Earth Science

Earth Science News -- ScienceDaily Earth science research and news. Read science articles on air quality, geology, meteorology, oceanography, paleontology and science and the environment.

  • Biodiversity and nature's contributions continue dangerous decline, scientists warn
    on March 23, 2018 at 1:37 pm

    Biodiversity -- the essential variety of life forms on Earth -- continues to decline in every region of the world, significantly reducing nature's capacity to contribute to people's well-being. This alarming trend endangers economies, livelihoods, food security and the quality of life of people everywhere, according to four landmark science reports written by more than 550 leading experts, from over 100 countries. […]

  • Landfills: A future source of raw materials
    on March 23, 2018 at 1:09 pm

    Decontamination of landfills and open dumpsites could prove profitable – both financially and for the environment. […]

  • Deep impact: Deep-sea wildlife more vulnerable to extinction than first thought
    on March 22, 2018 at 7:03 pm

    The existence of the unusual yeti crabs (Kiwaidae) -- a family of crab-like animals whose hairy claws and bodies are reminiscent of the abominable snowman -- since 2005, but already their future survival could be at risk. New Oxford University research suggests that past environmental changes may have profoundly impacted the geographic range and species diversity of this family. The findings indicate that such animals may be more vulnerable to the effects of human resource exploitation and climate change than initially thought. […]

  • Two-billion-year-old salt rock reveals rise of oxygen in ancient atmosphere
    on March 22, 2018 at 7:03 pm

    Salts left over from ancient seawater reveal new information about the oxygenation of the Earth's atmosphere more than 2 billion years ago. […]

  • Landscape ridges may hold clues about ice age and climate change
    on March 22, 2018 at 2:32 pm

    Researchers say the landscape may also hold answers to how glaciers helped form the current terrain and provide insight into the progression of climate change. […]

  • In field tests, device harvests water from desert air
    on March 22, 2018 at 2:32 pm

    You really can extract clean drinking water right from the air, even in the driest of deserts, researchers have found. They've demonstrated a real-world version of a water-harvesting system based on metal organic frameworks, or MOFs, that they first described last year. […]

  • Seismologists introduce new measure of earthquake ruptures
    on March 21, 2018 at 6:14 pm

    A team of seismologists has developed a new measurement of seismic energy release that can be applied to large earthquakes. It provides a measure of earthquake rupture complexity that better captures variations in the amount and duration of slip along the fault for events that may have similar magnitudes. […]

  • New interactive map shows climate change everywhere in world
    on March 21, 2018 at 4:16 pm

    A geography professor has created a new interactive map that allows students or researchers to compare the climates of places anywhere in the world. The map draws on five decades of public meteorological data recorded from 50,000 international weather stations around the Earth. And it uses prediction models to display which parts of the globe will experience the most or least climate change in the next 50 years. […]

  • Radar images show large swath of Texas oil patch is heaving and sinking at alarming rates
    on March 21, 2018 at 3:08 pm

    Radar satellite images show a large swath of Texas oil patch is heaving and sinking at alarming rates, according to a geophysical team. Analysis of the images with oil activity data from the Texas Railroad Commission suggests decades of oil activity have destabilized localities of the 4,000-square-mile area, which is populated by small towns, roadways and a vast network of oil and gas pipelines and storage tanks. […]

  • Evidence for a giant flood in the central Mediterranean Sea
    on March 21, 2018 at 3:08 pm

    Marine scientists have uncovered evidence of one of the largest floods in Earth's history in the central Mediterranean seafloor. The flood, known as the Zanclean flood, is thought to have ended the Messinian Salinity Crisis (MSC), a period during which the Mediterranean Sea became partially dried up. […]

  • Wind, sea ice patterns point to climate change in western Arctic
    on March 20, 2018 at 4:34 pm

    A major shift in western Arctic wind patterns occurred throughout the winter of 2017 and the resulting changes in sea ice movement are possible indicators of a changing climate, says a researcher. […]

  • Rain or snow? Humidity, location can make all the difference, new map shows
    on March 20, 2018 at 12:43 pm

    Researchers have created a map of the Northern Hemisphere showing how location and humidity can affect precipitation, illustrating wide variability in how and why different areas receive snow or rain. […]

  • New deep reef ocean zone, the rariphotic, teeming with new fish species
    on March 20, 2018 at 12:43 pm

    Diving down below the range of scuba in the Curasub, Smithsonian deep reef explorers discovered a new world where roughly half of the fish had no names. They are calling it the rariphotic. […]

  • Cutting carbon emissions sooner could save 153 million lives
    on March 19, 2018 at 6:52 pm

    As many as 153 million premature deaths linked to air pollution could be avoided worldwide this century if governments speed up their timetable for reducing fossil fuel emissions, a new study finds. […]

  • Detection, deterrent system will help eagles, wind turbines coexist better
    on March 19, 2018 at 6:45 pm

