Icebergs have long gripped the popular imagination, whether as relatively run-of-the-mill floating hazards that cause "unsinkable' ships to founder or, more recently, as enormous breakaway pieces of ice the size of states or small countries.
Plants absorb carbon dioxide from the air and combine it with water molecules and sunshine to make carbohydrate or sugar. Variations on this process provide fuel for all of life on Earth.
University of Wisconsin-Madison chemical and biological engineering Professor James Dumesic and his research team describe a two-stage process for turning biomass-derived sugar into 2,5-dimethylfuran (DMF), a liquid transportation fuel with 40 percent greater energy density than ethanol.
A sheet of molten rock roughly 10 miles thick spreads underneath much of the American Southwest, some 250 miles below Tucson, Ariz. From the surface, you can't see it, smell it or feel it.
But Arizona geophysicists Daniel Toffelmier and James Tyburczy detected the molten layer with a comparatively new and overlooked technique for exploring the deep Earth that uses magnetic eruptions on the sun.
Sediment cores retrieved from the Arctic’s deep-sea floor by the Integrated Ocean Drilling Program’s Arctic Coring Expedition (ACEX) report that the Arctic Ocean changed from a landlocked body of water (a ‘lake stage’) through a poorly oxygenated ‘estuarine sea’ phase to a fully oxygenated ocean at 17.5 million years ago during the latter part of the early Miocene era.
The transition from an ice age to an ice-free planet 300 million years ago was highly unstable, marked by dips and rises in carbon dioxide, extreme swings in climate and drastic effects on tropical vegetation.
"This is the best documented record we have of what happens to the climate system during long-term global warming following an ice age," said Isabel Montañez, professor of geology at the University of California, Davis, and lead author on the paper. But she added that these findings cannot be applied directly to current global warming trends.
Using an ocean of data, sophisticated mathematical models and supercomputing resources, researchers at the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory are putting climate models to the test with particular focus on weather extremes.
Climate models are reliable tools that help researchers better understand the observed record of ocean warming and variability.
That's the finding of a group of Livermore scientists, who in collaboration with colleagues at Scripps Institution of Oceanography, had earlier established that climate models can replicate the ocean warming observed during the latter half of the 20th century, and that most of this recent warming is caused by human activities.
Humans have yet to see Earth's center, as did the characters in Jules Verne's science fiction classic, "Journey to the Center of the Earth." But a new NASA study proposes a novel technique to pinpoint more precisely the location of Earth's center of mass and how it moves through space.
A tiny single-celled organism that plays a key role in the carbon cycle of cold-water oceans may be a lot smarter than scientists had suspected.
Mixotrophs are species of algae that act as "plants" when they produce their own food and as “animals” when they eat other plants.
Wanderson Carvalho from the University of Kalmar is studying these algae to understand their potential impact on the environment, the economy and public health issues.
An all-electric aircraft will be more efficient, produce fewer greenhouse emissions and be quieter but current technology cannot be used because an electric motor using conventional magnets can weigh up to five times as much as conventional jet engine and not be as fuel efficient.
Alan Hubert and Dixie Dansercoer collect snow-depth data for ESA's CryoSat-2 mission. They're seasoned polar explorers so they are used to dealing with physically demanding and downright harsh conditions but what they encountered during their three and a half-month expedition from Russia to Greenland via the North Pole was dangerous even for them.
Human-caused nitrogen deposition has been indirectly “fertilizing” forests, increasing their growth and sequestering major amounts of carbon, a new study suggests.
The findings create a more complex view of the carbon cycle in forests, where it was already known that logging or other stand-replacement events – whether natural or not – create periods of 5-20 years when there is a net release of carbon dioxide from forests to the atmosphere, instead of sequestration as they do later on.
Some call it the eighth wonder of world. Others say it's the next Great Wall of China.
Upon completion in 2009, the Three Gorges Dam along China’s Yangtze River will be the world's largest hydroelectric power generator and one of the few man-made structures so enormous that it's actually visible to the naked eye from space.
While solar power and hybrid cars have become popular symbols of green technology, Stanford researchers are exploring another path for cutting emissions of carbon dioxide, the leading greenhouse gas that causes global warming.
Carbon capture and storage, also called carbon sequestration, traps carbon dioxide after it is produced and injects it underground. The gas never enters the atmosphere. The practice could transform heavy carbon spewers, such as coal power plants, into relatively clean machines with regard to global warming.