Menopausal Mother Nature

News about Climate Change and our Planet

Algae

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Sea ice triggered the Little Ice Age, finds a new study

(University of Colorado at Boulder) A new study finds a trigger for the Little Ice Age that cooled Europe from the 1300s through mid-1800s, and supports surprising model results suggesting that under the right conditions sudden climate changes can occur spontaneously, without external forcing.

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Can pumping up cold water from deep within the ocean halt coral bleaching?

Rising ocean temperatures cause marine heat waves, which place stress on living coral animals, as well as the photosynthetic algae on which they depend for energy. A new study is showing potential for the use of artificial upwelling (AU)– or the application of cooler, deep water — as a way to mitigate the thermal stress on corals.

The future of biofuels in the dark

(University of California – Riverside) Algae could compete with petroleum as the fuel of the future if only the process of growing it was more efficient. Thanks to a fellowship from the Link Foundation, it soon could be. Elizabeth Hann, a doctoral student in plant biology at UC Riverside, is using the two-year, $60,000 fellowship to test whether she can grow algae for biofuels completely in the dark using solar-generated electricity.

Shedding light on coral reefs

(Bermuda Institute of Ocean Sciences) New research published in the journal Coral Reefs generates the largest characterization of coral reef spectral data to date. These data are an initial step in building a quantitative understanding of reef water clarity. With these data, coral reef scientists can begin to develop models to address fundamental questions about how reefs function, such as how much light reaches the various reef zones or how ecological zonation on reefs might be driven by light absorption.

Cool! Here’s how Venus would look as a water world

A new map created by a Reddit user – based on what we know about the highs and lows on Venus’ surface – shows what this neighboring, cloud-shrouded, blazing hot planet might look like with oceans. Wow!

Do big tadpoles turn into big frogs? It’s complicated, study finds

(University of Arizona) University of Arizona researchers studied the evolution of the body sizes of frogs and their tadpoles. They found that the two life stages do not evolve completely independently of each other as previously thought.

Excitable cells

(University of Tasmania) A study led by researchers from Tasmania, Chile and Germany has furthered our understanding of plant evolution by tracking the origins of electrical signalling components that plants developed to communicate and adapt to life on land.

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Unilever plans to remove oil-based ingredients from all cleaning products

The owner of Persil, Domestos and Cif is to invest €1bn in eliminating fossil fuel-based ingredients from its cleaning products by 2030. Unilever’s “clean future” initiative aims to develop renewable or recycled alternatives to chemicals derived from the oil industry…