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News and analysis on fundamental and applied environmental science

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No hiatus for temperature extremes

Unlike average temperatures, the rate of increase of extremes has not slowed over the last 15 years

Giving up beef will reduce carbon footprint more than cars, says expert

Study shows red meat dwarfs others for environmental impact, using 28 times more land and 11 times water for pork or chicken (from the Guardian)

Shale gas could emit as much as coal

Lifecycle assessment reveals production is key to greenhouse emissions of unconventional gas.

Charging up with jumping droplets

Energy-harvesting device taps into atmospheric humidity.

The six countries that could change the future of food production

Study reveals “leverage points” where a little action could have a big impact on the world’s food security and sustainability

Solar variation has little impact on cloud nuclei

Is effect enough to explain link between Sun's 11-year activity cycle and temperature variations?

How to cut risk of carbon capture and storage causing an earthquake

Mapping of geological faults and monitoring during injection of carbon dioxide could reduce risk of seismic activity arising from CCS, comparison with wastewater injection reveals

Biochar helps soil microbes cope with drought

Carbon-storage mechanism also boosts resilience of bacteria and fungi

New model predicts organic matter content of sea spray

Finding could help climate modellers by improving knowledge of aerosol properties

How can new power plants in western US find enough water?

Researchers map water availability using five different sources, including wastewater and brackish water

Dairy cows likely to feel the heat

Increased number of heat-stress days could see milk yields drop

Warming could slow transport of carbon dioxide to the depths

Decreased ocean ventilation as temperatures rise could mitigate against ocean acidification

Reborn carbon mission launches after five-year wait

$465m Orbiting Carbon Observatory will map carbon sources and sinks

World's energy systems vulnerable to climate impacts, report warns

Generators from nuclear reactors to coal-fired power plants will feel the brunt of the weather changes (from the Guardian)

Environmental research round-up

Highlights from Environmental Research Letters (ERL), including deforestation, hurricane damage, forest fires, urban expansion, and more.

Climate extremes cut forest carbon storage

Drought harms terrestrial carbon sink

Why we can halve fertilizer use

Smart redeployment could even boost global crop production

Could ‘land grabs’ feed more mouths?

Study calculates whether improved crop yield of commercial agriculture could boost world’s calorie production

Drifting off the coast of Portugal, the frontrunner in the global race for floating windfarms

Three prototype technologies are competing to provide the first commercial floating wind turbines that could harness the world's strongest winds in the deepest waters (from the Guardian)

Green roofs can reduce urban heat island effect

Use of cool or green roofs on one-third of city buildings can cut surface temperature by 1°C, new model shows