ScienceDaily: Top Environment News: Computer sims: In climatic tug of war, carbon released from thawing permafrost wins handily

Jay Owen Earth Systems Science

ScienceDaily: Top Environment News

Computer sims: In climatic tug of war, carbon released from thawing permafrost wins handily

Posted: 18 Mar 2015 12:39 PM PDT

There will be a lot more carbon released from thawing permafrost than the amount taken in by more Arctic vegetation, according to new computer simulations. The findings are from an Earth system model that is the first to represent permafrost processes as well as the dynamics of carbon and nitrogen in the soil. Simulations using the model showed that by the year 2300, if climate change continues unchecked, the net loss of carbon to the atmosphere from Arctic permafrost would range from between 21 petagrams and 164 petagrams. That’s equivalent to between two years and 16 years of human-induced CO2 emissions.

Mechanism that helps parasites manipulate their hosts may have been discovered

Posted: 18 Mar 2015 12:39 PM PDT

Rodents infected with a common parasite lose their fear of cats, resulting in easy meals for the felines. Now researchers have identified a new way the parasite may modify brain cells, possibly helping explain changes in the behavior of mice — and humans.

Insect wings might serve gyroscopic function, new research suggests

Posted: 18 Mar 2015 11:55 AM PDT

Gyroscopes are rarely found in nature. But researchers have discovered that insect wings may act as gyroscopes, helping insects perform aerial acrobatics and maintain stability and direction.



Amazon’s carbon uptake declines as trees die faster

Posted: 18 Mar 2015 11:54 AM PDT

The Amazon is losing its capacity to absorb carbon from the atmosphere, reveals he most extensive land-based study of the Amazon to date. From a peak of two billion tons of carbon dioxide each year in the 1990s, the net uptake by the forest has halved and is now for the first time being overtaken by fossil fuel emissions in latin america.

Pesticides not sole culprit in honey bee colony declines

Posted: 18 Mar 2015 11:54 AM PDT

The world’s most common insecticide does not significantly harm honey bee colonies at real-world dosage levels, a new multiyear, field-based study shows. “Imidacloprid is the most widely used insecticide in the world. It’s not restricted because it is very safe–an order of magnitude safer than organophosphates,” an author said, drawing a comparison with a class of chemicals known to be highly toxic to nearly all living things.


Electronic waste has energy value

Posted: 18 Mar 2015 10:44 AM PDT

Using discarded electronic boards, researchers have developed a system for obtaining clean hydrogen that can be used as fuel. The researchers have already registered the patent of the process in Japan.










Towards ‘printed’ organic solar cells and LEDs

Posted: 18 Mar 2015 07:08 AM PDT

Flexible optoelectronic devices that can be produced roll-to-roll — much like newspapers are printed — are a highly promising path to cheaper devices such as solar cells and LED lighting panels. Scientists have now created prototype flexible solar cell modules as well as novel silver-based transparent electrodes that outperform currently used materials.



Toward better agricultural fertilization management

Posted: 18 Mar 2015 04:44 AM PDT

Ammonia emissions associated with crop fertilization could reduce up to 82% with a minimum impact on agricultural production, a new study concludes. This study has shown that effective reduction of the ammonia emissions due to fertilization of agricultural systems can be achieved without compromising production.

EU ban on ditching unwanted fish ‘will be difficult for industry to comply with’

Posted: 18 Mar 2015 04:43 AM PDT

The fishing industry will have difficulty complying with new EU Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) rules banning the throwing away of unwanted fish, according to research.



Dairy industry making strides toward reducing its carbon footprint

Posted: 18 Mar 2015 04:42 AM PDT

Agricultural greenhouse gases (GHG) make up 8.1% of total U.S. GHG emissions. The dairy cattle farming industry is being challenged to reduce greenhouse gas emissions while maintaining or increasing profitability. Researchers now report that farms with lower carbon footprints and higher-producing cows are more profitable, a win-win situation for everyone, including the cows.

New ipad game uses citizen science to track endangered species

Posted: 18 Mar 2015 04:42 AM PDT

Today, a new app for the iPad was released that could change the way wildlife is monitored in the future.


Survival gardening goes global via cellphone animations

Posted: 16 Mar 2015 10:57 AM PDT

Subsistence farmers in Africa, the Americas and the Caribbean are learning how to construct raised planting beds and install drip irrigation systems to boost their agricultural productivity, conserve water and perhaps even halt the rapid advance of desertification in some drought-prone regions.