show that the supply of fresh organic compounds, which promote the growth of the microorganisms, increases chlorination. The discovery could mean that chlorine in ecosystems has a different significance than previously believed.