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Latest Environmental Research Stories

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2008-11-06 16:20:00

Extreme weather events have a greater effect on flora than previously presumed. A one-month drought postpones the time of flowering of grassland and heathland plants in Central Europe by an average of 4 days. With this a so-called 100-year drought event equates to approx. a decade of global warming. The flowering period of an important early flowerer, the common Birds-foot Trefoil (Lotus corniculatus) was even shortened by more than a month due to heavy rain and started flowering early by...

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2008-07-28 00:30:00

Environmentalists are worried that a rush for "black gold" in the Artic could mean harm to local wildlife. The U.S. Geological Survey estimated 22 percent of the worlds undiscovered, technically recoverable reserves of oil and gas were in the Arctic. Experts said, companies seeking to explore oil in the Arctic will need better technology to clean up spills onto ice and could face new hazards such as rougher seas caused by climate change "The Exxon Valdez showed what a catastrophe can be...

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2008-07-15 15:35:00

The Tunguska catastrophe in 1908 evidently led to high levels of acid rain. This is the conclusion reached by Russian, Italian and German researchers based on the results of analyses of peat profiles taken from the disaster region. In peat samples corresponded to 1908 permafrost boundary they found significantly higher levels of the heavy nitrogen and carbon isotopes 15N and 13C. The highest accumulation levels were measured in the areas at the epicenter of the explosion and along the...

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2008-06-19 11:42:16

Researchers unravel complexity of the major histocompatibility complex in tailed amphibians Major Histocompatibility Complex (MHC) genes produce proteins that are crucial in fighting pathogen assault. Researchers from the Jagiellonian University in Krakow and from the Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research (UFZ) characterized genetic variation and detected more than one MHC class II locus in a tailed amphibian. Unlike mammals, not much has been known until now about the immune defense of...

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2008-06-12 13:15:00

Answers may be hidden in the tropopause, 32,000 to 56,000 feet highScientists are deploying an advanced research aircraft to study a region of the atmosphere that influences climate change by affecting the amount of solar heat that reaches Earth's surface.Findings from the project, based at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) in Boulder, Colo., will be used by researchers worldwide to improve computer models of global climate in preparation for the next report by the...

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2008-06-05 14:55:00

Researchers from the Helmholtz Center for Environmental Research have developed two new methods, in order to be able to better estimate the numbers of European Otters (Lutra lutra) and their effects on the fish farming industry. The researchers succeeded for the first time in gathering more accurate data on the otter population in the heath and pond region of the Oberlausitz Biosphere Reserve. Genetic analyses of the feces could prove to be a promising approach when investigating otter...

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2008-05-14 09:50:00

Scientists of the Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research (UFZ) in Leipzig and the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) in Pasadena succeeded in capturing syntrophic (means "feeding together") microorganisms that are known to dramatically reduce the oceanic emission of methane into the atmosphere. These microorganisms that oxidize methane anaerobically are an important component of the global carbon cycle and a major sink for methane on Earth. Methane -- a more than 20 times...

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2008-04-10 10:00:00

Migratory birds make mistakes in terms of direction, but not distance. These are the findings of a team of ornithologists and ecologists from the University of Marburg, the Ornithological Society in Bavaria and the Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research (UFZ), writing in the Journal of Ornithology. The scientists assessed several thousand reports of Asian birds from the leaf-warbler and thrush families that had strayed to Europe. They discovered that the distance between the breeding...

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2005-07-20 09:55:00

WASHINGTON -- Living for days on end 63 feet beneath the waves is a near-ideal situation for researchers studying undersea life, biologist James Lindholm says. Yet sometimes the best-laid experiments can go awry. Lindholm once found himself tracking a large grouper that unexpectedly ate the accompanying smaller fish he had tagged electronically so he could follow the big one. "There's no substitute for being there," when studying sea creatures, Lindholm said Tuesday, and a prime way to do...


Word of the Day
call-note
  • The call or cry of a bird or other animal to its mate or its young.
'Call-note' is newer than 'bird-call,' which originally referred to 'an instrument for imitating the note of birds' but now also refers to 'the song or cry of a bird.'
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