Environment News

Thursday, February 20, 2014 - 12:00

The widespread loss of forest to sugarcane fields on the island of Mauritius has forced kestrels living there to survive by speeding up their life histories, according to a report published online on February 20 in the Cell Press journal Current Biology. By getting an earlier start, the birds are managing to have just as many offspring, even though they die sooner.

 

Thursday, February 20, 2014 - 07:33

In a new study, researchers from Imperial College Business School carried out a comprehensive nationwide analysis of the UK fleet of wind turbines, using local wind speed data from NASA. They showed that the turbines will last their full life of about 25 years before they need to be upgraded.

Monday, January 27, 2014 - 23:43

A new catalytic converter that could cut fuel consumption and manufacturing costs has been designed by a scientist from Imperial College London. A catalytic converter is the component in a vehicle’s exhaust system that eliminates harmful emissions. Tests suggest that the new prototype could reduce fuel consumption in a standard vehicle by up to three per cent. It could also deliver environmental benefits by reducing the amount of CO₂ that each vehicle emits.

 

Tuesday, January 21, 2014 - 12:59

Waterborne microorganisms could help to save frogs and toads from a skin-eating fungus that threatens amphibians around the world. Scientists have discovered that certain aquatic microbes, including single-celled protozoans and tiny animals called rotifers, can consume large quantities of the fungal spores that spread disease.

 

Friday, January 17, 2014 - 11:25

The biological term “symbiosis” refers to what economists and politicians usually call a win-win situation: a relationship between two partners which is beneficial to both. The mutualistic association between acacia plants and the ants that live on them is an excellent example: The plants provide food and accommodation in the form of food bodies and nectar as well as hollow thorns which can be used as nests. The ants return this favour by protecting the plants against herbivores. Researchers at the Max Planck Institute for Chemical Ecology in Jena, Germany, have now found that ants also keep harmful leaf pathogens in check.

 

Thursday, January 16, 2014 - 23:01

From 2000 to 2010, about 1,900 cyclones churned across the top of the world each year, leaving warm water and air in their wakes – and melting sea ice in the Arctic Ocean. That’s about 40 percent more of these Arctic storms than previously thought, according to a new study of vast troves of weather data that previously were synthesized at the Ohio Supercomputer Center (OSC).