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.

  • When coral species vanish, their absence can imperil surviving corals
    on January 23, 2019 at 8:35 pm

    As coral species die off, they may be leaving a death spiral in their wake: Their absence could be sapping life from the corals that survive. In a new study, when isolated from other species, corals got weak, died off or grew in fragile structures. The study has shown it is possible to quantify positive effects of coral biodiversity and negative effects of its absence. […]

  • Scientists reconstruct ancient lost plates under Andes mountains
    on January 23, 2019 at 6:17 pm

    Geologists demonstrate the reconstruction of the subduction of the Nazca Ocean plate, the remnants of which are currently found down to 1,500 kilometers, or about 900 miles, below the Earth's surface. Their results show that the formation of the Andean mountain range was more complicated than previous models suggested. […]

  • Climate change tipping point could be coming sooner than we think
    on January 23, 2019 at 6:17 pm

    A new study confirms the urgency to tackle climate change. While it's known that extreme weather events can affect the year-to-year variability in carbon uptake, and some researchers have suggested that there may be longer-term effects, this study is the first to actually quantify the effects through the 21st century and demonstrates that wetter-than-normal years do not compensate for losses in carbon uptake during dryer-than-normal years, caused by events such as droughts or heatwaves. […]

  • Bifacial stem cells produce wood and bast
    on January 22, 2019 at 5:56 pm

    So-called bifacial stem cells are responsible for one of the most critical growth processes on Earth -- the formation of wood. By alternately developing into wood and bast cells, these stem cells are thus starting points for forming wood as well as generating plant bast fibers. A team of researchers were recently able to demonstrate this phenomenon using new experimental tools. […]

  • Bird beaks did not adapt to food types as previously thought
    on January 22, 2019 at 4:50 pm

    A new study has shed some new light on how the beaks of birds have adapted over time. […]

  • 'Silent slip' along fault line serves as prelude to big earthquakes, research suggests
    on January 22, 2019 at 4:50 pm

    Big earthquakes appear to follow a brief episode of 'shallow mantle creep' and 'seismic swarms,' suggests new research that offers an explanation for the foreshocks observed prior to large temblors. […]

  • Antarctic krill population contracts southward as polar oceans warm
    on January 22, 2019 at 4:50 pm

    The population of Antarctic krill, the favorite food of many whales, penguins, fish and seals, shifted southward during a recent period of warming in their key habitat, researchers report. […]

  • For zombie microbes, deep-sea buffet is just out of reach
    on January 22, 2019 at 3:46 pm

    A new study is beginning to pick apart how bizarre zombie-like microbes survive by examining their source of 'food' -- nearby molecules of organic carbon. The study helps further our understanding of the limitations of life on Earth and could help inform how life might exist on other planets. […]

  • We need to rethink everything we know about global warming
    on January 22, 2019 at 3:46 pm

    New research shows that the degree to which aerosols cool the earth has been grossly underestimated, necessitating a recalculation of climate change models to more accurately predict the pace of global warming. […]

  • Environmental 'time bomb' warning for world's groundwater reserves
    on January 22, 2019 at 3:46 pm

    Future generations could be faced with an environmental 'time bomb' if climate change is to have a significant effect on the world's essential groundwater reserves. […]

  • Ancient climate change triggered warming that lasted thousands of years
    on January 22, 2019 at 3:45 pm

    A rapid rise in temperature on ancient Earth triggered a climate response that may have prolonged the warming for many thousands of years, according to scientists. […]

  • Near-term climate prediction 'coming of age'
    on January 22, 2019 at 3:45 pm

    The quest for climate scientists to be able to bridge the gap between shorter-term seasonal forecasts and long-term climate projections is 'coming of age', a study shows. […]

  • Greenland ice melting four times faster than in 2003
    on January 21, 2019 at 8:36 pm

    Greenland is melting faster than scientists previously thought -- and will likely lead to faster sea level rise -- thanks to the continued, accelerating warming of the Earth's atmosphere, a new study has found. […]

  • North Sea rocks could act as large-scale renewable energy stores
    on January 21, 2019 at 4:53 pm

    Rocks in the seabed off the UK coast could provide long-term storage locations for renewable energy production, new research suggests. […]

  • Local drivers of amplified Arctic warming
    on January 19, 2019 at 2:57 pm

    An international team of researchers has unveiled local drivers of amplified arctic warming. […]

  • Scientists find increase in asteroid impacts on ancient Earth by studying the Moon
    on January 17, 2019 at 7:20 pm

    A team of scientists has determined the number of asteroid impacts on the Moon and Earth increased by two to three times starting around 290 million years ago. Previous theories held that there were fewer craters on both objects dating back to before that time because they had disappeared due to erosion. The new findings claim that there were simply fewer asteroid impacts during that earlier period. […]

