Earth

Researchers from the Boston University Center for Remote Sensing used recently acquired topographic data from satellites to reveal an ancient mega-lake in the Darfur province of northwestern Sudan. Drs. Eman Ghoneim and Farouk El-Baz made the finding while investigating Landsat images and Radarsat data. Radar waves are able to penetrate the fine-grained sand cover in the hot and dry eastern Sahara to reveal buried features.Northern Darfur Mega-Lake. Credit: Boston University Center for Remote Sensing

Coral reefs, like tree rings, are natural archives of climate change. But oceanic corals also provide a faithful account of how people make use of land through history, says Robert B. Dunbar of Stanford University.

Marine scientists recently published a research paper in the science journal, biology letters, that found humpback whales migrate over 5,100 miles from Central America to their feeding grounds off Antarctica; a record distance undertaken by any mammal.

Kristin Rasmussen, a biologist with Cascadia Research Collective, and lead author in the study, finds the record-breaking migration interesting, but is most pleased that the study validates a long held assumption that humpback whales travel to warm water areas during the winter.

Scientists using NASA satellite data have found strong evidence that a major earthquake can lead to a nearly immediate increase in regional volcanic activity.

The intensity of two ongoing volcanic eruptions on Indonesia’s Java Island increased sharply three days following a powerful, 6.4-magnitude earthquake on the island in May 2006. The increased volcanic activity persisted for about nine days.

Planting and protecting trees—which trap and absorb carbon dioxide as they grow—can help to remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. But a new study suggests that, as a way to fight global warming, the effectiveness of this strategy depends heavily on where these trees are planted. In particular, tropical forests are very efficient at keeping the Earth at a happy, healthy temperature.

Oceanographers have completed an important step in constructing the first deep-sea observatory off the continental United States. Workers in the multi-institution effort laid 32 miles (52 kilometers) of cable along the Monterey Bay sea floor that will provide electrical power to scientific instruments, video cameras, and robots 3,000 feet (900 meters) below the ocean surface.

High-resolution images that reveal unexpected details of the Earth's internal structure are among the results reported by MIT and Purdue scientists in the March 30 issue of Science.

The maximum extent of Arctic sea ice in winter 2007 was the second lowest on satellite record, narrowly missing the 2006 record, according to a team of University of Colorado at Boulder researchers.

As the ancient Greeks were placing the last few stones on the magnificent theater at Epidaurus in the fourth century B.C., they couldn’t have known that they had unwittingly created a sophisticated acoustic filter.

Not from marijuana but from ... ethanol.

Many will be familiar with cravings for sweet food after having overindulged in alcohol the night before. Some may have cravings for salty foods after using marijuana - in Amsterdam, where it is legal, of course.

Sandia National Laboratories researchers Mark Ivey and Bernie Zak are members of a research team from around the world whose work on the cold tundra in northern Alaska is helping to transform scientists' understanding of what the future may hold for Earth's climate.

The team conducts research at the North Slope of Alaska east of Barrow along the coast of the Chukchi Sea.Instrument clusters near Barrow, Alaska, gather data useful in refining global climate models. (Photo by Mark Ivey)

Crumpled kitchen foil that lays flat for reuse. Bent bumpers that straighten overnight. Dents in car doors that disappear when heated with a hairdryer. These and other physical feats may become possible with a technique to make memory metals discovered by researchers at the University of Illinois.

Fewer big sharks in the oceans led to the destruction of North Carolina’s bay scallop fishery and inhibits the recovery of depressed scallop, oyster and clam populations along the U.S. Atlantic Coast, according to an article in the March 30 issue of the journal Science.

New calculations show that sensitivity of Earth's climate to changes in the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide (CO2) has been consistent for the last 420 million years, according to an article in Nature by geologists at Yale and Wesleyan Universities.

A popular predictor of future climate sensitivity is the change in global temperature produced by each doubling of CO2 in the atmosphere. This study confirms that in the Earth's past 420 million years, each doubling of atmospheric CO2 translates to an average global temperature increase of about 3° Celsius, or 5° Fahrenheit.

Tidal marshes, which nurture marine life and reduce storm damage along many coastlines, should be able to adjust to rising sea levels and avoid being inundated and lost, if their vegetation isn't damaged and their supplies of upstream sediment aren't reduced, a new Duke University study suggests.