Data says carbon dioxide level is highest in over 60 years for month of May
The concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere has crossed 414.8 parts per million (ppm), which is 3.5 ppm higher than the same time last year, as per readings by Mauna Loa Atmospheric Baseline Observatory, Hawaii. According to the data released by the US’s National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, this is the highest recorded carbon dioxide level for the month of May in 61 years. Read more on The Guardian.
Bees can link symbols to numbers
A team of Australian and French researchers has discovered that bees can match symbols and characters to numbers. The same team had earlier discovered that bees understand the concept of zero and can do basic maths. The finding is significant in showing that bees have a primitive ability to learn human forms of communication. Read more on Cosmos.
New study links fevers to evolution of warm-blooded animals
Warm-blooded animals spend a lot of energy to keep their bodies warm, while cold-blooded animals simply absorb heat from the sun. The need for evolution of warm-blooded animals has not been well understood, but we now have a theory. As per a new study, being warm-blooded arose in mammals because it allows us to have fevers. A fever is an immuno-response to impact the health of infecting pathogens, helping the affected animal avoid other infections as well. Read more on Inverse.
A clue to how Earth’s plate tectonics began
The world didn’t always have continents and plates, and how tectonic activity began is a mystery. A team of researchers have now, however, offered a potential clue in the form of glacial sediments pressing down on the earth’s surface during the last ice age 700 million years ago. There are sceptics and some who propose the opposite: that plate tectonics is what caused the ice age. Read more on Nat Geo.
Scientists sequence genome of first plague outbreak
A group of researchers has sequenced the genome of plague strains that killed millions in Rome in the sixth century, much before the Black Death from the Middle Ages. The pandemic lasted for 200 years and spread as far as England. The lineage of the strain most likely originated in central Asia hundreds of years before the outbreak occurred. Read on Gizmodo to know more on this.
Also read: Fresh discoveries—18 earth-sized exoplanets & a 50 million-year-old fossil of 259 fish