An idiosyncratic sampling of the latest science papers. Forthwith: Oil and ducks don't mix (at least for 25 years); Globalism is bad for the global economy; What color should we paint the wind turbine, honey? Plus, bonus autumn photos.
Today's globalization makes the world economy more sensitive to recession and more resistant to recovery from recession than it was 40 years ago. A team of physicists analyzed UN trade data of the past 40 years. Using evolutionary theory, they predicted an increasingly sluggish response to recession as trade globalization grew. Their model also accurately predicted an increase in the hierarchical structure of the global trade network for a few years following a recession. The trend held true for three major recessions and four minor ones over the past four decades. The paper: Structure and response in the world trade network. Physical Review Letters. In press.
Wind turbines might be good for tackling climate change, but they exacerbate the other major global change underway—the loss of biodiversity—since turbines kill wildlife, notably birds and bats. Now a team of researchers has assessed whether or not the color of the turbines attracts insects, and therefore insectivorous birds and bats. The common turbine colors 'pure white' (RAL 9010) and 'light grey' (RAL 7035) were among those found to attract significantly more insects than other colors tested. So, change the color, power down the lethal factor? Seems worth a try. The paper: Insect attraction to wind turbines: does colour play a role? European Journal of Wildlife Research. DOI: 10.1007/s10344-010-0432-7.
Here's how it looked from space, as green forests with a hint of orange (first image) turned pure orange (second image) five days later:
Fall color typically peaks in mid-October as leaves gradually lose chlorophyll during the lengthening fall nights. Chlorophyll colors leaves green, so as the concentration of the pigment fades, so too does the leaves' green color. Other pigments—carotenoids (yellow, orange, and brown) and anthocyanins (red and purple)—can then show their colors.