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.

  • Carbon goes with the flow
    on November 13, 2018 at 7:17 pm

    Many people see the carbon cycle as vertical -- CO2 moving up and down between soil, plants and the atmosphere. However, new research adds a dimension to the vertical perspective by showing how water moves massive amounts of carbon laterally through ecosystems -- especially during floods. These findings -- which analyzed more than 1,000 watersheds, covering about 75 percent of the contiguous US -- have implications for climate change and water quality. […]

  • Back-to-the-future plants give climate change insights
    on November 13, 2018 at 4:54 pm

    If you were to take a seed and zap it into the future to see how it will respond to climate change, how realistic might that prediction be? More so than was previously realized, according to a new study. […]

  • Arctic sea ice: Simulation versus observation
    on November 13, 2018 at 4:03 pm

    As an indicator of the impacts of climate change, Arctic sea ice is hard to beat. Scientists have observed the frozen polar ocean advance and retreat at this most sensitive region of the Earth over decades for insight on the potential ripple effects on assorted natural systems: global ocean circulation, surrounding habitats and ecosystems, food sources, sea levels and more. […]

  • Alpine ice shows three-fold increase in atmospheric iodine
    on November 13, 2018 at 12:18 am

    Analysis of iodine trapped in Alpine ice has shown that levels of atmospheric iodine have tripled over the past century, which partially offsets human-driven increases in the air pollutant, ozone. […]

  • How much debris is lying on glaciers?
    on November 9, 2018 at 3:14 pm

    Scientist show a possibility to detect the extent of debris on mountain glaciers globally and automatically vi a satellite monitoring. The scientists used the cloud computing platform Google Earth Engine for their study. […]

  • Millions in danger of food insecurity due to severe Caribbean droughts
    on November 8, 2018 at 9:43 pm

    Climate change is impacting the Caribbean, with millions facing increasing food insecurity and decreasing freshwater availability as droughts become more likely across the region, according to new research. […]

  • Tiny footprints, big discovery: Reptile tracks oldest ever found in Grand Canyon
    on November 8, 2018 at 7:24 pm

    Geologists have discovered that a set of 28 footprints left behind by a reptile-like creature 310 million years ago are the oldest ever to be found in Grand Canyon National Park. […]

  • Harvesting renewable energy from the sun and outer space at the same time
    on November 8, 2018 at 7:24 pm

    Scientists have demonstrated for the first time that heat from the sun and coldness from outer space can be collected simultaneously with a single device. Their research suggests that devices for harvesting solar and space energy will not compete for land space and can actually help each other function more efficiently. […]

  • Decline in shorebirds linked to climate change, experts warn
    on November 8, 2018 at 7:24 pm

    Researchers have discovered that daily nest predation of shorebirds has increased threefold over the last 70 years. The data suggest the larger increase in the Arctic relative to the tropics indicates a link to climate change. […]

  • What could cause the Mississippi Bight to become hypoxic?
    on November 8, 2018 at 6:41 pm

    A recent article explores aspects of the environmental conditions that can potentially lead to hypoxia in the Mississippi Bight region of the northern Gulf of Mexico. This area extends from Apalachicola in Florida to the Mississippi River Delta. […]

  • The secret behind coral reef diversity? Time, lots of time
    on November 8, 2018 at 6:05 pm

    One of the world's premier diving destinations owes its reputation as a hot spot of marine biodiversity to being undisturbed over millions of years, according to ecologists. The researchers conclude that patterns of high diversity may take tens of millions of years to arise, but can be wiped out in a few years by human impacts. […]

  • One million years of precipitation history of the monsoon reconstructed
    on November 8, 2018 at 2:13 pm

    With its wind and precipitation patterns, the South Asian Monsoon influences the lives of several billion people. Recent studies indicate that its drivers are more complex than previously assumed. Scientists have now published a reconstruction of precipitation over the eastern Indian Ocean over the past one million years. It points to connections with controlling processes in the southern hemisphere that have received little attention so far. […]

  • Biodiversity draws the ecotourism crowd
    on November 8, 2018 at 2:12 pm

    Nature -- if you support it, ecotourists will come. Managed wisely, both can win. The balancing act of protecting and fostering biodiversity with hordes of tourists in pristine nature parks is a global challenge. There are pathways to having it all -- protected areas with a rich variety of animals and plants and thriving tourism. In fact, the better the biodiversity, the more tourists will visit. What it takes to balance it is careful, holistic conservation strategy. […]

  • Dry conditions may have helped a new type of plant gain a foothold on Earth
    on November 7, 2018 at 10:28 pm

    Plants reap energy from the sun using two photosynthesis pathways, C3 and C4. A new study suggests that water availability drove the expansion of C4 species, which may help to explain how different plant lineages came to be distributed on the planet today. […]

  • Saving wildlife: Using geology to track elusive hawks
    on November 7, 2018 at 7:34 pm

