Earth

An unprecedented survey has revealed the loss of about 85 percent of historical tidal wetlands in California, Oregon, and Washington. The report, published today in PLOS ONE, also highlights forgotten estuary acreage that might now be targeted for restoration.

The periodic table has been a vital foundational tool for material research since it was first created 150 years ago. Now, Martin Rahm from Chalmers University of Technology presents a new article which adds an entirely new dimension to the table, offering a new set of principles for material research. The article is published in the Journal of the American Chemical Society.

This summer alone, intense heat waves have been to blame for at least 11 deaths in Japan, a record-breaking 45.9-degree Celsius temperature in France, and a heat advisory affecting 147 million people on the U.S. East Coast.

A new species of giant penguin - about 1.6 metres tall - has been identified from fossils found in Waipara, North Canterbury.

The discovery of Crossvallia waiparensis, a monster penguin from the Paleocene Epoch (between 66 and 56 million years ago), adds to the list of gigantic, but extinct, New Zealand fauna. These include the world's largest parrot, a giant eagle, giant burrowing bat, the moa and other giant penguins.

A higher standard of wastewater treatment in the UK has been linked to substantial improvements in a river's biodiversity over the past 30 years, ensuring a welcome success story for wildlife, say scientists.

The Centre for Ecology & Hydrology analysed data from the regular monitoring of both chemicals and invertebrates in the River Ray in Wiltshire by the Environment Agency and its predecessors between 1977 and 2016. This Thames tributary is downstream from Swindon's large wastewater treatment plant.

"Birds of a feather flock together" or rather "opposites attract"? The recently published study on male macaques in Thailand speaks for the former: Behavioral biologists from the German Primate Centre - Leibniz Institute for Primate Research and psychologists from the University of Göttingen have observed that the more similar male Assamese macaques are in their personality, the closer they get and the stronger their social bonds. The scientists were able to rule out the possibility that the causality works the other way round, i.e.

A new review of silicon cycling in glacial environments, led by scientists from the University of Bristol, highlights the potential importance of glaciers in exporting silicon to downstream ecosystems.

This, say the researchers, could have implications for marine primary productivity and impact the carbon cycle on the timescales of ice ages.

The mechanisms by which new species arise are still not fully understood. What are the evolutionary processes that drive the evolution of new species? Evolutionary biologists traditionally assumed that geographical barriers between animal populations play a decisive role (allopatric speciation): a species is physically separated into two or more isolated populations, thereby preventing gene flow between these groups. The subpopulations adapt to their respective habitats and evolve into independent species with different characteristics.

The diversity and ecology of African parasitoid wasps was studied for over a year during a project run by the Biodiversity Unit of the University of Turku in Finland. Parasitoid wasps are one of the animal groups that are the most rich in species. However, the tropical species are still very poorly known. Understanding the diversity of parasitoid wasps inhabiting rainforests is important, because tropical biodiversity is dwindling at an accelerating rate.

A new study provides the most accurate estimate of the frequency that planets that are similar to Earth in size and in distance from their host star occur around stars similar to our Sun. Knowing the rate that these potentially habitable planets occur will be important for designing future astronomical missions to characterize nearby rocky planets around sun-like stars that could support life. A paper describing the model appears August 14, 2019 in The Astronomical Journal.

Infrared imagery from NASA's Aqua satellite shows that Tropical Storm Krosa contains powerful thunderstorms with heavy rain capabilities as it moves toward landfall in southern Japan.  Krosa's center is expected to make landfall in the western part of Shikoku Island, Japan.

On Aug. 14, 2019, the Japan Meteorological Agency has issued warnings for Kyushu, Shikoku and southeastern portions of Honshu. Because Krosa is such a large storm, it is expected to affect all of the big islands of Japan.

Beachgoers are becoming increasingly aware of the potentially harmful effects UV filters from sunscreens can have on coral and other marine organisms when the protective lotions wash off their bodies into the ocean. Now, researchers have studied how sunscreens release different compounds -- trace metals and inorganic nutrients -- into Mediterranean seawater, with unknown effects on marine ecology. They report their results in ACS' journal Environmental Science & Technology.

As methane concentrations increase in the Earth's atmosphere, chemical fingerprints point to a probable source: shale oil and gas, according to new Cornell University research published today (14 August) in Biogeosciences, a journal of the European Geosciences Union.

The research suggests that this methane has less carbon-13 relative to carbon-12 (denoting the weight of the carbon atom at the centre of the methane molecule) than does methane from conventional natural gas and other fossil fuels such as coal.

The emotive warnings were made because of global reports that its precursor 'Finding Nemo' had inspired a surge in purchases of clown fish, which in turn caused environmental and animal harm. This became known as "the Nemo effect".

The most high profile of the warnings came from the voice of 'Little Dory' herself - Ellen DeGeneres, and largely all the appeals focused on stopping viewers from buying pets linked with the movie.

Research published this Wednesday (August 14th) in Scientific Reports describes Clevosaurus hadroprodon, a new reptile species from Rio Grande do Sul state in southern Brazil. Its fossils remains--jaws and associated skull bones--were collected from Triassic rocks (c. 237-228 million-years old) making it the oldest known fossil of its kind in Gondwana, the southern supercontinent that would eventually become Africa, Antarctica, Australia, India, and South America.