Ecology articlesHow to look at dinosaur tracks
A new study appearing in the May issue of The Journal of Geology provides fascinating insight into the factors geologists must account for when examining dinosaur tracks. The authors studied a range of larger tracks from the family of dinosaurs that includes the T. Rex and the tridactyl, and provide a guide for interpreting the effects of many different types of erosion on these invaluable impressions.
Global survey of lizards reveals greater abundance of animals on islands than on mainland ecosystems
A comprehensive survey of lizards on islands around the world has confirmed what island biologists and seafaring explorers have long observed: Animals on islands are much more abundant than their counterparts on the mainland.
Arctic ice retreating more quickly than computer models project
Arctic sea ice is melting at a significantly faster rate than projected by even the most advanced computer models, a new study concludes. The research, by scientists at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) and the University of Colorado's National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC), shows that the Arctic's ice cover is retreating more rapidly than estimated by any of the 18 computer models used by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in preparing its 2007 assessments.
First genome comparison of plankton species yields surprises underlying key ocean processes
An international team of scientists led by Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego and the Department of Energy's (DOE) Joint Genome Institute has peered into the genetic makeup of two species of phytoplankton, the tiny plants key in global photosynthesis and carbon cycling, and come away with surprising results about evolutionary engineering and new ideas about the role that a poorly understood chemical element may play in the world's oceans.
Hot fluids and deep earthquakes
Fluids in the Earth's lower crust are an underlying force in shaking things up where continental plates slip under each other, according to a study recently published in Nature.
Liquid CO2 drives rapid thrust of diamond-bearing structures
Freeze-dried ice cream looks like the original product, and even tastes pretty good, but "drying" ice cream at room temperature would leave a sour-smelling, sloppy mess. Similarly, diamonds ejected from deep in the Earth can survive the journey intact only if they head toward the surface quickly and under just the right conditions.
Widespread 'twilight zone' detected around clouds
There seems to be something new under the sun -- in the sky, specifically -- that could complicate scientists' efforts to get a fix on how much the world will warm in the future. Greenhouse gases are not the only things in the air that influence the temperature of our atmosphere. Clouds and small airborne particles called aerosols also play an important and complicated role. And now a new ingredient has been discovered: an extensive and previously unseen "twilight zone" of particles that represents a gradual transition from cloud droplets to dry particles.
Urban sediments after hurricanes katrina, rita contained high levels of contaminants
In the first study to evaluate urban sediments after a natural disaster, scientists have found that floodwaters in New Orleans from Hurricanes Katrina and Rita in August and September 2005, contained high levels of fecal indicator bacteria and microbial pathogens.
Simpler way to counter global warming explained: lock up carbon in soil and use bioenergy exhaust gases for energy
Writing in the May 10 issue of the journal Nature, a Cornell biogeochemist describes an economical and efficient way to help offset global warming: Pull carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere by charring, or partially burning, trees, grasses or crop residues without the use of oxygen.
Short-circuit found in ocean circulation
Scientists have discovered how ocean circulation is working in the current that flows around Antarctica by tracing the path of helium from underwater volcanoes.THE PRESIDENT: Thank you, all. Secretary England, members of the Cabinet, General Pace, members of Congress, members of the United States military, veterans, families of the fallen, our fellow citizens: Welcome.
Real-time seismic monitor installed on growing underwater volcano
Kick'em Jenny is its name, and for oceanographers working in the southeastern Caribbean Sea, this undersea volcano has been a handful.
Nasa's close-up look at a hurricane's eye reveals a new 'fuel' source
In the eye of a furious hurricane, the weather is often quite calm and sunny. But new NASA research is providing clues about how the seemingly subtle movement of air within and around this region provides energy to keep this central "powerhouse" functioning.
'Build parks to climate proof our cities'
Scientists looking at the effect global warming will have on our major cities say a modest increase in the number of urban parks and street trees could offset decades of predicted temperature rises.
Scientists discover rare gene-for-gene interaction that helps bacteria kill their host
Scientists have discovered that a cousin of the plague bacterium uses a single gene to out-fox insect immune defences and kill its host.
When to have a child, if ever: the impact in later life
How does having children or not having them affect a woman's happiness in later life? A new study examining nearly 6,000 women provides an unexpected answer —it's not so much whether you have children as when you have them.
Oregon researchers involved in new clovis-age impact theory
Two University of Oregon researchers are on a multi-institutional 26-member team proposing a startling new theory: that an extraterrestrial impact, possibly a comet, set off a 1,000-year-long cold spell and wiped out or fragmented the prehistoric Clovis culture and a variety of animal genera across North America almost 13,000 years ago.
Study warns deepsea mining may pose serious threat to fragile marine ecosystems
Undersea habitats supporting rare and potentially valuable organisms are at risk from seafloor mining scheduled to begin within this decade, says a new study led by a University of Toronto Mississauga geologist.
Southern ocean carbon sink weakened
In research published in Science, an international research team – including CSIRO's Dr Ray Langenfelds – concludes that the Southern Ocean carbon dioxide sink has weakened over the past 25 years and will be less efficient in the future. Such weakening of one of the Earth's major carbon dioxide sinks will lead to higher levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide in the long-term.
Alarming acceleration in CO2 emissions worldwide
Between 2000 and 2004, worldwide CO2 emissions increased at a rate that is over three times the rate during the 1990s—the rate increased from 1.1 % per year during the 1990s to 3.1% per year in the early 2000s. The research, published in the early on-line edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences May 21-25, also found that the accelerating growth rate is largely due to the increasing energy intensity of economic activity (the energy required to produce a unit of gross domestic product) and the carbon intensity of the energy system (the amount of carbon per unit of energy), coupled with increases in population and in per-capita gross domestic product. "No region is decarbonising its energy supply," states the study.
Sustained policy incentives, carbon taxes will widen alternative vehicle use
Imagine a vehicle that runs on hydrogen or biofuels and offers the same features, performance and price as today's gasoline vehicle. Will it capture half the market? Not likely, concludes a new MIT analysis. Not even if it's three times more fuel-efficient.