Issue No. 01

Updated: Mar 3

This post rings in our inaugural bi-monthly newsletter where we provide our community with a convenient and digestible summary of recently published studies as part of our goal to keep you informed on local and global environmental news.

Caribbean sharks in need of large marine protected areas:

A study from a diverse group of marine scientists at Stony Brook University's School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences revealed that Caribbean sharks were in need of protected marine areas. The study concluded that governments must provide larger spatial protections in the Greater Caribbean for threatened, highly migratory species such as sharks.

Read the rest of this study here.

Wall Street investors react to climate change:

Conducting the first ever survey of its kind, the McCombs School of Business at The University of Texas at Austin found that institutional investors had begun to factor in climate change risks when making their investment decisions, with 97% of respondents believing that global temperatures are rising.

Read the rest of this study here.

Eco-friendly way to stop mosquitoes:

University of New Mexico scientists have found a non-toxic, innovative, environmentally-friendly, and inexpensive way to kill Aedes aegypti mosquito larvae using ordinary baker's yeast and orange oil. This particular species of mosquito transmits diseases such as dengue, chikungunya, and the zika virus. By noting the natural insecticidal properties of essential oils from plants like oranges, the scientists used a proprietary method to inject orange oil into the yeast cells. The larvae love to munch on the yeast, but die once the oil-laden yeast cells are ingested.

For home use, the solution would be in the form of a powder which is to be mixed with water and sprayed in areas that larval growth might be expected. The scientists explained that their patented solution offers an alternative to larvicides and organophosphates, both of which pose harm to humans.

Read the rest of this study here.

Small altitude changes could cut climate impact of aircraft by up to 59%:

An aircraft's condensation trails, also known as contrails, may be as harmful to the environment as the aircraft's carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. Research from the Imperial College of London has found that contrail-caused harm to the climate could be reduced by up to 90% through a combination of using cleaner aircraft engines and a flight altitude change of just 2,000 feet.

Read the rest of this study here.

Algae team rosters could help ID 'super corals':

Researchers have potentially found a tool that may predict how well a coral community could resist climate stress. Through experiments stimulating climate change stress (including rising ocean temperatures, increased acidity, and exposure to bacterial pests), researchers from the US and Australia saw that corals who best survived had symbiotic algae communities that allowed them to tolerate a limited amount of climate change. Identifying these "super corals" could allow regional scientists a better understanding of which coral colonies to focus on for conservation and restoration.

Read the rest of this study here.

One-third of plant and animal species could be gone in 50 years:

A study from the University of Arizona examined recent extinctions from climate change, estimating that 30% of plant and animal species could be gone within the next half-century unless global warming is reduced. The detailed estimates from the researchers included information on rates of species movement, different projections of future climate, and recent climate-change induced biodiversity loss.

The study projected that these extinctions could be two to four times more common in the tropics than in temperate regions simply due to the large variety of species found in the tropics.

Read the rest of this study here.

Fighting climate change at the sink - a guide to greener dishwashing:

Whilst machine washing with a high-efficiency dishwasher does use less energy and water than traditional hand-washing, researchers from the University of Michigan have found that the two-basin method -- whereby dishes are soaked and scrubbed in hot water and then rinsed in cold water -- is associated with fewer greenhouse gas emissions.

When using a dishwasher, you can reduce your greenhouse gas emissions by avoiding the 'pre-rinse' and 'heated dry' settings and can use less energy and water by turning off the tap when washing dishes manually. By using the two-basin method and not letting the tap run, the researchers estimated that greenhouse gas emissions could be reduced by about two-thirds; the majority of energy used in dishwashing comes from the energy used to heat the water.

Read the rest of this study here.

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