Plants

Debate over Great Barrier Reef’s decline continues

Debate over Great Barrier Reef’s death continues

Earlier this month, the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority (GBRMPA) of Australia warned that numerous species in the popular reef would struggle to fully recover as it is experiencing an unprecedented mass coral bleaching for the second year in a row.

Most scientists believe that reefs across the globe, including Australia’s Great Barrier Reef, are dying due to global warming.

However, some coral reef experts and Republicans in particular argue that there is no strong evidence showing that manmade global warming is responsible for reef damages.

Scientists struggling to prevent total wipeout of crucial coral reefs

Scientists struggling to prevent total wipeout of crucial coral reefs

Following a recent aerial survey of Australia’s Great Barrier Reef, scientists are trying to find new ways to prevent a possible total wipeout of the coral reefs.

The aerial survey showed that the Great Barrier Reef is experiencing widespread coral bleaching for the second year in a row, indicating that water temperatures remained too warm to allow corals to recover from last year’s bleaching.

Scientists warned that several coral species are now more susceptible to bleaching after more than twelve months of continued above-average ocean temperatures.

Potatoes Can Grow on Mars: CubeSat Indicator Experiment

Potatoes Can Grow on Mars: CubeSat Indicator Experiment

Colonization of Mars in future is an ambitious project for NASA, ESA, other space agencies but the project presents many challenges for scientists. CubeSat indicator experiment has shown that growing potatoes on Mars will be possible. Planet Mars presents extreme weather conditions and growing crops on the Red Planet will be essential for long term survival. Researchers at International Potato Center planned to grow potatoes under Mars-like conditions. In their initial research project, researchers have reported encouraging results.

Indigenous people had intense impact on Amazon rainforests: Study

Indigenous people had intense impact on Amazon rainforests: Study

Amazon’s ancient indigenous people had a far more intense impact on the composition of the vast local rainforests than formerly known, a new study has suggested.

The new research suggested that several tree species in the Amazon region are abundant because they were cultivated by indigenous people who populated the region before Europeans’ arrival more than 500 years ago.

These tree species include the Brazil nut, acai palm, cacao, caimito and tucuma palm, rubber and cashew.

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Researchers identify chemical compounds that give tomatoes distinctive taste

Researchers identify chemical compounds that give tomatoes distinctive taste

A team of American researchers claimed to have identified the chemical compounds that give a great tomato its distinctive sweet, earthy taste. They have also pin pointed the genes that code for these chemicals and where these genes can be found in the tomato genome.

University of Florida researchers said their study could help breeders create tomatoes that would be hardy enough to survive the long and demanding journey from fields to kitchens without sacrificing flavor and taste.

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Blue Leaves of Begonia Help it Survive in Lower Forest Regions with Low Light

Blue Leaves of Begonia Help it Survive in Lower Forest Regions with Low Light

Blue Leaves of Peacock Begonia (or Begonia pavonina) help the plant to get additional light and survive in darker regions of the forest. The leaves of the plant with iridescent azure helps it adapt with lower level of sunlight in thick rain forests in Southeast Asia. The research paper published in journal Nature Plants informed that like chloroplasts, these structures provide the cellular machinery for photosynthesis.

Wilderness area twice the size of Alaska lost in last 20 years: Study

Wilderness area twice the size of Alaska lost in last 20 years: Study

An alarming revelation has been made in a research paper that since the 1990s around a tenth of earth’s wilderness has been lost. Human activity and disturbance have been reducing these natural spots on an annual basis and this will impact habitat of many wild species.

Scientists from the Wildlife Conservation Society have reached the conclusion after assessing satellite and survey data dating back to the 1990s. From the assessment, the researchers have come to know that across the globe, area twice the size of Alaska has been lost in the last two decades.

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Alarming decline in wilderness areas, immediate international attention needed

Alarming decline in wilderness areas, immediate international attention needed

Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) today unveiled about shocking reduction in the wilderness areas across the world over the last two decades. Humans have been held responsible for destroying a tenth of earth’s wilderness in the above mentioned time period. If the same trend continues, researchers fear there would be no such area left within a century. The researchers were shocked to find out that a vast area around the size of two-times Alaska has been completely destroyed between 1993 and today by human activities.

Florida farmers eyeing hops as new niche crop

Florida farmers eyeing hops as new niche crop

With declining profits in the citrus industry, some farmers in Florida are turning attention to hops, a new niche crop that can tap into the state's growing beer-brewing business. Hops' pungent flowers or buds are used by brewers as the building blocks of flavor and aroma of beer. Acids found in hops produce bitterness, while the plant's oils give beer a floral/citrus aroma, depending on the type of plant.

Mostly hops are grown in areas with cooler climates, such as Germany in Europe and Washington in the U.S. Florida was traditionally considered too warm and humid to grow hops.

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Young sunflowers follow the sun with help of circadian rhythm: Study

Young sunflowers follow the sun with help of circadian rhythm: Study

It is a well known fact that young sunflowers follow the sun. They move their buds from east to west during the day and every night, they move back to east from west to be the first ones to see the sun.

Researchers have found out as to how young sunflowers do so. The research paper published in the journal Science has unveiled that sunflowers have a circadian rhythm, an internal clock that could be set to the external world.

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