While Al Gore’s film, An Inconvenient Truth, has generated greater awareness of global warming, most people remain unaware of the more rapid warming that has occurred within major cities. In fact, large cities can be more than 10 degrees hotter than their surroundings. These metropolitan hot spots, which scientists refer to as urban heat islands, can stress the animals and plants that make their home alongside humans. Until recently, biologists had focused so much on the effects of global climate change, that they had overlooked the effects of urban warming.
Now, an international team of biologists, led by Michael Angilletta of Indiana State University, has shown that city animals have been affected by urban heat islands. These researchers discovered that ants within South America’s largest city—São Paulo, Brazil—could tolerate heat better than ants from outside this city. Their findings, to be published in the online journal PLoS ONE, suggest that ants have adjusted their physiology in response to urban warming.
“We don’t know whether this pattern will hold up for other species or other cities, but people should certainly be looking,” said Angilletta, an Associate Professor of Ecology and Organismal Biology. “Ultimately, this research could help us to understand how species will respond to global climate change.”
Working closely with geographers from Indiana State University’s Center for Urban and Environmental Change, these biologists will soon determine whether urban warming has affected species in other major cities.
“We will quantify heat islands on the small scales that pertain to organisms, initially in Indianapolis and later in other major cities throughout the world,” said Weng, an Associate Professor of Geography and Director of Indiana State’s Center for Urban and Environmental Change.
”We will construct thermal maps using satellite images recorded over several years. These maps will enable us to assess the potential biological consequences of urban warming and identify suitable sites for future experiments,” Weng said.
This study will be published on February 28, 2007 in PLoS ONE, the international, peer-reviewed, open-access, online publication from the Public Library of Science (PLoS).CONTACT:
Upcycling 'fast fashion' to reduce waste and pollution
03.04.2017 | American Chemical Society
Litter is present throughout the world’s oceans: 1,220 species affected
27.03.2017 | Alfred-Wegener-Institut, Helmholtz-Zentrum für Polar- und Meeresforschung
More and more automobile companies are focusing on body parts made of carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP). However, manufacturing and repair costs must be further reduced in order to make CFRP more economical in use. Together with the Volkswagen AG and five other partners in the project HolQueSt 3D, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) has developed laser processes for the automatic trimming, drilling and repair of three-dimensional components.
Automated manufacturing processes are the basis for ultimately establishing the series production of CFRP components. In the project HolQueSt 3D, the LZH has...
Reflecting the structure of composites found in nature and the ancient world, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have synthesized thin carbon nanotube (CNT) textiles that exhibit both high electrical conductivity and a level of toughness that is about fifty times higher than copper films, currently used in electronics.
"The structural robustness of thin metal films has significant importance for the reliable operation of smart skin and flexible electronics including...
The nearby, giant radio galaxy M87 hosts a supermassive black hole (BH) and is well-known for its bright jet dominating the spectrum over ten orders of magnitude in frequency. Due to its proximity, jet prominence, and the large black hole mass, M87 is the best laboratory for investigating the formation, acceleration, and collimation of relativistic jets. A research team led by Silke Britzen from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has found strong indication for turbulent processes connecting the accretion disk and the jet of that galaxy providing insights into the longstanding problem of the origin of astrophysical jets.
Supermassive black holes form some of the most enigmatic phenomena in astrophysics. Their enormous energy output is supposed to be generated by the...
The probability to find a certain number of photons inside a laser pulse usually corresponds to a classical distribution of independent events, the so-called...
Microprocessors based on atomically thin materials hold the promise of the evolution of traditional processors as well as new applications in the field of flexible electronics. Now, a TU Wien research team led by Thomas Müller has made a breakthrough in this field as part of an ongoing research project.
Two-dimensional materials, or 2D materials for short, are extremely versatile, although – or often more precisely because – they are made up of just one or a...
28.04.2017 | Event News
20.04.2017 | Event News
18.04.2017 | Event News
28.04.2017 | Medical Engineering
28.04.2017 | Earth Sciences
28.04.2017 | Life Sciences