Earth

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EPFL researchers have developed a numerical model that can re-create the state of Switzerland's Rhône Glacier as it was in 1874 and predict its evolution until the year 2100. This is the longest period of time ever modeled in the life of a glacier, involving complex data analysis and mathematical techniques.The work will serve as a benchmark study for those interested in the state of glaciers and their relation to climate change.

The thickness of sea ice in large parts of the Arctic declined by as much as 19% last winter compared to the previous five winters, according to data from ESA's Envisat satellite.

Athens, Ga. – Current models of global climate change predict warmer temperatures will increase the rate that bacteria and other microbes decompose soil organic matter, a scenario that pumps even more heat-trapping carbon into the atmosphere. But a new study led by a University of Georgia researcher shows that while the rate of decomposition increases for a brief period in response to warmer temperatures, elevated levels of decomposition don't persist.

CORVALLIS, Ore. – A new study by researchers in Oregon and British Columbia has found that survival of juvenile salmon and steelhead during their migration to the sea through two large Northwest rivers – the Columbia and the Fraser – is remarkably similar despite one major difference.

A novel cell division mechanism has been discovered in a microorganism that thrives in hot acid. The finding may also result in insights into key processes in human cells, and in a better understanding of the main evolutionary lineages of life on Earth. The study is published today in PNAS.

Scientists from the U.S., U.K. and Australia have teamed up to explore two of the last uncharted regions of Earth, the Aurora and Wilkes Subglacial Basins, immense ice-buried lowlands in Antarctica with a combined area the size of Mexico. The research could show how Earth's climate changed in the past and how future climate change will affect global sea level.

Scientists have proven new miniature tagging and tracking technologies can follow the travels of small salmon through vast distances and highly dissimilar waters - from as far as the Rocky Mountain headwaters of USA's Columbia River through the ocean to the coast of Alaska.

And, experts say, the breakthrough opens the way to reveal some of Mother Nature's most closely guarded secrets.

In a paper published in the open access journal PLoS Biology, researchers used new tagging and tracking technologies to show the surprising result that the survival of juvenile salmon in two major west coast rivers was similar, despite the presence of an extensive network of dams in one river system.

Canadian and U.S. researchers have made a surprising discovery that some endangered Pacific salmon stocks are surviving in rivers with hydroelectric dams as well as or better than in rivers without dams.

This is the first study of its kind and is carried out by an international team of scientists that includes researchers from the University of British Columbia. Their findings will appear in the October 28 issue of the open access journal PLoS Biology, published by the Public Library of Science.

Wild migratory birds may be more important carriers of avian influenza viruses from continent to continent than previously thought, according to new scientific research that has important implications for highly pathogenic avian influenza virus surveillance in North America.

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Earthworms can change the chemical nature of the carbon in North American forest litter and soils, potentially affecting the amount of carbon stored in forests, according to Purdue University researchers.

The Purdue scientists, along with collaborators from the Smithsonian Institution and Johns Hopkins University, study the habits of earthworms originally brought to North America from Europe. They want to determine the earthworms' effect on forest chemistry by comparing carbon composition in forests that vary in earthworm activity.

The National Academies have released a new primer on the achievements and promise of plant genome sciences. Based on an expert consensus report from the National Research Council, the booklet explores the potential of the National Plant Genome Initiative -- a federal multiagency project that coordinates research in plant sciences to understand and ultimately harness plants' properties to help meet agriculture, nutrition, energy, and human health needs.

COLUMBUS, Ohio – China's farmers and merchants should take advantage of new agricultural and business opportunities that could help mitigate some effects of the annual flooding behind the Three Gorges Dam on the Yangtze River, according to an Ohio State University wetland expert.

Many people all over the world indulge themselves in drinking, which is correlated to a wide spectrum of medical, psychological, behavioral, and social problems. It is well known that chronic alcohol abuse may induce gastrointestinal dysfunction, chronic atrophic gastritis and is closely related with gastric carcinoma. However, the detailed mechanism by which ethanol affects the gastrointestinal mucosa remains to be elucidated.

(SAUSALITO, Calif. – October 22, 2008) The Marine Mammal Center is seeing a large number of leptospirosis cases in California sea lions this year and is leading a study to determine when and why the sea lions contract this disease. Every four to five years, the Center sees a surge in the number of sea lions admitted as a result of this bacterial infection that affects the kidneys and can be lethal for patients.