Giant tortoises: unpredictable migration

Galapagos giant tortoises, sometimes called Gardeners of the Galapagos, are creatures of habit. In the cool dry season, the highlands of the volcano slopes are engulfed in cloud which allows the vegetation to grow despite the lack of rain. On the lower slopes, however, there is no thick fog layer, and vegetation is not available…

Severity of 2018 red tide likely due to ocean circulation 

The harmful algae that causes red tide is currently at near undetectable levels in Florida waters compared with the much higher concentrations at this time last year. The red tide algae, Karenia brevis, causes respiratory issues, is responsible for massive fish kills and is often blamed for damaging tourism. While traces of the bloom are…

Climate change caused Hurricane Maria’s extreme rainfall

Hurricane Maria dropped more rain on Puerto Rico than any storm to hit the island since 1956, a feat due mostly to the effects of human-caused climate warming, new research finds. A new study analyzing Puerto Rico’s hurricane history finds 2017’s Maria had the highest average rainfall of the 129 storms to have struck the…

First Earth-sized planet found

A nearby system hosts the first Earth-sized planet discovered by NASA’s Transiting Exoplanets Survey Satellite, as well as a warm sub-Neptune-sized world, according to a new paper from a team of astronomers that includes Carnegie’s Johanna Teske, Paul Butler, Steve Shectman, Jeff Crane, and Sharon Wang. Their work is published in the Astrophysical Journal Letters….

Climate change and infertility

In the new scientific paper, published in the Journal of Evolutionary Biology, and an academic letter recently published in Trends in Ecology & Evolution, University of Lincoln evolutionary ecologist Dr Graziella Iossa and behavioural ecologist Dr Paul Eady explain how the temperature at which an animal develops can impact its reproductive behaviour and physiology. Dr…

How Tropical mammals will react to rising temperatures

How wildlife will react to climate change is an open question, but one of the first studies to compare the responses of tropical mammals to warmer habitats suggests the answer won’t be as simple as “move to a cooler place.” In a study published online this week in Global Ecology and Biogeography, Rice University ecologist…

Severe drought influences ozone pollution

From 2011 to 2015, California experienced its worst drought on record, with a parching combination of high temperatures and low precipitation. Drought conditions can have complicated effects on ozone air quality, so to better understand the process, researchers have analyzed data from two ozone-polluted cities before, during and after the California drought. They report their…

New insight into how climate change is transforming barrier islands

The study by researchers with the Coastal Plant Ecology Lab at Virginia Commonwealth University offers important insights into the ecological and geomorphic processes occurring on Virginia’s chain of 23 uninhabited islands stretching from Assateague at the Maryland border to Fisherman Island near the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel, as well as other barrier islands along the East…

Indigenous skills vital to conservation research

Researchers at the University of Sydney have produced hard data that demonstrates collaborating with Indigenous peoples changed the outcome of a scientific research project. It is the first empirical evidence that culturally diverse teams produce improved results in conservation research. Dr Georgia Ward-Fear, a conservation biologist and herpetologist (amphibians and reptiles), said this was the…

From soil remediation to interplanetary flights

To date, a large amount of data has been accumulated and summarized about the effects of ionizing radiation on plant growth and reproduction, as well as on changes caused by ionizing radiation at the genetic level. At the same time, there is a significant gap in understanding the mechanisms of the influence of ionizing radiation…