Science X Newsletter


Science X Newsletter:  “TESS discovers Saturn-like planet orbiting an M-dwarf star.”

Views expressed in this science and technology news update are those of the reporters and correspondents.

Accessed on 07 November 2023, 1322 UTC.

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Spotlight Stories Headlines

TESS discovers Saturn-like planet orbiting an M-dwarf star

Arctic Ocean soundscapes reveal changes in mammal populations in response to climate change

Hydrogel-assisted microfluidic spinning of stretchable fibers via fluidic and interfacial self-adaptation

An immune molecule that regulates aging and a living organism’s lifespan

Study finds ketamine effects outlast half-life by getting trapped in NMDA receptors

Fossils tell tale of last primate to inhabit North America before humans

From supersolid to microemulsion: Exploring spin-orbit coupled Bose-Einstein condensates

The controllable splitting of a single Cooper pair in a hybrid quantum dot system

Each nostril has a unique sense of smell, intracranial electroencephalogram study finds

Plastic waste in rivers may carry dangerous microbes: Study

Want the secret to less painful belly flops? These researchers have the answer

Bendy X-ray detectors could revolutionize cancer treatment

New research shows quasars can be buried in their host galaxies

Saturday Citations: Moon origins, rat whimsy, microgravity orientation. Plus: Starfish are bodiless heads, it turns out

Study: Animal-to-human diseases could kill 12 times as much by 2050

Earth news

Plastic waste in rivers may carry dangerous microbes: Study

Plastic litter in rivers might be allowing dangerous pathogens to hitch-hike downstream, a new study published Wednesday found.

Mother Nature knows best when it comes to climate solutions, social media users say

A survey of more than a million social media posts suggests that people feel more positive about nature’s ability to solve climate change than human technology, according to new research published in the journal Global Environmental Change.

Scientists map loss of groundwater storage around the world

Global water resources are stretched by climate change and human population growth, and farms and cities are increasingly turning to groundwater to fill their needs. Unfortunately, the pumping of groundwater can cause the ground surface above to sink, as the aquifers below are drained and the architecture of the ground collapses. For the first time, a new study maps this loss of groundwater storage capacity around the world.

Scientists highlight discrepancies in regional climate models

Up to now, the results of climate simulations have sometimes contradicted the analysis of climate traces from the past. A team led by the physicist Thomas Laepple from the Alfred Wegener Institute in Potsdam and the climatologist Kira Rehfeld from the University of Tübingen has therefore brought together experts in climate models and climate tracks to clarify how the discrepancies come about.

Research team suggests ways to eat our way out of the climate crisis

Agriculture is one of the hardest human activities to decarbonize; people must eat, but the land-use practices associated with growing crops account for roughly a quarter of global greenhouse gas emissions. Researchers at the University of California, Irvine and other institutions evaluate a new solution to this problem, one that eliminates farms altogether.

New model adds human reactions to flood risk assessment

Researchers at North Carolina State University have created a land change model that simulates interactions between urban growth, increased flooding and how humans adapt in response. The new model could offer a more realistic assessment of risk for urban planners, natural resource managers and other local government stakeholders.

In early 2029, Earth will likely lock into breaching key warming threshold, scientists calculate

In a little more than five years—sometime in early 2029—the world will likely be unable to stay below the internationally agreed temperature limit for global warming if it continues to burn fossil fuels at its current rate, a new study says.

2023 ozone hole ranks 16th largest, NASA and NOAA researchers find

The 2023 Antarctic ozone hole reached its maximum size on Sept. 21, according to annual satellite and balloon-based measurements made by NASA and NOAA. At 10 million square miles, or 26 million square kilometers, the hole ranked as the 12th largest single-day ozone hole since 1979.

Our minds handle risk strangely—and that’s partly why we delayed climate action so long, researcher says

We now have a very narrow window to significantly and rapidly slash greenhouse gas emissions to avoid the most disastrous effects of climate change, with just an estimated six years left before we blow our carbon budget to stay below 1.5°C of warming.

The world’s boreal forests may be shrinking as climate change pushes them northward

Earth’s boreal forests circle our planet’s far northern reaches, just south of the Arctic’s treeless tundra. If the planet wears an Arctic ice cap, then the boreal forests are a loose-knit headband wrapped around its ears, covering large portions of Alaska, Canada, Scandinavia and Siberia.

PFAS: How research is uncovering damaging effects of ‘forever chemicals’

Since their inception in the 1940s, the so-called forever chemicals have woven themselves into the fabric of our modern world. But recently, they’ve been appearing in alarming news headlines about their damaging effects on our health.

No appetite for vegetarian diet to help the planet, finds study

Social media users believe reducing and eliminating meat intake is ineffective in addressing climate change and reported low willingness to engage in either action, according to a new study from La Trobe University.

Measuring the impact of desert greening

Long-term satellite data shows a significant cooling effect of vegetation on land surface temperature. The searing heat of the Arabian Peninsula translates to a population vulnerable to heat stress. As temperatures continue to rise, effective strategies are urgently needed to mitigate and adapt to the impacts of climate change in the region.

Green spaces can save lives, according to urban big data

Against the backdrop of global climate change, extreme heat events are becoming hotter, longer, and more frequent. Such sustained extreme heat has severely impacted people’s health all over the world.

Maps reveal biochar’s potential for mitigating climate change

Biochar, a charcoal made from heating discarded organic materials such as crop residues, offers a path to lowering atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) at a time when climate scientists warn that urgent action is needed limit CO2 in the atmosphere.

The first assimilation of CryoSat-2 summer observations provides accurate estimates of Arctic sea ice thickness

Scientists have improved a data assimilation system for better estimating Arctic summer sea ice thickness (SIT) by assimilating satellite-based summer SIT and ice concentration data with an incremental analysis update (IAU) approach. Their study shows promising results for the improved estimations of Arctic SIT by assimilating the latest breakthrough of satellite-retrieved SIT for summer in the Arctic.

Food waste prevention in Europe can generate major footprint savings

New research shows that European food consumption draws unnecessarily excessively on global resources, which is why researchers are calling for political action. Many of the foods that are consumed in Europe are produced in countries outside Europe. Food loss—and waste later in the chain—occurs along the food supply chain, from the primary agricultural sector in Europe or rest of the world, until it feeds mouths in Europe.

A comprehensive approach to tackling pollution in Houston and beyond

With its notoriously hot and humid climate and robust industrial environment, Houston is one of the most ozone-polluted cities in the United States. Now, a University of Houston research team is integrating the power of machine learning (ML) with innovative analysis techniques to pinpoint the city’s air pollution sources more accurately.

Storms kill three, displace thousands in southern South America

Three people have died and thousands have had to leave their homes due to heavy rains and flooding in southern South America this week, according to officials who pointed to the El Niño weather phenomenon.

Smog-ridden New Delhi extends schools shutdown

Authorities in India’s smog-ridden capital New Delhi on Sunday extended an emergency schools closure by a week, with no signs of improvement in the megacity’s choking levels of pollution.

Climate negotiators reach framework to aid vulnerable countries

Global climate negotiators reached a framework for a fund to help vulnerable nations deal with loss and damage from increasingly extreme weather, though the breakthrough was marred by sparring over exactly how the program would be funded.

Fans forgo facemasks as India’s toxic smog clouds World Cup

The smog-choked Indian capital was ranked as the planet’s most polluted major city on Monday, but the love of the game trumped health worries for fans at the cricket World Cup.

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