Geography News -- ScienceDaily Geography. Read the latest geographical research from universities and institutes around the world.

  • The way streets and buildings are arranged makes a big difference in how heat builds up
    on February 23, 2018 at 5:23 pm

    A new study shows a way to dial down the urban heat island effects that can pump up city temperatures, through different city planning based on classical physics formulas. […]

  • The global footprint of fisheries
    on February 22, 2018 at 9:21 pm

    The global fishing fleet is so big it can be seen from space. Really. […]

  • The Australian government's plan for the biocontrol of the common carp presents several risks
    on February 22, 2018 at 7:50 pm

    Scientists are calling on the Australian authorities to review their decision to introduce the carp herpes virus as a way to combat the common carp having colonized the country's rivers. They not only believe that this measure will be ineffective but that it also represents a risk to ecosystems. […]

  • Stagnation in the South Pacific
    on February 22, 2018 at 7:49 pm

    A team led by geochemist has discovered important evidence that the rise in atmospheric carbon dioxide levels at the end of the last ice age was triggered by changes in the Antarctic Ocean. […]

  • Extinct lakes of the American desert west
    on February 22, 2018 at 6:34 pm

    The vestiges of lakes long extinct dot the landscape of the American desert west. These fossilized landforms provide clues of how dynamic climate has been over the past few million years. […]

  • Laser technology takes Maya archeologists where they've never gone before
    on February 21, 2018 at 7:09 pm

    With the help of airborne laser mapping technology, a team of archeologists is exploring on a larger scale than ever before the history and spread of settlement at the ancient Maya site of Ceibal in Guatemala. […]

  • First evidence of surprising ocean warming around Galápagos corals
    on February 21, 2018 at 6:18 pm

    A new analysis of the natural temperature archives stored in coral reefs shows the ocean around the Galápagos Islands has been warming since the 1970s. The finding surprised the research team, because the sparse instrumental records for sea surface temperature for that part of the eastern tropical Pacific Ocean did not show warming. Scientists thought strong upwelling of colder deep waters spared the region from the warming seen in other parts of the Pacific. […]

  • 'Chameleon' ocean bacteria can shift their colors
    on February 21, 2018 at 5:29 pm

    Cyanobacteria -- which propel the ocean engine and help sustain marine life -- can shift their color like chameleons to match different colored light across the world's seas, according to new research. […]

  • Solar radiation mineralizes terrestrial dissolved organic carbon in the ocean
    on February 21, 2018 at 2:20 pm

    Organic carbon dissolved in water plays a vital role in the Earth's carbon cycle. Understanding carbon cycling is central to understanding climate change and how aquatic communities are structured and supported. Scientists have found out that solar radiation mineralizes more terrestrial dissolved organic carbon in the ocean than in the inland waters. […]

  • Distant tropical storms have ripple effects on weather close to home
    on February 20, 2018 at 10:03 pm

    Researchers report a breakthrough in making accurate predictions of weather weeks ahead. They've created an empirical model fed by careful analysis of 37 years of historical weather data. Their model centers on the relationship between two well-known global weather patterns: the Madden-Julian Oscillation and the quasi-biennial oscillation. […]

  • Climate change, evolution, and what happens when researchers are also friends
    on February 20, 2018 at 10:03 pm

    A new study that addresses how climate change is affecting the evolution of organisms underscores the need for evolutionary, ecosystem and climate scientists to work together to better understand eco-evolutionary feedback dynamics. […]

  • Stable gas hydrates can trigger landslides
    on February 20, 2018 at 9:12 pm

    Like avalanches onshore, there are different processes that cause submarine landslides. One very widespread assumption is that they are associated with dissociating gas hydrates in the seafloor. However, scientists have now found evidence that the context could be quite different. […]

  • Open data help scientists unravel Earth systems
    on February 20, 2018 at 9:12 pm

    Understanding nature and its processes has greatly benefitted from open data. Open remotely sensed data make hard-to-reach wilderness areas more accessible -- at least from above. These advances provide new opportunities for Earth system research. […]

  • Beluga whales dive deeper, longer to find food in Arctic
    on February 20, 2018 at 9:12 pm

    Beluga whales that spend summers feeding in the Arctic are diving deeper and longer to find food than in earlier years, when sea ice covered more of the ocean for longer periods, according to a new analysis. […]

  • As climate changes, so could the genes of the Eastern tiger swallowtail butterfly
    on February 20, 2018 at 9:12 pm

    Researchers warn climate change can not only influence the geographic distribution of a species in response to changing conditions -- it could also affect the evolutionary trajectories of interbreeding species. […]

  • Land use change has warmed Earth's surface
    on February 20, 2018 at 7:35 pm

    Recent changes to vegetation cover are causing Earth's surface to heat up. Activities like cutting down evergreen forests for agricultural expansion in the tropics create energy imbalances that lead to higher local surface temperatures and contribute to global warming. […]

