The world community is truly at a crossroads like never before faced in the history of our civilization. If we continue business-as-usual with the consumption of fossil fuels, then, according to the 2014 edition of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)’s climate change report, grave consequences will almost surely ensue, including rising sea levels, extreme temperatures, flooding, drought, agricultural losses and, quite likely, violent conflicts among human societies. Delays may have already cost the world society USD$8 trillion.
Some who distrust the scientific consensus on climate change have taken heart at an apparent leveling off of world temperatures in the past few years. But it is now clear that this respite is short-lived, since 2014 is on track to be the hottest year on record.
On 12 November 2014, China and the U.S. reached a historic agreement to limit greenhouse gases. Other nations will hopefully follow suit. But even these cuts may not be enough. So how are we going to meet these goals?
Substantial progress has been achieved in photovoltaic (solar panel) technology, and also in wind energy. But these sources cannot be the ultimate answer, since they depend on vagaries of weather and geography. Thus
An international team of archaeologists has unearthed three 2,200-year-old, well-preserved glass mosaics at the site of the ancient city of Zeugma in Turkey. The ancient city of Zeugma, also known as Seleukia-on-the-Euphrates, is located in modern Gaziantep province, where the Euphrates river rounds its furthest bend to the west and begins to flow south into [...]
Scientists have sequenced the genomes of 16 Anopheles mosquito species from around the world. Anopheles mosquitoes are responsible for transmitting human malaria parasites that cause an estimated 200 million cases and more than 600 thousand deaths each year. However, of the almost 500 different Anopheles species, only a few dozen can carry the parasite and only a handful of species are responsible for the vast majority of transmissions.
Following a successful mission to return samples from an asteroid to Earth, Japan is poised to launch a follow-on expedition, with hopes of finding organics.
According to new research, education makes people less vulnerable to natural disasters such as floods, landslides, and storms that are expected to intensify with climate change.
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.
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.
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.
Car finish, to which no dirt particles adhere, house fronts, from which graffiti paints roll off, and shoes that remain clean on muddy paths – the material “fluoropore” might make all this possible. Both water and oil droplets roll off this new class of highly fluorinated super-repellent polymers.
The extent of sea ice cover in Arctic was much less than it is today between four and five million years ago. The maximum winter extent did not reaching its current location until around 2.6 million years ago. “We have not seen an ice free period in the Arctic Ocean for 2,6 million years. However, we may see it in our lifetime.” says a marine geologist.