New Materials Could Turn Water into the Fuel of the Future

Researchers at Caltech and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) have—in just two years—nearly doubled the number of materials known to have potential for use in solar fuels.They did so by developing a process that promises to speed the discovery of commercially viable solar fuels that could replace coal, oil, and other fossil fuels.

CO2 Levels Continue to Increase at Record Rate

For the second year in a row, carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere have increased at a record rate, jumping 3 parts per million (ppm) in 2016, according to data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. CO2 concentrations rose 3.03 ppm in 2015, making the last two years the first time that the greenhouse gas has risen more than 3 ppm in NOAA’s 59 years of monitoring, Climate Central reported.

Did humans create the Sahara Desert?

New research investigating the transition of the Sahara from a lush, green landscape 10,000 years ago to the arid conditions found today, suggests that humans may have played an active role in its desertification. The desertification of the Sahara has long been a target for scientists trying to understand climate and ecological tipping points. A new paper published in Frontiers in Earth Science by archeologist Dr. David Wright, from Seoul National University, challenges the conclusions of most studies done to date that point to changes in the Earth's orbit or natural changes in vegetation as the major driving forces.

After Deepwater Horizon Spill: Which Animals Weathered the Disaster

A new study from a Coastal Waters Consortium team of researchers led by Rutgers University postdoctoral researcher, Michael McCann, has found which birds, fish, insects and other animals affected by the Deepwater Horizon explosion should be given top priority for conservation, protection and research.

Major research project provides new clues to schizophrenia

Researchers at Karolinska Institutet collaborating in the large-scale Karolinska Schizophrenia Project are taking an integrative approach to unravel the disease mechanisms of schizophrenia. In the very first results now presented in the prestigious scientific journal Molecular Psychiatry, the researchers show that patients with schizophrenia have lower levels of the vital neurotransmitter GABA as well as changes in the brain’s immune cells.

Shell Begins Divestment From Canadian Oil Sands

Last week Royal Dutch Shell agreed to sell most of its Athabasca oil sands investment to a Canadian exploration company for $8.5 billion. To many, this was anything but a surprise. In 2015, the world’s second largest publicly-traded oil company put the brakes on its Pierre River development, suggesting it wasn’t the right time for Shell to enter what was at the time the largest oil sands development in Canada.

Humans Made the Banana Perfect—But Soon, It'll Be Gone

On a plate, a single banana seems whimsical—yellow and sweet, contained in its own easy-to-open peel. It is a charming breakfast luxury as silly as it is delicious and ever-present. Yet when you eat a banana the flavor on your tongue has complex roots, equal parts sweetness and tragedy.

Doubts about whether internet filters protect teenagers online

Internet filters are widely used in homes, schools and libraries throughout the UK to protect young people from unpleasant online experiences. However, a new study by Oxford casts doubt on whether such technologies shield young teenagers after finding no link between homes with internet filters and the likelihood of the teenagers in those households being better protected. 

MSU researcher studies effects of weather variability and market dynamics on maple syrup production

A Montana State University assistant professor of sustainable food systems who has conducted research all over the world is turning her attention to maple syrup.Some farmers in the United States and Canada have noticed that the quantity and quality of their maple syrup is changing with climate variability, said Selena Ahmed from MSU's Department of Health and Human Development in the College of Education, Health and Human Development. Ahmed is co-leading a team of researchers who are investigating these observations.

The UK's Drop in CO2 Emissions Shows the Power of Carbon Taxes

A new analysis indicates that the UK’s CO2 output is at a record low, and it’s largely down to one major action: a reduction in coal use.