If you look at a snail’s shell, the chances are it will coil to the right. But, occasionally, you might find an unlucky one that twists in the opposite direction – as fans of Jeremy the lefty snail will remember, these snails struggle to mate with the more common rightward-coiling individuals. This chirality (direction of … Read more How the snail’s shell got its coil
Ten per cent of the oxygen we breathe comes from just one kind of bacteria in the ocean. Now laboratory tests have shown that these bacteria are susceptible to plastic pollution, according to a study published in Communications Biology. “We found that exposure to chemicals leaching from plastic pollution interfered with the growth, photosynthesis and oxygen … Read more It’s not just fish, plastic pollution harms the bacteria that help us breathe
Using extensive computer simulations, the scientists Dr Dirk Olonscheck, Dr Thorsten Mauritsen and Dr Dirk Notz from the Max Planck Institute for Meteorology (MPI-M) in Hamburg and the University of Stockholm are now able to explain why the Arctic sea ice varies greatly from year to year. Their results were recently published in Nature Geoscience. … Read more Cause for variability in Arctic sea ice clarified
The Eurasian otter typically eats fish, but amphibians, which are in global decline, are also part of its diet, especially when fish are scarce. In a study, researchers identified bones of amphibians in otter faeces from southern Italy to determine which types of amphibians are typically eaten. They also reviewed 64 studies of otter diet. [rand_post] … Read more Are otters threatening amphibian populations?
As more rain falls on a warming planet, a new computer model shows that it may not take a downpour to cause widespread disruption of road networks. The model combined data on road networks with the hills and valleys of topography to reveal “tipping points” at which even small localized increases in rain cause widespread … Read more As climate changes, small increases in rainfall may cause widespread road outages
It’s a classic policy dispute: How much should the current generation invest in reducing carbon emissions for the benefit of future generations? A study published in Nature Communications helps answer this question by quantifying whether reducing carbon emissions – which will have global benefits in the future – also improves air quality now. Preventing many of … Read more Reducing carbon emissions while improving health is economically attractive
Australian scientists have developed an innovative method using cores drilled from coral to produce a world first 400-year long seasonal record of El Niño events, a record that many in the field had described as impossible to extract. The record published today in Nature Geoscience detects different types of El Niño and shows the nature of El … Read more Impossible research produces 400-year El Niño record, revealing startling changes
Climate change has raised the risk of a fungal disease that ravages banana crops, new research shows. Black Sigatoka disease emerged from Asia in the late 20th Century and has recently completed its invasion of banana-growing areas in Latin America and the Caribbean. The new study, by the University of Exeter, says changes to moisture … Read more Banana disease boosted by climate change