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News and analysis on fundamental and applied environmental science

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The most effective individual steps to tackle climate change aren’t being discussed

Four actions could substantially decrease an individual’s carbon footprint

Microbe study highlights Greenland ice-sheet toxicity

Microbial communities have potential to degrade contaminants

Mobile phone base-station data improve hydrology models

Power attenuation measurements of rainfall aided flood analysis in German Alps

Warming puts Ethiopia’s coffee in peril

Climate change could make more than half nation's regions currently growing Coffea arabicaunsuitable

Western North Atlantic sea temperatures linked to Arctic warming

Warmer ocean shifts jet stream north and heats air over Barents-Kara Seas

Land grabbing competes with forest preservation

Cambodia, where more than 2 million hectares of land have been leased to investors this century, has lost over 12% of its forest land cover since 2000

Owls’ wings could hold the key to beating wind turbine noise

Serrations along leading edge control transition between laminar and turbulent flow

Efficient irrigation doesn’t stop demand for groundwater

Groundwater runoff is used nearly as much as freshly pumped groundwater, study finds

World food trade runs chokepoint gauntlet

Fourteen chokepoints identified as critical to global food security, including eight maritime waterways, three inland restrictions and three coastal locations

Renewables ‘good for jobs’ in Africa

Cost of jobs falls in greener scenarios

Has clampdown on illegal gold mining caused deforestation leakage?

Without united action on forest emissions and illegal gold mining, deforestation leakage may prevent REDD+ progress

Namibian wetlands replenished by rainfall

Groundwater should not be pumped intensively, say study authors

Poorer nations have seen greater rise in temperature extremes for last 20 years

Measurement-based study confirms modelling outputs

Solar power can save US lives and money

Switching from coal to solar could save up to 52,000 lives, study finds

Record UK rainfall in winter 2013–14 caused by the tropics, stratosphere and climate warming

Severe floods resulted from disrupted atmospheric pressure patterns

More than half world’s hydropower competes with irrigation

Boosting hydro-electricity production in some areas may harm food security

Storks off: power companies manage nests on pylons as population soars

Value of pylons as nest sites seems to offset stork deaths due to power lines

Slowly oxidizing peat releases as much carbon as burning in Southeast Asia

Results highlight need to tackle emissions from drainage, researchers say

Climate change causes killer heatwaves

As average summer temperatures rise in the tropics, so do the risks of mass death from killer heatwaves, climate scientists find

Global diet and farming methods ‘must change for environment’s sake’

Shift away from beef towards pork, poultry, fish or non-meat diet would have significant benefits, both for the environment and human health