July 22, 2019

    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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