Earth

New York, NY--June 24, 2019--For decades, scientists studying a key climate phenomenon have been grappling with contradictory data that have threated to undermine confidence in the reliability of climate models overall. A new study, published today in Nature Geoscience, settles that debate with regard to the tropical atmospheric circulation.

Nestled between the Pacific Ocean and the Andes mountains, Peru's coastal region relies on surface water from the Andes for drinking water, industry, and animal and crop farming.

The region, which includes Peru's capital city Lima, is often overwhelmed with rain in the wet season - but by the time the dry season comes, water is scarce.

These factors, together with Lima's rapidly growing population, mean the city struggles to supply water to its 12 million residents during the dry months of May to October.

TROY, N.Y. -- Increased solar radiation penetrating through the damaged ozone layer is interacting with the changing climate, and the consequences are rippling through the Earth's natural systems, effecting everything from weather to the health and abundance of sea mammals like seals and penguins. These findings were detailed in a review article published today in Nature Sustainability by members of the United Nations Environment Programme's Environmental Effects Assessment Panel, which informs parties to the Montreal Protocol.

The latest supplement to the American Ornithological Society's checklist of North and Middle American birds is being published in The Auk: Ornithological Advances, and it includes several major updates to the organization of the continent's bird species. The official authority on the names and classification of the region's birds, the checklist is consulted by birdwatchers and professional scientists alike and has been published since 1886.

Logging roads are expanding dramatically in the Congo Basin, leading to catastrophic collapses in animal populations living in the world's second-largest rainforest, according to research co-led by a scientist at James Cook University in Australia.

Just as worrying is that the rate of forest destruction caused by new roads in the Congo Basin has risen sharply over time, quadrupling since 2000.

Against the background of global warming, extreme heat has occurred more frequently and caused adverse socioeconomic effects. In the midsummer of 2018, a severe extreme heat episode attacked Northeast Asia, causing numerous fatalities. For instance, the extreme heat that attacked Japan in July 2018 resulted in about 24 000 hospitalized patients and more than 90 deaths. To understand what caused the extreme heat over Northeast Asia, a scientific collaboration of climatologists examined the forces of the tropical circulation and sea surface temperature.

Photoreceptor cells in our eyes can adjust to both weak and strong light levels, but we still don't know exactly how they do it. Emeritus Professor Fumio Hayashi of Kobe University and his colleagues revealed that the photoreceptor protein rhodopsin forms transient clusters within the disc membranes in retina. These clusters are concentrated in the center of disc membranes, and act as platforms in the process of light to chemical signal conversion. The findings were published as a highlighted paper in Communications Biology on June 14.

BELLEVUE, WA --The frigid lakeshores of Saturn's moon Titan might be encrusted with strange, unearthly minerals, according to new research being presented here.

Scientists re-creating Titan-esque conditions in their laboratory have discovered new compounds and minerals not found on Earth, including a co-crystal made of solid acetylene and butane.

Researchers from the Beijing Institute of Nanoenergy and Nanosystems and the University of Chinese Academy of Sciences have developed a bionic stretchable nanogenerator (BSNG) that takes inspiration from electric eels.

The scientists hope the new technology will meet the tough demands of wearable equipment applications for stretchability, deformability, biocompatibility, waterproofness and more.

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. -- Before designing the next generation of soft materials, researchers must first understand how they behave during rapidly changing deformation. In a new study, researchers challenged previous assumptions regarding polymer behavior with newly developed laboratory techniques that measure polymer flow at the molecular level.

This approach may lead to the design of new biomedical, industrial and environmental applications - from polymers that aid in blood clotting to materials that more efficiently extract oil and gas from wells.

The world is dependent on energy both for human wellbeing and society's continued development. Energy use is however also one of the human systems that is most directly influenced by changes in climate, which makes it crucial to gain insight into the impacts of climate change on energy demand.

Long ago, during the European Renaissance, Leonardo da Vinci wrote that we humans "know more about the movement of celestial bodies than about the soil underfoot." Five hundred years and innumerable technological and scientific advances later, his sentiment still holds true.

But that could soon change.

AUBURN, Ala. - Auburn University researchers have published a new hypothesis that could provide the foundation for new scientific studies looking into the association of habitat loss and the global emergence of infectious diseases.

They present their research in the paper, "The Coevolution Effect as a Driver of Spillover," in the latest issue of the scientific journal, Trends in Parasitology.

While exploring the way alien species invade cities around the world, South African PhD student Ashlyn L. Padayachee (University of KwaZulu-Natal, UKZN) and her supervisors, Serban Proches (UKZN) and John Wilson (SANBI and Stellenbosch University) remember suddenly being stricken.

San Francisco, CA - June 23, 2019 - Researchers from the New York Institute of Technology (NYIT) have discovered bacteriophages, viruses that infect bacteria, living in their kitchen sponges. As the threat of antibiotic resistance increases, bacteriophages, or phages for short, may prove useful in fighting bacteria that cannot be killed by antibiotics alone. The research is presented at ASM Microbe, the annual meeting of the American Society for Microbiology.