Earth

Scientists have discovered how ocean circulation is working in the current that flows around Antarctica by tracing the path of helium from underwater volcanoes. The details are published in Nature this week.

The team, led by Alberto Naveira Garabato of the National Oceanography Centre, Southampton (formerly based at the University of East Anglia), has discovered a 'short-circuit' in the circulation of the world's oceans that could aid predictions about future climate change.

A diet high in whole grain foods is associated with a significantly lower risk of developing cardiovascular disease, including heart disease and stroke, according to an analysis conducted by researchers at Wake Forest University School of Medicine.

A new study by NASA scientists suggests that greenhouse-gas warming may raise average summer temperatures in the eastern United States nearly 10 degrees Fahrenheit by the 2080s.

"There is the potential for extremely hot summertime temperatures in the future, especially during summers with less-than-average frequent rainfall," said lead author Barry Lynn of NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies and Columbia University, New York.

Researchers have discovered a new fact about hooded seals, a mysterious mammal that spends all but a few days each year in the ocean.

An international team of researchers led by Dr. David Coltman, an evolutionary geneticist at the University of Alberta, have learned that all the hooded seal populations in the world share the same genetic diversity. The researchers reached their conclusions after analysis of more than 20 years of DNA samples taken from hundreds of hooded seals from around the world.

As climate change becomes more and more a central issue in local, national, and international discussions, understanding the global carbon budget, and how it influences trends in global warming, will become increasingly crucial.

Using data from the SCIAMACHY instrument aboard ESA's environmental satellite Envisat, scientists have determined that the carbon monoxide hovering over Australia during the wildfire season largely originated from South American wildfires some 13 000 kilometres away.

Tropical plants may be more adaptable than commonly thought to changing rainfall patterns expected to accompany a warming climate, new research shows.

According to two international-research studies on the last ice age, studies with the participation of Dr Rainer Zahn, research professor in the ICREA at the UAB Institute of Environmental Science and Technology (ICTA), before the great ice sheets of the Arctic Ocean began to melt, early sporadic episodes of melting of the old ice sheet which covered the British Isles had already begun to affect the circulation of the ocean currents, which played a key role in the climatic stability of the planet.

A new, highly destructive strain of wheat stem rust is continuing to evolve and has the potential to devastate wheat production worldwide, say plant pathologists with The American Phytopathological Society (APS).

Pacific Northwest National Laboratory geologists have put out a call for teeth tusks, femurs and any and all other parts of extinct mammoths left by massive Ice Age floods in southeastern Washington.Flood zone: The area of eastern Washington sculpted by the mammoth-killing Ice Age floods. Credit: U.S. Geological Survey

A new variety of corn developed and patented by Michigan State University scientists could turn corn leaves and stalks into products that are just as valuable as the golden kernels.

Right now, most U.S. ethanol is made from corn kernels. This is because breaking down the cellulose in corn leaves and stalks into sugars that can be fermented into ethanol is difficult and expensive.

Drought tolerance is a critical determinant of tropical plant distributions, researchers working at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in Panama report in the May 3rd issue of Nature. In a novel coupling of experimental measurements and observed plant distributions across a tropical landscape, drought tolerance predicted plant distributions at both local and regional scales. This mechanism to explain a common observation will contribute significantly to models of land use and climate change.

Freeze-dried ice cream looks like the original product, and even tastes pretty good, but "drying" ice cream at room temperature would leave a sour-smelling, sloppy mess. Similarly, diamonds ejected from deep in the Earth can survive the journey intact only if they head toward the surface quickly and under just the right conditions.

A new study shows that although loss of tropical dry forests occurs in southern Madagascar, there are also large areas of forests regenerating.

Researchers in Italy have created an ultrashort light pulse—a single isolated burst of extreme-ultraviolet light that lasts for only 130 attoseconds (billionths of a billionth of a second).

Their achievement currently represents the shortest artificial light pulse that has been reported in a refereed journal. Shining this ultrashort light pulse on atoms and molecules can reveal new details of their inner workings—providing benefits to fundamental science as well as potential industrial applications such as better controlling chemical reactions.