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Humans evolved to use water much more efficiently than apes

Humans evolved to use water much more efficiently than apes

Science
March 5 (UPI) -- The story of humans' descent from the trees -- the journey from ape to early human -- often focuses on the development of big brains, dextrous hands and bipedal gait, but new research suggests another difference may have been equally important: water efficiency. In a first-of-its-kind study, published Friday in the journal Current Biology, researchers were able to show that humans process water much more efficiently than our closest relatives. Advertisement The trait may have allowed early humans to venture farther and farther from water sources, exploring and adapting to new environs. Until now, scientists didn't have the necessary data to compare the water conservation capabilities of chimpanzees and gorillas with those of modern humans. "Getting real data on this requ...
Mars rover Perseverance makes first drive on Red Planet

Mars rover Perseverance makes first drive on Red Planet

Science
ORLANDO, Fla., March 5 (UPI) -- NASA's new Mars rover Perseverance made its first short drive on the Red Planet and took images of its own wheel marks in the Martian dust, agency engineers said Friday. The rover drove about 21 feet Thursday and used its steering function, performing better than it did on Earth said Anais Zarifian, a Perseverance mobility engineer for NASA, said in a news briefing. Advertisement "Our first drive went incredibly well," Zarifian said. "You can see the wheel tracks that we left on Mars. I don't think I've ever been happier to see wheel tracks that I've seen a lot." A quick test of my steering, and things are looking good as I get ready to roll. My team and I are keen to get moving. One step at a time. pic.twitter.com/XSYfT158AQ— NASA's Perseverance Mars Rover
Then and now: A ‘megadrought’ in California

Then and now: A ‘megadrought’ in California

Science
In our monthly feature, Then and Now, we reveal some of the ways that planet Earth has been changing against the backdrop of a warming world. Here, we look at the effects of extreme weather on a crucial reservoir that supplies water to millions of people in northern California.This year is likely to be critically dry for California. Winter storms that dumped heavy snow and rain across the state are not expected to be substantial enough to counterbalance drought conditions.Lake Oroville plays a key role in California's complex water delivery system. Bidwell Marina at Lake Oroville, California A modern web browser and internet connection are required to view the image slider Drag button to see how extreme drought has affected lake .no-js.s...
National Trust maps out climate threats to historic places

National Trust maps out climate threats to historic places

Science
National TrustThe National Trust has mapped climate change threats to its stately homes, countryside and coastline.The map paints a "stark picture", which will help plan interventions to save its sites, says the charity.The data is based on a "worst-case scenario" where emissions of heat-trapping gases continue unabated.Sites facing a high level of threat from the likes of extreme heat or flooding could rise from 5% in 2020 to 17% in 2060, the map predicts. The map will be used to help pinpoint locations for peat bog restoration to counteract flooding or tree planting to provide shade in areas likely to experience high temperatures.National Trust"While the data draws on a worst-case scenario, the map paints a stark picture of what we have to prepare for," National Trust director for land a...
Government has no climate change plan – MPs

Government has no climate change plan – MPs

Science
Getty ImagesThe government has been hit by a double whammy of reports from MPs criticising its performance on climate change.The influential Public Accounts Committee (PAC) says ministers have "no plan" to meet climate change targets, two years after setting them in law.And the business committee says the vital UN climate conference scheduled for Glasgow in November will fail unless its goals are made clear. The government says both reports are inaccurate and unfair.The PAC's report says ministers still don't have a coordinated strategy to realise the goal of removing almost all the carbon emissions from Britain by 2050. No 'green revolution' in Budget, critics sayWhy the battle for British coal matters to the worldDemands grow for 'green industrial revolution'The report notes that the gov...