Earth

The risk of severe coral bleaching--a condition in which corals lose their symbiotic algae, called zooxanthellae--is five times more frequent today than it was forty years ago. Coral bleaching is a direct result of global warming, where rising temperatures cause marine heat waves, which place stress on the living coral animals, as well as the photosynthetic algae on which they depend for energy. This heat stress causes the algae to malfunction, at which point they are expelled by the corals, causing the organisms to lose their color and appear white (thus the term coral "bleaching").

A new study led by Dr. Matthew Rossheim at the George Mason University College of Health and Human Services provides important findings on how labeling of secondhand emissions from e-cigarettes can help more effectively communicate the harm from e-cigarettes and build support for tobacco-free campus policies. In the study Aerosol, vapor, or chemicals?

The culture of science is changing. Researchers are examining the methods and practices that have long been the basis for scientific research and publication with the goal of improving it. This "moment of change," the authors of a new paper write, presents an opportunity to address science's "historic lack of diversity and noninclusive culture."

NASA's Terra satellite obtained visible imagery of Tropical Storm Vicky as it continued moving through the eastern North Atlantic Ocean fighting strong wind shear. Outside winds are pushing at the storm and weakening it.

Terra Sees Wind Shear Tearing Vicky Apart

Colloidal particles have become increasingly important for research as vehicles of biochemical agents. In future, it will be possible to study their behaviour much more efficiently than before by placing them on a magnetised chip. A research team from the University of Bayreuth reports on these new findings in the journal Nature Communications. The scientists have discovered that colloidal rods can be moved on a chip quickly, precisely, and in different directions, almost like chess pieces.

New University of Colorado Boulder-led research finds that the traits that make vertebrates distinct from invertebrates were made possible by the emergence of a new set of genes 500 million years ago, documenting an important episode in evolution where new genes played a significant role in the evolution of novel traits in vertebrates.

The findings, published today in Nature, show that a gene family only found in vertebrates is critical for forming the head skeleton and other traits unique to them during embryonic development.

During a research stay in the highlands of Colombia conducted as part of her doctorate, Charlotte Hopfe, PhD student under the supervision of Prof. Dr. Thomas Scheibel at the Biomaterials research group at the University of Bayreuth, has discovered and zoologically described a new species of spider. The previously unknown arachnids are native to the central cordillera, not far from the Pacific coast, at an altitude of over 3,500 meters above sea-level. In the magazine PLOS ONE, the scientist from Bayreuth presents the spider she has called Ocrepeira klamt.

A U of A biologist is part of an international team of researchers building a volunteer network of citizen scientists to help monitor the abundance of dragonflies and damselflies.

Recent studies have indicated that insect species in general are declining throughout the world and could be headed toward collapse due to intensive agricultural practices, climate change and habitat loss. For many species, however, there isn't enough baseline data to determine trends in insect abundance.

Tortoises are born with a natural preference for faces, according to new research from scientists at Queen Mary University of London, the University of Trento and the Fondazione Museo Civico Rovereto.

The study provides the first evidence of the tendency for solitary animals to approach face-like shapes at the beginning of life, a preference only previously observed in social species such as human babies, chicks and monkeys.

Tropical cyclones can become post-tropical before they dissipate, meaning they can become sub-tropical, extra-tropical or a remnant low-pressure area. As Hurricane Paulette transitioned into an extra-tropical storm, NASA's Terra satellite provided a visible image of the powerful storm, and the National Hurricane Center issued their final advisory on the system.

What is a Post-tropical Storm? 

Chat with an atmospheric scientist for more than a few minutes, and it's likely they'll start advocating for a planetary name change. Planet Ocean-Cloud is much more fitting than Earth, they'll say, when so much of our planet's life systems are affected by the interactions of clouds and the oceans.

The ability to predict the behavior of clouds gives meteorologists, climate scientists, physicists and others a better understanding of change of precipitation (currently one of the most difficult aspects of weather forecasting to predict) and improves climate modeling.

NASA analyzed the cloud top temperatures in Hurricane Teddy using infrared light to determine the strength of the storm. Infrared imagery revealed that the strongest storms were on Teddy's western side.

An Infrared View of Teddy

One of the ways NASA researches tropical cyclones is using infrared data that provides temperature information. Cloud top temperatures identify where the strongest storms are located. The stronger the storms, the higher they extend into the troposphere, and the colder the cloud top temperatures.

Tropical Storm Karina was making night moves like the old Bob Seger song. NASA-NOAA's Suomi NPP satellite provided an infrared image of Tropical Storm Karina's nighttime movement as it moved away from the Baja California peninsula of Mexico. Infrared data showed the storm was weakening.

NASA's Night-Time View of Karina's Weakening

NASA-NOAA's Suomi NPP satellite passed over the South China Sea and captured a visible image of Tropical Storm Noui as it continued to organize and intensify.

Noul formed from a low-pressure area that began on the eastern side of the Philippines. The low crossed the Philippines and developed into Tropical Depression 13W in the Sulu Sea. The depression intensified, consolidated and became a tropical storm renamed Noul.

A sustained dialogue must be established between molecular ecologists, policymakers and other stakeholders for DNA-based approaches to be adopted in marine monitoring and assessment, according to KAUST scientists and colleagues.