Earth

CORVALLIS, Ore. – A new study of Pacific Ocean sediments off the coast of Chile has found that offshore waters experienced systematic oxygen depletion during the rapid warming of the Antarctic following the last "glacial maximum" period 20,000 years ago.

The findings are intriguing as scientists are exploring whether climate change may be contributing to outbreaks of hypoxia – or extremely low oxygen levels – along the near-shore regions of South America and the Pacific Northwest of the United States.

The northern coastline of Alaska midway between Point Barrow and Prudhoe Bay is eroding by up to one-third the length of a football field annually because of a "triple whammy" of declining sea ice, warming seawater and increased wave activity, according to new study led by the University of Colorado at Boulder.

University of Alberta researchers are part of an international team that has used DNA samples from frozen dirt, not fossilized bones, to revise the history of North America's woolly mammoths and ancient horses.

The work of U of A Earth and Atmospheric Sciences professor Duane Froese and his colleagues counters an important extinction theory, based on radiocarbon dating of bones and teeth. That analysis concluded that more than half of the large mammals in North America (the 'megafauna') disappeared about 13,000 years ago.

When it comes to nature, timing is everything. Spring flowers depend on birds and insects for pollination. But if spring-like weather arrives earlier than usual, and flowers bloom and wither before the pollinators appear, the consequences could be devastating for both the plants and the animals that feed on them.

Global warming has made the early arrival of spring commonplace across the planet, say climate scientists. Plants are blooming earlier, birds are nesting sooner and mammals are breaking hibernation earlier than they were a few decades ago.

In the minutes after a strong earthquake struck offshore of the Indonesian city of Padang on Sept. 30, fears of a tsunami prompted hundreds of thousands of residents to evacuate the coastal city. Or try to.

LAWRENCE, Kan. — It's the stuff of a Hollywood disaster epic: A comet plunges from outer space into the Earth's atmosphere, splitting the sky with a devastating shock wave that flattens forests and shakes the countryside.

But this isn't a disaster movie plotline.

HOUSTON -- (Dec. 11, 2009) -- Using atoms at temperatures colder than deep space, Rice University physicists have delivered overwhelming proof for a once-scoffed-at theory that's become a hotbed for research some 40 years after it first appeared. In a paper available online in Science Express, Rice's team offers experimental evidence for a universal quantum mechanism that allows trios of particles to appear and reappear at higher energy levels in an infinite progression. The triplets, often called trimers, form in special cases where pairs cannot.

The first phase of a groundbreaking national assessment estimates that U.S. forests and soils could remove additional quantities of carbon dioxide (CO2) from the atmosphere as a means to mitigate climate change.

The lower 48 states in the U.S. hypothetically have the potential to store an additional 3-7 billion metric tons of carbon in forests, if agricultural lands were to be used for planting forests. This potential is equivalent to 2 to 4 years of America's current CO2 emissions from burning fossil fuels.

Cleo has run into wind shear and it has weakened it from a cyclone to a tropical storm. Cleo's maximum sustained winds are now down to 69 mph, and expected to continue falling. NASA's TRMM satellite noticed that an opening in the storm's circulation is one of the reasons Cleo has weakened quickly.

On December 10 at 09:00 UTC (4 a.m. ET) Tropical Storm Cleo) was located approximately 380 nm south-southwest of the island of Diego Garcia, near 13.5 degrees South latitude and 70.3 East longitude. Cleo was moving west-southwestward at 7 mph.

The gases which formed the Earth's atmosphere - and probably its oceans - did not come from inside the Earth but from outer space, according to a study by University of Manchester and University of Houston scientists.

The report published this week in the prestigious international journal 'Science' means that textbook images of ancient Earth with huge volcanoes spewing gas into the atmosphere will have to be rethought.

According to the team, the age-old view that volcanoes were the source of the Earth's earliest atmosphere must be put to rest.

Tropical forest loss accounts for an estimated 17% of global emissions of carbon dioxide. As part of a strategy to reduce these greenhouse gas fluxes to the atmosphere, the UNFCCC's Conference of the Parties 15 in Copenhagen is working to adopt a strategy for Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD) in the post-Kyoto climate treaty. For tropical nations to be effective in tracking and reporting their emissions reductions from forest management and conservation, baseline data sets enabling wall-to-wall forest mapping and monitoring are invaluable.

PHILADELPHIA –- An international team of environmental scientists led by the University of Pennsylvania has shown that sea-level rise along the Atlantic Coast of the United States was 2 millimeters faster in the 20th century than at any time in the past 4,000 years.

High-resolution computer simulations performed by scientists at the National Oceanography Centre, Southampton (NOCS) are helping to understand the inflow of North Atlantic water to the Arctic Ocean and how this influences ocean climate.

The summer of 2007 saw a record retreat in Arctic sea ice, and in general Arctic climate has become steadily warmer since the early 1990s. This has changed both sea ice drift and upper ocean circulation.

How do plant ecosystems react to rising concentrations of the greenhouse gas CO2 in the atmosphere over the long term? This fundamental question is becoming increasingly pressing in light of global climate change. Researchers from the Chair of Grassland Science at the Technische Universitaet Muenchen (TUM) have now – for the first time worldwide – taken up this issue for grasslands. The scientists found their answers in two unlikely places: in horns of Alpine ibex from Switzerland and in 150-year-old hay from England.

The collision between the Siberian Plate and North China Plate was a significant geological event in earth history, which led to the final closure of the Paleoasian Ocean and the formation of the Eurasian continent. Despite numerous research efforts in recent decades, the precise time of this event has remained a puzzle until now. New evidence in helping settle this issue is provided by Prof. Deng Shenghui and his colleagues in their paper newly published in Science in China (2009, vol.52).