Category Archives: Science

New measurements from Northern Sweden show less methane emissions than feared — ScienceDaily

Some good news in the climate change narrative.

It is widely understood that thawing permafrost can lead to significant amounts of methane being released. However, new research shows that in some areas, this release of methane could be a tenth of the amount predicted from a thaw. A crucial, yet an open question is how much precipitation the future will bring.

Source: New measurements from Northern Sweden show less methane emissions than feared — ScienceDaily

Permafrost runs like a frozen belt of soil and sediment around Earth’s northern arctic and sub-arctic tundra. As permafrost thaws, microorganisms are able to break down thousands of years-old accumulations of organic matter. This process releases a number of greenhouse gases. One of the most critical gasses is methane; the same gas emitted by cattle whenever they burp and fart.

Because of this, scientists and public agencies have long feared methane emissions from permafrost to rise in step with global temperatures. But, in some places, it turns out that methane emissions are lower than once presumed.

Native plant gardening for species conservation

Declining native species could be planted in urban green spaces. Researchers from the German Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Research (iDiv), the Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg (MLU), Leipzig University and other institutions describe how to use this great potential for species protection. In their most recent study, published in the journal Nature Sustainability, they recommend practical conservation gardening methods in a bid to restructure the horticultural industry and reverse plant species declines.

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Despite global efforts to protect biodiversity, many plant species are still declining. In Germany, this includes 70 percent of all plant species, with almost a third (27.5 percent) threatened, and 76 species are already considered extinct. Much of this loss can be attributed to the decline in natural habitats, in part due to increasing urbanization. Ten percent of the total area of Germany, for example, is settlement area.

However, it is precisely these settlement areas that hold enormous—albeit untapped—potential for nature conservation. After all, these areas include millions of private gardens, balconies and green roofs, as well as parks and other public green spaces. Researchers from iDiv, the Universities of Halle and Leipzig and other institutions propose using these potentially available areas for conservation gardening.

Source: Native plant gardening for species conservation

Heart progenitors spontaneously regenerate cardiac muscle via a tight junction ‘honeycomb’ in salamanders

However, investigating the dynamics of systems that are far out of equilibrium and watching them “live” has been difficult so far. Now, researchers at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics in Garching have accomplished precisely this, using a quantum gas microscope. With this tool, quantum systems can be manipulated and then imaged with such high resolution that even individual atoms are visible. The results of the experiments on linear chains of spins show that the way their orientation propagates corresponds to the so-called Kardar-Parisi-Zhang superdiffusion. This confirms a conjecture that recently emerged from theoretical considerations.

One Small Step

armstrong
and now I’m depressed. Is there any government agency more fucked up than NASA? Seriously. Not returning to the moon until 2020? We did it the first time in less than ten years, and it’s going to take another 11 years from now to do it again–when we have the infrastructure already? Let’s not talk about why we don’t already have permanent base there.
Did I mention I’m depressed?