As the advance of global warming becomes more certain, accurate predictions about its impacts are still largely guesswork. How can we know what long-term warming will do to complex ecosystems? One way is to do a large experiment and see what happens. A new study published in the journal Ecology shows that artificially warming the seawater by 3.5oC in a California bay had dramatic effects on 150 species of seaweeds and animals.
David Schiel (University of Canterbury in Christchurch, New Zealand), John Steinbeck (Tenera Environmental, California , USA) and Michael Foster (Moss Landing Marine Labs, California, USA) compiled a 20-year study of coastal sea life along 2 kilometers of a bay affected by hot water from the cooling system of a power generating plant. Many kelp and other large seaweeds virtually disappeared from the bay, grazing snails and sea urchins increased, abalone died and habitats changed throughout the bay.
The study showed that one of the main predictions about the effects of seawater warming on ocean life was wrong: there was no replacement of cold-water species by warm-water species. Instead, a few abundant, widely distributed species were directly affected by the increased temperatures and triggered complex responses throughout the coastal marine communities. “Our study clearly shows that changes in marine systems due to warming are unlikely to be simple. Whether we come up with better ways to predict changes remains to be seen,” said Professor Schiel.
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DNA molecules that follow specific instructions could offer more precise molecular control of synthetic chemical systems, a discovery that opens the door for engineers to create molecular machines with new and complex behaviors.
Researchers have created chemical amplifiers and a chemical oscillator using a systematic method that has the potential to embed sophisticated circuit...
MPQ scientists achieve long storage times for photonic quantum bits which break the lower bound for direct teleportation in a global quantum network.
Concerning the development of quantum memories for the realization of global quantum networks, scientists of the Quantum Dynamics Division led by Professor...
Researchers have developed a water cloaking concept based on electromagnetic forces that could eliminate an object's wake, greatly reducing its drag while...
Tiny pores at a cell's entryway act as miniature bouncers, letting in some electrically charged atoms--ions--but blocking others. Operating as exquisitely sensitive filters, these "ion channels" play a critical role in biological functions such as muscle contraction and the firing of brain cells.
To rapidly transport the right ions through the cell membrane, the tiny channels rely on a complex interplay between the ions and surrounding molecules,...
The miniaturization of the current technology of storage media is hindered by fundamental limits of quantum mechanics. A new approach consists in using so-called spin-crossover molecules as the smallest possible storage unit. Similar to normal hard drives, these special molecules can save information via their magnetic state. A research team from Kiel University has now managed to successfully place a new class of spin-crossover molecules onto a surface and to improve the molecule’s storage capacity. The storage density of conventional hard drives could therefore theoretically be increased by more than one hundred fold. The study has been published in the scientific journal Nano Letters.
Over the past few years, the building blocks of storage media have gotten ever smaller. But further miniaturization of the current technology is hindered by...
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