Hunting accounts for 83 and 58 percent declines in tropical mammal and bird populations

April 14, 2017

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IMAGE: A decline of species abundance in hunted forest within 0-40 km from hunter access points.

Credit: Radboud University/Joeri Borst

Hunting is a major threat to wildlife particularly in tropical regions, but a systematic large-scale estimate of hunting-induced declines of animal numbers was lacking so far. A study published in Science on April 14 fills this gap. An international team of ecologists and environmental scientists found that bird and mammal populations were reduced within 7 and 40 km of hunters’ access points, such as roads and settlements.

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How should the UK approach Brexit?

March 30, 2017

A study published in the Oxford Review of Economic Policy summarizes strategies for the United Kingdom to adopt when negotiating new trade arrangements with the European Union. Theresa May triggered Article 50 today and began the Brexit process. This article discusses the future of UK trade policy following the referendum vote.

What strategy should the UK government adopt to secure the best possible outcome for the UK in future trade negotiations? The authors maintain that there are options for future UK-EU trade relations: remain part of the Single Market like Norway; negotiate bilateral trade deals with the EU as Switzerland and Canada have; or trade with the EU under World Trade Organization (WTO) rules as the United States and many other non-European countries do.

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Researchers can predict terrorist behaviors with more than 90 percent accuracy

March 2, 2017

Government agencies cannot always use social media and telecommunication to uncover the intentions of terrorists as terrorists are now more careful in utilizing these technologies for planning and preparing for attacks. A new framework developed by researchers at Binghamton University, State University of New York is able to understand future terrorist behaviors by recognizing patterns in past attacks.

Researchers at Binghamton have proposed a comprehensive new framework, the Networked Pattern Recognition (NEPAR) Framework, by defining the useful patterns of attacks to understand behaviors, to analyze patterns and connections in terrorist activity, to predict terrorists’ future moves, and finally, to prevent and detect potential terrorist behaviors.

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Record hot year may be the new normal by 2025

November 8, 2016

The hottest year on record globally in 2015 could be just another average year by 2025 if carbon emissions continue to rise at their current rate, according to new research published in the Bulletin of American Meteorological Society.

And no matter what action we take, human activities had already locked in a “new normal” for global average temperatures that would occur no later than 2040, according to lead author Dr Sophie Lewis, from the Australian National University (ANU) hub of the ARC Centre of Excellence for Climate System Science (ARCCSS). Read more

How fast must we adapt to climate change?

October 4, 2016

What would we do differently if sea level were to rise one foot per century versus one foot per decade? Until now, most policy and research has focused on adapting to specific amounts of climate change and not on how fast that climate change might happen.

Using sea-level rise as a case study, researchers at Carnegie’s Department of Global Ecology have developed a quantitative model that considers different rates of sea-level rise, in addition to economic factors, and shows how consideration of rates of change affect optimal adaptation strategies. If the sea level will rise slowly, it could still make sense to build near the shoreline, but if the sea level is going to rise quickly, then a buffer zone along the shoreline might make more sense.

The research is published in the October 4, 2016, issue of the Environmental Research Letters. Read more

A tenth of the world’s wilderness lost since the 1990s

September 21, 2016

Researchers reporting in the Cell Press journal Current Biology on September 8 show catastrophic declines in wilderness areas around the world over the last 20 years. They demonstrate alarming losses comprising a tenth of global wilderness since the 1990s – an area twice the size of Alaska. The Amazon and Central Africa have been hardest hit.

The findings underscore an immediate need for international policies to recognize the value of wilderness and to address the unprecedented threats it faces, the researchers say. Read more

Magma build-up at Japanese volcano poses threat to ‘Naples of the Eastern World’

September 15, 2016

One of Japan’s most active volcanoes could be close to a major eruption, threatening the safety of hundreds and thousands of residents of a nearby city, a new study has shown.

A team of experts, including Dr James Hickey from the University of Exeter, developed pioneering techniques to map the natural ‘plumbing system’ of Sakurajima volcano, on the south-west tip of the East Asian country, to discover a substantial growing magma reserve. Read more

Remains of rice and mung beans help solve a Madagascan mystery

May 31, 2016

Researchers have helped solve one of the enduring mysteries of the ancient world: why the inhabitants of Madagascar speak Malagasy, a language otherwise unique to Southeast Asia and the Pacific – a region located at least 6,000 km away. An international research team has identified that ancient crop remains excavated from sites in Madagascar consist of Asian species like rice and mung beans. This is thought to be the first archaeological evidence that settlers from South Asia are likely to have colonised the island over a thousand years ago. The findings are published in the journal, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Read more

172 year old Saiwan boundary marker stone found!

April 12, 2016

Teachers and students of Department of Real Estate and Construction of the University of Hong Kong (HKU) discovered a long forgotten boundary marker stone from the very earliest days of the British presence in Hong Kong. This B.O. No4, boundary stone, is located in the Lei Yue Mun Park and Holiday Village in Sai Wan Shan. Read more

Sea level rise danger to larger number of people than previously estimated

March 9, 2016

More people live close to sea coast than earlier estimated, assess researchers in a new study. These people are the most vulnerable to the rise of the sea level as well as to the increased number of floods and intensified storms. By using recent increased resolution datasets, Aalto University researchers estimate that 1.9 billion inhabitants, or 28% of the world’s total population, live closer than 100 km from the coast in areas less than 100 meters above the present sea level. Read more

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