Earth

New UBC research has literally and figuratively poked holes in single-band Hubbard physics--a model that has been used to predict and calculate the behavior of high-temperature superconductors for 20 years.

The findings were published in the journal Physical Review Letters, and the findings are compelling evidence challenging the model under certain conditions, and could necessitate entirely new theoretical approaches to explaining superconductivity in cuprate materials, one of the outstanding mysteries in condensed-matter physics.

CORVALLIS, Ore. – A team of scientists from Oregon State University has created the first global three-dimensional map of electrical conductivity in the Earth's mantle and their model suggests that that enhanced conductivity in certain areas of the mantle may signal the presence of water.

A non-toxic and environmentally friendly way to make tiny nanorods of zinc oxide has been developed for the first time by researchers in Saudi Arabia. The approach, described in the current issue of the International Journal of Nanoparticles, could allow the nanorods to be used safely in medical and for other applications.

Research at Virginia Tech has shown that the oldest complex life forms -- which lived in nutrient-rich oceans more than 540 million years ago -- likely ate through osmosis.

Hurricane Bill has become a powerhouse in the Atlantic Ocean and is now a category four hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Scale and is expected to strengthen as it nears Bermuda, and NASA's Aqua satellite captured two views of the cloud cover.

Released today, UC Davis' annual Lake Tahoe health report describes a spreading Asian clam population that could put sharp shells and rotting algae on the spectacular mountain lake's popular beaches, possibly aid an invasion of quagga and zebra mussels, and even affect lake clarity and ecology.

Naturally occurring organic matter in water and sediment appears to play a key role in helping microbes convert tiny particles of mercury in the environment into a form that is dangerous to most living creatures.

This finding is important, say Duke University environmental engineers, because it could change the way mercury in the environment is measured and therefore regulated. This particularly harmful form of the element, known as methylmercury, is a potent toxin for nerve cells. When ingested by organisms, it is not excreted and builds up in tissues or organs.

The TRMM satellite noticed a wide-eyed Hurricane Bill's rainfall is intensifying indicating he's getting stronger. Satellite images have also shown Bill's eye is widening.

NASA and the Japanese Space Agency's Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) satellite flew over the center of Hurricane Bill on August 18, 2009 at 0225 UTC (August 17 at 10:25 p.m. EDT) capturing rainfall data.

When Planet Earth was just cooling down from its fiery creation, the sun was faint and young. So faint that it should not have been able to keep the oceans of earth from freezing. But fortunately for the creation of life, water was kept liquid on our young planet.

For years scientists have debated what could have kept earth warm enough to prevent the oceans from freezing solid. Now a team of researchers from Tokyo Institute of Technology and University of Copenhagen's department of chemistry have coaxed an explanation out of ancient rocks, as reported in this week's issue of PNAS

These recyclable liquids require much less energy to heat but can hold two times more harmful gases by weight than the current leading liquid absorbent used in power plants. It is a combination of water and monoethanolamine, a basic organic molecule that grabs the carbon dioxide.

PNNL's previous work with the all-organic liquids focused on pulling only carbon dioxide out of emissions from power plants. New work will show how the process can be applied to other acid gases such as sulfur dioxide.

Heavier rainstorms lie in our future. That's the clear conclusion of a new MIT and Caltech study on the impact that global climate change will have on precipitation patterns.

But the increase in extreme downpours is not uniformly spread around the world, the analysis shows. While the pattern is clear and consistent outside of the tropics, climate models give conflicting results within the tropics and more research will be needed to determine the likely outcomes in tropical regions.

Tropical Depression Ana is currently drenching Puerto Rico, and tropical storm watches are posted for Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands as Ana continues westward. Both the Aqua and GOES satellites have captured Ana on her westward track in the Atlantic.

Hurricane Bill was upgraded to a hurricane by the National Hurricane Center (NHC) in Miami, Florida on August 17 at 5 a.m. EDT. The Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) satellite flew over hurricane Bill a short time later at 1133 UTC (7:33 a.m. EDT) and captured Bill's "baby picture" shortly after he became the first hurricane in the Atlantic this season.

Quantum mechanics and Einstein's theory of general relativity are both extremely accurate theories of how the universe works, but all attempts to combine the two into a unified theory have ended in failure. When physicists try to calculate the properties of a quantum theory of gravity, they find quantities that become infinite -- infinities that are so bad they can't be removed by mathematical gambits that work in other areas of physics.

Scientists at the University of Calgary have found that methane emission by plants could be a bigger problem in global warming than previously thought.

A U of C study says that when crops are exposed to environmental factors that are part of climate change -- increased temperature, drought and ultraviolet-B radiation -- some plants show enhanced methane emissions. Methane is a very potent greenhouse gas; 23 times more effective in trapping heat than carbon dioxide.