Ecology articlesPersistent el niņo-like conditions during past global warming
During the most recent period in Earth's past with a climate warmer than today, the tropical Pacific was in a stable state of El Niņo-like conditions, according to a new study by researchers at the University of California, Santa Cruz.
Collapse of antarctic ice shelf unprecedented
The Antarctic Peninsula is undergoing greater warming than almost anywhere on Earth, a condition perhaps associated with human-induced greenhouse effects. According to the cover article published in the August 4 issue of the journal Nature, the spectacular collapse of Antarctica's Larsen B Ice Shelf, an area roughly the size of Rhode Island, is unprecedented during the past 10,000 years.
Record wave during Hurricane Ivan
Scientists at the Naval Research Laboratory - Stennis Space Center (NRL-SSC) measured a record-size ocean wave when the eye of Hurricane Ivan passed over NRL moorings deployed last May in the Gulf of Mexico
Grasslands show surprising response to global changes
A new study by UMass Boston biologist Jeffrey Dukes and colleagues has found some ecosystems are not absorbing carbon dioxide at rates previously predicted.
Meteor impacts life's jump starter?
Meteor impacts are generally regarded as monstrous killers and one of the causes of mass extinctions throughout the history of life. But there is a chance the heavy bombardment of Earth by meteors during the planet's youth actually spurred early life on our planet, say Canadian geologists
Clearer idea of how oxygen came to dominate Earth's atmosphere
A number of hypotheses have been used to explain how free oxygen first accumulated in Earth's atmosphere some 2.4 billion years ago, but a full understanding has proven elusive. Now a new model offers plausible scenarios for how oxygen came to dominate the atmosphere, and why it took at least 300 million years after bacterial photosynthesis started producing oxygen in large quantities
Plants discriminate between self and non self
Two peas in a pod may not be so friendly when planted in the ground and even two parts of the same plant, once separated may treat the former conjoined twin as an alien "enemy," according to a Penn State researcher
New window into ancient ozone holes
British researchers have hit on a clever way to search for ancient ozone holes and their relationship to mass extinctions: measure the remains of ultraviolet-B absorbing pigments ancient plants left in their fossilized spores and pollen
Rubble pile minor planet Syilvia and her twins
One of the thousands of minor planets orbiting the Sun has been found to have its own mini planetary system. Astronomer Franck Marchis (University of California, Berkeley, USA) and his colleagues at the Observatoire de Paris (France) have discovered the first triple asteroid system - two small asteroids orbiting a larger one known since 1866 as 87 Sylvia
Errors in the measurement og global warming corrected
The effect of the sun's heat on weather balloons largely accounts for a data discrepancy that has long contributed to a dispute over the existence of global warming, according to a report by scientists at Yale University and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)
Sea ice may be on increase in the antarctic
A new NASA-funded study finds that predicted increases in precipitation due to warmer air temperatures from greenhouse gas emissions may actually increase sea ice volume in the Antarctic's Southern Ocean. This adds new evidence of potential asymmetry between the two poles, and may be an indication that climate change processes may have different impact on different areas of the globe.
New global bird map
The first full map of where the world's birds live reveals their diversity 'hotspots' and will help to focus conservation efforts, according to research published in Nature.
Artic ocean could be ice-free in summer within 100 years
The current warming trends in the Arctic may shove the Arctic system into a seasonally ice-free state not seen for more than one million years, according to a new report. The melting is accelerating, and a team of researchers were unable to identify any natural processes that might slow the de-icing of the Arctic.
Study reconciles long-standing contradiction of deep-earth dynamics
Researchers at Columbia University's Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory recently resolved a long-standing contradiction about the workings of the deep Earth. For years, many geochemists have argued that parts of the deep mantle remain unchanged since the formation of the Earth, whereas many geophysicists and geodynamicists have held that the entire mantle has been convecting (moving and mixing) over geological time.
Climate model links higher temperatures to prehistoric extinction
Scientists at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) have created a computer simulation showing Earth's climate in unprecedented detail at the time of the greatest mass extinction in the planet's history. The work gives support to a theory that an abrupt and dramatic rise in atmospheric levels of carbon dioxide triggered the massive die-off 251 million years ago.
Scientists confirm super-rotation of Earth's inner core
Scientists at Columbia University's Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have ended a nine-year debate over whether the Earth's inner core is undergoing changes that can be detected on a human timescale.
Volcanic blast location influences climate reaction
When a volcano erupts, it does more than just create an ash cloud that darkens and cools a region for a few days. Instead, the most dramatic effect is actually high above us, where spewed volcanic material is not quickly washed out by rain.
Different magma pools form the ocean's crust
For the first time, scientists have produced images of the oceanic crust and found that the upper and lower layers of the crust are likely formed from different magma pools. The images begin to answer some lingering questions about where new ocean crust comes from and whether it is all formed the same way.
New results shed light on how Antarctica became the icy, barren continent that we know today. British Antarctic Survey (BAS) scientists have discovered that 30-50 million years ago, South America and Antarctica split apart very rapidly. This formed the Drake Passage and resulted in a major global cooling.
Changes in ozone layer offer hope for improvement
Analysis of several different satellite records and surface monitoring instruments indicates that the ozone layer is no longer declining, according to a study by scientists working with the Center for Integrating Statistical and Environmental Science (CISES) at the University of Chicago.