Tag Archives: level

Berkeley Lab Releases Most Comprehensive Databook on China’s Energy and Environment

In the five years since the China Energy Group of the Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) released its last edition of the China Energy Databook, China has achieved two dubious distinctions: it surpassed the United States in energy consumption and it surpassed the United States in energy-related emissions of carbon dioxide, becoming the world leader on both scores.

With these important shifts in the global energy landscape, the eighth edition of the China Energy Databook is being released this week. The Databook is the most comprehensive publicly available resource known to exist covering China’s energy and environmental statistics. The China Energy Group researchers have amassed an enormous trove of data from firsthand sources and organized much of it into a relational database, making it far more useful for research and analytical purposes. (more…)

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A key to mass extinctions could boost food, biofuel production

Hydrogen sulfide, the pungent stuff often referred to as sewer gas, is a deadly substance implicated in several mass extinctions, including one at the end of the Permian period 251 million years ago that wiped out more than three-quarters of all species on Earth.

But in low doses, hydrogen sulfide could greatly enhance plant growth, leading to a sharp increase in global food supplies and plentiful stock for biofuel production, new University of Washington research shows. (more…)

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Tendency to Fear is Strong Political Influence

Fear can play a role in influencing political attitudes on hot-button issues like immigration, according to new research co-authored by Brown political scientist Rose McDermott. The study, published in the American Journal of Political Science, shows that individuals who are genetically predisposed to fear tend to have more negative out-group opinions, which play out politically as support for policies like anti-immigration and segregation. 

PROVIDENCE, R.I. [Brown University] — It’s no secret that fear is a mechanism often used in political campaigns to steer public opinion on hot-button issues like immigration and war. But not everyone is equally predisposed to be influenced by such a strategy, according to new research by Rose McDermott, professor of political science, and colleagues published in the American Journal of Political Science. (more…)

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Genes and obesity: Fast food isn’t only culprit in expanding waistlines — DNA is also to blame

Researchers at UCLA say it’s not just what you eat that makes those pants tighter — it’s also genetics. In a new study, scientists discovered that body-fat responses to a typical fast-food diet are determined in large part by genetic factors, and they have identified several genes they say may control those responses.

The study is the first of its kind to detail metabolic responses to a high-fat, high-sugar diet in a large and diverse mouse population under defined environmental conditions, modeling closely what is likely to occur in human populations. The researchers found that the amount of food consumed contributed only modestly to the degree of obesity. (more…)

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NASA Mars Rover Preparing to Drill into First Martian Rock

PASADENA, Calif. — NASA’s Mars rover Curiosity is driving toward a flat rock with pale veins that may hold clues to a wet history on the Red Planet. If the rock meets rover engineers’ approval when Curiosity rolls up to it in coming days, it will become the first to be drilled for a sample during the Mars Science Laboratory mission.

The size of a car, Curiosity is inside Mars’ Gale Crater investigating whether the planet ever offered an environment favorable for microbial life. Curiosity landed in the crater five months ago to begin its two-year prime mission. (more…)

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More Potent than Carbon Dioxide, Nitrous Oxide Levels in California May be Nearly Three Times Higher Than Previously Thought

Berkeley Lab researchers devise a new method to estimate state’s greenhouse gas emissions.

Using a new method for estimating greenhouse gases that combines atmospheric measurements with model predictions, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) researchers have found that the level of nitrous oxide, a potent greenhouse gas, in California may be 2.5 to 3 times greater than the current inventory.

At that level, total N2O emissions—which are believed to come primarily from nitrogen fertilizers used in agricultural production—would account for about 8 percent of California’s total greenhouse gas emissions. The findings were recently published in a paper titled “Seasonal variations in N2O emissions from central California” in Geophysical Research Letters. Earlier this year, using the same methodology, the researchers found that levels of methane, another potent greenhouse gas, in California may be up to 1.8 times greater than previous estimates. (more…)

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Attitudes Towards Security Threats Uncovered

New research has revealed a significant gap between what the government claims are the biggest security threats facing the UK and the fears of the population.

Terrorism is not perceived as the most important threat to everyday life despite claims by policy makers.

Politics researchers at the Universities of Exeter and Warwick led detailed focus groups across the UK and conducted a nationwide survey as part of an Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) funded project which looked at public attitudes towards security threats. (more…)

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Diabetes Study: ‘Mindful Eating’ Equals Traditional Education In Lowering Weight and Blood Sugar

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Eating mindfully, or consuming food in response to physical cues of hunger and fullness, is just as effective as adhering to nutrition-based guidelines in reducing weight and blood sugar levels in adults with Type 2 diabetes, a new study suggests.

In a comparison study of the effectiveness of the two types of behavioral interventions, participants lost about the same amount of weight – an average of between 3 1/2 and 6 pounds – and lowered their long-term blood sugar levels significantly after three months.

One treatment group followed an established diabetes self-management education program, with a strong emphasis on nutrition information. The other group was trained in mindful meditation and a mindful approach to food selection and eating. Both interventions, involving weekly group meetings, also recommended physical activity. (more…)

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