Questions tagged [environment]

The natural world, especially pertaining to the interactions of life therein.

21 questions with no upvoted or accepted answers
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What is the thickness of the biosphere?

In other words, what is the vertical distance between the deepest and highest point on Earth where life is found? Life has been discovered at the bottom of the Mariana Trench, 13 km below sea level. ...
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Firefly mating displays

I live in the northeast US, and really enjoy firefly displays at dusk in the summer. However, when paying attention this summer, I noticed that the fireflies were not displaying every night, but ...
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How different is breathing in wildfire smoke in urban areas compared to sitting by a campfire for a night?

The air quality in the Bay Area is currently the worst in the world, due to the devastating Butte County wildfires. I understand smoke inhalation can cause inflammation and respiratory issues, ...
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What is the effect of pesticides on worm growth?

As a new semester begins, we were asked to propose ideas for investigatory projects. Our idea revolves around the effects of pesticides on non-target organisms. Since frequent use of pesticides may ...
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What's the lowest atmospheric pressure a tardigrade can remain active in?

I'm not asking what atmospheric pressures they can survive (we now they can survive the vacuum of space) I'm wondering at what point a deficit of atmospheric pressure would cause them to enter one of ...
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Could trees be engineered to produce rainfall-nucleators?

Scientists are using genetic engineering to make trees produce more terpenes. Is it possible to genetically engineer trees to produce more hygroscopic volatile organic compounds? These trees could be ...
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Is there a physiological reason why direct lightning strikes are not lethal for everyone or does it all come down to dumb luck?

Some people who get directly struck by lightning and some more than once (starts at 00:25) survive while others die instantly or later on due to complications/injuries. Looking at a wiki page for ...
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Is an animal's body height dependent on its environment?

Imagine the follwing situation: a newly born animal is brought into a small room. This room has no windows, but artifical light to imitate the sunlight. Furthermore, this light behaves like the sun, ...
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Birth control hormones in the water? Or not?

This prior question talks about natural estrogen (TL;DR: Months to years): How quickly do estrogens break down in the environment? Ref: http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/485441a A lot of media has said, "...
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Is it possible to simulate the effects of high altitudes for plants?

Note- I considered asking this on gardening.stackexchange.com but i believe it is better suited for this site since it deals with more complicated material. As I understand it, certain plants (...
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How do climate and location affect the Pine Processionary moth?

I have statistics on the occurence of the Pine Processionary moth (Thaumetopoea pityocampa); we have the regions that are located in Algeria, infested area in percent, the defiliation degree (small, ...
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Have there been any efforts to release opossums as a biological control against ticks?

There's plenty of examples of people recognizing opossums as a great ally in controlling tick populations (here's one example). However, I can't find any examples of opossums being intentionally ...
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What's the lowest temperature a tardigrade can remain active at?

There's a lot of information floating around the net about how tough they are & what they can survive, like "We now know that some tardigrades can tolerate being frozen to -272.8 °C". But any ...
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How did hydrophilic plants become established on an isolated island with an arid coastal zone?

I find unconvincing the existing explanation of how several hydrophilic endemic plants became established at St Helena. This is one of the most isolated islands in the world, has an arid semi-desert ...
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Does overfishing in one ocean hurt fishstock in another?

If there's overfishing in the Atlantic or North Sea - will this affect fish stocks in the Indian ocean? Are there papers on this? The question I'm trying to answer is whether overfishing by developed ...
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How common is it for environmentally occurring bacillus strain to contain some sort of plasmid?

I am designing a method for testing whether two new bacillus isolates, that are ionic silver resistant, store the silver resistance mechanism on a plasmid or on the chromosome of the bacteria. In my ...
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Persistency of botulinum toxin in environment

There is information about decontamination times here on pages 6 and 7. My specific question is how persistent botulinum toxin is in a natural environment, or alternatively, what is the half life of ...
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Potential evapotranspiration constant for trees in the area of London

I am trying to find the ET0 (Potential evapotranspiration) under the climate conditions of London (UK) and Coimbra (Portugal) for each month. From what I understand these data is available in the FAO'...
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Best method to collect stream macroinvertebrates to assess diversity index

I am looking for a procedure to collect stream invertebrates to asses diversity index. I have used "kick and pick" techniques and have read about using a leaf ball to attract invertebrates, but have ...
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Chickens and dust: Resistance and impacts on pulmonary function

A dusty, dry chicken is a happy chicken. Notably, the concept of dust-bathing, but also the dander they constantly produce which can lead to silicosis in humans where there is overexposure. (Photo: ...
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Does the human body absorb any of the humidity in the environment when dehydrated?

I was walking in the rain and feeling thirsty, and I wondered if when the human body is dehydrated it does absorb any of the humidity in the environment by itself.