Ecology articlesSolving the mystery of the Tibetan Plateau
A University of Alberta physicist who helped solve the age-old mystery of what keeps afloat the highest plateau on earth has added more pieces to the Tibetan puzzle. Dr. Martyn Unsworth has uncovered new research about the Tibetan Plateau--an immense region that for years has plagued scientists studying how the area became so elevated.
Computer model recreates the storm that sank the Edmund Fitgerald
On Nov. 10, 1975, Lake Superior swallowed the Edmund Fitzgerald, along with her 29 crewmembers and cargo of almost 26,000 tons of ore. The wreck evolved into a Midwestern legend. Thirty years later, researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison have built a simulation of the storm using the latest forecast technology.
Water vapor feedback is rapidly warming europe
A new report indicates that the vast majority of the rapid temperature increase recently observed in Europe is likely due to an unexpected greenhouse gas: water vapor.
First few seconds of earthquake rupture provides data for distant shake warnings
A University of California, Berkeley, seismologist has discovered a way to provide seconds to tens of seconds of advance warning about impending ground shaking from an earthquake.
Hairy feet stick better to wet ceilings
Researchers at the Max Planck Institute for Metals Research show that humidity strengthens the adhesive force of the tiny hairs on gecko feet.
Global warming dramatically changed ancient forests
Palmettos in Pennsylvania? Magnolias in Minnesota? The migration of subtropical plants to northern climates may not be too far-fetched if future global warming patterns mirror a monumental shift that took place in the past, new research by an international team of scientists suggests.
Software fills in missing data on satellite images
New software is helping scientists get a more complete view of the environment from satellites that orbit the earth.
Rapidly accelerating glaciers may increase how fast the sea level rises
Satellite images show that, after decades of stability, a major glacier draining the Greenland ice sheet has dramatically increased its speed and retreated nearly five miles in recent years. These changes could contribute to rapid melting of the Greenland ice sheet and cause the global sea level to rise faster than expected, according to researchers studying the glacier.
Older female fish prefer imperfect male mates
There's hope for the less-than-perfect male – if you're a swordtail fish, that is. As the size and age of female swordtail fish increase, so does the preference for males with asymmetrical markings, according to a new Ohio University study.
Climate warming to shrink key water supplies around the world
In the looming future, global warming will reduce glaciers and storage packs of snow in regions around the world, causing water shortages and other problems that will impact millions of people.
Plants have a double line of defence
Max Planck researchers in Cologne, Germany demonstrate that a multi-step defence system underlies the durable resistance of plants to fungal parasites.
Early Earth likely had continents, was habitable
A surprising new study by an international team of researchers has concluded Earth's continents most likely were in place soon after the planet was formed, overturning a long-held theory that the early planet was either moon-like or dominated by oceans.
Bird calls may have meaning
A deep-voiced black-capped chickadee may wonder why other birds ignore it, but there may be a good reason behind the snub, says a University of Alberta study that looked into how the bird responds to calls.
New techniques to narrow down impact of global warming on specific regions
People will soon be able to find out how vulnerable their own local area is to global warming, thanks to new techniques developed by scientists.
New ice cores expand view of climate history
Two new studies of gases trapped in Antarctic ice cores have extended the record of Earth's past climate almost 50 percent further, adding another 210,000 years of definitive data about the makeup of the Earth's atmosphere and providing more evidence of current atmospheric change.
Global warming doubles rate of ocean rise
Global ocean levels are rising twice as fast today as they were 150 years ago, and human-induced warming appears to be the culprit, say scientists at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, and collaborating institutions.
Island is growing in size
A rare volcanic eruption is expanding the size of an island in British Overseas Territory. Spectacular new satellite images show that Montagu Island, an erupting volcano in the South Sandwich Islands, South Atlantic has grown by 50 acres (0.2 km2), equivalent to 40 football pitches in the last month.
Species take care of each other in ecological communities
Unspoken rules of existence in tropical rain forests mean no one species will take up too much space and squeeze others out, says new research conducted in part at the University of Alberta that shows how ecological communities regulate themselves.
Bird song changes sound alarm over habitat fragmentation
Changes in bird song could be used as an early warning system to detect man-made ecological disturbances, new research published in the British Ecological Society's Journal of Applied Ecology has found. Although much previous research has focused on bird song and vocal mimicry, this is the first study to analyse the role played by habitat loss and fragmentation on song-matching.
'Go fishing' no game for inland waters worldwide
Fish pulled from the world's lakes and rivers seem to provide a never-ending source of food, jobs and income for people in developing nations. But there's a hook: As one species is depleted, the next species is targeted. While total catch may remain high, overexploitation of the world's fish supply is rapidly threatening biodiversity and balance of the ecosystem, according to new research in December's issue of BioScience.