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Droughts in the Amazon rainforest can be predicted up to 18 months in advance
For the first time, it is possible to accurately predict severe drought up to 18 months in advance in Tropical South America. Early warnings of upcoming droughts are imperative for mitigating the impact on millions of people depending on the Amazon rainforest ecosystem. Additionally, droughts threaten the delicate ecosystems of the rainforest in South America. (2020-09-17)

Degradation outpaces deforestation in Brazilian Amazon
The area of the Brazilian Amazon affected by forest degradation--where forest biomass is lost but not completely converted to another use--is greater than the area affected by deforestation, according to a long-term study by Eraldo Aparecido Trondoli Matricardi and colleagues. (2020-09-10)

A chiral surprise in the rainforest
Reversed ratio of chiral volatile organic compounds over the Amazon rainforest reveal insects as unexplored important source of forest emissions. (2020-08-27)

Artificial intelligence learns continental hydrology
The data sets on the Earth's gravitational field which are required for this, stem from the GRACE and GRACE-FO satellite missions. Using the South American continent as an example, the Earth system modellers at the German Research Centre for Geosciences GFZ, have developed a new Deep-Learning-Method, which quantifies small as well as large-scale changes to the water storage with the help of satellite data. (2020-08-27)

Indigenous property rights protect the Amazon rainforest
One way to cut back on deforestation in the Amazon rainforest - and help in the global fight against climate change - is to grant more of Brazil's indigenous communities full property rights to tribal lands. This policy focus is suggested by the findings of a new study in PNAS. (2020-08-10)

New research may help identify sex trafficking networks
Characterizing traits of online activity may help to rescue victims of sex trafficking. While scientists have tried to help pinpoint outfits participating in trafficking, few scientific studies have looked of how the digital infrastructure behind the online sex market operates. A paper from Mayank Kejriwal, a research assistant professor at the USC Information Sciences Institute and Yao Gu (currently at Amazon) provides some insights on the specific digital practices of potential sex trafficking networks. (2020-08-10)

Small trees offer hope for rainforests
Small trees that grow up in drought conditions could form the basis of more drought-resistant rainforests, new research suggests. (2020-08-04)

Amazonian Indigenous territories are crucial for conservation
A new study from the University of Helsinki shows that Indigenous territories represent around 45% of all the remaining wilderness areas in the Amazon, comprising an area of three times the surface of Germany. At a time when the Amazon forests face unprecedented pressures, overcoming divergences and aligning the goals of wilderness defenders and Indigenous peoples is paramount to avoid further environmental degradation. (2020-07-29)

Climate shift, forest loss and fires -- Scientists explain how Amazon forest is trapped in a vicious circle
A new study, published in Global Change Biology, showed how the fire expansion is attributed to climate regime shift and forest loss. (2020-07-22)

Revealing Brazil's rotten agribusinesses
Groundbreaking study first to identify Brazil's 'bad apple' beef and soy producers, illegally chopping down forests to feed Europe's appetite; Researchers show that transparent data and science-based monitoring are the most potent weapons against illicit forest loss (2020-07-16)

The complex relationship between deforestation and diet diversity in the Amazon
As increasing areas of the Amazonian rainforest are converted into agricultural land, scientists are examining how this is linked with local communities' food access. Newly published research shows that over the period of 15 years, deforestation and reduction of agricultural diversity are associated with reduced diversity in human diets. (2020-07-07)

Palm trees most abundant in American rainforests
Characteristics of palm trees differ from those of other tropical trees in many ways. In a major new study led by scientists at Uppsala University, Sweden, and University of Campinas, Brazil, they have surveyed the actual numbers of palms in tropical rainforests around the globe. The proportion of palm trees is important to include in calculations of forests' potential carbon storage and in estimates of forested areas' sensitivity to climate change. (2020-07-06)

Gold mining restricts Amazon rainforest recovery
Gold mining significantly limits the regrowth of Amazon forests, greatly reducing their ability to accumulate carbon, according to a new study. The researchers warn that the impacts of mining on tropical forests are long-lasting and that active land management and restoration will be necessary to recover tropical forests on previously mined lands. (2020-06-29)

