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Nights are warming faster than days. Here’s what that means for the planet.

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Climate change can have profound impacts across ecosystems, but rising average temperatures are just one factor among many driving those repercussions. A new study published in late September in Global Change Biology found that nighttime temperatures are increasing at a faster rate compared to daytime temps in most land areas across the Earth. That shift can influence everything from predator-prey dynamics to plant growth.



Nighttime ecology is particularly understudied, with most research focused on the daytime activities of organisms.


© Provided by Popular Science
Nighttime ecology is particularly understudied, with most research focused on the daytime activities of organisms.

“Climate change is already messing things up,” says Daniel Cox, an ecologist at the University of Exeter and lead author of the study. “But the 24-hour asymmetry is adding an extra dimension of complexity [for species].”

Previous analyses have found that the rising greenhouse gases in our atmosphere are not having an even effect on temperatures from day to night. But Cox says this is the first study of temperature asymmetries to cover all global lands.

Without understanding these effects, ecologists can’t hope to fully grasp how the natural world will respond. Experiments with grasshoppers and spiders, for example, have shown that the time of the day at which heating occurs can tip the ecological balance. In a 2017 study, researchers found increased daytime warming led spiders to seek cover earlier in the day, enabling grasshoppers to munch away at plants without fear, affecting plant growth. Conversely, the spiders hunted the grasshoppers more fiercely when nightime temperatures warmed, possibly reducing the insect’s numbers. These kinds of effects can ripple across a larger ecosystem, with potential impacts for plant communities, wildlife, and agriculture.



Nighttime ecology is particularly understudied, with most research focused on the daytime activities of organisms.


© Pexels
Nighttime ecology is particularly understudied, with most research focused on the daytime activities of organisms.

Nighttime ecology is particularly understudied, with most research focused on the daytime activities of organisms. That’s why

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Getting off-campus COVID-19 tests often easier and faster, University of Michigan students say

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ANN ARBOR, MI — The number of coronavirus cases at the University of Michigan has increased in recent weeks, and a majority of students with positive cases have chosen to get tested off campus.

It’s simpler, faster and more convenient than being tested at University Health Services, some students said.

UM updated its dashboard in late September to reflect the number of positive cases tested outside the university. Since Sept. 13, there have been 607 positive cases in the UM community with 409 of these positive cases being tested off campus.

After update, University of Michigan coronavirus dashboard shows more than 100 positive cases in last 2 weeks

A majority of positive cases since Sept. 13 were from tests done outside UM facilities, according to data on the dashboard, and students say they have had differing experiences trying to get tested at UHS.

Students can contact UHS to get tested in a number of ways, said Andie Ransom, co-lead for UHS’ COVID-19 planning and response. The most popular is an online questionnaire, which UHS employees respond to and give students a call to assess them over the phone, taking into account whether they sound sick, if they’re coughing or short of breath or talking in full sentences.

From there, UHS determines whether the student needs to go to the UHS clinic or get a COVID-19 test at the Power Center, which the university has been using as a testing site since August, Ransom said.

For some students, like Ollie Paulus, a sophomore from Huntsville, Alabama, getting a COVID-19 test using the questionnaire was easy. However, others, like Katie Furman, a Ph.D. student from New Jersey, experienced long wait times after submitting the questionnaire.

Furman had a headache, cough and shortness of breath the morning of Oct. 5, she said, prompting

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Drones Can Reforest The Planet Faster Than Humans Can

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There is more than one reason that we need to reforest Planet Earth. Less than a fifth of Earth’s original forests have survived the rise of humans since the last glaciation, and over half of them are in just five countries (see figure below).

The biggest effect from loss of forests is loss of habitat and the resultant loss of biodiversity, even if you don’t care about climate change. We’re burning billions of acres of pristine Indonesian rain forests to plant palm oil trees (Scientific American) just to get a cooking oil with a better shelf life.

Forest biodiversity encompasses not just trees, but the multitude of plants, animals and microorganisms that inhabit forested areas – and their associated genetic diversity. Over a billion humans depend on dense forests for their survival, although all humans depend on forests in some degree for some aspect of their lives.

Forests also are one of the biggest sinks of carbon on Earth, and losing them puts more carbon into the atmosphere and prevents more carbon from being extracted.

According to the International Panel on Climate Change, there remains only about 10 years to prevent the most catastrophic effects of global warming. In 2019, 43 billion tons of CO2 was released by humans into the atmosphere. Planting trees is currently the best way to sequester carbon. But it will take planting many, many billions of trees