DNR weekend reading: Trees that fight crime; better ways to measure wetland health, and other news

 Pacific smelt in the Columbia River
A lone Pacific smelt in the Columbia River near Longview takes a ‘break’ during its upstream migration to spawn in the Cowlitz, Kalama or Lewis rivers. Photo: James Huinker/DNR.

Here are links to articles about natural resources, climate, energy and other topics  published recently by universities, scientific journals, organizations, and other sources:

environment.yale.edu: Trees Shed Bad Rap as Accessories to Crime
Even when different research methodologies are used, studies find that violent crimes (assaults, robberies, and burglaries) occur less often in greener areas of cities (including Portland, Oregon; Philadelphia; and Baltimore), even when the education, poverty, and population levels of the neighborhoods studied are comparable.

University of Missouri: Measuring Microbes Makes Wetland Health Monitoring More Affordable, Says MU Researcher
Measuring the presence and health the tiny, unseen creatures in wetlands provides crucial indicators of an ecosystem’s microbiological health. The approach is cheaper and faster than the traditional assessment of larger wetland species, such as birds and mammals. It also could lead to improvements in harnessing natural processes of wetlands to filter wastewater.

NOAA: New study: A warming world will further intensify extreme precipitation events
A newly published National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration- (NOAA) led study suggests that as the globe warms from rising atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases, the additional moisture held in a warmer atmosphere will lead to notable increases in extreme precipitation events in the Northern Hemisphere.

Science Daily: Carbon Dioxide Released from Burning Fuel Today Could Go Back Into New Fuels Tomorrow
At the recent National Meeting & Exposition of the American Chemical Society, researchers discussed ways to find a use for the megatons of carbon dioxide that may be removed from industrial smokestacks during efforts to curb global warming. The goal is to create an efficient process for converting carbon dioxide back into the fuel that released it in the first place.

Stanford University: Biodiversity does not reduce transmission of disease from animals to humans, Stanford researchers find
A new meta-analysis of published studies pokes holes in widely accepted theory that connects biodiversity abundance with a reduced disease risk for humans. the researchers found that the links between biodiversity and disease prevalence are variable and dependent on the disease system, local ecology and probably human social context.