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Nearly all polar-bear populations will be wiped out by 2100 unless we reverse the trend of sea-ice loss. “There is very little chance that polar bears would persist anywhere in the world, except perhaps in the very high Arctic in one small subpopulation” if we continue fuelling climate change with business-as-usual levels of emissions, says climate scientist Peter Molnar. Molnar and his colleagues analysed how long polar bears can survive and raise cubs during the ever-longer periods when parts of the Arctic are free of ice. Projections show that, if present rates of warming continue, the bears will starve between winters.
Geoscience graduate programmes across the United States have joined other disciplines in dropping a controversial standardized test from their admissions requirements. The graduate record examinations (GRE), which was introduced in 1949, aims to measure verbal and quantitative reasoning, analytical writing and critical thinking. Academic researchers and others have criticized the test, claiming that it unfairly weeds out capable students and restricts the flow of women and people in minority ethnic groups into the sciences.
The proportion of a condor’s flight time in which it flaps its wings. (Smithsonian Magazine | 4 min read)
Features & opinion
“When I became an associate professor at a relatively unknown university in China last year, I knew the odds were against me in the networking game. I felt I would be invited to fewer conferences and have less appeal as a networking prospect at those I did attend,” says Edmond Sanganyado, who researches environmental organic chemistry and climate change. He shares how alternative networking strategies including AuthorAID, LinkedIn and WeChat, can help to plug the connections gap.
Undergraduates need them for graduate-school applications; PhD students and postdocs use them to apply for fellowships and jobs; senior scientists often have to have them to apply for awards and promotions. But writing an effective and personal recommendation letter can be time-consuming — and some might struggle to know what to say. Nature spoke to three experienced professors to get their tips for writing the perfect recommendation letter.
Image of the week
Take a very, very long-haul holiday with this interactive trip to the asteroid Ryugu (look for the pre-prepared tours to find stunning images taken by Japan’s Hayabusa2 spacecraft).
Suitably inspired, why not turn your hand to designing the next space toilet for NASA, suitable for use on the Moon. Three teams will share a US$35,000 prize, with a separate category for children to enter.
With contributions by David Cyranoski