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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: Fri, 20 Jan 2017 09:24:01 EST

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

Humans, not climate change, wiped out Australian megafauna

Fri, 20 Jan 2017 00:00:00 EST

(University of Colorado at Boulder) New evidence involving the ancient poop of some of the huge and astonishing creatures that once roamed Australia indicates the primary cause of their extinction around 45,000 years ago was likely a result of humans, not climate change.

SF State astronomer searches for signs of life on Wolf 1061 exoplanet

Thu, 19 Jan 2017 00:00:00 EST

(San Francisco State University) San Francisco State astronomer Stephen Kane and a team of researchers locate the habitable zone, the region where water could exist on the surface of a planet, on the Wolf 1061, a planetary system that's 14 light years away.

How much drought can a forest take?

Thu, 19 Jan 2017 00:00:00 EST

(University of California - Davis) Why do some trees die in a drought and others don't? And how can we predict where trees are most likely to die in future droughts? Scientists from the University of California, Davis, and colleagues examined those questions in a study published in the journal Ecology Letters.

Treated carbon pulls radioactive elements from water

Thu, 19 Jan 2017 00:00:00 EST

(Rice University) Scientists at Rice University and Kazan Federal University in Russia have developed inexpensive, oxidized carbon particles that extract radioactive metals from water. They said their materials may help purify contaminated waters stored after the Fukushima nuclear power plant accident.

NASA Goddard scientist wins 2017 GLBT Scientist Award

Thu, 19 Jan 2017 00:00:00 EST

(NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center) Matthew McGill of NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md., has been selected as the recipient of the 2017 National Organization of Gay and Lesbian Scientists and Technical Professionals Scientist of the Year Award.

Bodyguards in the gut have a chemical weapon

Thu, 19 Jan 2017 00:00:00 EST

(Max Planck Institute for Chemical Ecology) Beneficial bacteria in the gut of moth larvae produce an antibiotic that kills competing bacteria which otherwise have detrimental effects on insect development. An international team of scientists under the direction of the Max Planck Institute for Chemical Ecology in Jena, Germany, were able to demonstrate for the first time that symbiotic Enterococcus mundtii bacteria secrete the antimicrobial peptide mundticin. It enters harmful germs in the gut of the African cotton leafworm and kills them.

Creating atomic scale nanoribbons

Thu, 19 Jan 2017 00:00:00 EST

(Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology) A recent study conducted by researchers at the Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology at the University of Illinois and the Department of Chemistry at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln has demonstrated the first important step toward integrating atomically precise graphene nanoribbons (APGNRs) onto nonmetallic substrates. The paper, 'Solution-Synthesized Chevron Graphene Nanoribbons Exfoliated onto H:Si(100),' was published in Nano Letters.

Caves in central China show history of natural flood patterns

Thu, 19 Jan 2017 00:00:00 EST

(University of Minnesota) Researchers at the University of Minnesota have found that major flooding and large amounts of precipitation occur on 500-year cycles in central China. These findings shed light on the forecasting of future floods and improve understanding of climate change over time and the potential mechanism of strong precipitation in monsoon regions.

Geosciences-inspired engineering

Thu, 19 Jan 2017 00:00:00 EST

(University of Pittsburgh) The Mackenzie Dike Swarm and the roughly 120 other known giant dike swarms located across the planet may also provide useful information about efficient extraction of oil and natural gas in today's modern world. To explore how naturally occurring dike swarms can lead to improved methods of oil and gas reservoir stimulation, the National Science Foundation Division of Earth Sciences awarded a $310,000 award to Andrew Bunger at Pitt's Swanson School of Engineering.

New regional sea level scenarios help communities prepare for future economic risks

Thu, 19 Jan 2017 00:00:00 EST

(NOAA Headquarters) New US regional sea level scenarios developed by NOAA and its partners will give coastal communities better, more localized data to help them plan for and adapt to the risk of rising sea levels to their economies and infrastructure. These new scenarios integrate updated global sea level rise scenarios with regional factors, such as changes in land elevations and ocean circulation, that influence sea level regionally.

Regional sea-level scenarios will help Northeast plan for faster-than-global rise

Thu, 19 Jan 2017 00:00:00 EST

(Rutgers University) Sea level in the Northeast and in some other US regions will rise significantly faster than the global average, according to a report released by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. In a worst-case scenario, global sea level could rise by about 8 feet by 2100, according to the report, which lays out six scenarios intended to inform national and regional planning.

Accelerating fuel-efficient car production with disruptive 3-D print process

Thu, 19 Jan 2017 00:00:00 EST

(University of Nottingham) Engineers at The University of Nottingham are developing lightweight automotive components using new additive manufacturing processes to boost vehicle fuel efficiency, while cutting noise and CO2 emissions.The components will be constructed using selective laser melting (SLM). SLM uses a 3-D Computer Aided Design model to digitally reproduce the object in a number of layers. Each layer is sequentially recreated by melting sections of a bed of aluminum alloy powder using a laser beam.

