Tag Archives: temperatures

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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Researchers Share Surprising Discovery about Coral Reef Ecology

Researchers at the UH Manoa School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology (SOEST) made a discovery that challenges a major theory in the field of coral reef ecology.

The general assumption has been that the more flexible corals are, regarding which species of single-celled algae (Symbiodinium) they host in coral tissues, the greater ability corals will have to survive environmental stress. In their paper published August 29, 2012, however, scientists at the Hawaii Institute of Marine Biology (HIMB) at SOEST and colleagues documented that the more flexible corals are, the more sensitive to environment disturbances they are. (more…)

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New Study by WHOI Scientists Provides Baseline Measurements of Carbon in Arctic Ocean

Scientists from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) have conducted a new study to measure levels of carbon at various depths in the Arctic Ocean. The study, recently published in the journal Biogeosciences, provides data that will help researchers better understand the Arctic Ocean’s carbon cycle—the pathway through which carbon enters and is used by the marine ecosystem. It will also offer an important point of reference for determining how those levels of carbon change over time, and how the ecosystem responds to rising global temperatures.

“Carbon is the currency of life. Where carbon is coming from, which organisms are using it, how they’re giving off carbon themselves—these things say a lot about how an ocean ecosystem works,” says David Griffith, the lead author on the study. “If warming temperatures perturb the Arctic Ocean, the way that carbon cycles through that system may change.” (more…)

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Yale-led Team Finds CO2 Levels Plunged as Antarctica Froze

A Yale University-led research team has found evidence that carbon dioxide levels in Earth’s atmosphere plunged prior to and during the initial icing of Antarctica, about 34 million years ago. The new findings provide further evidence of atmospheric carbon dioxide’s role as a major trigger of global climate change.

“CO2 is tracking global cooling at that time,” said Yale geochemist Mark Pagani, lead author of a paper published online Dec. 1 in the journal Science. “It’s important to demonstrate that there are obvious linkages between CO2 and climate change. It’s one more piece of evidence that CO2 is a primary lever on climate.” (more…)

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Hubble to Target ‘Hot Jupiters’

An international team of astronomers led by a former UA graduate student has set out on the largest program to date exploring the alien atmospheres of “Hot Jupiters” – massive planets in solar systems far away from our own.

An international team of scientists has secured a large program of nearly 200 hours of observing time with NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope to explore the atmospheric conditions of planets outside our solar system, known as exoplanets. (more…)

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Microbial life on Mars: Could Saltwater Make it Possible?

ANN ARBOR, Mich.— How common are droplets of saltwater on Mars? Could microbial life survive and reproduce in them? A new million-dollar NASA project led by the University of Michigan aims to answer those questions.

This project begins three years after beads of liquid brine were first photographed on one of the Mars Phoenix lander’s legs.

“On Earth, everywhere there’s liquid water, there is microbial life,” said Nilton Renno, a professor in the Department of Atmospheric, Oceanic and Space Sciences who is the principal investigator. Researchers from NASA, the University of Texas at Dallas, the University of Georgia and the Centro de Astrobiologia in Madrid are also involved. (more…)

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Exeter Scientists Grow Plants with Friendly Fungi

*The lack of rainfall and higher-than-average temperatures in spring 2011 were predicted to hit harvests, leading to higher food prices.*

*Climate change may mean that these dry and hot conditions will become more common in the UK, so researchers are looking at ways to make plants more tolerant of dry spells.*

Dr Chris Thornton and colleagues at the University of Exeter are examining whether adding a safe and harmless fungus to compost boosts the growth and proliferation of crops’ roots, helping them grow with less water. Not only that, trials currently underway with a supplier to a major supermarket are investigating whether the plants exposed to the fungus can also be grown in the absence of fertiliser. (more…)

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Melting Ice on Arctic Islands a Major Player in Sea Level Rise

ANN ARBOR, Mich.— Melting glaciers and ice caps on Canadian Arctic islands play a much greater role in sea level rise than scientists previously thought, according to a new study led by a University of Michigan researcher.

The 550,000-square-mile Canadian Arctic Archipelago contains some 30,000 islands. Between 2004 and 2009, the region lost the equivalent of three-quarters of the water in Lake Erie, the study found. Warmer-than-usual temperatures in those years caused a rapid increase in the melting of glacier ice and snow, said Alex Gardner, a research fellow in the Department of Atmospheric, Oceanic and Space Sciences who led the project. The study is published online in Nature on April 20. (more…)

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