  • Ice Age climate caused sediment sourcing in Gulf of Mexico to switch dramatically
    on January 16, 2019 at 11:52 pm

    The onset of the most recent ice age about 2.6 million years ago changed where the western Gulf of Mexico gets its supply of sediments. The finding adds new insight into how extreme climate change can directly impact fundamental geological processes and how those impacts play out across different environments. […]

  • Nepal earthquake: Waiting for the complete rupture
    on January 16, 2019 at 4:55 pm

    Nepal was struck by an earthquake with a magnitude of 7.8 in 2015, but the country may still face the threat of much stronger temblor. This is the conclusion reached by researchers based on a new model that simulates physical processes of earthquake rupture between the Eurasian and Indian Plates. […]

  • New zoning tool provides global topographic datasets in minutes
    on January 15, 2019 at 10:43 pm

    With the increased availability of remote sensing technologies, scientists now have access to high-resolution datasets on Earth's surface properties at the global scale. As a result, an international team of scientists, has created the first comprehensive high resolution map of Earth's floodplains. […]

  • A microbial hot spring in your basement
    on January 15, 2019 at 9:23 pm

    Microbes that thrive in some of the most extreme places on Earth have discovered another cozy place to live -- inside homes across the United States. […]

  • Climate change during ancient Indus Civilization
    on January 15, 2019 at 6:29 pm

    New research on the '4.2 ka BP climatic event' provides rich insights into how rainfall in the northwest of South Asia changed over the critical period between 5400 and 3000 years ago. […]

  • Using satellites to measure rates of ice mass loss in glaciers
    on January 15, 2019 at 5:44 pm

    Researchers have investigated all glacial areas in South America in more detail than ever before, from the tropical areas to the subpolar regions. Their two major findings are that the highest rate of mass loss is in the Patagonian ice sheet, and that the glaciers in the tropics have lost considerably less mass than previously projected, although this is not the good news which it might appear at first sight. […]

  • Antarctica losing six times more ice mass annually now than 40 years ago
    on January 14, 2019 at 9:11 pm

    Antarctica experienced a sixfold increase in yearly ice mass loss between 1979 and 2017, according to a new study. Glaciologists additionally found that the accelerated melting caused global sea levels to rise more than half an inch during that time. […]

  • Central Texas salamanders, including newly identified species, at risk of extinction
    on January 14, 2019 at 9:11 pm

    Biologists have discovered three new species of groundwater salamander in Central Texas, including one living west of Austin that they say is critically endangered. They also determined that an already known salamander species near Georgetown is much more endangered than previously thought. They warn that more severe droughts caused by climate change and increasing water use in Central Texas have left groundwater salamanders 'highly vulnerable to extinction.' […]

  • Antarctic ice sheet could suffer a one-two climate punch
    on January 14, 2019 at 4:42 pm

    Variations in the axial tilt of the Earth have significant implications for the rise and fall of the Antarctic Ice Sheet, the miles-deep blanket of ice that locks up huge volumes of water that, if melted, would dramatically elevate sea level and alter the world's coastlines. New research matches the geologic record of Antarctica's ice with the periodic astronomical motions of the Earth. […]

  • Feds, states can help biochar live up to its soil-saving potential
    on January 11, 2019 at 4:28 pm

    Researchers have assembled current and potential sources of government support to promote the production and use of biochar, which helps preserve valuable soil, enhance agricultural production, improve local air quality and sequester carbon dioxide. […]

  • New policy design needed to tackle global environmental threat
    on January 11, 2019 at 2:51 pm

    A pioneering new report has devised a seven-point plan to help policymakers devise new, coherent and collaborative strategies to tackle the greatest global environmental threats. […]

  • Oceans are warming even faster than previously thought
    on January 10, 2019 at 7:18 pm

    Heat trapped by greenhouse gases is raising ocean temperatures faster than previously thought, concludes an analysis of four recent ocean heating observations. The results provide further evidence that earlier claims of a slowdown or 'hiatus' in global warming over the past 15 years were unfounded. […]

  • Termites mitigate effects of drought in tropical rainforests
    on January 10, 2019 at 7:17 pm

    Termites are commonly regarded as one of the most destructive insect pests, yet its unknown side was recently revealed by a major new study. Researchers have discovered that termites actually help mitigate against the effects of drought in tropical rainforests. […]

  • New computer modeling approach could improve understanding of megathrust earthquakes
    on January 10, 2019 at 3:14 pm

    Years before the devastating Tohoku earthquake struck the coast of Japan in 2011, the Earth's crust near the site of the quake was starting to stir. Researchers are using computer models to investigate if tiny tremors detected near this site could be connected to the disaster itself. […]