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Environmental research round-up

Highlights from Environmental Research Letters (ERL), including urbanization in arid regions, nitrogen footprints in Japan, Earth-system modelling, Amazon floods, and REDD+ reporting

Polar bears face starvation as unlikely to adapt to a land-based diet, says report

New research casts doubt on the theory that polar bears could survive habitat loss as sea ice declines by foraging for food on land (from the Guardian)

Agricultural halfway house could protect environment

Extensification aims to cut external inputs like fertilizer

Growing food locally cuts global nitrogen contamination

Study reveals it is better to grow food where it is needed than where conditions are most suitable

Talking Point

Can sediment plumes reveal ice-sheet melt rates? Apr 13, 2015

The melting of ice sheets and glaciers contributes to sea-level rise, yet these frozen structures are often hard to study because they are so remote. Richard Hodgkins of Loughborough University, UK, details how sediment may be able to help

Planet Blog

Comment and analysis from our editorial staff and professionals in the field.

EGU 2015: were Dylan and the Beatles obsessed by the weather?

Bob Dylan is the pop artist most preoccupied by the weather, with one-quarter of his songs mentioning the phenomenon. That’s according to Karen Aplin from the University of Oxford, UK, who will report her findings at the European Geosciences Union (EGU) General Assembly in Vienna on Friday.

EGU 2015: reflecting on GPS data reveals more information

As well as helping millions of smartphone owners and car drivers find their way around unfamiliar territory, GPS data have become vital to environmental and Earth scientists. Kristine Larson of the University of Colorado, Boulder, US, realised when monitoring small ground movements in areas prone to earthquakes that GPS signals reflected from the Earth's surface can provide extra information.

EGU 2015: will fishermen wade in to help hydrologists?

Many fly fishing enthusiasts will happily spend a couple of hundred dollars on a long-handled temperature sensor to help them measure conditions at the bottom of the river and locate the best spots to fish. Rolf Hut reckoned he could do better.

Focus on...

All the key issues and latest research on Geoengineering

The science behind the negotiations via our COP15 Focus

The latest research and opinion on REDD

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