Ecology articlesThe hills and valleys of earth's largest salt 'flat'
Using a new twist on standard Global Positioning System (GPS) technology, a team of scientists has found that Earth's largest salt flat is rougher than expected, according to a new report led by Adrian Borsa of Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego and published in Geophysical Journal International.
Current melting of Greenland´s ice mimics 1920s-1940s event
Two researchers here spent months scouring through old expedition logs and reports, and reviewing 70-year-old maps and photos before making a surprising discovery.
New tibetan ice cores missing a-bomb blast markers; suggest himalayan ice fields haven't grown in last 50 years
Ice cores drilled last year from the summit of a Himalayan ice field lack the distinctive radioactive signals that mark virtually every other ice core retrieved worldwide.
How the Anthrax bacterium eludes our immune defenses
After having demonstrated the protective role of one of the enzymes of our natural immunity of against B. anthracis, the anthrax bacterium, researchers from the Institut Pasteur, INSERM, and the CNRS explain how the bacillus is capable of evading the bactericidal action of this enzyme: this bacterium produces a toxin that inhibits the enzyme synthesis. This research, published in PloS Pathogens, reveals potential new therapeutic avenues against anthrax.
Tracking earth changes with satellite images
For the past two decades, radar images from satellites have dominated the field of geophysical monitoring for natural hazards like earthquakes, volcanoes, or landslides. These images reveal small perturbations precisely, but large changes from events like big earthquake ruptures or fast-moving glaciers remained difficult to assess from afar, until now.
El niño affected by global warming
The climatic event El Niño, literally "the Baby Jesus", was given its name because it generally occurs at Christmas time along the Peruvian coasts. This expression of climatic variability, also called El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO), results from a series of interactions between the atmosphere and the tropical ocean.
Tiny dust particles from asian deserts common over western united states
It has been a decade since University of Washington scientists first pinpointed specific instances of air pollution, including Gobi Desert dust, traversing the Pacific Ocean and adding to the mix of atmospheric pollution already present along the West Coast of North America.
Coral reefs unlikely to survive in acid oceans
Carbon emissions from human activities are not just heating up the globe, they are changing the ocean's chemistry. This could soon be fatal to coral reefs, which are havens for marine biodiversity and underpin the economies of many coastal communities.
Life beneath the ice caps
Pivotal studies of polar ice caps reveal an intricate subglacial lake system that moves large volumes of water beneath the Antarctic ice sheet. Research conducted by scientists at Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego provides new insight into the previously unidentified processes occurring under the Antarctic ice sheet and its potential to harbor unique life forms.
Geologists say wall of africa allowed humanity to emerge
Scientists long have focused on how climate and vegetation allowed human ancestors to evolve in Africa. Now, University of Utah geologists are calling renewed attention to the idea that ground movements formed mountains and valleys, creating environments that favored the emergence of humanity.
Carbon sink capacity in northern forests reduced by global warming
An international study investigating the carbon sink capacity of northern terrestrial ecosystems discovered that the duration of the net carbon uptake period (CUP) has on average decreased due to warmer autumn temperatures.
Plate tectonics may take a break
Plate tectonics, the geologic process responsible for creating the Earth's continents, mountain ranges, and ocean basins, may be an on-again, off-again affair. Scientists have assumed that the shifting of crustal plates has been slow but continuous over most of the Earth's history, but a new study from researchers at the Carnegie Institution suggests that plate tectonics may have ground to a halt at least once in our planet's history—and may do so again.
North atlantic warming tied to natural variability; but global warming may be at play elsewhere
A Duke University-led analysis of available records shows that while the North Atlantic Ocean's surface waters warmed in the 50 years between 1950 and 2000, the change was not uniform. In fact, the subpolar regions cooled at the same time that subtropical and tropical waters warmed.
Earthquake 'memory' could spur aftershocks
Using a novel device that simulates earthquakes in a laboratory setting, a Los Alamos researcher and his colleagues have shown that seismic waves—the sounds radiated from earthquakes—can induce earthquake aftershocks, often long after a quake has subsided.
Shopping on-line reduces a midnight clear's carbon dioxide
Holiday shoppers who do most of their gift gathering on-line are saving more than wear and tear on their toes. They are also trimming emissions of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere by nearly half a million metric tons, according to calculations from the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory.
Lack of deep sleep may increase risk of type 2 diabetes
Suppression of slow-wave sleep in healthy young adults significantly decreases their ability to regulate blood-sugar levels and increases the risk of type 2 diabetes, report researchers at the University of Chicago Medical Center in the "Early Edition" of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, available online as soon as Dec. 31, 2007.
Quakes under pacific floor reveal unexpected circulatory system
Zigzagging some 60,000 kilometers across ocean floors, earth's system of mid-ocean ridges plays a pivotal role in many workings of the planet, from its plate-tectonic movements to heat flow from the interior, and the chemistry of rock, water and air.
A warming climate can support glacial ice
New research challenges the generally accepted belief that substantial ice sheets could not have existed on Earth during past super-warm climate events.
Magma p.i. unearths clues to how crust was sculpted
About a decade ago, Johns Hopkins University geologist Bruce Marsh challenged the century-old concept that the Earth's outer layer formed when crystal-free molten rock called magma oozed to the surface from giant subterranean chambers hidden beneath volcanoes. -FULL TEXT:
Hope diamonds phosphorescence key to fingerprinting
Shine a white light on the Hope Diamond and it will dazzle you with the brilliance of an amazing blue diamond. Shine an ultraviolet light on the Hope Diamond and the gem will glow red-orange for about five minutes. This phosphorescent property of blue diamonds can distinguish synthetic and altered diamonds from the real thing, and it may also provide a way to fingerprint individual blue diamonds for identification purposes, according to a team of researchers from the Naval Research Laboratory, the Smithsonian Institution and Penn State.