Ecology articlesGround-based lasers vie with satellites to map Earth's magnetic field
Mapping the Earth's magnetic field - to find oil, track storms or probe the planet's interior - typically requires expensive satellites.
Worldwide sulfur emissions rose between 2000-2005, after decade of decline
A new analysis of sulfur emissions appearing in the journal Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics shows that after declining for a decade, worldwide emissions rose again in 2000 due largely to international shipping and a growing Chinese economy. An accurate read on sulfur emissions will help researchers predict future changes in climate and determine present day effects on the atmosphere, health and the environment.
Thawing permafrost likely will accelerate global warming in coming decades, says study
Up to two-thirds of Earth's permafrost likely will disappear by 2200 as a result of warming temperatures, unleashing vast quantities of carbon into the atmosphere, says a new study by the University of Colorado Boulder's Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences.
Fossil sirenians give scientists new look at ancient climate
What tales they tell of their former lives, these old bones of sirenians, relatives of today's dugongs and manatees.
Climbers leave rare plants' genetic variation on the rocks
Rock climbers are having a negative impact on rare cliff-dwelling plants, ecologists have found. Writing in the British Ecological Society's Journal of Applied Ecology they say that in areas popular with climbers, conservation management plans should be drawn up so that some cliffs are protected from climbers.
Human influence on the 21st century climate: one possible future for the atmosphere
New computer modeling work shows that by 2100, if society wants to limit carbon dioxide in the atmosphere to less than 40 percent higher than it is today, the lowest cost option is to use every available means of reducing emissions. This includes more nuclear and renewable energy, choosing electricity over fossil fuels, reducing emissions through technologies that capture and store carbon dioxide, and even using forests to store carbon.
Crop breeding could 'slash CO2 levels'
Breeding crops with roots a metre deeper in the ground could lower atmospheric CO2 levels dramatically, with significant environmental benefits, according to research by a leading University of Manchester scientist.
A billion year old piece of North America traced back to Antarctica
An international team of researchers has found the strongest evidence yet that parts of North America and Antarctica were connected 1.1 billion years ago, long before the supercontinent Pangaea formed.
Research on protocells sheds new light on the evolution of life
Researchers at the University of Bristol have designed a chemical system which represents perhaps the simplest protocell model of cell formation on the early Earth. The work is described in an article published in Nature Chemistry.
A bug like a russian doll
A former UA postdoctoral fellow has discovered amazing relationships between organisms: a bacterium living inside a bacterium living inside an insect. Evolving together, the organisms depend on each other for survival, and each contributes a subset of the enzymes needed in shared metabolic pathways.
Dwarf cloud rat re-discovered after 112 years
A team of Filipino and American scientists have rediscovered a highly distinctive mammal - a dwarf cloud rat - that was last seen 112 years ago.
Arctic ice melt could pause in near future, then resume again
Although Arctic sea ice appears fated to melt away as the climate continues to warm, the ice may temporarily stabilize or somewhat expand at times over the next few decades, new research indicates.
Breathing new life into Earth
Today, oxygen takes up a hefty portion of Earth's atmosphere: Life-sustaining O2 molecules make up 21 percent of the air we breathe. However, very early in Earth's history, O2 was a rare - if not completely absent - player in the turbulent mix of primordial gases. It wasn't until the "Great Oxidation Event" (GOE), nearly 2.3 billion years ago, when oxygen made any measurable dent in the atmosphere, stimulating the evolution of air-breathing organisms and, ultimately, complex life as we know it today.
Deep recycling in the Earth faster than thought
The recycling of the Earth's crust in volcanoes happens much faster than scientists have previously assumed. Rock of the oceanic crust, which sinks deep into the earth due to the movement of tectonic plates, reemerges through volcanic eruptions after around 500 million years. Researchers from the Max Planck Institute for Chemistry in Mainz obtained this result using volcanic rock samples. Previously, geologists thought this process would take about two billion years.
Earth's core deprived of oxygen
The composition of the Earth's core remains a mystery. Scientists know that the liquid outer core consists mainly of iron, but it is believed that small amounts of some other elements are present as well. Oxygen is the most abundant element in the planet, so it is not unreasonable to expect oxygen might be one of the dominant "light elements" in the core. However, new research from a team including Carnegie's Yingwei Fei shows that oxygen does not have a major presence in the outer core.
Tropical sea temperatures influence melting in Antarctica
Accelerated melting of two fast-moving outlet glaciers that drain Antarctic ice into the Amundsen Sea Embayment is likely the result, in part, of an increase in sea-surface temperatures in the tropical Pacific Ocean, according to new University of Washington research.
Scientists discover a climate change warning deep under the Dead Sea
An international team of scientists drilling deep under the bed of the Dead Sea has found evidence that the sea may have dried up during a past warm period similar to predicted scenarios for climate change in coming decades. Emi Ito, professor of earth sciences in the University of Minnesota's College of Science and Engineering, is a research team member.
Carbon capture? Go for the source
Since most of the world's governments have not yet enacted regulations to curb emissions of greenhouse gases, some experts have advocated the development of technologies to remove carbon dioxide directly from the air. But a new MIT study shows that, at least for the foreseeable future, such proposals are not realistic because their costs would vastly exceed those of blocking emissions right at the source, such as at the powerplants that burn fossil fuels.
Today's severe drought, domorrow's normal
While the worst drought since the Dust Bowl of the 1930s grips Oklahoma and Texas, scientists are warning that what we consider severe drought conditions in North America today may be normal for the continent by the mid-21st century, due to a warming planet.
Unlocking algal secrets may help clean up radioactive isotopes
In 1963, Dr. Louise Reiss completed a study of thousands of baby teeth collected from children born in the 1950s and '60s that showed the world that fallout from weapons testing was accumulating in humans.