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News and analysis on fundamental and applied environmental science

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Climate change report: prevent damage by overhauling global economy

Reducing emissions can generate better growth than old high-carbon model, says co-author of report, Lord Stern (from the Guardian)

Gulf Stream linked to ‘warm Arctic, cold Siberia’ pattern

Northwards shift in Gulf Stream alters jet stream to reduce sea ice in Barents Sea and cause cold winters in Eurasia

Pollution classification may mask effects on health

Study confirms pollution's effect on birth weight, but finds exposure estimates involve trade-offs

Taxi sharing could cut air pollution

New analysis reveals minimal time cost to passengers

Climate change and storm tracks: a tale of two hemispheres

Storm track activity likely to decrease during summer in northern mid-latitudes and intensify during winter in southern hemisphere

Superabsorbing rings could lead to better cameras and solar cells

Quantum effect could be put to work in a range of optical technologies

UK benzene emissions higher than US

Study of environmental regulations for emissions from oil refineries reveals surprising rankings

Environmental research round-up

Highlights from Environmental Research Letters (ERL), including climate in south-western China, environmental impacts of transport projects in the San Francisco Bay Area, how a vegetarian diet could shift some of Europe’s river basins into virtual water exporters, El Niño and a black spruce slowdown.

Tax on land-use emissions would save forest

Study investigates outlook for lignocellulosic biomass under a greenhouse-gas tax regime

Warming could cause soil microbes to release more carbon than scientists believed

Response of microbe community boosts temperature sensitivity of soil respiration rate

Polar bear DNA from footprints in Arctic snow reveal bloody killing of seal

First of its kind CSI-style technique to gather genetic material from animals could help track plight of endangered species (from the Guardian)

Land in Mekong Delta sinks as inhabitants remove water

By 2050 subsidence due to groundwater extraction likely to be 90 cm, boosting flooding risk, salt intrusion and more

Eating less meat could save water

Diet change worldwide could save enough water to feed an additional 1.8 billion people

TV journalists help scientists confirm oil-spill model

Broadcast crew launch surface drifters at Old Harry geological site in Gulf of St Lawrence

‘Moderate’ geoengineering could help temperature in all areas

Moderate levels of solar radiation management would bring down temperatures across the globe but leave some areas with rainfall further from pre-industrial values

Global warming slowdown answer lies in depths of Atlantic, study finds

Excess heat being stored hundreds of metres down in Atlantic and Southern oceans – not Pacific as previously thought (from the Guardian)

Scientists create global roadmap for roads

Planning tool reveals areas where environmental damage from road construction outweighs potential benefits to food growth

Why our carbon-dioxide emissions are like credit-card debt

Commitment accounting technique shows lifetime power-plant emissions growing by 4% per year

Making better solar cells with polychiral carbon nanotubes

New device absorbs across a wider portion of the solar spectrum

The farmer’s dilemma: cut down virgin forest or convert existing pasture

Researchers analyse the factors that decide where commodity crops expand