Scientists have sequenced ancient DNA from soil for the first time and the advance will transform what is known about everything from evolution to climate change. The findings have been described as the 'moon landings' of genomics because researchers will no longer have to rely on finding and testing fossils to determine genetic ancestry, links and discoveries - and it is thanks to Stone Age black bears who defecated in a remote cave in Mexico 16,000 years ago.
New, detailed study of the Renland Ice Cap offers the possibility of modelling other smaller ice caps and glaciers with much greater accuracy than hitherto. The study combined airborne radar data to determine the thickness of the ice cap with on-site measurements of the thickness of the ice cap and satellite data. Researchers from the Niels Bohr Institute - University of Copenhagen gathered data from the ice cap in 2015, and this work has now come to fruition: More exact predictions of local climate conditions.
In the northern Red Sea and Gulf of Aqaba, corals have exceptionally high tolerance to increasing seawater temperatures resulting from global warming. However, climate change will also result in more variable weather patterns, including extreme cold periods. Researchers now demonstrate that a winter even 1°C cooler than average results in a physiological stress response similar to that seen in other corals under heat stress, detailing how perilously close they live to their lower temperature threshold.
The Andes Mountains in South America are the world's longest mountain range and a hotspot of biodiversity. But the forest that climbs up this mountain range provides another important service to humanity. Andean forests are helping to protect the planet by acting as a carbon sink, absorbing carbon dioxide and keeping some of this climate-altering gas out of circulation, according to new research published in Nature Communications.
Researchers at the University of Copenhagen have made the first ever global assessment map of how future climate and land-use change impacts genetic diversity in mammals. The researchers hope the map will assist policy makers in prioritizing which areas should be preserved first.
The downward trajectory of plant and animal diversity constitutes a key issue of the Anthropocene. Whether diversity is changing also in the world of microbes is unknown, however -- a "profound ignorance" -- because the importance of these microorganisms maintain Earth's habitability. A paper published today frames the rate of change of microbial biodiversity as an important question on which progress is possible.
Heat stress disrupts the physiological processes of corals prior to clear signs of bleaching, with implications for adaptation strategies for coral reefs in a warming climate.
A new study led by scientists at the University of Miami (UM) Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science provides evidence that humans are influencing wind and weather patterns across the eastern United States and western Europe by releasing CO2 and other pollutants into Earth's atmosphere.
A new publication offers a comprehensive guide to help plant scientists communicate their work to the world. An Iowa State University scientist who contributed to the multi-institutional effort says it's critical that plant scientists emphasize outreach to make sure plant science is able to meet the demands of climate change and population growth.
Research in the Peruvian Andes highlights critical climate threats to montane forests and urges for current conservation plans to take climate projections into account.