Legislative & Regulatory Update

Unseasonable Warm Spells Endanger Fruit Crops Nationwide

Climate Change News - ENN - March 9, 2017 - 9:43am
Plants are blooming early across the country as a result of this winter’s ongoing record warmth, which many connect to climate change. And some fear that an impending freeze could destroy countless fruit flowers and wreak havoc on the industry.

Chicago Records No Snow in January and February for the First Time in 146 Years

Climate Change News - ENN - March 9, 2017 - 9:38am
Chicago—a city well known for its windy and snowy winters—is experiencing some unusually warm weather. For the first time in 146 years, there was no documented snow on the ground in January and February, according to the local National Weather Service.

Research break-through: Producing gasoline in yeast cell factories

There have been many attempts to modify this stubborn little enzyme. But none have succeeded, until now. With new findings from Chalmers the enzyme FAS has started to produce sustainable chemicals for biofuels.We are in great need of sustainable and clean alternatives to oil-derived products. One of the choices at hand is to produce chemicals and biofuels from sustainable biomass.

New evidence that tropical ice caps existed in the Andes

Climate Change News - ENN - March 9, 2017 - 8:31am
Scientists have long suspected that ice caps formed repeatedly in the tropical Andes during the late Pliocene, but only evidence of a single glaciation was known until now.

Caribou Appear to Keep up with Warming Arctic

Climate Change News - ENN - March 9, 2017 - 8:19am
Despite recent changes to the growing season for plants in the Arctic, Alaska, caribou appear to have remained in sync with these changes over the last 30 years. 

IU chemists create molecular 'leaf' that collects and stores solar power without solar panels

An international team of scientists led by Liang-shi Li at Indiana University has achieved a new milestone in the quest to recycle carbon dioxide in the Earth’s atmosphere into carbon-neutral fuels and others materials.The chemists have engineered a molecule that uses light or electricity to convert the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide into carbon monoxide -- a carbon-neutral fuel source -- more efficiently than any other method of "carbon reduction."

Diet and Global Climate Change

Climate Change News - ENN - March 8, 2017 - 4:43pm
You are what you eat, as the saying goes, and while good dietary choices boost your own health, they also could improve the health care system and even benefit the planet. Healthier people mean not only less disease but also reduced greenhouse gas emissions from health care.As it turns out, some relatively small diet tweaks could add up to significant inroads in addressing climate change.

Stanford biologists identify ancient stress response in corals

Climate Change News - ENN - March 8, 2017 - 2:41pm
Stanford marine biologists have discovered that corals activate a specific group of ancient, defensive genes when exposed to stressful environmental conditions. These stress-induced genes could serve as a kind of warning sign for coral bleaching events.In the study, researchers monitored three coral colonies in a lagoon on Ofu Island, American Samoa, for their response to stressors like high temperatures, oxygen, and ocean acidity. On the hottest days, the researchers saw a significant change in which genes the corals were activating within their cells. See video here.

Plants at the pump

That’s a choice drivers could make at the pump one day. But for algal biofuels to compete with petroleum, farming algae has to become less expensive. Toward that goal, Sandia National Laboratories is testing strains of algae for resistance to a host of predators and diseases, and learning to detect when an algae pond is about to crash.

The Next Great Frontier for Drones Lies in the Ocean Depths

Consumer drones conquered the sky. Now they look to the sea.

Women more likely to follow through with breast screening recommendations when informed directly

A study published in the journal Health Communications shows that women at high risk for breast cancer who received a letter informing them of their options for additional imaging with contrast-enhanced MRI of the breast (in addition to a letter sent to their primary care physician) were more likely to return to the center for additional screening with MRI. The letter, which is included in the published paper, may help breast imaging centers navigate the complex legal, ethical and institutional landscapes in a way that increases the likelihood that women will follow through with American Cancer Society breast cancer screening recommendations for adjunct breast screening in women at elevated risk. 

A New Era for Physics? With Creation of New Form of Matter, a Time Crystal, It Just Might Be

Salt, snowflakes and diamonds are all crystals, meaning their atoms are arranged in 3-D patterns that repeat. Today scientists are reporting in the journal Nature on the creation of a phase of matter, dubbed a time crystal, in which atoms move in a pattern that repeats in time rather than in space.

Species appears to evolve quickly enough to endure city temperatures

Climate Change News - ENN - March 8, 2017 - 9:04am
The speed at which a tiny ant evolves to cope to its warming city environment suggests that some species may evolve quickly enough to survive, or even thrive, in the warmer temperatures found within cities, according to a new study by researchers at Case Western Reserve University.

U.S. Desert Songbirds at Risk in a Warming Climate

Climate Change News - ENN - March 8, 2017 - 8:18am
Projected increases in the frequency, intensity and duration of heatwaves in the desert of the southwestern United States are putting songbirds at greater risk for death by dehydration and mass die-offs, according to a new study.

NASA Sees Powerful Tropical Cyclone Enawo Make Landfall in Madagascar

Tropical Cyclone Enawo was battering the northeastern region of Madagascar when NASA-NOAA's Suomi NPP satellite passed overhead on March 7. Enawo strengthened to the equivalent of a Category 4 or major hurricane and made landfall.

NASA Sees Powerful Tropical Cyclone Enawo Make Landfall in Madagascar

Climate Change News - ENN - March 7, 2017 - 2:21pm
Tropical Cyclone Enawo was battering the northeastern region of Madagascar when NASA-NOAA's Suomi NPP satellite passed overhead on March 7. Enawo strengthened to the equivalent of a Category 4 or major hurricane and made landfall.

Future climate change will affect plants and soil differently

Climate Change News - ENN - March 7, 2017 - 2:16pm
A new European study has found that soil carbon loss is more sensitive to climate change compared to carbon taken up by plants. In drier regions, soil carbon loss decreased but in wetter regions soil carbon loss increased. This could result in a positive feedback to the atmosphere leading to an additional increase of atmospheric CO2 levels.

Traveling droughts bring new possibilities for prediction

Climate Change News - ENN - March 7, 2017 - 1:42pm
A small subset of the most intense droughts move across continents in predictable patterns, according a new study published in the journal Geophysical Research Letters by researchers in Austria and the United States. The study could help improve projections of future drought, allowing for more effective planning.

"Black swan" events strike animal populations

Climate Change News - ENN - March 7, 2017 - 12:32pm
Black swan events are rare and surprising occurrences that happen without notice and often wreak havoc on society. The metaphor has been used to describe banking collapses, devastating earthquakes and other major surprises in financial, social and natural systems.A new analysis by the University of Washington and Simon Fraser University is the first to document that black swan events also occur in animal populations and usually manifest as massive, unexpected die-offs. The results were published online March 7 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Accounting for Extreme Rainfall

Climate Change News - ENN - March 7, 2017 - 12:15pm
A University of Connecticut climate scientist has confirmed that more intense and more frequent severe rainstorms will likely continue as temperatures rise due to global warming, despite some observations that seem to suggest otherwise.In a research paper appearing this week in Nature Climate Change, UConn civil and environmental engineering professor Guiling Wang explains that data showing the intensity of severe rainstorms declining after temperatures reach a certain threshold are merely a reflection of climate variability. It is not proof that there is a fixed upper temperature limit for future increases in severe rains, after which they would begin to drop off.

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