Disease may wipe out the world's bananas Bananas are at the sharp end of industrial agriculture's chemical war on pests and pathogens, writes Angelina Sanderson Bellamy. But even 60 pesticide sprays a year isn't enough to keep the diseases at bay. It's time to seek new solutions with little or no use of chemicals, working with nature, growing diverse crops on the same land - and breaking the dominance of the banana multinationals.
The uneven impacts of climate change A new study by University of Queensland and WCS shows a dramatic global mismatch between nations producing the most greenhouse gases and the ones most vulnerable to the effects of climate change.The study shows that the highest emitting countries are ironically the least vulnerable to climate change effects such as increased frequency of natural disasters, changing habitats, human health impacts, and industry stress.Those countries emitting the least amount of greenhouse gases are most vulnerable.
Universtiy of Alaska studies how the melting Greenland glaciers are impacting sea levels University of Alaska Fairbanks mathematicians and glaciologists have taken a first step toward understanding how glacier ice flowing off Greenland affects sea levels.Andy Aschwanden, Martin Truffer and Mark Fahnestock used mathematical computer models and field tests to reproduce the flow of 29 inlet glaciers fed by the Greenland ice sheet. They compared their data with data from NASA's Operation IceBridge North aerial campaign.The comparisons showed that the computer models accurately depicted current flow conditions in topographically complex Greenland.
Who would have guessed this? Study finds vacations can lead to weight gains! A week's vacation may leave many adults with a heavier midsection--extra weight that can hang around even six weeks post-vacation.A faculty member in the University of Georgia's College of Family and Consumer Sciences found that adults going on a one- to three-week vacation gained an average of nearly 1 pound during their trips. With the average American reportedly gaining 1-2 pounds a year, the study's findings suggest an alarming trend."If you're only gaining a pound or two a year and you gained three-quarters of that on a one- to three-week vacation, that's a pretty substantial weight gain during a short period of time," said Jamie Cooper, an associate professor in the college's department of foods and nutrition.
Man-made underwater sound may have wider ecosystem effects than previously thought Underwater sound linked to human activity could alter the behaviour of seabed creatures that play a vital role in marine ecosystems, according to new research from the University of Southampton.The study, reported in the journal Scientific Reports published by Nature, found that exposure to sounds that resemble shipping traffic and offshore construction activities results in behavioural responses in certain invertebrate species that live in the marine sediment.
Kalligrammatid lacewings looked like butterflies, but lived millions of years before butterflies New fossils found in Northeastern China have revealed a remarkable evolutionary coincidence: an extinct group of insects known as Kalligrammatid lacewings (Order Neuroptera) share an uncanny resemblance to modern day butterflies (Order Lepidoptera). Even though they vanished some 50 million years before butterflies appeared on earth, they possess the same wing shape and pigment hues, wing spots and eyespots, body scales, long proboscides, and similar feeding styles as butterflies.A photo of the modern owl butterfly (“Caligo Memnon”) shown beside a fossilized Kalligrammatid lacewing (“Oregramma illecebrosa”) shows some of the convergent features independently evolved by the two distantly-related insects, including wing eyespots and wing scales. (Butterfly photo by James Di Loreto/fossil photo by Conrad Labandeira and Jorge Santiago-Blay)In an incredible example of convergent evolution, both butterflies and kalligrammatids evol
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