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Preview: EurekAlert! - Atmospheric Science

EurekAlert! - Atmospheric Science

The premier online source for science news since 1996. A service of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Last Build Date: Wed, 21 Feb 2018 22:09:01 EST

Copyright: Copyright 2018 American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS); All rights reserved.

Tropical trees use unique method to resist drought

Wed, 21 Feb 2018 00:00:00 EST

(University of California - Riverside) Tropical trees in the Amazon Rainforest may be more drought resistant than previously thought, according to a new study by researchers at the University of California, Riverside.That's good news, since the Amazon stores about 20 percent of all carbon in the Earth's biomass, which helps reduce global warming by lowering the planet's greenhouse gas levels.The study was published Monday in the journal New Phytologist.

First evidence of surprising ocean warming around Galápagos corals

Wed, 21 Feb 2018 00:00:00 EST

(University of Arizona) 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.

One thing leads to another: Causal chains link health, development, and conservation

Wed, 21 Feb 2018 00:00:00 EST

(American Institute of Biological Sciences) The linkages between environmental health and human well-being are complex, and recent scholarship has developed a number of models for describing them. Unfortunately, these efforts have been constrained by varying practices and a lack of agreement among practitioners on consistent practices. Jiangxiao Qiu, an Assistant Professor in Landscape Ecology at the University of Florida, and his colleagues propose an alternative approach to understanding the interplay of social and ecological spheres: causal chains.

'Chameleon' ocean bacteria can shift their colors

Wed, 21 Feb 2018 00:00:00 EST

(University of Warwick) 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 research by an international collaboration including the University of Warwick.

World's first solar fuels reactor for night passes test

Wed, 21 Feb 2018 00:00:00 EST

(SolarPACES) International solar thermal energy researchers have successfully tested CONTISOL, a solar reactor that runs on air, able to make any solar fuel like hydrogen and to run day or night - because it uses concentrated solar power (CSP) which can include thermal energy storage.

Climate change, evolution, and what happens when researchers are also friends

Tue, 20 Feb 2018 00:00:00 EST

(Colorado State University) A new study in Trends in Ecology and Evolution, which 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.

Distant tropical storms have ripple effects on weather close to home

Tue, 20 Feb 2018 00:00:00 EST

(Colorado State University) In a new paper in npj Climate and Atmospheric Science, Colorado State University researchers describe 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.

Open data help scientists to unravel Earth systems

Tue, 20 Feb 2018 00:00:00 EST

(University of Helsinki) 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, such as in a recent soil moisture study by BioGeoClimate Modelling Lab from the Department of Geosciences and Geography at the University of Helsinki.

As climate changes, so could the genes of the Eastern tiger swallowtail butterfly

Tue, 20 Feb 2018 00:00:00 EST

(University of Notre Dame) 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.

'Demographic compensation' may not save plants facing changing climate

Tue, 20 Feb 2018 00:00:00 EST

(North Carolina State University) A large-scale study shows mixed results for hypothesis on how plants deal with climate change.

NASA sees ex-Tropical Cyclone Gita affecting New Zealand

Tue, 20 Feb 2018 00:00:00 EST

(NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center) NASA's Terra satellite passed over the Southern Pacific Ocean and saw the low pressure area previously known as Tropical Cyclone Gita, affecting New Zealand.

Beluga whales dive deeper, longer to find food in Arctic

Tue, 20 Feb 2018 00:00:00 EST

(University of Washington) 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 led by University of Washington researchers

Land use change has warmed the Earth's surface

Tue, 20 Feb 2018 00:00:00 EST

(European Commission Joint Research Centre) Recent changes to vegetation cover are causing the 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.

European Geosciences Union meeting: Program online, press conferences

Tue, 20 Feb 2018 00:00:00 EST

(European Geosciences Union) The program for the 2018 EGU General Assembly is now online. At the meeting, with over 14,000 scientists, journalists can hear about the latest research in the Earth and space sciences. The conference (8-13 April in Vienna, Austria) features debates on low-risk geoengineering and on threats for life on Earth. Press conference topics include: new results from ESA and NASA missions, what's at risk from coastal hazards, and the 2017 wildfire season.

The plastics industry is leaking huge amounts of microplastics

Tue, 20 Feb 2018 00:00:00 EST

(University of Gothenburg) Millions of plastic pellets are leaking out into the environment from a manufacturing site in Stenungsund. This has been shown by a new study conducted by researchers at the University of Gothenburg. Despite several international and national sets of regulatory frameworks, the leaking continues.

Oil-eating microbes are challenged in the Arctic

Tue, 20 Feb 2018 00:00:00 EST

(Aarhus University) Bacteria play a major role in cleaning up oil spills and mitigating its environmental impacts. In a review published in Science of the Total Environment, researchers from Aarhus University, Denmark, examine the major limiting factors for microbial degradation in Arctic environments.

Removing globally-used anxiety drug from recycled and wastewater at low cost

Tue, 20 Feb 2018 00:00:00 EST

(University of Johannesburg) Researchers can now remove the anxiety drug Diazepam from recycled water and wastewater, using low-cost titanium dioxide nanofibers. First marketed as Valium, Diazepam is available in hundreds of brands. The drug is one of three benzodiapezines in the World Health Organisation list of essential medicines, but is also widely abused as an addictive prescription drug. In cities running out of water, removing pharmaceuticals from wastewater in a simple, low cost way is becoming a priority.

Europe's cities face more extreme weather than previously thought

Tue, 20 Feb 2018 00:00:00 EST

(Newcastle University) Landmark study of all 571 European cities shows the impact of flooding, droughts and heatwaves by 2050-2100 will exceed previous predictions.

Study of mollusk epidemic could help save endangered sea snail

Tue, 20 Feb 2018 00:00:00 EST

(University of California - San Diego) 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

Tue, 20 Feb 2018 00:00:00 EST

(Hokkaido University) 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.

Climate projections show a warmer future for the Pacific northwest

Tue, 20 Feb 2018 00:00:00 EST

(Oregon State University) In the midst of an unseasonably warm winter in the Pacific Northwest, a comparison of four publicly available climate projections has shown broad agreement that the region will become considerably warmer in the next century if greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere rise to the highest levels projected in the the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) 'business-as-usual' scenario.

Sea-level legacy: more rise for each delay in peaking emissions

Tue, 20 Feb 2018 00:00:00 EST

(Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK)) Peaking global CO2 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 study now published in the journal Nature Communications analyzes for the first time the sea-level legacy until 2300 within the constraints of the Paris Agreement.

Declines of specific animal species in tropical forests affect lowland western Amazonian tree communities

Mon, 19 Feb 2018 00:00:00 EST

(San Diego Zoo Global) Human hunting of large Amazon rain forest animals -- such as spider monkeys, capuchin monkeys, tapirs and white-lipped peccaries, as well as some bird species such as guans and trumpeters -- is having an impact on the spatial distribution of seeds needed to produce future generations of trees, a new study shows. Ultimately, this could affect the capacity of these forests to serve as 'carbon sinks' that absorb global carbon dioxide emissions.

Plants colonized the earth 100 million years earlier than previously thought

Mon, 19 Feb 2018 00:00:00 EST

(University of Bristol) A new study on the timescale of plant evolution, led by the University of Bristol, has concluded that the first plants to colonise the Earth originated around 500 million years ago -- 100 million years earlier than previously thought.

Experts discuss Climate Science Special Report findings, implications

Sun, 18 Feb 2018 00:00:00 EST

(University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign) The climate is changing, the change is occurring now and it is happening extremely rapidly, researchers report.