Space Greens Beat the Blues

Where people will go in the cosmos, plants will go. That’s the message of a paper entitled “Gardening for Therapeutic People-Plant Interactions during Long-Duration Space Missions” written by Raymond Odeh, and Charles L. Guy of the University of Florida (Gainesville) and published in the De Gruyter journal, Open Agriculture.

Itsy Bitsy Spider: Fear of Spiders and Snakes is Deeply Embedded in Us

Snakes and spiders evoke fear and disgust in many people. Even in developed countries lots of people are frightened of these animals although hardly anybody comes into contact with them. Until now, there has been debate about whether this aversion is innate or learnt. Scientists at the Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences (MPI CBS) in Leipzig and the Uppsala University have recently discovered that it is hereditary: Babies as young as six months old feel stressed when seeing these creatures—long before they could have learnt this reaction.

Fossil coral reefs show sea level rose in bursts during last warming

Scientists from Rice University and Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi’s Harte Research Institute for Gulf of Mexico Studies have discovered that Earth’s sea level did not rise steadily but rather in sharp, punctuated bursts when the planet’s glaciers melted during the period of global warming at the close of the last ice age. The researchers found fossil evidence in drowned reefs offshore Texas that showed sea level rose in several bursts ranging in length from a few decades to one century.

Ice stream retreats under a cold climate

Why did the Jakobshavn Isbræ ice stream in West Greenland retreat under a cold climate period called the Younger Dryas?

Scientists Solve a Magnesium Mystery in Rechargeable Battery Performance

Rechargeable batteries based on magnesium, rather than lithium, have the potential to extend electric vehicle range by packing more energy into smaller batteries. But unforeseen chemical roadblocks have slowed scientific progress.

Forest fires on the rise as JRC study warns of danger to air quality

The JRC’s annual forest fires report confirms a trend towards longer and more intense fire seasons in Europe and neighbouring regions, with wildfires now occurring throughout the year. The report coincides with an international study which finds that global wildfire trends could have significant health implications due to rising harmful emissions.

Regreening the Planet Could Account for One-Third of Climate Mitigation

Planting trees, restoring peatlands, and better land management could provide 37 percent of the greenhouse gas mitigation needed between now and 2030 to keep global warming to 2 degrees Celsius, according to a new study published in the Proceedings for the National Academy of Sciences.

Living Mulch Builds Profits, Soil

Living mulch functions like mulch on any farm or garden except — it’s alive. No, it’s not out of the latest horror movie; living mulch is a system farmers can use to benefit both profits and the soil. While the system has been around for a while, scientists at the University of Georgia are making it more efficient and sustainable.

DNA Tests on Albatross Poo Reveal Secret Diet of Top Predator

A study that used DNA tests to analyse the scats of one of the world’s most numerous albatrosses has revealed surprising results about the top predator’s diet.

Hardy Corals Make Moves to Build Reefs from Scratch

Resilient species of coral can move to inhospitable areas and lay the foundations for new reefs, a study shows.