Earth Science News

 
EUREKA ALERT! - EARTH SCIENCE NEWS
March 22nd
(Institute of Atmospheric Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences) A new study projects a substantial increase in the frequency and persistence of conducive weather conditions to Beijing severe haze in response to climate change.
March 21st
(University of Stirling) Bees latch on to similarly-sized nectarless flowers to unpick pollen -- like keys fitting into locks, University of Stirling scientists have discovered.
March 21st
(University of Cincinnati) Studies of wolf spiders at the University of Cincinnati found that courtship displays help preserve genetic isolation between closely related species. Another study found that the species Gladicosa bellamyi used multi-modal communication to entice females.
March 21st
(Colorado State University) A set of Google Street View mapping cars, specially equipped with cutting-edge methane analyzers, are allowing Colorado State University researchers to 'see' invisible methane leaks from natural gas lines beneath our streets. The technical and computational challenges of measuring methane, and the complex methodologies used to collect, analyze and publicize the data, are detailed in a new paper in the journal Environmental Science and Technology.
March 21st
(American Society of Agronomy) Research undertaken by scientists in China reveals that ants are hardworking and beneficial insects. In the activities of their daily lives, ants help increase air, water flow, and organic matter in soil. The work done by ants even forms a type of mulch that helps hold water in the soil.
March 21st
(Geological Society of America) The Marias River canyon geoecosystem and its associated archaeological resources provide an excellent example of the complex interplay among geology, plant ecology, ungulate niches, and human activities on the landscape during late Holocene time. Understanding landscape complexity from both a geologic and an ecologic perspective reveals the influences of individual elements and their interaction with one another.
March 21st
(The Earth Institute at Columbia University) Nearly 1,000 feet below the bed of the Dead Sea, scientists have found evidence that during past warm periods, the Mideast has suffered drought on scales never recorded by humans -- a possible warning for current times. Thick layers of crystalline salt show that rainfall plummeted to as little as a fifth of modern levels some 120,000 years ago, and again about 10,000 years ago.
March 21st
(PLOS) Analysis of isotopes in bones and teeth from fifth-century cemeteries suggests that nomadic Huns and Pannonian settlers on the frontier of Roman Empire may have intermixed, according to a study published March 22, 2017 in the open-access journal PLOS ONE by Susanne Hakenbeck from University of Cambridge, United Kingdom, and colleagues.
March 21st
(NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center) The Arctic sea ice maximum extent and Antarctic minimum extent are both record lows this year. Combined, sea ice numbers are at their lowest point since satellites began to continuously measure sea ice in 1979.
March 21st
(Pensoft Publishers) The discovery of a new species of hard coral, found on Lord Howe Island, suggests that the fauna of this isolated location in the Tasman Sea off south eastern Australia is even more distinct than previously recognised. Even though the World Heritage-listed site has been long known for its biodiversity, the new species, recently described in the open access journal ZooKeys, is the first coral known to live exclusively in the region.
March 21st
(Concordia University) An engineering team at Concordia has collaborated with researchers at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in California to simulate the weathering of cool roofs in the lab. In just a few days, they can now reproduce three years of aging for roofing products in order to test their solar reflectance.
March 21st
(University of Cambridge) More than a century of theory about the evolutionary history of dinosaurs has been turned on its head following the publication of new research from scientists at the University of Cambridge and Natural History Museum in London. Their work suggests that the family groupings need to be rearranged, redefined and renamed and also that dinosaurs may have originated in the northern hemisphere rather than the southern, as current thinking goes.
March 21st
(DOE/Los Alamos National Laboratory) Solar cells and photodetectors could soon be made from new types of materials based on semiconductor quantum dots, thanks to new insights based on ultrafast measurements capturing real-time photoconversion processes.
March 21st
(Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies) An international team of scientists analyzed 147 northern lakes and found that many rely on nutrients from tree leaves, pine needles, and other land-grown plants to feed aquatic life. The study, published today in Science Advances, offers the most comprehensive analysis to-date on terrestrial subsidies to lake food webs.
March 21st
(Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis School of Science) In a study conducted in one of the world's oldest and most biologically diverse deserts, Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis scientists explore the origins of water other than rainfall and are identifying multiple origins. The study, supported by the National Science Foundation, is the first to report that the ocean is not the sole source of life-sustaining fog and dew for numerous plants and animals living in the Namib Desert.
March 21st
(National Socio-Environmental Synthesis Center) Marine protected areas (MPAs) are an increasingly popular strategy for protecting marine biodiversity, but a new global study demonstrates that widespread lack of personnel and funds are preventing MPAs from reaching their full potential. Only 9 percent of MPAs reported having adequate staff.The findings are published in the journal Nature on March 22.
March 20th
(American Institute of Physics) With fracking, scientists have calculated the expected level of capillary rise with the Lucas-Washburn equation, a mathematical model whose earliest parameters were first devised nearly a century ago. The challenge, however, is that that the equation has not been completely accurate in predicting the actual rise observed in nano-capillary laboratory experiments. Researchers studying this deviation describe their findings this week in the journal Applied Physics Letters.
March 20th
(University of Leicester) An international team of scientists led by the University of Leicester has discovered a new 430 million-year-old fossil and has named it in honor of Sir David Attenborough -- who grew up on the University campus.
March 20th
(University of Exeter) Important microscopic creatures which produce half of the oxygen in the atmosphere can rapidly adapt to global warming, new research suggests.
March 20th
(University of Liverpool) Scientists from the University of Liverpool are seeking to answer unsolved questions about Earth's core and mantle with a major research project supported by the Leverhulme Trust.