Ecology articlesEarth's atmosphere came from outer space, find scientists
The gases which formed the Earth's atmosphere - and probably its oceans - did not come from inside the Earth but from outer space, according to a study by University of Manchester and University of Houston scientists.
Colliding auroras produce an explosion of light
A network of ground-based cameras deployed around the Arctic in support of NASA's THEMIS mission has made a startling discovery about the aurora borealis, commonly known as the Northern Lights. Sometimes vast curtains of aurora borealis collide, producing spectacular outbursts of light.
Arctic could face warmer and ice-free conditions
There is increased evidence that the Arctic could face seasonally ice-free conditions and much warmer temperatures in the future.
Glacier melt adds ancient edibles to marine buffet
Glaciers along the Gulf of Alaska are enriching stream and near shore marine ecosystems from a surprising source - ancient carbon contained in glacial runoff, researchers from four universities and the U.S. Forest Service report in the Dec. 24, 2009, issue of the journal "Nature."
Sun and moon trigger deep tremors on San Andreas fault
The faint tug of the sun and moon on the San Andreas Fault stimulates tremors deep underground, suggesting that the rock 15 miles below is lubricated with highly pressurized water that allows the rock to slip with little effort, according to a new study by University of California, Berkeley, seismologists.
'Particle soup' discovery will improve climate predictions
New research from scientists at The University of Manchester is set to improve predictions about climate and air quality - and make life easier for those suffering from respiratory problems.
Soil studies reveal rise in antibiotic resistance
Antibiotic resistance in the natural environment is rising despite tighter controls over our use of antibiotics in medicine and agriculture, Newcastle University scientists have found.
For this microbe, cousins not particularly welcome
A bacterial species that depends on cooperation to survive is discriminating when it comes to the company it keeps. Scientists from Indiana University Bloomington and Netherlands' Centre for Terrestrial Ecology have learned Myxococcus xanthus cells are able to recognize genetic differences in one another that are so subtle, even the scientists studying them must go to great lengths to tell them apart.
Microbe understudies await their turn in the ecosystem limelight
On the marine microbial stage, there appears to be a vast, varied group of understudies only too ready to step in when "star" microbes "break a leg."
Much of the early methane rise can be attributed to the spreading of northern peatlands
The surprising increase in methane concentrations millennia ago, identified in continental glacier studies, has puzzled researchers for a long time. According to a strong theory, this would have resulted from the commencement of rice cultivation in East Asia. However, a study conducted at the University of Helsinki's Department of Environmental Sciences and the Department of Geosciences and Geography shows that the massive expanse of the northern peatlands occurred around 5000 years ago, coincident with rising atmospheric methane levels.
Dead sea-dwelling microbes reveal roots of protein common to all higher life forms
We have more in common with Dead Sea-dwelling microbes than previously thought. University of Florida researchers have found that one of the most common proteins in complex life forms may have evolved from proteins found in microbes that live in deadly salty environments.
Ku radar system provides 3d image of Earth through miles of ice
In the cover article of the latest issue of the Journal of Glaciology, engineers at the University of Kansas detail a special radar array they developed that is capable of depicting a 3D view of bedrock hidden beneath ice sheets three kilometers thick.
Geoscientists drill deepest hole in ocean crust in scientific ocean drilling history
For eight weeks beginning in November 2009, off the coast of New Zealand, an international team of 34 scientists and 92 support staff and crew on board the scientific drilling vessel JOIDES Resolution (JR) were at work investigating sea-level change in a region called the Canterbury Basin. It proved to be a record-breaking trip for the research team.
2000-2009: the warmest decade
The decade 2000-2009 was the warmest since modern recordkeeping began, and 2009 was tied for the second warmest single year, a new analysis of global surface temperature shows. The analysis, conducted each year by the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS), an affiliate of the Earth Institute, also shows that in half the world--the Southern Hemisphere--2009 was the warmest year yet recorded.
Video of virus in action shows viruses can spread faster than thought possible
New video footage of a virus infecting cells is challenging what researchers have long believed about how viruses spread, suggesting that scientists may be able to create new drugs to tackle some viruses.
Black carbon a significant factor in melting of himalayan glaciers
The fact that glaciers in the Himalayan mountains are thinning is not disputed. However, few researchers have attempted to rigorously examine and quantify the causes. Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory scientist Surabi Menon set out to isolate the impacts of the most commonly blamed culprit-greenhouse gases, such as carbon dioxide-from other particles in the air that may be causing the melting. Menon and her collaborators found that airborne black carbon aerosols, or soot, from India is a major contributor to the decline in snow and ice cover on the glaciers.
White roofs may successfully cool cities
Painting the roofs of buildings white has the potential to significantly cool off cities and mitigate some impacts of global warming, results of a new study indicate.
Glaciers discovered in 'cursed' mountains of Albania
A team of geographers from The University of Manchester have discovered a group of glaciers in one of Europe's most inhospitable places.
Effects of forest fire on carbon, climate overestimated
A recent study at Oregon State University indicates that some past approaches to calculating the impacts of forest fires have grossly overestimated the number of live trees that burn up and the amount of carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere as a result.
Carbonate veins reveal chemistry of ancient seawater
The chemical composition of our oceans is not constant but has varied significantly over geological time. In a study published in Science, researchers describe a novel method for reconstructing past ocean chemistry using calcium carbonate veins that precipitate from seawater-derived fluids in rocks beneath the seafloor. The research was led by scientists from the University of Southampton's School of Ocean and Earth Science (SOES) hosted at the National Oceanography Centre, Southampton (NOCS).