143 articles from THURSDAY 23.6.2022

UM study finds microplastic pollution in Flathead Lake

They're in our oceans and rivers. They're in the food we eat and the water we drink. They've even been detected inside the human body. They're called microplastics—particles of plastic so small they can't be seen by the naked eye. While researchers have known for years that these microplastics exist in Flathead Lake, the concentrations and origins of the microplastic pollution have remained a...

Hidden carbon layer may have sparked ancient bout of global warming

There is no perfect parallel in Earth’s past for present-day climate change—human-driven warming is simply happening too fast and furiously. The closest analog came 56 million years ago, when over the course of 3000 to 5000 years, greenhouse gases soared in the atmosphere, causing at least 5°C of warming and pushing tropical species to the poles. The cause of the...

Gravitational wave radar could probe deep space for tiny stellar objects

Theoretical physicists have hit on a new way to test Albert Einstein’s theory of gravity, or general relativity, and—just maybe—probe the distant universe for tiny, hard to detect objects. Gravitational waves —ripples in space set off when massive objects such as black holes whirl together and collide—should bounce off other massive objects to produce echoes of...

Team composition, structure, members' gender influence ability to focus, work together

The ability of team members to work together across a range of tasks, called collective intelligence (CI), varies significantly between teams. Research suggests that the level of collective attention (the quality and coordination of members' focus) a team develops influences its level of CI. A new study examined what factors enhance collective attention, focusing on the influence of teams'...

Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter releasing one of its last rainbow-colored maps

Scientists are about to get a new look at Mars, thanks to a multicolored 5.6-gigapixel map. Covering 86% of the Red Planet's surface, the map reveals the distribution of dozens of key minerals. By looking at mineral distribution, scientists can better understand Mars' watery past and can prioritize which regions need to be studied in more depth.

Climate change could lead to a dramatic temperature-linked decrease in essential omega-3 fatty acids, according to new study

The effects of global climate change already are resulting in the loss of sea ice, accelerated sea level rise, and longer and more intense heat waves, among other threats. Now, a survey of planktonic lipids in the global ocean predicts a temperature-linked decrease in the production of essential omega-3 fatty acids, an important subset of lipid molecules. A significant implication of the survey is...

Automation builds bigger, better ice tower reservoirs for high, dry farming

Towering artificial ice reservoirs called "ice stupas" have emerged since 2014 as an accessible means of storing irrigation water in dry, high-altitude mountain villages. Now, experiments with automated systems have demonstrated that construction of these giant ice cones, which top 30 meters (100 feet), can be accomplished with about one-tenth the volume of water manual methods use, according to...

U.S. science agencies would see budgets rise under draft budget bills

Spending panels for the U.S. House of Representatives kicked off the 2023 federal budget cycle this week by recommending healthy increases for several research agencies. In some cases, however, those increases fall below the much larger boosts President Joe Biden has requested. At the same time, lawmakers bucked that trend by adding to Biden’s meager request for the National Institutes...

Coastal marsh migration may further fuel climate change

As rising sea levels cause marshes to move inland in six mid-Atlantic states, coastal habitats will not serve as a carbon sink but instead will release more carbon into the atmosphere, a new modeling study finds. The research raises questions about the persistence of coastal habitats' carbon benefits in the face of sea level rise.

Microplastic pollution in Montana's flathead lake

Scientists have a greater understanding of the amount of microplastics polluting Flathead Lake, the likely sources of these microplastics and what can be done to prevent more from finding their way into the lake's world-renowned pristine water.

COVID's Catch-22: The paradox of masking and disease

Standard infection models for COVID-19 tend to focus only on disease states, overlooking the dynamics of a complex paradox: While masking reduces transmission rates and consequently disease prevalence, the reduction of disease inhibits mask-wearing -- thereby promoting epidemic revival.

Polluted land can be planted with flowers and tobacco

Zinnia (popular ornamental flowers) and tobacco adapt to copper in the soil. They accumulate heavy metal in the roots and limit the transport of copper to the aerial parts of the plant: stem, leaves, and beyond. At the same time, these plants not only survive in difficult conditions, but also grow better. This feature was revealed by scientists of the Ural Federal University (UrFU). They conducted...