  • Sea-level legacy: 20 cm more rise by 2300 for each 5-year delay in peaking emissions
    on February 20, 2018 at 5:30 pm

    Peaking global carbon dioxide emissions as soon as possible is crucial for limiting the risks of sea-level rise, even if global warming is limited to well below 2 degrees C. A new study analyzes for the first time the sea-level legacy until 2300 within the constraints of the Paris Agreement. […]

  • Oil-eating microbes are challenged in the Arctic
    on February 20, 2018 at 3:41 pm

    Bacteria play a major role in cleaning up oil spills and mitigating its environmental impacts. In a new paper, researchers examine the major limiting factors for microbial degradation in Arctic environments. […]

  • Study of mollusk epidemic could help save endangered sea snail
    on February 20, 2018 at 2:50 pm

    Overfishing and environmental change have pushed abalone species on the US west coast to the edge of extinction. Now a fatal disease threatens their recovery. But new research shows that some abalone species may be less susceptible to the disease than others, providing initial data that could help map where abalone could survive and thrive despite the disease. […]

  • Nitrate flux in the Arctic not following the decreasing NOx emissions in neighboring countries
    on February 20, 2018 at 2:49 pm

    Nitrate deposits in the Arctic remains high even after the turn of the century, despite environmental policies adopted by neighboring countries in the late 20th century to cut nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions. […]

  • Lasers revolutionize mapping of forests
    on February 20, 2018 at 2:34 pm

    New laser scanning technologies are being used to map forests in more detail than ever before. […]

  • Global grazing lands increasingly vulnerable to a changing climate
    on February 19, 2018 at 4:52 pm

    A new study shows precipitation variability has increased significantly on 49 percent of the world's grazing lands. […]

  • High levels of microplastics found in Northwest Atlantic fish
    on February 16, 2018 at 4:05 pm

    A new study finds 73 percent of mesopelagic fish caught in the Northwest Atlantic had microplastics in their stomachs -- one of the highest levels globally. Typically living at depths of 200-1,000 meters, these fish could spread microplastic pollution throughout the marine ecosystem, by carrying microplastics from the surface down to deeper waters. They are also prey for fish eaten by humans, meaning that microplastics could indirectly contaminate our food supply. […]

  • Geophysicists and atmospheric scientists partner to track typhoons' seismic footprints
    on February 15, 2018 at 6:11 pm

    A remarkable collaboration between atmospheric science and geophysics could change the way we think about storms and seismicity, and could lead to an answer to the often-asked 'Are hurricanes getting stronger?' The team has identified the seismic footprint of typhoons and hurricanes, which allows climate scientists to add decades to their dataset of powerful storms. […]

  • Mystery of phytoplankton survival in nutrient-poor pacific
    on February 15, 2018 at 4:03 pm

    Upwelling in the eastern equatorial Pacific Ocean provides essential nutrients for the region’s microscopic plants, but iron – a key ingredient that facilitates nitrogen consumption – is in short supply. To compensate, the phytoplankton band together to recycle the scarce metal and retain it in their upper-ocean habitat, scientists have discovered. […]

  • Deforestation in the tropics
    on February 15, 2018 at 4:02 pm

    Tropical forests around the world play a key role in the global carbon cycle and harbor more than half of the species worldwide. However, increases in land use during the past decades caused unprecedented losses of tropical forest. Scientists have adapted a method from physics to mathematically describe the fragmentation of tropical forests. They explain how this allows to model and understand the fragmentation of forests on a global scale. They found that forest fragmentation in all three continents is close to a critical point beyond which fragment number will strongly increase. This will have severe consequences for biodiversity and carbon storage. […]

  • Maximizing the environmental benefits of autonomous vehicles
    on February 15, 2018 at 3:58 pm

    The added weight, electricity demand and aerodynamic drag of the sensors and computers used in autonomous vehicles are significant contributors to their lifetime energy use and greenhouse gas emissions, according to a new study. […]

  • Don't blame hurricanes for most big storm surges in Northeast
    on February 15, 2018 at 3:57 pm

    Hurricanes spawn most of the largest storm surges in the northeastern US, right? Wrong, according to a new study. Extratropical cyclones, including nor'easters and other non-tropical storms, generate most of the large storm surges in the Northeast, according to the new study. They include a freak November 1950 storm and devastating nor'easters in March 1962 and December 1992. […]

  • Key to predicting climate change could be blowing in the wind
    on February 15, 2018 at 3:57 pm

    Dust that blew into the North Pacific Ocean could help explain why the Earth's climate cooled 2.7 million years ago, according to a new study. […]

  • Scientist studies effects of wildfire management on bird populations
    on February 14, 2018 at 11:17 pm

    On the tail of California's most destructive and expensive year of firefighting ever, it might seem obvious that vegetation removal would reduce the risk of such a year happening again. But scientists are showing that in chaparral, California's iconic shrubland ecosystem, management can devastate wild bird populations and that fire-risk reduction is only temporary. […]