November 20, 2019

    Paris experienced extreme temperatures in 2003
    Cities warm up faster than the rest of the earth

    That the earth is warming up over the last decades (with about 0.2 °C per decade) is yesterday's news. However, a new study now shows that especially big cities warm up much faster; especially the maximum temperature of the year is rising alarmingly (0.6 °C per decade). Recent heat waves in Europe’s and Russia’s cities took a heavy toll as tens of thousands of people lost their lives due to excessive heat. The reason that cities warm up faster than other areas is sought in the abundance of heat-amplifying materials such as concrete, asphalt, steel and glass.

    Read the full story: www.sciencedaily.com/
    Scientific publication: onlinelibrary.wiley.com/


    Polar warming might be greater than accounted for in climate models
    Climate models may have to be revisited

    The Eocene, a period of global warming and high atmospheric CO2 concentrations some 50 million years ago, is a reference period to assess the possible effects of global warming as a consequence of industrial activity. An international isotope study on marine fossils that were formed during the Eocene suggests that polar waters warmed up much more than what scientists believed until now and what has been used in models to predict climate changes. Models might have to adjusted to compensate for the apparent underestimation of polar sea warming.

    Read the full story: https://www.sciencedaily.com/
    Scientific publication: http://www.pnas.org/


    Planting more trees will improve ecology of megacities. Image by sciencebriefss.com
    With 20% more trees megacities could be more healthier and clean

    Megacities are huge urban agglomerations with at least 10 million people. Here, nature is often neglected and in consequence human wellbeing is affected. A new study suggests that conserving natural areas could have huge benefits for the inhabitants. Using mathematical modeling the researchers estimated that by planting around 20% more trees in megacities the quality of the air could be improved, pollution could be reduced and even the consumption of energy could be decreases. City managers and residents should start actively preserve and expand the nature in urban areas, and this can start by planting more trees.

    Read the full story: https://www.elsevier.com
    Scientific publication: http://www.sciencedirect.com


    Native American. Image source: pixabay.com
    Native Americans have their origin in a single migratory wave from Asia

    The conserved remains of two infants found in Alaska, dating 11.5 thousand years ago provide new clues about the origin of the ancient Americans. They may solve a long debate about when ancient migratory populations arrived in Alaska, coming from Asia trough the region called Beringia (presently including the Bering sea). The research derived from the sequencing of the genome of the infants, suggests that the ancestors of Native Americans originated in a single population of settlers who arrived in Alaska about 25000 years ago. Two groups separated from this population: one that remained in the northern part of the continent and another one that migrated south and became ancestors of the indigenous American population.

    Read the full story: www.smithsonianmag.com/
    Scientific publication: www.nature.com


    Yellow warbler's genes makes it escape from climate change
    Yellow warbler's genes makes it escape from climate change
    Animals can either try to adapt to, or escape from, the consequences of climate changes in their habitats. Researchers have now found two genes that stimulate birds (yellow warblers) to look for new habitats. For populations of animals adapting to climate change this is important, because some individuals will stay put and wait for better conditions to come, while others will migrate to search for more favourable habitats. This increases the chances for a species to survive. The discovery of these two genes makes it easier to predict which species or populations will be at greater risk to changing climate conditions.

    Read the full story: https://www.newscientist.com/article/2157797-thrill-seeking-genes-could-help-birds-escape-climate-change/

    Scientific publication: Science, DOI: 10.1126/science.aar3920

    Ocean oxygen content drops
    Ocean oxygen content drops
    Oxygen content in sea water is dropping rapidly over the last 50 years. So-called “Dead Zones”, regions where there is no oxygen and hence no life, have increased four-fold in the open ocean, and even ten-fold in coastal waters. Fish have moved away from these zones to other areas, where they might be prone to predators or fishing activities. The major cause of Death Zone formation is global warming, as warm water can contain less oxygen than cold water, and warmer surface water makes it more difficult for oxygen to reach deeper waters. Scientists expect more Death Zones to form with continuing global warming.

    Read the full story: https://www.sciencedaily.com/

    Scientific publication: Declining oxygen in the global ocean and coastal waters

    Coral bleaching occurs today is five times faster
    Coral bleaching occurs today is five times faster
    A team of international researchers has found that the frequency in which coral bleaching occurs today is five times higher than in the early ‘80s of the 20th century. Bleaching is a stress response of coral to elevated sea water temperatures, leading to massive mortality of coral reefs that takes years to regenerate. The rapid succession of coral bleaching due to global warming does not allow a sufficiently long time window for coral to be replaced. Survival of coral reef ecosystems is thus being threatened, as is the economic welfare of millions of people that directly or indirectly depend on coral reefs for their income.

    Read the full story: https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/01/180104153514.htm
    Scientific publication: http://science.sciencemag.org/content/359/6371/80

    Small gravitational changes in the ground are early warnings of big earthquakes.
    Small gravitational changes in the ground are early warnings of big earthquakes.
    Being able to predict the severity of an earthquake is crucial to put evacuation programmes into operation and save lives. A new analysis of the Tohoku earthquake in Japan in 2011 revealed that tiny gravitational changes, formed when the ground moves, had been picked up by seismic-monitoring stations in China and South Korea before the seismic waves arrived. These small signals could have served to indicate the severity of the upcoming earthquake and to take adequate evacuation measures. This is especially important for coastal areas, where people can escape to higher territory before a tsunami hits the coast.

    Read the full story: https://www.nature.com/

    Scientific publication: http://science.sciencemag.org/

    Fishing in Arctic Ocean banned for 16 years to study the impact of climate change and the region’s ecology
    Fishing in Arctic Ocean banned for 16 years to study the impact of climate change and the region’s ecology
    After 2 years of negotiations, a pact has been agreed between 37 countries to ban fishing in the Arctic Ocean for at least 16 years. This will protect 2.8 million square kilometers of international waters, now quickly becoming accessible due to loss of summer ice.

    Currently fishing is not prohibited in international waters but it is unregulated. Researchers fear it could harm the fragile marine ecosystem, as it happened before in the Bering Strait. To prevent this, research will be conducted between the participating countries to evaluate the ecosystem and impact of climate change.

    After 16 years the deal will be renewed every 5 years, unless a country objects or rules and quotas will be established based on scientific evidence.

    Source: http://www.sciencemag.org/news/2017/12/nations-agree-ban-fishing-arctic-ocean-least-16-years

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