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.

  • New solar sailing technology for NASA
    on July 19, 2018 at 8:50 pm

    Researchers is taking solar sailing to the next level with advanced photonic materials. This new class of materials could be used to steer reflected or transmitted photons and enable near-Earth, interplanetary and interstellar space travel. […]

  • Rapid cloud clearing phenomenon could provide another piece of climate puzzle
    on July 19, 2018 at 6:21 pm

    Researchers have described rapid and dramatic clearing of low cloud cover off the southwest coast of Africa. This newly observed phenomenon could help climatologists understand how clouds affect Earth's heating and cooling. […]

  • Deep-diving scientists say shallow reefs can't rely on twilight zone systems for recovery
    on July 19, 2018 at 6:21 pm

    A team of highly trained scientific divers explored Pacific and western Atlantic reefs to test a widely held hypothesis that climate-stressed life from shallow reefs can take refuge at mesophotic depths (100-500 feet beneath the ocean's surface). The results are clear: deep and shallow reefs are different systems with their own species, and deep reefs are just as threatened by climate impacts, storms, and pollution. […]

  • In a warming climate, Arctic geese are rushing north
    on July 19, 2018 at 6:21 pm

    As Arctic temperatures continue to rise, migratory barnacle geese have responded by speeding up their 3,000-kilometer migration in order to reach their destination more quickly with fewer stops along the way, according to new evidence. Unfortunately, the birds' earlier arrival isn't making as much of a difference as one might expect. […]

  • From cradle to grave: Factors that shaped evolution
    on July 19, 2018 at 6:20 pm

    This study brings us closer to knowing the complex interactions between topography and climate change, and how these factors influence the evolutionary histories and biodiversity of species in natural ecosystems. […]

  • Scientists use satellites to measure vital underground water resources
    on July 19, 2018 at 3:22 pm

    With the hope of providing water resource managers with better tools to help keep aquifers healthy, a team of scientists are using the latest space technology to look underneath Earth's surface to measure this precious natural resource. […]

  • In the ocean's twilight zone, tiny organisms may have giant effect on Earth's carbon cycle
    on July 18, 2018 at 9:03 pm

    In a new study that challenges scientists' presuppositions about the carbon cycle, researchers find that tiny organisms may be playing in outside role in the way carbon is circulated throughout the ocean. […]

  • Origami-inspired device helps marine biologists study octopuses and jellyfish
    on July 18, 2018 at 6:30 pm

    Scientists have tried to find the safest and most effective ways to explore marine life in the oceanic water, the largest and least explored environment on Earth, for years. Each time, they were faced with the same challenge: How to capture delicate or gelatinous pelagic animals -- like jellyfish, squid, and octopuses -- without harming them? An origami-inspired device may change that. […]

  • Billion-year-old lake deposit yields clues to Earth's ancient biosphere
    on July 18, 2018 at 5:48 pm

    A sample of ancient oxygen, teased out of a 1.4-billion-year-old evaporative lake deposit in Ontario, provides fresh evidence of what the Earth's atmosphere and biosphere were like during the interval leading up to the emergence of animal life. […]

  • Atlantic circulation is not collapsing -- but as it shifts gears, warming will reaccelerate
    on July 18, 2018 at 5:11 pm

    Data suggest that the recent, rapid slowdown of the Atlantic Ocean circulation is not a sign of imminent collapse, but a shift back toward a more sluggish phase. The slowdown implies that global air temperatures will increase more quickly in the coming decades. […]

  • Scientists lack vital knowledge on rapid Arctic climate change
    on July 18, 2018 at 4:24 pm

    Arctic climate change research relies on field measurements and samples that are too scarce, and patchy at best, according to a comprehensive review study. The researchers looked at thousands of scientific studies, and found that around 30% of cited studies were clustered around only two research stations in the vast Arctic region. […]

  • Global study of world's beaches shows threat to protected areas
    on July 18, 2018 at 3:33 pm

    A first-of-its-kind survey of the world's sandy shorelines with satellite data found that they have increased slightly on a global scale over the past three decades but decreased in protected marine areas, where many beaches are eroding. […]

  • Climate determines shapes of river basins
    on July 18, 2018 at 3:33 pm

    Short and squat, or long and thin? An study finds climate determines a river basin's shape. […]

  • Potential for Antarctica to become plastics dumping ground and home for new species
    on July 18, 2018 at 1:24 pm

    Antarctica is not as isolated from the rest of the world as scientists have thought, new research reveals, with potential for drifting plastics to create problems in the continent in future and new species to colonise there as the climate warms. […]

  • Newly discovered shark species honors female pioneer
    on July 17, 2018 at 3:24 pm

    The 'Shark Lady,' has received the ultimate ichthyologist honor: having a new species of shark, Squalus clarkae, named after her. […]

