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Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Sturgeon suggests soft Brexit could take indyref off table in short term

Nicola Sturgeon suggests a soft Brexit could see an independence vote removed in the short term. Source: BBC

U.S., allies warn of “new level of threat” from North Korea

American diplomat says regime has "seen a qualitative improvement" in weapons capabilities, and they get better with every test

Off-grid power in remote areas will require special business model to succeed

Low-cost, off-grid solar energy could provide significant economic benefit to people living in some remote areas, but a new study suggests they generally lack the access to financial resources, commercial institutions and markets needed to bring solar electricity to their communities.

Great Barrier Reef almost drowned; climate implications

The first comprehensive analysis of the Great Barrier Reef at a time of rapid sea-level rise during the beginning of the Last Interglacial found it almost died. The research shows the reef can be resilient but questions remain about cumulative impacts. The research also provides an accurate identification of the age of the fossil reef that grew before the modern Great Barrier Reef, some 129,000-121,000 years ago.

Open-source plant database confirms top US bioenergy crop

Scientists have confirmed that Miscanthus, long speculated to be the top biofuel producer, yields more than twice as much as switchgrass in the US using an open-source bioenergy crop database gaining traction in plant science, climate change, and ecology research.

Rocky mountain haze

An atmospheric scientist has found a correlation between the severity of drought in the Intermountain West and the summertime air quality, particularly the concentration of aerosol particles, in remote mountain wilderness regions.

Trump election: US ‘identifies agents behind Russian hack’

The agents allegedly handed stolen Democratic emails to WikiLeaks before the US presidential election. Source: BBC

Syria conflict: Russia ‘starts to reduce forces’

Russia begins reducing its forces in Syria, starting with its aircraft carrier group, the military says. Source: BBC

Gas hike protests in Mexico

Sometimes-violent protests and looting over gasoline price hikes in Mexico are continuing and officials say that so far they’ve left one policeman dead and five injured

4 Guantanamo prisoners released to Saudi Arabia, Pentagon says

This is the final push to reduce the number of men held at the U.S. base before President Obama leaves office on Jan. 20

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Urbanization changes shape of mosquitoes’ wings

Research shows that rapid urbanization in São Paulo City, Brazil, is influencing wing morphology in the mosquitoes that transmit dengue and malaria.

No-deal Brexit ‘means hard border’ – European Commission

No deal makes hard border obvious, says EC spokesman, but Irish government calls that unacceptable. Source: BBC

How sex pheromones diversify: Lessons from yeast

What happens to sex pheromones as new species emerge? New research studies sex pheromones in the fission yeast Schizosaccharomyces pombe, revealing an 'asymmetric' pheromone recognition system in which one pheromone operates extremely stringently whereas the other pheromone is free to undergo a certain degree of diversification, perhaps leading to a first step towards speciation.