En­vi­ron­men­tal trig­gers

Down to Earth - - SCIENCE -

SINCE 1997, Earth's oceans have ab­sorbed hu­man­made heat en­ergy equiv­a­lent to a Hiroshima-style bomb be­ing ex­ploded ev­ery se­cond for 75 straight years. For long, sci­en­tists have known that more than 90 per cent of the heat en­ergy from hu­man-made global warm­ing goes into the world's oceans. The re­searchers used oceanob­serv­ing data that goes back to the Bri­tish re­search ship Chal­lenger in the 1870s, and with the help of high-tech mod­ern un­der­wa­ter mon­i­tors and com­puter mod­els, they tracked how much hu­man-made heat has been buried in the oceans in the past 150 years. The world's oceans ab­sorbed ap­prox­i­mately 150 zetta­joules of en­ergy be­tween 1865 and 1997, and then ab­sorbed about an­other 150 zetta­joules in the next 18 years. Na­ture Cli­mate Change, Jan­uary 18 S C I E N T I ST S H AV E found an en­vi­ron­men­tal toxin, BMAA, in al­gal blooms which may raise the risk of neu­rode­gen­er­a­tive dis­eases. They stud­ied Chamorro vil­lagers on the Pa­cific Is­land of Guam, whose diet is con­tam­i­nated by BMAA. Chronic ex­po­sure to BMAA can trig­ger Alzheimer's-like brain tan­gles and amy­loid de­posits, the re­searchers say. The study pro­vides a ba­sis for fu­ture re­search in Alzheimer's dis­ease, ALS and Parkin­son's dis­ease. Pro­ceed­ings of the Royal So­ci­ety B, De­cem­ber 14, 2015

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