  • How does the sun's rotational cycle influence lightning activity on earth?
    on July 17, 2018 at 1:47 pm

    A collaborative research team has taken the first steps to understanding how the sun's rotational cycle influences lightning activity. They found answers in an unusual source -- diaries dating back to the 1700s. […]

  • Protecting tropical forest carbon stocks may not prevent large-scale species loss
    on July 16, 2018 at 8:45 pm

    As the world seeks to curb human-induced climate change, will protecting the carbon of tropical forests also ensure the survival of their species? A study suggests the answer to this question is far from straightforward. Forests with the greatest carbon content do not necessarily house the most species, meaning carbon-focused conservation can miss large swathes of tropical forest biodiversity. […]

  • How foreign kelp surfed to Antarctica
    on July 16, 2018 at 7:16 pm

    A research team has found the first proof that Antarctica is not isolated from the rest of the Earth, with the discovery that foreign kelp had drifted 20,000 kilometers before surfing to the continent's icy shores. […]

  • Looking toward Earth's future climate
    on July 16, 2018 at 6:16 pm

    A new article reveals new insights into one of the most complex challenges of Earth's climate: understanding and predicting future atmospheric levels of greenhouse gases and the role of the ocean and land in determining those levels. […]

  • Reducing carbon emissions will limit sea level rise
    on July 16, 2018 at 5:07 pm

    A new study demonstrates that a correlation also exists between cumulative carbon emissions and future sea level rise over time -- and the news isn't good. […]

  • Mangroves to mudflats and not back again
    on July 16, 2018 at 3:46 pm

    The long-term conversion of mangroves to mudflats can lead to destabilization of shorelines, negatively impacting their resilience to extreme weather events. […]

  • Sound waves reveal enormous diamond cache deep in Earth's interior
    on July 16, 2018 at 3:45 pm

    Sound waves reveal a surprisingly large diamond cache deep in Earth's interior, researchers report. […]

  • Getting to know the microbes that drive climate change
    on July 16, 2018 at 3:45 pm

    A new understanding of the microbes and viruses in the thawing permafrost in Sweden may help scientists better predict the pace of climate change. […]

  • Deep subterranean connection between two Japan volcanoes
    on July 14, 2018 at 2:01 am

    Scientists have confirmed for the first time that radical changes of one volcano in southern Japan was the direct result of an erupting volcano 22 kilometers (13.7 miles) away. The observations from the two volcanos -- Aira caldera and Kirishima -- show that the two were connected through a common subterranean magma source in the months leading up to the 2011 eruption of Kirishima. […]

  • Changes in Hudson River may offer insight into how glaciers grew
    on July 13, 2018 at 5:51 pm

    Researchers say they may be able to estimate how glaciers moved by examining how the weight of the ice sheet altered topography and led to changes in the course of the river. […]

  • How ocean warmth triggers glacial melting far away
    on July 12, 2018 at 3:44 pm

    The melting of glaciers on one side of the globe can trigger disintegration of glaciers on the other side of the globe, as has been presented by scientists, who investigated marine microalgae preserved in glacial deposits and subsequently used their findings to perform climate simulations. […]

  • Geological records reveal sea-level rise threatens UK salt marshes, study says
    on July 12, 2018 at 2:05 pm

    Sea-level rise will endanger valuable salt marshes across the United Kingdom by 2100 if greenhouse gas emissions continue unabated, according to an international study. Moreover, salt marshes in southern and eastern England face a high risk of loss by 2040, according to the study. […]

  • NASA surveys hurricane damage to Puerto Rico's forests
    on July 11, 2018 at 10:27 pm

    On Sept. 20, 2017, Hurricane Maria barreled across Puerto Rico with winds of up to 155 miles per hour and battering rain that flooded towns, knocked out communications networks and destroyed the power grid. In the rugged central mountains and the lush northeast, Maria unleashed its fury as fierce winds completely defoliated the tropical forests and broke and uprooted trees. Heavy rainfall triggered thousands of landslides that mowed over swaths of steep mountainsides. […]

  • Fern's sequenced genome holds environmental promise
    on July 11, 2018 at 4:23 pm

    A tiny fern -- with each leaf the size of a gnat -- may provide global impact for sinking atmospheric carbon dioxide, fixing nitrogen in agriculture and shooing pesky insects from crops. The fern's full genome has now been sequenced. […]

  • Strategy for 'No-Mining Zones' in the Deep Sea
    on July 10, 2018 at 5:13 pm

    An international team of researchers has developed a comprehensive set of criteria to help the International Seabed Authority (ISA) protect local biodiversity from deep-sea mining activities. These guidelines should help identify areas of particular environmental importance where no mining should occur. The new ecological framework is a set of 18 quantitative metrics to assess whether the number, shapes, sizes and locations of proposed zones will be sufficient to protect threatened habitats and species. […]