Ecology articlesHalf of world's population could face climate-induced food crisis by 2100
Rapidly warming climate is likely to seriously alter crop yields in the tropics and subtropics by the end of this century and, without adaptation, will leave half the world's population facing serious food shortages, new research shows.
Sea level rise of 1 meter within 100 years
New research indicates that the ocean could rise in the next 100 years to a meter higher than the current sea level - which is three times higher than predictions from the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, IPCC. The groundbreaking new results from an international collaboration between researchers from the Niels Bohr Institute at the University of Copenhagen, England and Finland are published in the scientific journal Climate Dynamics.
Decline of carbon dioxide-gobbling plankton coincided with ancient global cooling
The evolutionary history of diatoms -- abundant oceanic plankton that remove billions of tons of carbon dioxide from the air each year -- needs to be rewritten, according to a new Cornell study. The findings suggest that after a sudden rise in species numbers, diatoms abruptly declined about 33 million years ago -- trends that coincided with severe global cooling.
To climate-change worries, add one more: extended mercury threat
Mercury pollution has already spurred public health officials to advise eating less fish, but it could become a more pressing concern in a warmer world.
Cooling the planet with crops
By carefully selecting which varieties of food crops to cultivate, much of Europe and North America could be cooled by up to 1°C during the summer growing season, say researchers from the University of Bristol, UK. This is equivalent to an annual global cooling of over 0.1°C, almost 20% of the total global temperature increase since the Industrial Revolution.
Heating from carbon dioxide will increase five-fold over next millennia
Scientists at the University of Liverpool have found that heating from carbon dioxide will increase five-fold over the next millennia.
New study shows climate change largely irreversible
A new scientific study led by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration reaches a powerful conclusion about the climate change caused by future increases of carbon dioxide: to a large extent, there's no going back.
Ancient geologic escape hatches mistaken for tube worms
Tubeworms have been around for millions of years and the fossil record is rich with their distinctive imprints. But a discovery made by U of C scientists found that what previous researchers had labeled as tubeworms in a formation near Denver, Colorado, are actually 70 million-year-old escape hatches for methane.
New research helps us understand the incredible forces that lie hidden beneath the Earth's surface
It was the geological collision between India and Asia millions of years ago that created one of the world's most distinctive places: The area around Lake Baikal in Siberia, which contains 20 per cent of the world's fresh water reserves and a unique display of plant- and wildlife.
Iron on its route to the sea-floor: a new path
Iron dust, the rarest nutrient for most marine life, can be washed down by rivers or blown out to sea or--a surprising new study finds--float up from the sea floor in the material spewed from hydrothermal vents.
High CO2 boosts plant respiration, potentially affecting climate and crops
The leaves of soybeans grown at the elevated carbon dioxide levels predicted for the year 2050 respire more than those grown under current atmospheric conditions, researchers report, a finding that will help fine-tune climate models and could point to increased crop yields as CO2 levels rise.
Penguins marching into trouble
A combination of changing weather patterns, overfishing, pollution, and other factors have conspired to drive penguin populations into a precipitous decline, according to long-term research funded by the Wildlife Conservation Society.
Billions of years ago, microbes were key in developing modern nitrogen cycle
As the world marks the 200th anniversary of Charles Darwin's birth, there is much focus on evolution in animals and plants. But new research shows that for the countless billions of tiniest creatures - microbes - large-scale evolution was completed 2.5 billion years ago.
Scientists find black gold amidst overlooked data
About half of the oil in the ocean bubbles up naturally from the seafloor, with Earth giving it up freely like it was of no value. Likewise, NASA satellites collect thousands of images every year, but some of them get passed over because no one thinks there is a use for them.
Clean energy investment not on track to avoid climate change
The world economic crisis has hit investment in clean energy and means its growth is no longer on track for the world to avert the worst impact of climate change, according to leading clean energy and carbon market analysts, New Energy Finance.
Is the Dead Sea dying?
The water levels in the Dead Sea - the deepest point on Earth - are dropping at an alarming rate with serious environmental consequences, according to Shahrazad Abu Ghazleh and colleagues from the University of Technology in Darmstadt, Germany. The projected Dead Sea-Red Sea or Mediterranean-Dead Sea Channels therefore need a significant carrying capacity to re-fill the Dead Sea to its former level, in order to sustainably generate electricity and produce freshwater by desalinization. The study, published online in Springer's journal, Naturwissenschaften, also shows that the drop in water levels is not the result of climate change; rather it is due to ever-increasing human water consumption in the area.
Ocean's journey towards the center of the Earth
A Monash geoscientist and a team of international researchers have discovered the existence of an ocean floor was destroyed 50 to 20 million years ago, proving that New Caledonia and New Zealand are geographically connected.
Atmospheric sunshade could reduce solar power generation
The concept of delaying global warming by adding particles into the upper atmosphere to cool the climate could unintentionally reduce peak electricity generated by large solar power plants by as much as one-fifth, according to a new NOAA study. The findings appear in Environmental Science and Technology.
New simulation shows consequences of a world without Earth's natural sunscreen
The year is 2065. Nearly two-thirds of Earth's ozone is gone -- not just over the poles, but everywhere. The infamous ozone hole over Antarctica, first discovered in the 1980s, is a year-round fixture, with a twin over the North Pole. The ultraviolet (UV) radiation falling on mid-latitude cities like Washington, D.C., is strong enough to cause sunburn in just five minutes. DNA-mutating UV radiation is up 650 percent, with likely harmful effects on plants, animals and human skin cancer rates.
Oil spill clean-up kills more fish than spills themselves
A new Queen's University study shows that detergents used to clean up spills of diesel oil actually increase its toxicity to fish, making it more harmful.