Ecology articlesOcean robots network achieves universal coverage
Scientist's efforts to fathom how the oceans influence climate and fisheries productivity enter a new era this month with the milestone establishment of a network of 3,000 futuristic, 1.5-metre tall ocean robots operating simultaneously throughout the world's oceans.
Yellowstone viruses 'jump' between hot pools
A population study of microbes in Yellowstone National Park hot pools suggests viruses might be buoyed by steam to distant pools. The result, published online in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, could help to answer some fundamental questions about how microbes, and the viruses that infect them, impact their environment.
Microbes churn out hydrogen at record rate
By adding a few modifications to their successful wastewater fuel cell, researchers have coaxed common bacteria to produce hydrogen in a new, efficient way.
Satellite indicates regional warming variations from sun during solar cycle
A NASA satellite designed, built and controlled by the University of Colorado at Boulder is expected to help scientists resolve wide-ranging predictions about the coming solar cycle peak in 2012 and its influence on Earth's warming climate, according to the chief scientist on the project.
Plants, from pennycress to willow, have potential to clean up polluted soils
The ground beneath our towns and cities harbors a legacy of contaminated soils that threatens to endure for decades, if not centuries. In many places, the soil has high concentrations of organic toxins and heavy metals from smelting, manufacturing and other industrial processes as well as the burning of fossil fuels. In several states groundwater fills thousands of abandoned mines, creating toxic soups that endanger whole watersheds. And much farmland is contaminated from the application of phosphate fertilizers and sewage sludge.
Noah's flood' kick-started european farming
The flood believed to be behind the Noah's Ark myth kick-started European agriculture, according to new research by the Universities of Exeter, UK and Wollongong, Australia.
Giant submarine landslide identified
An enormous submarine landslide that disintegrated 60,000 years ago produced the longest flow of sand and mud yet documented on Earth. The massive submarine flow travelled 1,500 kilometres – the distance from London to Rome – before depositing its load.
Don't judge a brook by its color -- brown waters are more natural
Over the last 20 years lakes and streams in remote parts of the UK, southern Scandinavia and eastern North America have been increasingly stained brown by dissolved organic matter. In Nature journal an international team, led by researchers from UCL (University College London) and the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), demonstrates that the colour change is indicative of a return to a more natural, pre-industrial state following a decline in the level of acid rain.
Call it the ocean that time forgot. About 400 million years ago, the Rheic Ocean played a big role in Earth's history. When this massive body of water closed, the Appalachians were lifted to Himalayan heights and the planet's continents slammed together to form the supercontinent of Pangaea. Dinosaurs and early mammals evolved to traverse the large swath of land, spreading life to every corner of the globe.
Researchers probe undersea earthquake zone
Over the next five years, an international team of scientists will drill deep into the Earth's crust off the shore of Japan to understand how undersea earthquakes are generated and to establish a series of permanent undersea observatories on the plate boundary.
Western canada's glaciers hit 7000-year low
Tree stumps at the feet of Western Canadian glaciers are providing new insights into the accelerated rates at which the rivers of ice have been shrinking due to human-aided global warming.
European union forests expanding, absorbing carbon at surprisingly high rate
European Union countries likely require an old ally – Mother Nature and her forests – to meet an ambitious post-Kyoto goal for cutting greenhouse gas emissions 20% by 2020, according to new research.
Genetic underpinnings of wood digestion by termite gut microbes revealed
When termites are chewing on your home, your immediate thought probably isn't "I wonder how they digest that stuff?" But biologists have been gnawing on the question for more than a century. The key is not just the termite, but what lives in its gut. A multitude of genes from the microbes populating the hindgut of a termite have been sequenced and analyzed, and the findings reported today in the journal Nature.
Rising tides intensify non-volcanic tremor in earth's crust
For more than a decade geoscientists have detected what amount to ultra-slow-motion earthquakes under Western Washington and British Columbia on a regular basis, about every 14 months. Such episodic tremor-and-slip events typically last two to three weeks and can release as much energy as a large earthquake, though they are not felt and cause no damage.
2002 drought left millions of tons of extra carbon dioxide in earth's atmosphere
A new NOAA study, appearing in the current issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, shows how a prolonged drought in North America in 2002 cut the continent's natural uptake of carbon dioxide (CO2) in half, leaving more than 360 million tons (330 million metric tons) more of the heat-trapping greenhouse gas in Earth's atmosphere. The amount not absorbed that year is equivalent to annual emissions from more than 200 million U.S. automobiles.
Toll of climate change on world food supply could be worse than thought
Global agriculture, already predicted to be stressed by climate change in coming decades, could go into steep, unanticipated declines in some regions due to complications that scientists have so far inadequately considered, say three new scientific reports.
Cosmopolitan microbes -- hitchhikers on darwin's dust
Scientists have analysed aerial dust samples collected by Charles Darwin and confirmed that microbes can travel across continents without the need for planes or trains - rather bacteria and fungi hitch-hike by attaching to dust particles.
Dam the red sea and release gigawatts
Damming the Red Sea could solve the growing energy demands of millions of people in the Middle East and alleviate some of the region's tensions pertaining to oil supplies through hydroelectric power. Equally, such a massive engineering project may cause untold ecological harm and displace countless people from their homes.
Recipe for a storm: the ingredients for more powerful Atlantic hurricanes
As the world warms, the interaction between the Atlantic Ocean and atmosphere may be the recipe for stronger, more frequent hurricanes.
Space station experiment to test bacteria hitchhiking to the red planet
If a trip to Mars seems like it would be a tough journey, imagine what it would be like on the outside of the spaceship.