President Biden has set about the challenge of reversing Trump’s decisions on climate change with a swathe of actions that will target around 100 environmental policies. New policies will focus on protecting land and animals, placing stricter rules on carbon emissions, air and water quality, and making industrial companies accountable for any practices that harm the environment.
The origin of flowering plants has long been puzzling scientists due to the discrepancy between their relatively recent appearance in the fossil record and their much older origin suggested by genome data. However, a new study conducted by a team of scientists from Switzerland, Sweden, the UK and China has shed new light on this mystery. According to their results, the lack of earlier fossils is likely due to the rarity of such early specimens and the low chance of them becoming fossilised.
The process of coral bleaching – where corals lose their colour and eventually die – is triggered by warmer ocean temperatures, and is a becoming a huge problem for corals worldwide. A scientist from the Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) has recently made a major breakthrough in explaining this process and shown how ocean warming affects the symbiotic relationship between the coral and algae much earlier than previously assumed.
New regulations to protect English peatland will place major restrictions on the burning of heather and other vegetation in a bid to help the UK reach net zero carbon emissions by 2050. These regulations, however, have been criticised by some environmental groups as not going far enough, whilst The Moorlands Association have expressed concerns about how they will impact landowners.