Menopausal Mother Nature

News about Climate Change and our Planet

National Science Foundation

Natural selection favors cheaters

Natural selection predicts that mutualisms — interactions between members of different species that benefit both parties — should fall apart. Individuals that gain from the cooperation of others but do not reciprocate (so-called cheaters) should arise and destabilize mutualisms. Yet to date, surprisingly little evidence of such cheating or destabilization exists. A team of biologists has now found strong evidence of this cheating.

Algal library lends insights into genes for photosynthesis

To identify genes involved in photosynthesis, researchers built a library containing thousands of single-celled algae, each with a different gene mutation. The library, which took nine years to construct, has already helped researchers identify 303 genes associated with photosynthesis including 21 newly discovered genes with high potential to provide new insights into this life-sustaining process.

Rukwa Rift Basin Project names new Cretaceous mammal from East African Rift System

Researchers announced a new species of mammal from the Age of Dinosaurs, representing the most complete mammal from the Cretaceous Period of continental Africa, and providing tantalizing insights into the past diversity of mammals on the planet.

Cause of cathode degradation identified for nickel-rich materials

(DOE/Brookhaven National Laboratory) A team of scientists including researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Brookhaven National Laboratory and SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory have identified the causes of degradation in a cathode material for lithium-ion batteries, as well as possible remedies. Their findings, published on Mar. 7, 2019 in Advanced Functional Materials, could lead to the development of more affordable and better performing batteries for electric vehicles.

Solar-powered moisture harvester collects and cleans water from air

A breakthrough by engineers offers new solution through solar-powered technology that absorbs moisture from the air and returns it as clean, usable water. This ‘super-sponge’ could be used in disaster situations, poverty-stricken areas and developing countries.

Using Thoreau, scientists measure the impact of climate change on wildflowers

(University of Tennessee at Knoxville) A new study is using observations made by Henry David Thoreau — 19th-century American naturalist, social reformer, and philosopher — to explore the effects of climate change on tree leaf-out and, as a result, the emergence of spring wildflowers.

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Potential impacts of future heat waves on humans and wildlife

Climate change is often talked about in terms of averages, like the goal set by the Paris Agreement to limit the Earth’s temperature increase to 2 degrees Celsius. What such numbers fail to convey is that climate change will not only increase the world’s average temperature, it will also intensify extreme heat waves that even now are causing harm. A recent review paper describes the potential impacts of these worsening events on people and wildlife.