Deforestation and land-clearing are taking a toll on Brazil's corn yield
Brazil is one of the top three producers of both soy and corn globally, and its agricultural sector accounts for one-fifth of the country's economy. Deforestation and land-clearing practices have long been linked to decreases in biodiversity, and increases in temperature, stream flow, fire occurence, and carbon dioxide emissions. According to a Dartmouth study published in Nature Sustainability, these land-clearing practices in Brazil are also altering the climate and can significantly reduce corn yields (2020-06-29)

The price of taking a stance: How corporate sociopolitical activism impacts bottom line
More businesses are taking a stand on controversial sociopolitical issues, and new research out of the University of Arizona sheds light on how those stances can impact the bottom line. Nooshin Warren with the Eller College of Management says the effects depend on a company's stakeholders, including customers, employees and state regulators. (2020-06-29)

The millenial pre-colonial cultural inluence is evident in the Amazon forest
Before the arrival of European colonizers, the Amazonian Indigenous peoples cultivated their food - cassava, corn, pineapple, peppers and squash, among other things. The food of the ancient civilizations of the Amazon also largely consisted of the fruits of palm and Brazilian nut trees. The protection and management of trees across generations have affected the diversity of the rainforest right up until the present time. (2020-06-26)

Innovation by ancient farmers adds to biodiversity of the Amazon, study shows
Innovation by ancient farmers to improve soil fertility continues to have an impact on the biodiversity of the Amazon, a major new study shows. (2020-06-18)

How to handle fraudulent reviews on online portals? Study gives tips to managers
A new study sought to determine how consumers respond to potentially fraudulent reviews and how review portals (e.g., Amazon, Expedia, TripAdvisor, Yelp) can leverage this information to design better fraud-management policies and increase consumers' trust. It found that portals that include fraudulent reviews are more likely to boost buyers' trust. (2020-06-11)

Technology for cloud efficiency for databases during data-intensive COVID-19 pandemic
A Purdue team created a technology called OPTIMUSCLOUD -- which is designed to help achieve cost and performance efficiency for cloud-hosted databases. (2020-06-04)

Latest climate models show more intense droughts to come
An analysis of new climate model projections by Australian researchers from the ARC Centre of Excellence for Climate Extremes shows southwestern Australia and parts of southern Australia will see longer and more intense droughts due to a lack of rainfall caused by climate change. But Australia is not alone. Across the globe, several important agricultural and forested regions in the Amazon, Mediterranean and southern Africa can expect more frequent and intense rainfall droughts. (2020-06-01)

Tel Aviv University and IDC Herzliya researchers thwart large-scale cyberattack threat
A new study provides new details of a technique that could have allowed a relatively small number of computers to carry out DDoS (distributed denial of service) attacks on a massive scale, overwhelming targets with false requests for information until they were thrown offline. (2020-05-28)

Gold mining with mercury poses health threats for miles downstream
Small-scale gold mining in the Peruvian Amazon poses a health hazard not only to the miners and communities near where mercury is used to extract gold from ore, but also to downstream communities hundreds of kilometers away where people eat mercury-contaminated river fish as part of their diet. Downstream children under 12 with the highest levels of mercury in their bodies were found to have lost IQ points and become anemic. (2020-05-28)

Fire aerosols decrease global terrestrial ecosystem productivity through changing climate
Cooling, drying, and light attenuation are major impacts of fire aerosols on the global terrestrial ecosystem productivity. (2020-05-20)

An open-access tool to accelerate drug discovery
The Chemical Checker provides processed, harmonized and ready-to-use bioactivity information on more than 1M small molecules. The tool, developed by the Structural Bioinformatics and Network Biology lab at IRB Barcelona, has been published in Nature Biotechnology. (2020-05-19)

El Niño-linked decreases in soil moisture could trigger massive tropical-plant die offs
New research has found that El Niño events are often associated with droughts in some of the world's more vulnerable tropical regions. Associated with warmer than average ocean temperatures in the eastern Pacific, El Niños can in turn influence global weather patterns and tropical precipitation, and these changes can lead to massive plant die-offs if other extreme factors are also at play. (2020-05-11)

Demographic expansion of several Amazonian archaeological cultures by computer simulation
Expansions by groups of humans were common during prehistoric times, after the adoption of agriculture. Among other factors, this is due to population growth of farmers which was greater than of that hunter-gatherers. We can find one example of this during the Neolithic period, when farming was introduced to Europe by migrations from the Middle East. (2020-05-05)

