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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, 21 Jul 2017 09:24:02 EDT

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



Mountain glaciers recharge vital aquifers

Thu, 20 Jul 2017 00:00:00 EDT

(University of Alaska Fairbanks) Small mountain glaciers play a big role in recharging vital aquifers and in keeping rivers flowing during the winter, according to a new study published in Geophysical Research Letters, a journal of the American Geophysical Union.The study also suggests that the accelerated melting of mountain glaciers in recent decades may explain a phenomenon that has long puzzled scientists -- why Arctic and sub-Arctic rivers have increased their water flow during the winter even without a correlative increase in rain or snowfall.



Art inspiring ecological science, inspiring art

Thu, 20 Jul 2017 00:00:00 EDT

(Ecological Society of America) Art and Science in dialog: sessions at the 2017 Annual Meeting of the Ecological Society of America in Portland, Ore., feature 5-minute presentations on collaborative projects that fuse contemporary art and ecological science to make new work that's not possible within each discipline alone. Explore artwork created by the session speakers in the Art:Sci Gallery.



USDA announces $15.1m for research on renewable energy, biobased products, agroecosystems

Thu, 20 Jul 2017 00:00:00 EDT

(National Institute of Food and Agriculture ) The USDepartment of Agriculture's (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) today announced 34 grants totaling $15.1 million for research on agricultural systems and production of biomaterials and fuels, socioeconomic implications and public policy challenges of bioenergy and bioproducts market development and expansion, understanding nutrient cycling in agricultural systems, and the management of agricultural ecosystems. The grants are funded through NIFA's Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI), authorized by the 2014 Farm Bill.



North American monsoon storms fewer but more extreme

Thu, 20 Jul 2017 00:00:00 EDT

(University of Arizona) The North American Monsoon now brings more extreme wind and rain to central and southwestern Arizona than in the past. Although there are now fewer storms, the largest monsoon thunderstorms bring heavier rain and stronger winds than did the monsoon storms of 60 years ago, according to new research. The dust storms, wind, flash flooding and microbursts that accompany monsoon storms can be a severe threat to people and property in Arizona.



Ancient Italian fossils reveal risk of parasitic infections due to climate change

Thu, 20 Jul 2017 00:00:00 EDT

(University of Missouri-Columbia) In 2014, a team of researchers led by a paleobiologist from the University of Missouri found that clams from the Holocene Epoch (that began 11,700 years ago) contained clues about how sea level rise due to climate change could foreshadow a rise in parasitic trematodes. Now, an international team from Mizzou and the Universities of Bologna and Florida has found that rising seas could be detrimental to human health on a much shorter time scale.



Berkeley Lab to lead multimillion-dollar geothermal energy project

Thu, 20 Jul 2017 00:00:00 EDT

(DOE/Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory) The Department of Energy's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) will lead a new $9 million project aimed at removing technical barriers to commercialization of enhanced geothermal systems (EGS), a clean energy technology with the potential to power 100 million American homes.



Scientists get best measure of star-forming material in galaxy clusters in early universe

Thu, 20 Jul 2017 00:00:00 EDT

(University of California - Riverside) The international Spitzer Adaptation of the Red-sequence Cluster Survey (SpARCS) collaboration based at the University of California, Riverside has combined observations from several of the world's most powerful telescopes to carry out one of the largest studies yet of molecular gas -- the raw material which fuels star formation throughout the universe -- in three of the most distant clusters of galaxies ever found, detected as they appeared when the universe was only four billion years old.



Could sharks help save shipping industry billions?

Thu, 20 Jul 2017 00:00:00 EDT

(University of Portsmouth) Whales, sharks, butterflies and lotus leaves might together hold the secret to saving the shipping industry millions and help save the planet, according to a marine biologist at the University of Portsmouth, UK.



Study finds restoration at Illinois prairie is working in the soil, too

Thu, 20 Jul 2017 00:00:00 EDT

(Northern Illinois University) A Northern Illinois University study finds that tallgrass prairie restoration at a large Illinois preserve is working at a foundational level -- in the soil. Bacteria in the soil are recolonizing and recovering on their own to resemble soil found in remnant prairies. The study shows that a carefully managed restoration can produce successes even beyond plant and animal biodiversity.



AGU honors journalists Rich Monastersky, Tony Bartelme and Courtney Humphries

Thu, 20 Jul 2017 00:00:00 EDT

(American Geophysical Union) AGU honors journalists Rich Monastersky, Tony Bartelme and Courtney Humphries for outstanding science reporting.



AGU announces recipients of the 2017 Union Medals, Awards and Prizes

Thu, 20 Jul 2017 00:00:00 EDT

(American Geophysical Union) The American Geophysical Union (AGU) has selected its 2017 class of medalists, awardees, and prize recipients. Twenty-nine individuals are recognized this year for their dedication to science for the benefit of humanity and their achievements in Earth and space science.



Mixed outcomes for plants and animals in warmer 2080s climate

Thu, 20 Jul 2017 00:00:00 EDT

(University of York) More than three quarters of plants and animals in England are likely to be significantly affected by climate change by the end of the century, say researchers.



