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Preview: EurekAlert! - Earth Science

EurekAlert! - Earth Science



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



Last Build Date: Sun, 10 Dec 2017 19:24:01 EST

Copyright: Copyright 2017 American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS); All rights reserved.
 



Extreme fieldwork, climate modeling yields new insight into predicting Greenland's melt

Fri, 08 Dec 2017 00:00:00 EST

(University of California - Los Angeles) A new UCLA-led study brings together scientists from land hydrology, glaciology and climate modeling to unravel a meltwater mystery. UCLA professor of geography Laurence Smith and his team of researchers discovered that some meltwater from the lakes and rivers atop the region's glaciers, is being stored and trapped on top of the glacier inside a low-density, porous 'rotten ice.' This phenomenon affects climate model predictions of Greenland's meltwater.



Report offers framework to guide decisions about Spirit Lake and Toutle River at Mount St. Helens

Fri, 08 Dec 2017 00:00:00 EST

(National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine) A new report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine offers a framework to guide federal, tribal, state and local agencies, community groups, and other interested and affected parties in making decisions about the Spirit Lake and Toutle River system, near Mount St. Helens in southwest Washington state. The process should include broader participation by groups and parties whose safety, livelihoods, and quality of life are affected by decisions about the lake and river system, the report says.



UIC gets Department of Energy grant to advance combined heat and power systems

Fri, 08 Dec 2017 00:00:00 EST

(University of Illinois at Chicago) The University of Illinois at Chicago has received a five-year, $4.2 million grant from the US Department of Energy to help industrial, commercial, institutional and utility entities evaluate and install highly efficient combined heat and power (CHP) technologies.



25 species revealed for 25 Genomes Project

Fri, 08 Dec 2017 00:00:00 EST

(Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute) To commemorate the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute turning 25 in 2018, the Institute and its collaborators* are sequencing 25 new genomes of species in the UK**. The final five species have now been chosen by thousands of school children and members of the public around the globe, who participated in the 25 Genomes Project online vote.



Many more bacteria have electrically conducting filaments

Fri, 08 Dec 2017 00:00:00 EST

(University of Massachusetts at Amherst) Microbiologists led by Derek Lovley at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, who is internationally known for having discovered electrically conducting microfilaments or 'nanowires' in the bacterium Geobacter, announce in a new paper this month that they have discovered the unexpected structures in many other species, greatly broadening the research field on electrically conducting filaments.



Can data save dolphins?

Fri, 08 Dec 2017 00:00:00 EST

(NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center) After a collaboration between NASA scientists and marine biologists, new research rules out space weather as a primary cause of animal beachings.



Marine organisms can shred a carrier bag into 1.75 million pieces, study shows

Fri, 08 Dec 2017 00:00:00 EST

(University of Plymouth) A single plastic carrier bag could be shredded by marine organisms into 1.75 million microscopic fragments, according to new research published in Marine Pollution Bulletin and carried out by the University of Plymouth.



Guanidinium stabilizes perovskite solar cells at 19 percent efficiency

Fri, 08 Dec 2017 00:00:00 EST

(Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne) Incorporating guanidinium into perovskite solar cells stabilizes their efficiency at 19 percent for 1,000 hours under full-sunlight testing conditions. The study, carried out by EPFL, is published in Nature Energy.



Surrey scientists create cheap and safe electro-catalysts for fuel cells

Fri, 08 Dec 2017 00:00:00 EST

(University of Surrey) Scientists from the University of Surrey have produced non-metal electro-catalysts for fuel cells that could pave the way for production of low-cost, environmentally friendly energy generation.



Transformation to wind and solar achievable with low indirect GHG emissions

Fri, 08 Dec 2017 00:00:00 EST

(Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK)) Different low carbon technologies from wind or solar energy to fossil carbon capture and sequestration (CCS) differ greatly when it comes to indirect GHG emissions in their life cycle. The new study finds that wind and solar energy belong to the more favorable when it comes to life-cycle emissions and scaling up these technologies would induce only modest indirect GHG emissions -- and hence not impede the transformation towards a climate-friendly power system.



Study finds ways to avoid hidden dangers of accumulated stresses on seagrass

Thu, 07 Dec 2017 00:00:00 EST

(Queensland University of Technology) A new QUT-led study has found ways to detect hidden dangers of repeated stresses on seagrass using statistical modelling.The research, published by the Journal of Applied Ecology, found cumulative maintenance dredging which affected the light on the sea floor increased risks on seagrass survival.It found, globally, seagrass meadows can be at risk of collapse from accumulated effects of repeated dredging and natural stress.



Arctic sea ice loss and the Eurasian winter cooling trend: Is there a link?

Thu, 07 Dec 2017 00:00:00 EST

(Institute of Atmospheric Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences) Are sea ice changes impacting weather patterns in non-Arctic regions? A new study demonstrates that the recent cooler temperature trends may simply be a consequence of random, chaotic variability of the atmosphere, and a warming trend may eventually resume.