Poor Amazonians go hungry despite living in one of the most biodiverse places on Earth
A team of scientists from Brazil and the UK are publishing the results of the first study linking food security for wildlife-dependent people in the Amazon with 'catch rates' -- which is the amount of fish caught for each hour spent fishing. (2020-04-27)

Anxious about public speaking? Your smart speaker could help
A team of researchers at Penn State has developed a public-speaking tutor on the Amazon Alexa platform. The tutor enables users to engage in cognitive restructuring exercise -- a psychological technique that helps anxious individuals recognize and modify negative thinking behaviors. When users deployed the tutor in a recent study, their pre-speech anxiety was relieved, according to the researchers. (2020-04-25)

Do privacy controls lead to more trust in Alexa? Not necessarily, research finds
Giving users of smart assistants the option to adjust settings for privacy or content delivery, or both, doesn't necessarily increase their trust in the platform, according to a team of Penn State researchers. In fact, for some users, it could have an unfavorable effect. (2020-04-25)

Discovery of second primate lineage that crossed the Atlantic to settle in the New World
Analyses of four fossilized molars newly excavated along the left bank of the Yuruá River in the Peruvian Amazon suggest another primate lineage distinct from the Platyrrhini -- until now considered to be the only primate group ever to inhabit the New World -- also occupied the New World for a brief period of time. (2020-04-09)

Ancient teeth from Peru hint now-extinct monkeys crossed Atlantic from Africa
Four fossilized monkey teeth discovered deep in the Peruvian Amazon provide new evidence that more than one group of ancient primates journeyed across the Atlantic Ocean from Africa. The teeth are from a newly discovered species belonging to an extinct family of African primates known as parapithecids. Fossils discovered at the same site in Peru had earlier offered the first proof that South American monkeys evolved from African primates. (2020-04-09)

Streaming services flouting India's regulations banning tobacco imagery in all media
Streaming services that are popular with teens and young people in India are flouting the nation's regulations on exposure to tobacco imagery in any media platform, reveals an analysis of 10 on-demand streaming series, published online in the journal Tobacco Control. (2020-04-09)

Earliest humans in the Amazon created thousands of 'forest islands' as they tamed wild plants
The earliest human inhabitants of the Amazon created thousands of artificial forest islands as they tamed wild plants to grow food, a new study shows. (2020-04-08)

Smaller tropical forest fragments vanish faster than larger forest blocks
In one of the first studies to explicitly account for fragmentation in tropical forests, researchers report that smaller fragments of old-growth forests and protected areas experienced greater losses than larger fragments, between 2001 and 2018. The results suggest tropical forests are likely to continue shrinking if large-scale efforts to protect blocks of natural forest are not swiftly implemented. (2020-03-11)

Grainger engineers voice localization techniques for smart speakers
Smart speakers offer a variety of capabilities to help free up both our time and our hands. We can hear the morning news while brushing our teeth, ask for a weather report while picking out a coat, and set a timer for the oven while handling two hot pans at once. According to Voicebot.ai, Alexa is supporting more than 100,000 skills worldwide, but one task it hasn't mastered is determining user location in the home. (2020-03-11)

Planet's largest ecosystems collapse faster than previously forecast
New research has shown that large ecosystems such as rainforests and coral reefs can collapse at a significantly faster rate than previously understood. The findings suggest that ecosystems the size of the Amazon forests could collapse in only 49 years and the Caribbean coral reefs in just 15 years. (2020-03-10)

Amazon rainforest could be gone within a lifetime
Writing in Nature Communications, researchers from Bangor University, Southampton University and The School of Oriental & African Studies, University of London, reveal the speed at which ecosystems of different sizes will disappear, once they have reached a point beyond which they collapse -- transforming into an alternative ecosystem. (2020-03-10)

Tax incentives for businesses could contribute to the decline of the middle class
Economic development incentives may do more harm than good, especially for middle-class workers, according to new West Virginia University research. (2020-03-09)

Tropical forests' carbon sink is already rapidly weakening
The ability of the world's tropical forests to remove carbon from the atmosphere is decreasing, according to a study tracking 300,000 trees over 30 years, published today in Nature. (2020-03-04)

UCLA engineers develop miniaturized 'warehouse robots' for biotechnology applications
UCLA engineers have developed minuscule warehouse logistics robots that could help expedite and automate medical diagnostic technologies and other applications that move and manipulate tiny drops of fluid. The study was published in Science Robotics. (2020-02-26)

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