Environment News

Thursday, December 12, 2013 - 09:34

Coral reefs, the most biodiverse ecosystems in the world’s oceans, provide safe harbor for fish and organisms of many sizes that make homes among the branches, nooks, and crannies of the treelike coral. But reefs — even the well-protected Great Barrier Reef off the coast of northeastern Australia — are declining because of disease and bleaching, conditions exacerbated by rising ocean temperatures.

 

Monday, December 9, 2013 - 10:08

According to new research, prolonged exposure to small particles found in traffic fumes and industrial emissions can be more deadly than previously thought. This also applies to levels below the current European Union (EU) air quality standards. Researchers from Karolinska Institutet, mainly at the Institute of Environmental Medicine, took part in the international study published in The Lancet.

 

Wednesday, December 4, 2013 - 09:43

Now researchers at MIT have found that with the loss of sea ice, the Arctic Ocean is becoming more of a carbon sink. The team modeled changes in Arctic sea ice, temperatures, currents, and flow of carbon from 1996 to 2007, and found that the amount of carbon taken up by the Arctic increased by 1 megaton each year. But the group also observed a somewhat paradoxical effect: A few Arctic regions where waters were warmest were actually less able to store carbon. Instead, these regions — such as the Barents Sea, near Greenland — were a carbon source, emitting carbon dioxide to the atmosphere.

 

Wednesday, December 4, 2013 - 08:06

Tiny bits of plastic trash could spell big trouble for marine life, starting with the worms, say a team of researchers from Plymouth University and the University of Exeter who report their evidence in a pair of studies in the Cell Press journal Current Biology on December 2. Those marine worms play a key ecological role as an important source of food for other animals.

 

Tuesday, December 3, 2013 - 17:38

A team of researchers has brought new clarity to the picture of how gene-environmental interactions can kill nerve cells that make dopamine. Dopamine is the neurotransmitter that sends messages to the part of the brain that controls movement and coordination. Their discoveries, described in a paper published online today in Cell, include identification of a molecule that protects neurons from pesticide damage.

 

Monday, November 25, 2013 - 10:47

Rain as acidic as undiluted lemon juice may have played a part in killing off plants and organisms around the world during the most severe mass extinction in Earth’s history. About 252 million years ago, the end of the Permian period brought about a worldwide collapse known as the Great Dying, during which a vast majority of species went extinct.