Ecology articlesRapid sea level rise in the Arctic
Scientists have found new evidence that the Bering Strait near Alaska flooded into the Arctic Ocean about 11,000 years ago, about 1,000 years earlier than widely believed, closing off the land bridge thought to be the major route for human migration from Asia to the Americas.
Rapid growth of huge northern bog complex may have helped kick-start past global warming
Methane gas released by peat bogs in the northern-most third of the globe probably helped fuel the last major round of global warming, which drew the ice age to a close between 11,000 and 12,000 years ago, UCLA and Russian Academy of Sciences scientists have concluded.
Learning to live with oxygen on early Earth
Scientists at the Carnegie Institution and Penn State University have discovered evidence showing that microbes adapted to living with oxygen 2.72 billion years ago, at least 300 million years before the rise of oxygen in the atmosphere.
Appalachian mountains, carbon dioxide caused long-ago global cooling
The rise of the Appalachian Mountains may have caused a major ice age approximately 450 million years ago, an Ohio State University study has found.
NASA satellite identifies the world's most intense thunderstorms
A summer thunderstorm often provides much-needed rainfall and heat wave relief, but others bring large hail, destructive winds, and tornadoes. Now with the help of NASA satellite data, scientists are gaining insight into the distribution of such storms around much of the world.
'Supermountain' explains earth's animal evolution
Australian scientists have discovered evidence of an ancient 8000-kilometre-long supermountain range that may explain the beginnings of animal life on Earth.
Steep oxygen decline halted first land colonization by Earth's sea creatures
Vertebrate creatures first began moving from the world's oceans to land about 415 million years ago, then all but disappeared by 360 million years ago. The fossil record contains few examples of animals with backbones for the next 15 million years, and then suddenly vertebrates show up again, this time for good.
Expect a warmer, wetter world this century
Recent episodes of deadly heat in the United States and Europe, long dry spells across the U.S. West, and heavy bursts of rain and snow across much of North America and Eurasia hint at longer-term changes to come, according to a new study based on several of the world's most advanced climate models. Much of the world will face an enhanced risk of heat waves, intense precipitation, and other weather extremes, conclude scientists from the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR), Texas Tech University, and Australia's Bureau of Meteorology Research Centre.
Loss of ocean species threatens human well-being
An international group of ecologists and economists has shown that the loss of biodiversity is profoundly reducing the ocean's ability to produce seafood, resist diseases, filter pollutants and rebound from stresses such as overfishing and climate change. Their results are published in the journal Science.
Bacterial switch gene regulates how oceans emit sulfur into atmosphere
Scientists have discovered a bacterial "switch gene" in two groups of microscopic plankton common in the oceans. The gene helps determine whether certain marine plankton convert a sulfur compound to one that rises into the atmosphere, where it can affect the earth's temperature, or remain in the sea, where it can be used as a nutrient.
Insect population growth likely accelerated by warmer climate
Insects have proven to be highly adaptable organisms, able through evolution to cope with a variety of environmental changes, including relatively recent changes in the world's climate. But like something out of a scary Halloween tale, new University of Washington research suggests insects' ability to adapt to warmer temperatures carries an unexpected consequence -- more insects.
Deadly frog disease is linked to climate change in Europe
Climate change in Europe is worsening the impact of a deadly disease which is wiping out vast numbers of amphibians, according to new research.
Microbes may use chemicals to compete for food
Microbes may compete with large animal scavengers by producing repugnant chemicals that deter higher species from consuming valuable food resources—such as decaying meat, seeds and fruit, a new study suggests.
Ancestor of modern trees preserves record of ancient climate change
About 350 million years ago, at the boundary of the Devonian and Carboniferous ages, the climate changed. There was no one around to record it, but there are records nonetheless in the rocks deposited by glaciers and in tissues preserved in fossils of ancient life.
Rare lightshow seen in deep ocean
Rare footage of marine creatures putting on deep sea 'lightshows' on the floor of the Atlantic Ocean has been captured by scientists using the latest technology.
Forest fires may lead to cooling of northern climate
Countering hypotheses that forest fires in Alaska, Canada and Siberia warm the climate, scientists at UC Irvine have discovered that cooling may occur in areas where charred trees expose more snow, which reflects sunlight into space.
New look at world's forests shows many are expanding
For years, environmentalists have been raising the alarm about deforestation. But even as forests continue to shrink in some nations, others grow — and new research suggests the planet may now be nearing the transition to a greater sum of forests.
Seismologists measure heat flow from Earth's molten core into the lower mantle
For the first time, scientists have directly measured the amount of heat flowing from the molten metal of Earth's core into a region at the base of the mantle, a process that helps drive both the movement of tectonic plates at the surface and the geodynamo in the core that generates Earth's magnetic field.
Historic volcanic eruption shrunk the mighty nile river
Volcanic eruptions in high-latitudes can greatly alter climate and distant river flows, including the Nile, according to a recent study funded in part by NASA.
Coral reefs are increasingly vulnerable to angry oceans
Size and shape may predict the survival of corals around the world when the weather churns the oceans in the years to come, according to a new model that relies on engineering principles.