Linking habitat loss and the emergence of infectious diseases

Globally, scientists believe habitat loss is associated with emerging infectious diseases, or EIDs, spreading from wildlife to humans, such as Ebola, West Nile virus, SARS, Marburg virus and others. The Auburn team developed a new hypothesis, the coevolution effect, which is rooted in ecology and evolutionary biology, to explain the underlying mechanisms that drive this…

Crop diversity and stable food production

With increasing demand for food from the planet’s growing population and climate change threatening the stability of food systems across the world, University of Minnesota research examined how the diversity of crops at the national level could increase the harvest stability of all crops in a nation. The research, published Wednesday in the journal Nature,…

Managing rivers for climate change

New strategies for river management are needed to maintain water supplies and avoid big crashes in populations of aquatic life, researchers argue in a perspective piece published today in Nature. The scientists say a fresh approach is necessary as the climate warms, which has led to historic die-offs like the January 2019 event in the…

Increased efficiency of solar desalination

Researchers in Rice’s Laboratory for Nanophotonics (LANP) this week showed they could boost the efficiency of their solar-powered desalination system by more than 50% simply by adding inexpensive plastic lenses to concentrate sunlight into “hot spots.” The results are available online in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. “The typical way to boost…

Fate of Antarctic species inĀ  a changing climate is complex

Oxygen concentrations in both the open ocean and coastal waters have declined by 2-5% since at least the middle of the 20th century. This is one of the most important changes occurring in an ocean becoming increasingly modified by human activities, with raised water temperatures, carbon dioxide content and nutrient inputs. Through this, humans are…

Social structure is important to rewilding

“Understanding of the complexity of social behavior in both wild and captive populations has greatly expanded over recent years,” says Shifra Goldenberg, Ph.D., Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute ecologist and San Diego Zoo Institute for Conservation Research fellow. “This information offers valuable insight into the social processes underpinning species’ demography and behavior, and should be applied…

How much does climate change affect the risk of conflict?

Intensifying climate change will increase the future risk of violent armed conflict within countries, according to a study published today in the journal Nature. Synthesizing views across experts, the study estimates climate has influenced between 3% and 20% of armed conflict risk over the last century and that the influence will likely increase dramatically. In…

South American Monkeys face climate change extinction

Monkeys living in South America are highly vulnerable to climate change and face an “elevated risk of extinction”, according to a new University of Stirling-led study. The research, involving an international team of scientists, found that a large percentage of non-human primates – including monkeys, lemurs and apes – are facing substantial temperature increases and…

Tides can trigger earthquakes

Years ago, scientists realized that earthquakes along mid-ocean ridges — those underwater mountain ranges at the edges of the tectonic plates — are linked with the tides. But nobody could figure out why there’s an uptick in tremors during low tides. “Everyone was sort of stumped, because according to conventional theory, those earthquakes should occur…