EcologyGeologists correct a rift in Africa
The huge changes in the Earth's crust that influenced human evolution are being redefined, according to research published in Nature Geoscience.
NASA's TWINS and IBEX spacecraft observe impact of powerful solar storm from inside and outside Earth's magnetosphere
For the first time, instrumentation aboard two NASA missions operating from complementary vantage points watched as a powerful solar storm spewed a two million-mile-per-hour stream of charged particles and interacted with the invisible magnetic field surrounding Earth, according to a paper published in the Journal of Geophysical Research.
Seismic survey at the Mariana trench will follow water dragged down into the Earth's mantle
Last month, Doug Wiens, PhD, professor of earth and planetary science at Washington University in St. Louis, and two WUSTL students were cruising the tropical waters of the western Pacific above the Mariana trench aboard the research vessel Thomas G. Thompson.
NRL scientists identify new coupling mode between stratosphere and ionosphere
Scientists at the Naval Research Laboratory have identified a new mode of coupling between the stratosphere - which can drive variations at the summer mesopause - and the ionosphere, thereby establishing a new means where changes in the stratosphere can impact space weather. This research appeared in the January 6th, 2012 issue of Geophysical Research Letters.
Running hot and cold in the deep sea: scientists explore rare environment
Among the many intriguing aspects of the deep sea, Earth's largest ecosystem, exist environments known as hydrothermal vent systems where hot water surges out from the seafloor. On the flipside the deep sea also features cold areas where methane rises from "seeps" on the ocean bottom.
Scientists refine Earth's clock
New research has revealed that some events in Earth's history happened more recently than previously thought. Scientists from the British Geological Survey and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, publishing in the journal Science, have refined the data used to determine how much time has passed since a mineral or rock was formed. They report uranium isotopic composition of minerals, used to date major geological events, which are more accurate than previously published. The major effect of this is to reduce previous age determinations by up to 700,000 years.
Volcanic plumbing exposed
Two new studies into the "plumbing systems" that lie under volcanoes could bring scientists closer to predicting large eruptions.
Has the Dead Sea used up its nine lives?
Rapidly dropping water levels of the Dead Sea, the lowest point on the earth's surface heralded for its medicinal properties, has been a source of ecological concern for years. Now a drilling project led by researchers from Tel Aviv University and Hebrew University reveals that water levels have risen and fallen by hundreds of meters over the last 200,000 years.
Which plants will survive droughts, climate change?
New research by UCLA life scientists could lead to predictions of which plant species will escape extinction from climate change.
Climate change boosts then quickly stunts plants, decade-long study shows
Global warming may initially make the grass greener, but not for long, according to new research results.
Warning signs from ancient Greek tsunami
In the winter of 479 B.C., a tsunami was the savior of Potidaea, drowning hundreds of Persian invaders as they lay siege to the ancient Greek village. New geological evidence suggests that the region may still be vulnerable to tsunami events, according to Klaus Reicherter of Aachen University in Germany and his colleagues.
Study reveals how ancient viruses became genomic 'superspreaders'
Scientists have uncovered clues as to how our genomes became riddled with viruses. The study, supported by the Wellcome Trust, reveals important information about the so-called 'dark matter' of our genome.
Yellowstone 'super-eruption' less super, more frequent than thought
The Yellowstone "super-volcano" is a little less super-but more active-than previously thought.
NASA satellite measurements imply Texas wind farm impact on surface temperature
A Texas region containing four of the world's largest wind farms showed an increase in land surface temperature over nine years that researchers have connected to local meteorological effects of the turbines.
Climatic effects of a solar minimum
A grand solar minimum and the climate response recorded for the first time in the same climate archive highlights the need for a more differentiated approach to solar radiation.
UGA study finds in extinction risk, there's not always safety in numbers
A basic tenet underpinning scientists' understanding of extinction is that more abundant species persist longer than their less abundant counterparts, but a new University of Georgia study reveals a much more complex relationship.
Groundwater pumping leads to sea level rise, cancels out effect of dams
As people pump groundwater for irrigation, drinking water, and industrial uses, the water doesn't just seep back into the ground - it also evaporates into the atmosphere, or runs off into rivers and canals, eventually emptying into the world's oceans. This water adds up, and a new study calculates that by 2050, groundwater pumping will cause a global sea level rise of about 0.8 millimeters per year.
Agricultural bacteria: blowing in the wind
It was all too evident during the Dust Bowl what a disastrous impact wind can have on dry, unprotected topsoil. Now a new study has uncovered a less obvious, but still troubling, effect of wind: Not only can it carry away soil particles, but also the beneficial microbes that help build soil, detoxify contaminants, and recycle nutrients.
Study finds prey distribution, not biomass, key to marine food chain
A new study has found that each step of the marine food chain is clearly controlled by the trophic level below it - and the driving factor influencing that relationship is not the abundance of prey, but how that prey is distributed.
Why women wiggling in high heels could help improve prosthetic limbs and robots
People walking normally, women tottering in high heels and ostriches strutting all exert the same forces on the ground despite very differently-shaped feet, according to research funded by the Wellcome Trust and the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council. The finding suggests that prosthetic lower limbs and robots' legs could be made more efficient by making them less human-like and more like the prosthetics used by 'Blade Runner' Oscar Pistorius.