Can Extreme Weather CONTRIBUTE to Climate Change?

While experts debate whether extreme weather conditions such as this summer’s record rainfall can be explained by climate change, University of Leicester geographers are investigating whether the opposite is true – does extreme weather impact on climate change? To answer the question, a team of researchers from the Department of Geography and Centre for Landscape and Climate Research at the University of Leicester set up a new monitoring station in June to measure greenhouse gas emissions from drained and cultivated peatlands in the East Anglian Fens. They will make measurements over an extended period in order to record carbon emissions over a wide spectrum of weather conditions.

Exercise Really Does Help you live longer!

Regular physical activity adds about four years to life expectancy, and endurance exercise during leisure time seems to be better at extending life than physical activity done as work, according to a new research review published in the Journal of Aging Research. German researchers gathered well-designed studies on one of the most basic, but important, questions in health: Does physical activity increase life expectancy? In reviewing the results of the studies, they found the answer was an unequivocal yes. Among the studies, there was a wide range of extra years found for active versus nonactive people, from less than half a year in one study to close to seven years in another. When the results of the studies were combined, the researchers wrote, "The median increase of life expectancy of men and women in the eight studies presenting data on both sexes amounted to 3.7 years each."

United Nations hails green credentials of London’s Olympic Games

A senior United Nations chief has praised the measures taken by the UK to ensure that the London Summer Olympic Games are environmentally sustainable. Achim Steiner, executive director of the UN Environment Program (UNEP), says the eco achievements of the London 2012 Games should act as an inspiration for following organizers. "London’s clean-up of an old industrial site; the restoration of flows and habitat on the River Lea; the greening of supply chains; the low energy linked with the design and construction of the stadium, including utilizing old gas pipes for the facility’s Olympic ring; and the use of temporary structures to reduce emissions are among the actions that can assist in inspiring the organizers of the Rio 2016 games and beyond," he said.

Does Yoga Actually Work?

The answer is yes, and now we know why. According to a recently published UCLA study, practicing a certain form of chanting yogic meditation for at least 12 minutes a day for 8 weeks will reduce the biological mechanism responsible for increasing the immune system's inflammation response. When that inflammation response is constantly active, it can lead to a number of chronic health problems. In other words, a brief daily meditation in the form of yoga has been shown to reduce stress. This is particularly true for people who care for those who suffer from neurological disorders like Alzheimer's disease and dementia.

Bats Catch Mating Flies in the Act

A house fly couple settles down on the ceiling of a manure-filled cowshed for a romantic night of courtship and copulation. Unbeknownst to the infatuated insects, their antics have attracted the acute ears of a lurking Natterer's bat. But this eavesdropper is no pervert—he's a predator set on a two-for-one dinner special. As a new study reveals, the hungry bat swoops in on the unsuspecting flies, guided by the sound of their precoital "clicks."

Polar Bear Evolution

The polar bear is a bear native largely within the Arctic Circle encompassing the Arctic Ocean, its surrounding seas and surrounding land masses. It is often considered a symbol of the pristine Arctic. An analysis of newly sequenced polar bear genomes is providing important clues about the species' evolution, suggesting that climate change and genetic exchange with brown bears helped create the polar bear as we know it today. The international study, led by researchers at Penn State and the University at Buffalo, found evidence that the size of the polar bear population fluctuated with key climatic events over the past 1 million years, growing during periods of cooling and shrinking in warmer times.

End of the last Ice Age – Close linkage between CO2 and temperature found

The greatest climate change the world has seen in the last 100,000 years was the transition from the ice age to the warm interglacial period. New research from the Niels Bohr Institute at the University of Copenhagen indicates that, contrary to previous opinion, the rise in temperature and the rise in the atmospheric CO2 follow each other closely in terms of time. In the warmer climate the atmospheric content of CO2 is naturally higher. The gas CO2 (carbon dioxide) is a green-house gas that absorbs heat radiation from the Earth and thus keeps the Earth warm. In the shift between ice ages and interglacial periods the atmospheric content of CO2 helps to intensify the natural climate variations.

Fool’s Gold and Oxygen

The mineral pyrite, or iron pyrite, is an iron sulfide. This mineral's metallic luster and pale brass-yellow hue have earned it the nickname fool's gold because of its resemblance to gold. As sulfur cycles through Earth's atmosphere, oceans and land, it undergoes chemical changes that are often coupled to changes in other such elements as carbon and oxygen. Although this affects the concentration of free oxygen, sulfur has traditionally been portrayed as a secondary factor in regulating atmospheric oxygen, with most of the free oxygen effect done by carbon. However, new findings that appeared this week in Science suggest that sulfur's role in the oxygen cycle may have been underestimated.

Presence of Oxygen Radicals in Early Childhood May Determine Life Span

Oxidation is the process of breaking down. Just like metal rusting when exposed to oxygen, so too do our bodies deteriorate. The presence of free oxygen radicals in the body is believed to be the cause of aging at the molecular level. Oxygen radicals are reactive molecules that damage cellular components, resulting in oxidative stress. Lately, taking anti-oxidants have become very popular as a way to control the molecular aging process. A recent study attempted to measure the reactive oxygen species in worms to identify which processes were affected. They found that very high levels of oxygen radicals exist in the worm's body, long before the aging actually begins.

How Global Warming Is Impacting Stock Prices

Heat waves and droughts magnified by global warming are exacting an economic tax on America's middle class through higher prices and increased health care costs. Now this global warming tax is hitting the stock valuations of American companies.