A super-algae to save our seas

Thu, 20 Jul 2017 00:00:00 EDT

(Frontiers) Solutions to climate change, and particularly its effects on the ocean, are needed now more than ever. Coral bleaching caused by climate change is a huge threat to coral reefs. Recent extreme bleaching events have already killed corals worldwide and permanent destruction of reefs is projected within the century if immediate action is not taken. However, genetically engineering a group of microalgae found in corals may enhance their stress tolerance to ocean warming and save coral reefs.



Bernd Rendel Prize 2017: DFG recognizes early career achievements in the Earth sciences

Thu, 20 Jul 2017 00:00:00 EDT

(Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft) Three Earth scientists to receive award at annual meeting of the German Geological Society on Sept. 25, 2017, in Bremen.



Shifting storms to bring extreme waves, seaside damage to once placid areas

Thu, 20 Jul 2017 00:00:00 EDT

(University of New South Wales) The world's most extensive study of a major stormfront striking the coast has revealed a previously unrecognised danger from climate change: as storm patterns fluctuate, waterfront areas once thought safe are likely to be hammered and damaged as never before.



3-D imaging of surface chemistry in confinement

Thu, 20 Jul 2017 00:00:00 EDT

(Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne) EPFL researchers have developed an optical imaging tool to visualize surface chemistry in real time. They imaged the interfacial chemistry in the microscopically confined geometry of a simple glass micro-capillary. The glass is covered with hydroxyl (-OH) groups that can lose a proton -- a much-studied chemical reaction that is important in geology, chemistry and technology. A 100-micron long capillary displayed a remarkable spread in surface OH bond dissociation constant of a factor of a billion. The research has been published in Science.



Stanford researchers discover biological hydraulic system in tuna fins

Thu, 20 Jul 2017 00:00:00 EDT

(Stanford University) The unique system of hydraulic control of fins discovered in tuna indicates a new role for the lymphatic system in vertebrates. This natural mechanism may inspire designs for new 'smart' control surfaces with changeable shape and stiffness for both air and underwater unmanned vehicles.



Paying farmers not to cut down trees in Uganda helps fight climate change, new study shows

Thu, 20 Jul 2017 00:00:00 EDT

(Innovations for Poverty Action) An interdisciplinary team of researchers found that they could slow deforestation and preserve endangered chimpanzee habitats by paying poor landowners in Uganda not to cut down trees on their property. The system of small payments effectively cut deforestation in half, keeping the average equivalent of 3,000 metric tons of CO2 out of the air for every village who participated. The program was also cost-effective: it was 10 to 50 times cheaper than many pollution-fighting measures in the US.



Crustal limestone platforms feed carbon to many of Earth's arc volcanoes

Thu, 20 Jul 2017 00:00:00 EDT

(American Association for the Advancement of Science) A new analysis suggests that much of the carbon released from volcanic arcs, chains of volcanoes that arise along the tectonic plates of a subduction zone, comes from remobilizing limestone reservoirs in the Earth's crust.



Use of cognitive abilities to care for grandkids may have driven evolution of menopause

Thu, 20 Jul 2017 00:00:00 EDT

(PLOS) Instead of having more children, a grandmother may pass on her genes more successfully by using her cognitive abilities to directly or indirectly aid her existing children and grandchildren. Such an advantage could have driven the evolution of menopause in humans, according to new research published in PLOS Computational Biology.



Climate change and sugarcane expansion expected to boost hantavirus cases

Thu, 20 Jul 2017 00:00:00 EDT

(PLOS) Rising global temperatures and changes to land use have both been shown to have profound impacts on human health. Now researchers, reporting in PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases, have found one more infectious disease that's expected to be affected. By 2050, the number of people in risk of hantavirus in the Brazilian state of Sao Paulo, they found, will increase by more than 20 percent due to climate change and land use changes.



Russia's use of the 'energy weapon' against Western European countries a strategic threat

Wed, 19 Jul 2017 00:00:00 EDT

(Rice University) Although it has not been widely successful to date in the former Soviet zone, Russia's use of the 'energy weapon' against Western European countries in various forms still constitutes a strategic threat that warrants close attention from policymakers in Washington and throughout Europe, according to an issue brief by an expert in the Center for Energy Studies at Rice University's Baker Institute for Public Policy.



UTA biologist wins NSF CAREER grant to study effects of predators on evolution of Daphnia

Wed, 19 Jul 2017 00:00:00 EDT

(University of Texas at Arlington) Matthew Walsh, an assistant professor of biology, has been awarded a five-year, $600,000 grant from the NSF's Faculty Early Career Development Program. His project is titled 'CAREER: Does behavioral plasticity promote or constrain adaptation? A test using resurrection,' and will address a long-standing question in evolutionary biology.



PNNL scientist Ruby Leung appointed a Battelle Fellow

Wed, 19 Jul 2017 00:00:00 EDT

(DOE/Pacific Northwest National Laboratory) Ruby Leung of the Department of Energy's Pacific Northwest National Laboratory has been named a Battelle Fellow -- the highest recognition from Battelle for leadership and accomplishment in science.



New algorithm, metrics improve autonomous underwater vehicles' energy efficiency

Wed, 19 Jul 2017 00:00:00 EDT

(Oregon State University) Robotics researchers have found a way for autonomous underwater vehicles to navigate strong currents with greater energy efficiency, which means the AUVs can gather data longer and better.