Tag Archives: equator

Artificially cooling planet would cause climate chaos, new research shows

Plans to reverse the effects of global warming by mimicking big volcanic eruptions would have a catastrophic impact on some of the most fragile ecosystems on earth, new research has shown.

Geo-engineering – the intentional manipulation of the climate to counter the effect of global warming – is being proposed as a last-ditch way to deal with the problems of climate change.

However, new research co-authored by University of Exeter expert Angus Ferraro suggests geo-engineering could cause massive changes to rainfall patterns around the equator, drying the tropical rainforests in South America and Asia and intensifying periods of drought in Africa. (more…)

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Biologists find an evolutionary Facebook for monkeys and apes

Why do the faces of some primates contain so many different colors — black, blue, red, orange and white — that are mixed in all kinds of combinations and often striking patterns while other primate faces are quite plain?

UCLA biologists reported last year on the evolution of 129 primate faces in species from Central and South America. This research team now reports on the faces of 139 Old World African and Asian primate species that have been diversifying over some 25 million years. (more…)

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Evolutionary study shows bridge species drive tropical engine of biodiversity

Although scientists have known since the middle of the 19th century that the tropics are teeming with species while the poles harbor relatively few, the origin of the most dramatic and pervasive biodiversity on Earth has never been clear.

New research sheds light on how that pattern came about. Furthermore, it confirms that the tropics have been and continue to be the Earth’s engine of biodiversity. (more…)

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March of the Pathogens: Parasite Metabolism Can Foretell Disease Ranges under Climate Change

Knowing the temperatures that viruses, bacteria, worms and all other parasites need to grow and survive could help determine the future range of infectious diseases under climate change, according to new research.

Princeton University researchers developed a model that can identify the prospects for nearly any disease-causing parasite as the Earth grows warmer, even if little is known about the organism. Their method calculates how the projected temperature change for an area would alter the creature’s metabolism and life cycle, the researchers report in the journal Ecology Letters. (more…)

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African Chickens

UD’s Schmidt studies heat stress, disease resistance in African chickens

Last fall, the University of Delaware’s Carl Schmidt took a trip to Uganda with a team of researchers from Iowa State University and North Carolina State University to get genetic samples from African chickens. The goal was to compare and contrast their genes to one another, and also to American broiler chickens, to gauge how the two species’ genetic makeup helps them cope with heat stress, as well as susceptibility and resistance to different diseases.

The trip was part of a five-year, $4.7 million National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) climate change grant for a project titled “Adapting Chicken Production to Climate Change Through Breeding.” (more…)

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NASA/WHOI Voyage Set to Explore Link Between Sea Saltiness and Climate

A NASA-sponsored expedition is set to sail to the North Atlantic’s saltiest spot to get a detailed, 3-D picture of how salt content fluctuates in the ocean’s upper layers and how these variations are related to shifts in rainfall patterns around the planet.

The research voyage is part of a multi-year mission, dubbed the Salinity Processes in the Upper Ocean Regional Study (SPURS), which will deploy multiple instruments in different regions of the ocean. The new data also will help calibrate the salinity measurements NASA’s Aquarius instrument has been collecting from space since August 2011. (more…)

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Study Links Past Changes in Monsoon to Major Shifts in Indian Civilizations

A fundamental shift in the Indian monsoon has occurred over the last few millennia, from a steady humid monsoon that favored lush vegetation to extended periods of drought, reports a new study led by researchers at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI). The study has implications for our understanding of the monsoon’s response to climate change.

The Indian peninsula sustains over a billion people, yet it lies at the same latitude as the Sahara Desert. Without a monsoon, most of India would be dry and uninhabitable. The ability to predict the timing and amount of the next year’s monsoon is vital, yet even our knowledge of the monsoon’s past variability remains incomplete. (more…)

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Coyotes “Shrank,” Wolves Did Not, After Last Ice Age and Megafaunal Extinctions

*Once large and wolf-like, coyotes ultimately became much smaller*

When the last ice age ended more than 10,000 years ago, many large species of mammals went extinct and others underwent changes in appearance.

But what caused evolutionary changes to take place in the mammals that remained alive?

A study by Julie Meachen of the National Science Foundation (NSF) National Evolutionary Synthesis Center and Josh Samuels of the John Day Fossil Beds National Monument reveals that gray wolves and coyotes, once more similar in size, took the extinction in different strides. (more…)

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