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Rocks at the bottom of the deep ocean provide marine food chains with vital nutrients

Rocks at the bottom of the deep ocean provide marine food chains with vital nutrients

Science
March 27 (UPI) -- Marine food chains are fueled by nutrients from decaying rocks located thousands of feet below the surface of the ocean. According to a new study, published this week in the journal PNAS, phytoplankton and marine algae, which form the bases of aquatic food webs, rely on nitrogen released from sediments on the floor of the deep ocean. Advertisement Previously, scientists have argued oxygen in the deep ocean prevents dissolved iron from escaping eroded seabed rocks. The latest findings suggest the opposite is true -- oxygen and organic matter in the deep ocean may actually aid the release of nitrogen from marine sediments. "Our findings reveal that the shallow surface of the deep seafloor provides an important source of iron -- a scarce micronutrient -- for the ocean," le...

Amazon-backed food delivery firm Deliveroo picks London for its blockbuster debut

Finance
A Deliveroo courier rides along Regent Street delivering takeaway food in central London during Covid-19 Tier 4 restrictions.Pietro Recchia | SOPA Images | LightRocket via Getty ImagesLONDON — British food delivery start-up Deliveroo announced Thursday that it plans to list in London, in a post-Brexit boost for the City.The firm, which is backed by Amazon, is expected to go public later this year. It went from near failure in 2020 amid a competition review into Amazon's minority investment, to operating profitability toward the end of the year thanks to the coronavirus lockdown-driven surge in demand for online takeout services. Amazon's stake in Deliveroo was greenlit by the regulator last summer.Deliveroo said it would adopt a dual-class share structure for its market debut, giving its f...
Climate change threatens food chains, top predators

Climate change threatens food chains, top predators

Science
March 1 (UPI) -- As the planet continues to get hotter, new research suggests food chains will become less efficient, funneling less and less energy from the bottom to the top. For the study, researchers at the University of Exeter and Queen Mary University of London measured the effects of temperature on the movement of energy from single-celled algae, or phytoplankton, to the microscopic organisms -- called zooplankton -- that eat them. Advertisement The findings, published Monday in the journal Nature, showed an increase of 4 degrees Celsius reduced the energy transfer from phytoplankton to zooplankton by 56 percent. "These findings shine a light on an under-appreciated consequence of global warming," study co-author Gabriel Yvon-Durocher said in a press release. "Phytoplankton and zo...
Urban pollinators get almost all their food from backyard gardens

Urban pollinators get almost all their food from backyard gardens

Science
Feb. 19 (UPI) -- Which came first, the backyard garden or the backyard pollinator? Strictly speaking, pollinators have been around a lot longer, but a new study suggests a lot fewer urban pollinators would be around without residential gardens. Advertisement In a first-of-its-kind study, researchers in Britain determined just three home gardens can yield a teaspoon of nectar each day -- enough food to nourish thousands of bees. For the study, scientists used a fine glass tube to extract and measure the amount of nectar produced by flowers in the residential gardens of four major cities: Bristol, Edinburgh, Leeds and Reading. Using a refractometer, scientists measured the nectar concentration in the nectar extracted from more than 3,000 individual flowers. "Although the quantity and diver...
Inflation: Food and furniture costs drive inflation higher

Inflation: Food and furniture costs drive inflation higher

Business
Getty ImagesPrices rose in January as locked-down consumers paid more for food and sellers of furniture and other household goods offered smaller-than-usual New Year discounts. Inflation rose 0.7% in the 12 months to January, up from December's 0.6%, the Office for National Statistics said.However, the costs of clothing and footwear bucked the trend and fell. It came as some experts warned inflation could exceed the Bank of England's 2% target by the end of 2021.According to the ONS, food prices rose by 0.6% in January, compared with a fall of 0.1% last time. Premium potato crisps and cauliflowers saw big increases after being discounted before Christmas. The price of fresh salmon and frozen prawns also rose. Jonathan Athow, deputy national statistician for economic statistics at the ONS,...