Scientific news in small doses

A few milligrams of all of this week’s science news

Posted at 7:00 am

Eric-Pierre Champagne

Eric-Pierre Champagne

Planting trees is better than planting corn

At a time when the United States is investing heavily in the use of corn as a biofuel, a group of international researchers wanted to check whether this route was best for the climate. Their study was published in the journal science progress Resolve the question: planting trees is much better than planting corn. Planting trees in these fields could remove nearly twice as much carbon from the atmosphere (rather than planting this corn and capturing the carbon when the fields are burned at the end of the production cycle). The study also concluded that planting trees reduces water stress.

a test

Did the great white shark cause the disappearance of Megalodon?

Photo by Kensho Shimada, Reuters

Megalodon tooth fossil

The great white shark may have contributed to the disappearance of the megalodon, this prehistoric megalodon that vanished 3.5 million years ago. Analysis of the teeth of both species by researchers at DePaul University in Illinois found that the great white and megalodon feed on the same prey. This could explain the disappearance of one species in favor of another. The study was published in the journal Nature Communications.

the number


Photo by Alain Roberge, Press Archives

In the UK, there has been a 58.5% reduction in the number of bugs hitting car windshields.

The retreat of the bugs is at least keeping UK motorists happy. According to a compilation conducted by the nonprofit organization Buglife, there was a 58.5% decrease in the number of insects hitting car windshields between 2004 and 2021. If that’s good news for motorists, it’s much lower for biodiversity. There is also a decline in many bird species in several regions of the world.

One chance in two


Warming is increasing, and faster than we thought.

The famous 1.5℃ target set by the Paris Agreement in 2015 can be reached within five years. According to the UK Met Office, which is the equivalent of Environment Canada in the UK, there is a 48% chance of exceeding the target between 2022 and 2026. The average temperature on Earth would then be 1.5°C higher than in the previous industrial era. The UK Met Office also predicts that there is a 93% chance that one of the next five years will overtake the year’s hottest record, which was set in 2016.

heat waves under the radar

PHOTO DON MACKINNON, Agence France-Presse Archives

Heat waves are on the rise.

Research by the University of Bristol in the UK has identified heat waves that have flown under the radar over the past 40 years. In an attempt to compare the heat dome that hit North America last summer with other extreme events, researchers have detected five more intense heat waves. However, it attracted less interest from the public. They have occurred in Brazil (1985), Southeast Asia (1998), southwestern Peru (2016), the southeastern United States (1980) and Alaska (2019). The study published in science progressData collected from 158 regions of the world between 1968 and 2021 were analyzed.

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