Studying Climate Before the Modern Era

Understanding the past is always useful in predicting the future. In this case, how climate fluctuates over time due to natural effects before and and his industry affected it. Tree-rings, ice-cores, and speleothems can all be used to reconstruct climate of the past millennia. But these records may be of local effects and not global as well as being impacted by other events not clear in the mists of time. Researchers of the Swiss Federal Research Institute WSL, the University of Bern’s Oeschger Center, and the University of Mainz have found out that yearly temperature and precipitation variation and extremes have previously been underestimated in comparison to longer-term climatic trends. These findings were just published in an early release issue from the renowned journal Nature Climate Change.

Study Suggests Plants Can Be Altruistic Too

Altruism is the behavior that exudes the selfless concern of one to benefit the well being of another at one's own expense. In the animal kingdom, some of these altruistic notions can be when a dog raises orphaned cats or squirrels or when Vervet monkeys will warn fellow monkeys of the presence of predators even though their alarm call will increase their own chances of being attacked. However, altruism is not only linked to humans and members of the animal kingdom - according to a study from the University of Colorado Boulder, research suggests that some plants may also have an altruistic side.

Beat Depression and Feel Better with More Fruits and Vegetables

According to new research out of the New Zealand's University of Otago, consuming more fruits and vegetables increases calm, happiness, and energy in one's daily life. Perhaps it is the knowledge of eating wholesome, unprocessed foods that fundamentally affects our brains. The body knows that it is doing something right and feels better because of it, both physiologically and mentally. The researchers compared consumption of fruits and vegetables with other types of food, but the difference was clear. To beat depression and increase happiness, fruits and veggies are the way to go.

I’m Lovin’ It: McDonald’s Opts for Sustainable Fish, Modernity

Last week, McDonald's exhibited bold leadership by agreeing to shift their entire seafood supply-chain to Marine Stewardship Council-approved fish. This assures that fish products from McDonald's will now be sourced from stocks that are sustainable, well-managed and environmentally sound. This amazing move signifies a leap forward for both the labeling model promoted by the Marine Stewardship Council, and for the McDonald's brand.

Costa Rican scientists trial aquatic agriculture to boost food security

Costa Rican researchers are pioneering 'aquatic agriculture' — the method of growing crops on freshwater lakes and reservoirs — to boost food security in the developing world. The technique involves creating floating rafts on which vegetables, grains and flowers can be grown. Terrestrial crops such as grains and vegetables have their roots directly in the water or can be potted, with water being drawn up into their soil from the lake by capillary wicks, Ricardo Radulovich, a professor at the University of Costa Rica's Department of Agricultural Engineering, explains.

How Cells Communicate

Scientists at UCLA and Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science have discovered a possible method by which cancer cells and dying cells communicate with nearby normal nerve cells without being physically connected to them. Normal communication is done by chemical, hormonal or other physical connection. What this implies is unclear but it is certainly intriguing.

Chevron Moving Forward on Permits for Shale Gas Projects in Romania

The county council in Vaslui County, Romania awarded last December Chevron the right to drill an exploratory well for shale gas in a locality within the Barlad concession that covers some 600,000 hectares in North East Romania. Chevron will drill its first exploratory well in the Paltinis village, within the Bacesti locality in rural Vaslui. People in this region took to the streets three times last year to protest the exploitation of shale gas through franking. Dumitru Buzatu, president of the Vaslui county council, said that Chevron's permitting is legal.