Earth

In just two centuries, humans have wrought such vast and unprecedented changes to our world that we actually might be ushering in a new geological time period that could alter the planet for millions of years, according to a group of prominent scientists that includes a Nobel Laureate. They say the dawning of this new epoch could lead to the sixth largest mass extinction in the Earth's history. Their commentary appears in ACS' bi-weekly journal Environmental Science & Technology.

ARGONNE, Ill. (April 13, 2010) — Scientists at the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Argonne National Laboratory have pushed the limits of charge breeding and broken a long-standing world record for ionization efficiency of solids.

Argonne's Californium Rare Isotope Breeder Upgrade (CARIBU) project has reached 11.9 percent efficiency with metallic particles of rubidium. The previous metal record was 6.5 percent, using potassium, achieved at Laboratory of Subatomic Physics and Cosmology (LPSC) in Grenoble.

University of Oklahoma researchers are working with Chinese colleagues to better understand intraplate earthquakes—those occurring far from a tectonic plate boundary—in an effort to minimize the loss of life and property in both China and Oklahoma.

China holds the record for the deadliest earthquake with 830,000 casualties, even though the event occurred far from a tectonic plate boundary.

The eruptions of "supervolcanoes" on Earth's surface have been blamed for causing mass extinctions, belching large amounts of gases and particles into the atmosphere, and re-paving the ocean floor. The result? Loss of species, increased greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, and changes in ocean circulation. Despite their global impact, the origin and triggering mechanism of these eruptions remain poorly understood.

WASHINGTON. D.C., April 9, 2010 -- The eruptions of "supervolcanoes" on Earth's surface have been blamed for causing mass extinctions, belching large amounts of gases and particles into the atmosphere, and re-paving the ocean floor. The result? Loss of species, increased greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, and changes in ocean circulation. Despite their global impact, the origin and triggering mechanism of these eruptions remain poorly understood.

A British scientific expedition has discovered the world's deepest undersea volcanic vents, known as 'black smokers', 3.1 miles (5000 metres) deep in the Cayman Trough in the Caribbean. Using a deep-diving vehicle remotely controlled from the Royal Research Ship James Cook, the scientists found slender spires made of copper and iron ores on the seafloor, erupting water hot enough to melt lead, nearly half a mile deeper than anyone has seen before.

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- The world's largest antimony mine has become the world's largest laboratory for studying the environmental consequences of escaped antimony -- an element whose environmental and biological properties are still largely a mystery.

"Antimony is an emergent contaminant," said IU Bloomington Ph.D. student Faye Liu, the paper's lead author. "People have not paid enough attention to it."

Used in small quantities, antimony has a wide variety of applications -- from hardening the lead in bullets and improving battery performance to combating malaria.

As the world's climate changes, precipitation patterns are changing as well. Previous studies have found that in Europe, the amount of precipitation has been increasing, and a new study shows an increase in the duration of wet periods, potentially affecting the frequency of catastrophic floods.

Using daily rain gauge data from nearly 700 rain gauges in Europe covering the period 1950-2008, Zolina et al. study changes in the duration of wet spells, defined as consecutive days with significant precipitation (more than 1 millimeter/day: 0.04 inches/day).

The eruptions of "supervolcanoes" on Earth's surface have been blamed for causing mass extinctions, belching large amounts of gases and particles into the atmosphere, and re-paving the ocean floor. The result? Loss of species, increased greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, and changes in ocean circulation. Despite their global impact, the origin and triggering mechanism of these eruptions remain poorly understood.

"Supervolcanoes" have been blamed for multiple mass extinctions in Earth's history, but the cause of their massive eruptions is unknown.

Despite their global impact, the eruptions' origin and triggering mechanisms have remained unexplained. New data obtained during a recent Integrated Ocean Drilling Program (IODP) expedition in the Pacific Ocean may provide clues to unlocking this mystery.

To explore the origins of these seafloor giants, scientists drilled into a large, 145 million-year-old underwater volcanic mountain chain off the coast of Japan.

Scientists at the U.S. Department of Energy's Argonne National Laboratory have identified a new class of silver-based catalysts for the production of the industrially useful chemical propylene oxide that is both environmentally friendly and less expensive.

A new high-speed integrated circuit to reliably transmit data in the demanding environment of the world's largest physics experiment is the fastest of its kind.

This new "link-on-chip" — or LOC serializer circuit — was designed by physicists at Southern Methodist University in Dallas for use in a key experiment of the Large Hadron Collider particle accelerator in Europe.