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Natural disasters and economic growth: A meta-analysis- TERA

Using more than 750 estimates, we perform a meta-regression analysis of studies examining the relationship between economic growth per capita and natural disasters. The studies considered are very different with respect to the type of disasters considered, the sample of countries and time periods covered, model specification, estimators used and publication outlet. After extensive testing [...]

Agricultural Rodent Control Using Barn Owls: Is It Profitable?- TERA

rodents, and the impact of this predation pressure on nesting choices and agricultural output. We apply the model to data collected in Israel and find the installation of nesting boxes profitable. While this finding indicates that economic policy instruments to enhance the adoption of this biological control method are redundant, it does support stricter regulations [...]

EcoTech Horizons: Wood Foam

Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Wood Research, Wilhelm-Klauditz-Institut, WKI in Braunschweig have adopted a promising wood-based insulation material by creating foam from wood particles. “Our wood foam can be used in exactly the same way as conventional plastic spray foams, but is an entirely natural product made from sustainable raw materials,” explains Professor Volker [...]

Political borders, new and old, should not hamper wildlife

There are many examples of steep declines in species populations after political division. The range and population size of the endangered Kashmir markhor (Capra falconeri falconeri) in India have contracted by 60% since the 1947 partition that formed Pakistan — not least because of the 500-kilometre fence that India erected to mark the de facto [...]

Life Cycle Assessment: Ethylene Derived from Bioethanol Rather than Fossil Fuel within the Polyester Value Chain- TERA

Life cycle assessment has been used to investigate the environmental impacts associated with using ethylene produced from biomass, rather than from the processing of crude oil, in the production of polyethylene terephthalate (PET). The cases investigated were for polymer production and distribution facilities located either (i) in the United Kingdom (UK) or (ii) in the [...]

Can Efficiency Improvements Reduce Resource Consumption? Maybe Just a Little For a Short While

This work explores the historical effectiveness of efficiency improvements in reducing humankind’s consumption of energy resources. Ten activities are analyzed, including pig iron production, aluminum production, nitrogen fertilizer production, electricity generation from coal, electricity generation from oil, electricity generation from natural gas, freight rail travel, passenger air travel, motor vehicle travel, and residential refrigeration. The [...]

Can’t Beat ‘Em, Join ‘Em: The Navajo Nation Purchases a Coal Mine, Absolves Prior Owner of Liability

Situated where the four corners of Arizona, Utah, New Mexico, and Colorado meet, the 27,000-square-mile Navajo Nation boasts some of the most abundant energy resources on tribal lands in the United States, including fossil fuels and the potential for using wind and sun. In December 2013 the tribe shifted for the first time from leasing [...]

Carbon dioxide (CO2) as sustainable feedstock for polyurethane production- TERA

A dream comes true: tailor-made polyethercarbonate polyols are synthesised from propylene oxide and CO2. Molecular weight and functionality of these polyethercarbonate polyols are controlled by the use of an appropriate alcohol starter enabling innovative applications as a polymer building block. Interestingly, the properties of the polyethercarbonate polyols can be adjusted in a wide range by [...]

Y chromosome diversity, human expansion, drift, and cultural evolution- TERA

The relative importance of the roles of adaptation and chance in determining genetic diversity and evolution has received attention in the last 50 years, but our understanding is still incomplete. All statements about the relative effects of evolutionary factors, especially drift, need confirmation by strong demographic observations, some of which are easier to obtain in [...]

The phylogenetic and geographic structure of Y-chromosome haplogroup R1a- TERA

R1a-M420 is one of the most widely spread Y-chromosome haplogroups; however, its substructure within Europe and Asia has remained poorly characterized. Using a panel of 16 244 male subjects from 126 populations sampled across Eurasia, we identified 2923 R1a-M420 Y-chromosomes and analyzed them to a highly granular phylogeographic resolution. Whole Y-chromosome sequence analysis of eight R1a [...]