Earth

Biogeoscientists show evidence of 90 billion tons of microbial organisms—expressed in terms of carbon mass—living in the deep biosphere, in a research article published online by Nature, July 20, 2008. This tonnage corresponds to about one-tenth of the amount of carbon stored globally in tropical rainforests.

Biogeoscientists show evidence of 90 billion tons of microbial organisms—expressed in terms of carbon mass—living in the deep biosphere, in a research article published online by Nature. This tonnage corresponds to about one-tenth of the amount of carbon stored globally in tropical rainforests.

Research at the University of Liverpool has found how Saharan dust storms help sustain life over extensive regions of the North Atlantic Ocean.

Working aboard research vessels in the Atlantic, scientists mapped the distribution of nutrients including phosphorous and nitrogen and investigated how organisms such as phytoplankton are sustained in areas with low nutrient levels.

As part of the Agency's user-driven approach to preparing new Earth Explorer missions to advance our understanding of the Earth system, six candidate missions will be presented to the science community at a User Consultation Meeting in January 2009.

Antarctic worms, sea spiders, urchins and other marine creatures living in near-shore shallow habitats are regularly pounded by icebergs. New data suggests this environment along the Antarctic Peninsula is going to get hit more frequently. This is due to an increase in the number of icebergs scouring the seabed as a result of shrinking winter sea ice. The results are published this week in the journal Science.

A team of researchers from the University of Manchester (United Kingdom), the National Institute of Applied Sciences in Lyon (France) and the ESRF has revealed how a growing crack interacts with the 3D crystal structure of stainless steel. By using a new grain mapping technique it was possible to determine the internal 3D structure of the material without destroying the sample. Afterwards, a crack was initiated in the stainless steel, and the scientists were able to study how the crack grew between the grains.

FRESNO, CA - Horticultural crops account for almost 50% of crop sales in the United States, and these crops are carefully managed to ensure good quality. But more information is needed about the crops' growth and response to seasonal and climatic changes so that management practices such as irrigation can be precisely scheduled. Existing research can be difficult to generalize because of variations in crops, planting densities, and cultural practices.