    Researchers have taken a key step toward helping wildlife coexist more safely with wind power generation by demonstrating the success of an impact detection system that uses vibration sensors mounted to turbine blades. […]

  • Palm trees are spreading northward. How far will they go?
    on March 19, 2018 at 4:42 pm

    What does it take for palm trees, the unofficial trademark of tropical landscapes, to expand into northern parts of the world that have long been too cold for palm trees to survive? A new study attempts to answer this question. Researchers analyzed a broad dataset to determine global palm tree distribution in relation to temperature. […]

  • Amazon deforestation is close to tipping point
    on March 19, 2018 at 4:42 pm

    Scientists considered climate change and indiscriminate use of fire to calculate that deforestation rates ranging from 20 percent to 25 percent could turn Amazon's hydrological cycle unable to support its ecosystem. […]

  • Soot transported from elsewhere in world contributes little to melting of some Antarctic glaciers
    on March 16, 2018 at 11:25 pm

    Airborne soot produced by wildfires and fossil-fuel combustion and transported to the remote McMurdo Dry Valleys of Antarctica contains levels of black carbon too low to contribute significantly to the melting of local glaciers, according to a new study. […]

  • Soil fungi may help determine the resilience of forests to environmental change
    on March 16, 2018 at 7:38 pm

    A major new study reveals that soil fungi could play a significant role in the ability of forests to adapt to environmental change. […]

  • Wandering greenhouse gas
    on March 16, 2018 at 4:11 pm

    On the seafloor of the shallow coastal regions north of Siberia, microorganisms produce methane when they break down plant remains. If this greenhouse gas finds its way into the water, it can also become trapped in the sea ice that forms in these coastal waters. […]

  • New understanding of Kenyan paleoenvironments opens window on human evolution in the area
    on March 16, 2018 at 2:04 pm

    Interest in human evolution has stimulated new geological work in the southern rift valley of Kenya. A new article presents the results of more than 15 years of field research on complex strata representing the last 500,000 years of geological history in an active rift system. […]

  • Climatologists render skillful predictions of drought and food insecurity that help avert famine
    on March 14, 2018 at 6:49 pm

    Last year, 81 million people worldwide experienced severe food insecurity. About 80 percent of them live in Africa. While much of that food insecurity relates to civil war and violence in places like South Sudan and Nigeria, a good portion also stems from a sequence of five severe droughts that began in Ethiopia in 2015 and spread across parts of the continent in the ensuing three years. […]

  • Mystery of purple lights in sky solved with help from citizen scientists
    on March 14, 2018 at 6:49 pm

    Citizen scientists, satellites and researchers solve the mystery of new purple lights in the sky. The lights, called STEVE, provide scientists insight into Earth's magnetic field. […]

  • Greenland glaciers' varied vulnerability to melting
    on March 14, 2018 at 6:49 pm

    Using data from NASA missions observing Earth, researchers have created new maps of the bed topography beneath a score of glaciers in southeast Greenland, thereby gaining a much better understanding of why some are undergoing rapid retreat and others are relatively stable. […]

  • Scientists helping to improve understanding of plate tectonics
    on March 14, 2018 at 6:44 pm

    Scientists are helping to improve understanding of how rocks in Earth's hot, deep interior enable the motions of tectonic plates, which regulate the water cycle that is critical for a habitable planet. […]

  • Underwater volcano behavior captured by timely scientific expedition
    on March 14, 2018 at 2:20 pm

    Researchers got a rare opportunity to study an underwater volcano in the Caribbean when it erupted while they were surveying the area. […]

  • Exceptionally large amount of winter snow in Northern Hemisphere this year
    on March 14, 2018 at 1:27 pm

    The new Arctic Now product shows with one picture the extent of the area in the Northern Hemisphere currently covered by ice and snow. This kind of information, which shows the accurate state of the Arctic, becomes increasingly important due to climate change. […]

  • Climate change risk for half of plant and animal species in biodiversity hotspots
    on March 14, 2018 at 2:55 am

    Up to half of plant and animal species in the world's most naturally rich areas, such as the Amazon and the Galapagos, could face local extinction by the turn of the century due to climate change if carbon emissions continue to rise unchecked. Even if the Paris Climate Agreement 2°C target is met, these places could lose 25 percent of their species. Researchers examined the impact of climate change on nearly 80,000 plant and animal species in 35 areas. […]

  • Wind moves microinvertebrates across desert
    on March 13, 2018 at 7:21 pm

    Research has yielded the first evidence of how waterborne microinvertebrates move across vast expanses of arid desert. A new study details for the first time how high desert winds disperse small invertebrates and how they colonize hydrologically disconnected basins throughout the region. […]

  • Warm Arctic means colder, snowier winters in northeastern US, study says
    on March 13, 2018 at 5:06 pm

    Scientists have linked the frequency of extreme winter weather in the United States to Arctic temperatures. […]