Projected winter Arctic sea-ice decline coupled to Eurasian circulation

Thu, 07 Dec 2017 00:00:00 EST

(Institute of Atmospheric Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences) When a model simulates a larger sea-ice decline, how does the circulation outside the Arctic change? A new study addressed this question and suggested a more accurate winter Arctic sea-ice projection could be useful for constraining projections of winter Eurasian climate.



Life of an albatross: Tackling individuality in studies of populations

Thu, 07 Dec 2017 00:00:00 EST

(Ecological Society of America) Ecologists commonly round off the individuality of individuals, treating animals of the same species, sex, and age like identical units. But individual differences can have demographic effects on interpretation of data at the scale of whole populations, if due to an underlying variability in individual quality, not chance. Researchers examined in the peculiarities that make some wandering albatrosses more successful than others in a study published in the Ecological Society of America's journal Ecological Monographs.



NASA, University of Maryland join forces on food security

Thu, 07 Dec 2017 00:00:00 EST

(NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center) NASA has tapped the University of Maryland to lead a new consortium focused on putting satellite data to use to enhance food security and agriculture around the world.The Earth Observations for Food Security and Agriculture Consortium (EOFSAC) will combine the expertise of more than 40 partners to advance the use of Earth observations in informing decisions that affect the global food supply.



Learning from Mr. Spock: Gunderman examines sci-fi as social commentary

Thu, 07 Dec 2017 00:00:00 EST

(University of Tennessee at Knoxville) What if science fiction like the Star Trek series could teach us how to better understand and engage with the real world around us? That is the premise of a collection of scholarly articles written by five cultural researchers from around the country, including UT's Hannah Gunderman, a doctoral student in the Department of Geography.



Dust on the wind: Study reveals surprising role of dust in mountain ecosystems

Thu, 07 Dec 2017 00:00:00 EST

(National Science Foundation) Trees growing atop granite in the southern Sierra Nevada Mountains rely on nutrients from windborne dust more than on nutrients from the underlying bedrock.



Solar power advances possible with new 'double-glazing' device

Thu, 07 Dec 2017 00:00:00 EST

(University of Warwick) A new 'double-glazing' solar power device -- which is unlike any existing solar panel and opens up fresh opportunities to develop more advanced photovoltaics -- has been invented by University of Warwick researchers.



Researchers study deepwater gas formation to prevent accidents

Thu, 07 Dec 2017 00:00:00 EST

(University of Houston) A team of researchers from the University of Houston is working with the oil industry to develop new ways to predict when an offshore drilling rig is at risk for a potentially catastrophic accident.



The molecular structure of a forest aroma deconstructed

Thu, 07 Dec 2017 00:00:00 EST

(American Institute of Physics) The fresh, unmistakable scent of a pine forest comes from a medley of chemicals produced by its trees. Researchers have now accurately determined the chemical structure of one compound in its gas phase, a molecule called alpha-pinene. The analysis can help scientists better detect and understand how alpha-pinene reacts with other gases in the atmosphere, a process that can affect health and climate. The researchers describe their analysis in this week's Journal of Chemical Physics.



National Academies' Gulf Research Program awards $10.8 million to address risk in offshore oil and gas operations

Thu, 07 Dec 2017 00:00:00 EST

(National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine) The Gulf Research Program of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine today announced awards for six new projects totaling $10.8 million. All six projects involve research to develop new technologies, processes, or procedures that could result in improved understanding and management of systemic risk in offshore oil and gas operations.



Scientists create stretchable battery made entirely out of fabric

Thu, 07 Dec 2017 00:00:00 EST

(Binghamton University) A research team led by faculty at Binghamton University, State University of New York has developed an entirely textile-based, bacteria-powered bio-battery that could one day be integrated into wearable electronics.



Innovative system images photosynthesis to provide picture of plant health

Thu, 07 Dec 2017 00:00:00 EST

(The Optical Society) Researchers have developed a new imaging system that is designed to monitor the health of crops in the field or greenhouse. The new technology could one day save farmers significant money and time by enabling intelligent agricultural equipment that automatically provides plants with water or nutrients at the first signs of distress.



Arctic influences Eurasian weather and climate

Thu, 07 Dec 2017 00:00:00 EST

(Institute of Atmospheric Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences) Over the past decades the Arctic has lost 65% of its sea ice volume. The atmosphere above the Arctic has been rapidly warming and moistening at the same time. The Arctic might be perceived as a remote and sparsely populated area, the changes there may be of relevance to the society in denser populated areas.



Scientists to map areas at risk from liquefaction

Thu, 07 Dec 2017 00:00:00 EST

(Anglia Ruskin University) A team of researchers have joined forces to investigate and find solutions to tackle one of the most devastating forms of seismic phenomena -- liquefaction. Liquefaction occurs in loosely-compacted sandy soils which are fully saturated with water. Seismic vibrations caused by an earthquake apply stress to the soil particles and this transfers pressure to the soil water, pushing the soil particles apart and causing the soil to behave like a liquid.