Ecology articlesSmall glaciers - not large - account for most of Greenland's recent loss of ice
The recent dramatic melting and breakup of a few huge Greenland glaciers have fueled public concerns over the impact of global climate change, but that isn't the island's biggest problem.
NASA study illustrates how global peak oil could impact climate
The burning of fossil fuels -- notably coal, oil and gas -- has accounted for about 80 percent of the rise of atmospheric carbon dioxide since the pre-industrial era. Now, NASA researchers have identified feasible emission scenarios that could keep carbon dioxide below levels that some scientists have called dangerous for climate.
Ancient arctic ice could tell us about the future of permafrost
Researchers have discovered the oldest known ice in North America, and that permafrost may be a significant touchstone when looking at global warming.
Wildfires reduced by human activity
For the last 2,000 years the climate has been the major cause of wildfires, but during the late 19th and early 20th century, human activity dramatically reduced burning in many parts of the world, according to new research published in Nature Geoscience.
Paleozoic 'sediment curve' provides new tool for tracking sea-floor sediment movements
As the world looks for more energy, the oil industry will need more refined tools for discoveries in places where searches have never before taken place, geologists say.
Method of predicting clear air turbulence could make flights smoother in the future
It comes blasting out of the blue on your airplane flight: sudden bumpiness and sometimes even a violent plummeting. It arrives without warning, and it can be more than frightening, since it causes tens of millions of dollars in injury claims every year.
Case Western Reserve University researchers track Chernobyl fallout
When a reactor in the Chernobyl nuclear power plant exploded in 1986 in what was then the Soviet republic of Ukraine, radioactive elements were released in the air and dispersed over the Soviet Union, Europe and even eastern portions of North America.
Preserved by ice: glacial dams helped prevent erosion of tibetan plateau
The Tsangpo River is the highest major river in the world, starting at 14,500 feet elevation and plunging to the Bay of Bengal, scouring huge amounts of rock and soil along the way. Yet in its upper reaches, the powerful Tsangpo seems to have had little effect on the elevation of the Tibetan Plateau.
Bold traveler's journey toward the center of the Earth
The first ecosystem ever found having only a single biological species has been discovered 2.8 kilometers (1.74 miles) beneath the surface of the earth in the Mponeng gold mine near Johannesburg, South Africa. There the rod-shaped bacterium Desulforudis audaxviator exists in complete isolation, total darkness, a lack of oxygen, and 60-degree-Celsius heat (140 degrees Fahrenheit).
Deep magma matters in volcanic eruption cycle
Although the Soufriere Hills volcano on Montserrat exhibits cycles of eruption and quiet, an international team of researchers found that magma is continuously supplied from deep in the crust but that a valve acts below a shallower magma chamber, releasing lava to the surface periodically.
Researchers document mammals in crisis
From majestic African elephants to tiny and often unappreciated rodents, mammals on Earth are in a state of crisis. One in four mammal species on Earth is being pushed to extinction, according to the Global Mammal Assessment, the most comprehensive assessment of the world's mammals.
Volcanic eruption signals simulated in lab for first time
For the first time, seismic signals that precede a volcanic eruption have been simulated and visualized in 3-D under controlled pressure conditions in a laboratory. The ability to conduct such simulations will better equip municipal authorities in volcanic hot spots around the world in knowing when to alert people who live near volcanoes of an impending eruption.
Study: tropical wetlands hold more carbon than temperate marshes
In one of the first comparisons of its kind, researchers have demonstrated that wetlands in tropical areas are able to absorb and hold onto about 80 percent more carbon than can wetlands in temperate zones.
21st century detective work reveals how ancient rock got off to a hot start
A new technique using X-rays has enabled scientists to play 'detective' and solve the debate about the origins of a three billion year old rock fragment.
Explorers to probe hidden antarctic mountains
Scientists from six nations will combine efforts over the next three months to try and penetrate one of earth's last unexplored places: Antarctica's vast Gamburtsev Mountains, never seen by humans because they lie under up to 4 kilometers of ice, in the continent's remotest regions. In the process of mapping the subglacial range with airborne radar and other cutting-edge techniques, the researchers hope to search for ancient ice and hidden lakes, and to find insights into climates past and future.
'A dinosaur dance floor'
University of Utah geologists identified an amazing concentration of dinosaur footprints that they call "a dinosaur dance floor," located in a wilderness on the Arizona-Utah border where there was a sandy desert oasis 190 million years ago.
Rainforest fungus makes diesel
A unique fungus that makes diesel compounds has been discovered living in trees in the rainforest, according to a paper published in the November issue of Microbiology. The fungus is potentially a totally new source of green energy and scientists are now working to develop its fuel producing potential.
Plate tectonics started over 4 billion years ago
A new picture of the early Earth is emerging, including the surprising finding that plate tectonics may have started more than 4 billion years ago - much earlier than scientists had believed, according to new research by UCLA geochemists reported Nov. 27 in the journal Nature.
Finding a meteorite's final resting place
University of Alberta researcher Chris Herd doesn't want people craning their necks, worrying about giant rocks falling from space.
Rivers are carbon processors, not inert pipelines
Microorganisms in rivers and streams play a crucial role in the global carbon cycle that has not previously been considered. Freshwater ecologist Dr Tom Battin, of the University of Vienna, told a COST ESF Frontiers of Science conference in October that our understanding of how rivers and streams deal with organic carbon has changed radically.