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Quick start and challenges for UN’s tech transfer body

The “lightning speed” with which a UN-led initiative to transfer technologies for tackling climate change to developing nations has been set up is impressive, but remaining challenges could prevent its success, a member of its advisory board says.Difficulties in encouraging applications for technological assistance and concern about finding enough partners to build a viable international [...]

25 to 35 Individuals remain of world’s rarest primate: Hainan gibbon

Only 23 to 25 of the animals are thought to remain, clustered in less than 20 square kilometres of forest in China’s Hainan Island. The species (Nomascus hainanus), which numbered more than 2,000 in the late 1950s, has been devastated through the destruction of habitat from logging, and by poaching. Extinction would give the gibbon [...]

Himalayan Glaciers Shown to Be Losing Ground Using Indirect Method of Measurement

Quantifying the water loss of Himalayan glaciers due to global warming from direct measurement is difficult, as some glaciers are advancing or stable in spite of an overall retreat. We use a novel approach to provide an alternative estimate of the amount of Himalayan ice melt. Because a major part of this melted ice debouches [...]

Global patterns of marine mammal, seabird, and sea turtle bycatch reveal taxa-specific and cumulative megafauna hotspots- TERA

Recent research on ocean health has found large predator abundance to be a key element of ocean condition. Fisheries can impact large predator abundance directly through targeted capture and indirectly through incidental capture of nontarget species or bycatch. However, measures of the global nature of bycatch are lacking for air-breathing megafauna. We fill this knowledge [...]

Global and time-resolved monitoring of crop photosynthesis with chlorophyll fluorescence- TERA

Photosynthesis is the process by which plants harvest sunlight to produce sugars from carbon dioxide and water. It is the primary source of energy for all life on Earth; hence it is important to understand how this process responds to climate change and human impact. However, model-based estimates of gross primary production (GPP, output from [...]

Natural disasters and economic growth: A meta-analysis- TERA

Using more than 750 estimates, we perform a meta-regression analysis of studies examining the relationship between economic growth per capita and natural disasters. The studies considered are very different with respect to the type of disasters considered, the sample of countries and time periods covered, model specification, estimators used and publication outlet. After extensive testing [...]

Agricultural Rodent Control Using Barn Owls: Is It Profitable?- TERA

rodents, and the impact of this predation pressure on nesting choices and agricultural output. We apply the model to data collected in Israel and find the installation of nesting boxes profitable. While this finding indicates that economic policy instruments to enhance the adoption of this biological control method are redundant, it does support stricter regulations [...]

EcoTech Horizons: Wood Foam

Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Wood Research, Wilhelm-Klauditz-Institut, WKI in Braunschweig have adopted a promising wood-based insulation material by creating foam from wood particles. “Our wood foam can be used in exactly the same way as conventional plastic spray foams, but is an entirely natural product made from sustainable raw materials,” explains Professor Volker [...]

Political borders, new and old, should not hamper wildlife

There are many examples of steep declines in species populations after political division. The range and population size of the endangered Kashmir markhor (Capra falconeri falconeri) in India have contracted by 60% since the 1947 partition that formed Pakistan — not least because of the 500-kilometre fence that India erected to mark the de facto [...]

Life Cycle Assessment: Ethylene Derived from Bioethanol Rather than Fossil Fuel within the Polyester Value Chain- TERA

Life cycle assessment has been used to investigate the environmental impacts associated with using ethylene produced from biomass, rather than from the processing of crude oil, in the production of polyethylene terephthalate (PET). The cases investigated were for polymer production and distribution facilities located either (i) in the United Kingdom (UK) or (ii) in the [...]