Earth Science News

 
EUREKA ALERT! - EARTH SCIENCE NEWS
December 14th
(TWAS) As 2017 comes to a close, TWAS has named the winners of some its most prestigious prizes. One is a geoscientist whose works supports awareness of geological hazards in the Andes. Others focus on health, medicinal plants and novel theories of human economic behavior.
December 14th
(Oregon State University) Old forests that contain large trees and a diversity of tree sizes and species may offer refuge to some types of birds facing threats in a warming climate, scientists have found.
December 14th
(Columbia University School of Engineering and Applied Science) Chemical engineering professor Daniel Esposito has developed a novel photovoltaic-powered electrolysis device that can operate as a stand-alone platform that floats on open water. His floating PV-electrolyzer can be thought of as a 'solar fuels rig' that bears some resemblance to deep-sea oil rigs -- but it would produce hydrogen fuel from sunlight and water instead of extracting petroleum from beneath the sea floor.
December 14th
(Field Museum) New paleontological research shows that during the late Permian, the equator was dry and desert-like, yet surprisingly a hotspot for biodiversity. Similarly to modern rainforests, equator ecosystems were home to a unique diversity of species, including those both anciently and newly evolved. After the late Permian extinction, this diversity was decimated, and the climate change event that triggered an extinction back then is informative as we move forward with protecting our planet's species diversity.
December 14th
(Institute of Atmospheric Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences) New work by Dr Michael Kelleher and Prof James Screen from the University of Exeter find evidence that sea ice change is both a driver of and a response to atmospheric variability.
December 14th
(Duke University) Human emissions of the potentially harmful trace metal vanadium into Earth's atmosphere have spiked sharply since the start of the 21st century due in large part to industry's growing use of heavy oils, tar sands, bitumen and petroleum coke for energy, a new Duke study finds. These emissions now exceed those from all natural sources combined. Growing evidence suggests exposure to vanadium-rich aerosols can impair respiratory functions and exacerbate conditions such as asthma or COPD.
December 14th
(Institute of Industrial Science, The University of Tokyo) Researchers at University of Tokyo's Institute of Industrial Science report the first direct observation of atoms moving in liquid by collaborating with National Institute of Materials Science. Using scanning transmission electron microscopy, they find that gold ions diffuse through ionic liquid by a phenomenon they describe as a 'cage-jump.' Image analysis determined the diffusion coefficient and activation energy of the diffusion. Quantification of liquid at the atomic level is expected to contribute to the design of energy efficient devices.
December 14th
(European Commission Joint Research Centre) According to a new study, almost 36 billion tons of soil is lost every year due to water, and deforestation and other changes in land use make the problem worse. The study also offers ideas on how agriculture can change to become a part of the solution from being part of the problem.
December 14th
(Ural Federal University) A team from Ural Federal University (UrFU) developed a new efficient technology of electrical power generation from bituminous coal. The results of the study were published in International Journal of Hydrogen Energy.
December 14th
(Linköping University) LiU researcher Klas Tybrandt has put forward a theoretical model that explains the coupling between ions and electrons in the widely used conducting polymer PEDOT:PSS. The model has profound implications for applications in printed electronics, energy storage in paper, and bioelectronics.
December 14th
(DOE/Idaho National Laboratory) Carbon capture could help coal plants reduce emissions if economic challenges can be overcome. Turning captured carbon into a useable product is one solution. Scientists have developed an efficient process for turning captured carbon dioxide into syngas that can be used to make fuels and chemicals. Results were published Dec. 14 by Green Chemistry. "For the first time it was demonstrated that syngas can be directly produced from captured CO2," the researchers wrote.
December 14th
(NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center) NASA's Aqua satellite provided infrared imagery of Tropical Storm Kai-Tak that revealed the western side of storm had moved into the southern and central Philippines. Infrared data revealed very cold cloud top temperatures with the potential for heavy rainfall.
December 14th
(University of Texas at Arlington) Anand Puppala, associate dean for research in the College of Engineering at the University of Texas at Arlington and a civil engineering professor, recently was awarded a patent for developing a sensor system with an algorithm that will expedite field assessment of stabilization of high sulfate soils near bridges and roads.
December 14th
(Binghamton University) Human memory has evolved so people better recall events encountered while they are thinking about raising their offspring, according to a new study conducted by researchers at Binghamton University, State University of New York.
December 13th
(NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center) Each year, ozone-depleting compounds in the upper atmosphere destroy the protective ozone layer, and in particular above Antarctica.
December 13th
(National Science Foundation) The East Antarctic Ice Sheet locks away enough water to raise sea level an estimated 53 meters (174 feet), more than any other ice sheet on the planet. It's also thought to be among the most stable, not gaining or losing mass even as ice sheets in West Antarctica and Greenland shrink.
December 13th
(Siberian Federal University) A scientist from Siberian Federal University (SFU) and his colleagues from Austria and Germany constructed a physical and mathematical model of Mars- and Venus-sized planet formation. The team concluded that Mars had no chances to develop a thick atmosphere and biosphere. In the case of Venus it depended on solar activity: according to the scientists, it managed to keep its atmosphere due to the fact that young Sun was not very active. The study was published in Icarus.
December 13th
(National Science Foundation) A 60-year-old mystery about the source of energetic, potentially damaging particles in Earth's radiation belts has been solved using data from a shoebox-sized satellite built and operated by students. The satellite is called a CubeSat.
December 13th
(NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center) Tropical Storm Kai-tak developed near the east central Philippines as the Global Precipitation Measurement mission or GPM core satellite passed overhead and analyzed its rainfall.
December 13th
(Wildlife Conservation Society) A team of WCS scientists recently completed the first-ever range-wide population census of the Zanzibar red colobus monkey (Piliocolobus kirkii) an endangered primate found only on the Zanzibar archipelago off the coast of East Africa.