New study will help find the best locations for thermal power stations in Iceland

Thu, 19 Jan 2017 00:00:00 EST

(University of Gothenburg) A new research article, with lead authors from the University of Gothenburg, gives indications of the best places in Iceland to build thermal power stations.

One night stand regrets

Thu, 19 Jan 2017 00:00:00 EST

(Norwegian University of Science and Technology) Women regret saying yes to casual sex much more often than men do. Men -- almost exclusively -- regret saying no. Why?

New low-cost technique converts bulk alloys to oxide nanowires

Thu, 19 Jan 2017 00:00:00 EST

(Georgia Institute of Technology) A simple technique for producing oxide nanowires directly from bulk materials could dramatically lower the cost of producing the one-dimensional nanostructures. That could open the door for a broad range of uses in lightweight structural composites, advanced sensors, electronic devices -- and thermally stable and strong battery membranes able to withstand temperatures of more than 1,000 degrees Celsius.

Sea-surface temps during last interglacial period like modern temps

Thu, 19 Jan 2017 00:00:00 EST

(American Association for the Advancement of Science) Sea-surface temperatures during the last interglaciation period were like those of today, a new study reports. The trend is worrisome, as sea levels during the last interglacial period were between six and nine meters above their present height.

Harvests in the US to suffer from climate change

Thu, 19 Jan 2017 00:00:00 EST

(Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK)) Some of the most important crops risk substantial damage from rising temperatures. To better assess how climate change caused by human greenhouse gas emissions will likely impact wheat, maize and soybean, an international team of scientists now ran an unprecedentedly comprehensive set of computer simulations of US crop yields. Importantly, the scientists find that increased irrigation can help to reduce the negative effects of global warming on crops -- but this is possible only in regions where sufficient water is available.

Ants find their way even while traveling backward

Thu, 19 Jan 2017 00:00:00 EST

(Cell Press) Some of us struggle to find our way back home while walking from an unfamiliar location in the usual, forward direction. Now imagine if you had to stay on the right path while walking backward or even spinning around and around. Now researchers reporting in Current Biology on Jan. 19 have found that ants can do exactly that. They also have new insight into the mental gymnastics required.

Moth gut bacterium defends its host by making antibiotic

Thu, 19 Jan 2017 00:00:00 EST

(Cell Press) Nearly half of all insects are herbivores, but their diets do not consist of only plant material. It is not uncommon for potentially harmful microorganisms to slip in during a feast. In a study published in Cell Chemical Biology, researchers report that these insects use an ironic strategy to resist microbial infections. A bacterial species commonly found in the gut of the cotton leafworm and other moths secretes a powerful antimicrobial peptide, killing off competitors.

Researchers discover greenhouse bypass for nitrogen

Wed, 18 Jan 2017 00:00:00 EST

(Virginia Institute of Marine Science) An international team discovers that production of a potent greenhouse gas can be bypassed as soil nitrogen breaks down into unreactive atmospheric N2.

UCI researchers map oceanic troughs below ice sheets in West Antarctica

Wed, 18 Jan 2017 00:00:00 EST

(University of California - Irvine) University of California, Irvine glaciologists have uncovered large oceanic valleys beneath some of the massive glaciers flowing into the Amundsen Sea in West Antarctica. Carved by earlier advances of ice during colder periods, the subsurface troughs enable warm, salty water to reach the undersides of glaciers, fueling their increasingly rapid retreat.

Rice's Baker Institute releases policy recommendations for the Trump administration

Wed, 18 Jan 2017 00:00:00 EST

(Rice University) Rice University's Baker Institute for Public Policy has released policy recommendations for President-elect Donald Trump's administration, which includes science and health care.

Roberto Morandotti and Federico Rosei receive the Sichuan Province 1000 talents award

Wed, 18 Jan 2017 00:00:00 EST

(Institut national de la recherche scientifique - INRS) The government of Sichuan province has recognized the outstanding research of two INRS professors, Roberto Morandotti and Federico Rosei, respectively for their work in photonics and nanotechnology, by attributing them the prestigious 1000 talents short term award of Sichuan province.

Mighty river, mighty filter

Wed, 18 Jan 2017 00:00:00 EST

(American Society of Agronomy) Researchers are reviving one of the Mississippi River's main filters: the floodplain. The result is a unique environment that removes nitrogen, a contributor to the Gulf of Mexico's dead zone.

New Marcellus development boom will triple greenhouse gas emissions from PA's natural gas

Wed, 18 Jan 2017 00:00:00 EST

(PSE Healthy Energy) Natural gas production on Pennsylvania's vast black shale deposit known as the Marcellus Shale will nearly double by 2030 to meet growing demand, tripling Pennsylvania's greenhouse gas emissions from the natural gas sector relative to 2012 levels, according to a report published today by Delaware Riverkeeper Network. The increase in greenhouse gas emissions will remain steady through 2045 with continued shale gas development, projects the report, 'Lifecycle Greenhouse Gas Emissions Associated with Projected Future Marcellus Development.'