Another human footprint in the ocean: Rising anthropogenic nitrate levels in North Pacific Ocean

Human-induced changes to Earth’s carbon cycle — for example, rising atmospheric carbon dioxide and ocean acidification — have been observed for decades. However, a new study has shown that human activities, in particular industrial and agricultural processes, have also had significant impacts on the upper ocean nitrogen cycle. —> Read More Here

Single-atom gold catalysts may offer path to low-cost production of fuel and chemicals

New catalysts designed and investigated by engineering researchers have potential to greatly reduce processing costs in future fuels like hydrogen. The catalysts are composed of a unique structure of single gold atoms bound by oxygen to sodium or potassium atoms, supported on non-reactive silica materials. They demonstrate comparable activity and stability with catalysts comprising precious metal nanoparticles on rare earth and other reducible oxide supports when used in producing highly purified hydrogen. —> Read More Here

Love at first smell: Can birds choose mates by their odors?

Mate choice is often the most important decision in the lives of humans and animals. Scientists have found the first evidence that birds may choose their mate through odor. The researchers compared the preen gland chemicals of black-legged kittiwakes with genes that play a role in immunity. Kittiwakes that smell similarly to each other also have similar genes for immunity. Since the birds prefer to mate with unrelated mates, the scientists have now found the likely mechanism by which they recognize relatedness. —> Read More Here

Australia Government Out Of Step With New Climate Momentum

CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott, who rose to power in large part by opposing a tax on greenhouse gas emissions, is finding his country isolated like never before on climate change as the U.S., China and other nations signal new momentum for action.

Abbott tried and failed to keep the issue off the agenda of the annual G-20 summit of wealthy and emerging countries that was hosted by the Australian city of Brisbane in mid-November. An agreement between Washington and Beijing to curb emissions, announced days before the summit, suggests he had misjudged the international mood on the issue.

Next week, attention turns to the next round of international climate change negotiations in Lima, Peru. For a nation of just 23 million, Australia has played a significant role in past talks, but this time it’s unclear what kind of role its delegation, led by Foreign Minister Julie Bishop, will play.

Abbott’s conservative coalition won a landslide election victory last year over the Labor Party, which had grown unpopular in part because it had approved one of the world’s highest taxes on major carbon gas polluters. Abbott not only ended that tax but years earlier helped scuttle an effort by —> Read More Here

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