Month: April 2021

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For decades, warmer waters seeping into the Arctic Ocean have increasingly threatened Arctic sea ice, with scientists predicting the ice pack could disappear entirely in summers from the middle of the next decade.   Researchers have now uncovered one of the mechanisms driving this catastrophe, identifying how ‘heat bombs’ of warm, salty water from the
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When considering matters of intelligence among animals, it’s not irrational to assume size matters. Bigger bodies allow for bigger brains, after all, and bigger brains provide the potential real estate for developing better problem-solving skills.   Yet neurons don’t work for free, a fact that constrains how nervous systems might evolve in size and complexity
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Mantis shrimp wield a spring-loaded appendage that punches through water with explosive force – and their babies can start swinging just nine days after they hatch. In a new study, published Thursday (April 29) in the Journal of Experimental Biology, scientists studied larval Philippine mantis shrimp (Gonodactylaceus falcatus) originally collected from Oahu, Hawaii.   The team also reared
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Ambitious climate policies could reduce extreme poverty in developing countries if governments opted for robust taxes on emitters that were then fairly distributed to help the poor, new research showed Tuesday.   Authors of the study said the results showed that policymakers were facing a false choice between climate change mitigation and poverty reduction. Since
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Deep underground, in mysterious caverns that seem almost measureless to humans, caves have devised their own strange ways of keeping time as the eternities pass by. Over millennia, a ponderous exchange takes place so slowly, it makes the growing of grass look action-packed in comparison. Hanging from cave ceilings, downward-growing stalactites drip water containing chemicals
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Confirming a new species of octopus usually involves lab tests and dissections. Not so with the Grimpoteuthis imperator dumbo octopus that has just been identified, with non-invasive scanning doing almost all of the work.   Discovered in the northern part of the Emperor Seamounts, an underwater mountain ridge in the northwest Pacific Ocean, researchers identified G.
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Global warming thresholds that could tip massive ice sheets into irreversible melting or see the Amazon rainforest shrivel into savannah have “grace periods”, giving humanity more time to draw down planet-warming carbon emissions, researchers have calculated.   More than a dozen tipping points triggered mainly by rising temperatures could unleash catastrophic changes in Earth’s climate
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Traces of radioactive fallout from nuclear tests in the 1950s and 1960s can still be found in American honey, new research reveals. The radioactive isotope identified, cesium-137, falls below levels considered to be harmful – but the amounts measured nonetheless emphasize the lingering persistence of environmental contaminants in the nuclear age, even a half-century after