    Researchers are using isotopic analysis to track where elusive hawks were fledged. This technique helps wildlife managers identify critical habitat. […]

  • Images of photosynthetic protein complex splitting water
    on November 7, 2018 at 6:38 pm

    In a new article presents high-resolution images of photosystem II, the protein complex that splits water into hydrogen ions and oxygen during photosynthesis. The images will help researchers better understand this complex mechanism, possibly opening up the door to developing cheap and efficient solar fuel devices. […]

  • Scientists theorize new origin story for Earth's water
    on November 7, 2018 at 6:03 pm

    Earth's water may have originated from both asteroidal material and gas left over from the formation of the Sun, according to new research. The new finding could give scientists important insights about the development of other planets and their potential to support life. […]

  • Financial giants can have a pivotal role for climate stability
    on November 7, 2018 at 2:38 pm

    Banks, pension funds and other institutional investors have a key role to play in efforts to avoid dangerous climate change. A limited number of these investors have considerable influence over the Amazon rainforest and boreal forests that are known 'tipping elements' in the climate system. Protecting these 'tipping elements' should be a priority for investors to help reduce both climate change and systemic financial risks created by it. […]

  • Tropical mountain species in the crosshairs of climate change
    on November 6, 2018 at 4:16 pm

    Lack of varied seasons and temperatures in tropical mountains have led to species that are highly adapted to their narrow niches, creating the right conditions for new species to arise in these areas, according to a new study. Still, the same traits that make tropical mountains among the most biodiverse ecosystems on Earth also make the species that live there more vulnerable to rapid climate changes, the study finds. […]

  • A changing climate necessitates rethinking tropical marine conservation, researchers say
    on November 6, 2018 at 3:42 pm

    In a new article, researchers are calling for a rethink on tropical marine conservation efforts, as people who previously relied on coral reefs for food and income are increasingly looking to alternative habitats which is putting pressure on the animals that inhabit seagrass meadows. […]

  • Changing temperatures are helping corn production in US -- for now
    on November 5, 2018 at 9:09 pm

    Increased production of corn in the United States has largely been credited to advances in farming technology but new research shows that changing temperatures play a significant role in crop yield. […]

  • Villagers follow the geology to safer water in Bangladesh
    on November 5, 2018 at 7:31 pm

    Water researchers have found a way to fight the 'king of poisons' that accounts for one of every 20 deaths in Bangladesh. […]

  • More affordable and effective conservation of species
    on November 5, 2018 at 5:25 pm

    No one had reported seeing the strange creature -- a cross between a bear and a monkey -- since before the Great Depression. Then, this past summer, an amateur biologist stumbled upon the presumed-extinct Wondiwoi tree kangaroo while trekking through Papua New Guinea. The revelation underscored how little we still know about the natural world -- a major obstacle to conservation. […]

  • Magnetic pumping pushes plasma particles to high energies
    on November 5, 2018 at 3:54 pm

    The solar wind is not a calm summer breeze. Instead, it is a roiling, chaotic mess of turbulence and waves. There is a lot of energy stored in this turbulence, so scientists have long thought that it heats the solar wind. However, the heating expected from turbulence is not the heating observed. Scientists now have a new idea about what heats the solar wind, a theory called magnetic pumping. […]

  • Enhanced views of Earth tectonics
    on November 5, 2018 at 3:53 pm

    Scientists have used data from the European Space Agency (ESA), Gravity field and steady-state Ocean Circulation Explorer (GOCE) mission to unveil key geological features of the Earth's lithosphere -- the rigid outer layer that includes the crust and the upper mantle. […]

  • A carbon neutral solution for desalination? Maybe so by tapping into geothermal
    on November 5, 2018 at 2:17 pm

    Water shortages are hitting some areas of the world hard, and with increasing global temperatures, more regions may be experiencing drought conditions. […]

  • Ozone hole modest despite optimum conditions for ozone depletion
    on November 2, 2018 at 10:08 pm

    The ozone hole that forms in the upper atmosphere over Antarctica each September was slightly above average size in 2018, scientists reported today. […]

  • A shortcut in the global sulfur cycle
    on November 1, 2018 at 5:39 pm

    Chemists have discovered a completely unexpected shortcut in the global sulfur cycle. This process is determined by tiny organisms in the ocean's plankton. […]

  • Impact of mercury-controlling policies shrinks with every five-year delay, study finds
    on November 1, 2018 at 5:38 pm

    A new study finds that the longer countries wait to reduce mercury emissions, the more legacy emissions will accumulate in the environment, and the less effective any emissions-reducing policies will be when they are eventually implemented. […]

  • Roadmap for filling the gaps in forest pollinator research
    on November 1, 2018 at 1:20 pm

    Actively managed conifer forests may also provide important habitat for the pollinators that aid the reproduction of food crops and other flowering plants around the globe. […]