Earth

Having a memory of past events enables us to take smarter decisions about the future. Researchers at the Max-Planck Institute for Dynamics and Self-Organization (MPI-DS) and the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have now identified how the slime mold Physarum polycephalum saves memories - although it has no nervous system.

The ability to store and recover information gives an organism a clear advantage when searching for food or avoiding harmful environments. Traditionally it has been attributed to organisms that have a nervous system.

During ice ages, the global mean sea level falls because large amounts sea water are stored in the form of huge continental glaciers. Until now, mathematical models of the last ice age could not reconcile the height of the sea level and the thickness of the glacier masses: the so-called Missing Ice Problem. With new calculations that take into account crustal, gravitational and rotational perturbation of the solid Earth, an international team of climate researchers has succeeded in resolving the discrepancy, among them Dr.

A study of adults in the United States finds that - broadly speaking - the older you are, the more concerned you are about COVID-19, and the more steps you take to reduce your risk from COVID-19. The study suggests that the biggest boost in risk reduction would stem from communication efforts aimed at raising awareness of COVID-19 risks among U.S. adults under the age of 40.

Warming temperatures will potentially alter the climate in Alaska so profoundly later this century that the number of thunderstorms will triple, increasing the risks of widespread flash flooding, landslides, and lightning-induced wildfires, new research finds.

Urban areas are on the rise and changing rapidly in form and function, with spillover effects on virtually all areas of the Earth. The UN estimates that by 2050, 68% of the world's population will reside in urban areas. In the inaugural issue of npj Urban Sustainability, a new Nature Partner Journal out today, a team of leading urban ecologists outlines a practical checklist to guide interventions, strategies, and research that better position urban systems to meet urgent sustainability goals.

The environmental impacts of removing dingoes from the landscape are visible from space, a new UNSW Sydney study shows.

The study, recently published in Landscape Ecology, pairs 32 years' worth of satellite imagery with site-based field research on both sides of the Dingo Fence in the Strzelecki Desert.

The researchers found that vegetation inside the fence - that is, areas without dingoes - had poorer long-term growth than vegetation in areas with dingoes.

Texas A&M University researchers have designed a reinforcement-based algorithm that automates the process of predicting the properties of the underground environment, facilitating the accurate forecasting of oil and gas reserves.

LOGAN, UTAH -- One solution to agriculture's many challenges -- climate change-induced drought, less arable land, and decreased water quality, to name a few -- is to develop smarter fertilizers. Such fertilizers would aim not only to nourish the plant but also to maximize soil bacteria's positive effects on the plant. Tapping into a plant's microbiome may be the extra layer of defense crops need to thrive.

Researchers have developed a method to estimate the value of oyster and clam aquaculture to nitrogen reduction in a coastal community. Nitrogen is a nutrient that comes from many different sources, including agriculture, fertilizers, septic systems, and treated wastewater. In excess it fuels algal growth, which can affect water quality and human health.

As a result, a growing number of communities are required to follow regulations to reduce the amount of nitrogen they release. Shellfish are an option that can be a valuable part of a community's nutrient management plan.

Do you dim the lighting and turn on the red light for a romantic night in with your partner? It turns out moths aren't so different in that regard. A new study published in Frontiers in Genetics shows that dim red light boosts sexual activity in a model species, the yellow peach moth Conogethes punctiferalis (family Crambidae), by selectively activating a genetic pathway related to olfaction in the antennae.

New research by the University of Oslo provides evidence that the "protocells" that formed around 3.8 billion years ago, before bacteria and single-celled organisms, could have had specialized bubble-like compartments that formed spontaneously, encapsulated small molecules, and formed "daughter" protocells.

For many, 2020 was notorious for the COVID-19 pandemic, but for climate scientists, the year is also infamous for tying with 2016 as the hottest since records began. 'Nine of the warmest years on record have occurred since 2010', says JEB Editor-in-Chief, Craig Franklin. With the ice caps and glaciers melting, devastating bushfires scorching arid regions, and hurricanes and typhoons battering coastal communities, the impact on local ecosystems has been catastrophic.

As part of the Journal of Experimental Biology's Special Issue dedicated to climate change, Anthony Pagano (San Diego Zoo Global, USA) and Terrie Williams (University of California, Santa Cruz, USA), discuss the impact of environmental change on two iconic polar species; the polar bear and narwhal. Their review article is published in Journal of Experimental Biology at https://jeb.biologists.org/content/224/Suppl_1.

Organic molecules that capture photons and convert these into electricity have important applications for producing green energy. Light-harvesting complexes need two semiconductors, an electron donor and an acceptor. How well they work is measured by their quantum efficiency, the rate by which photons are converted into electron-hole pairs.

New research has found one in five people in the south London live with multimorbidity.

The study, published today in the Lancet Regional Health by researchers from King's College London and the NIHR Guy's and St Thomas' Biomedical Research Centre and supported by Impact on Urban Health, examined the prevalence of multimorbidity - two or more long-term diseases at once - and identified key relationships between diseases.