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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: Tue, 06 Dec 2016 15:24:01 EST

Copyright: Copyright 2016 American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS); All rights reserved.
 



Hulking hurricanes: Seeking greater accuracy in predicting storm strength

Tue, 06 Dec 2016 00:00:00 EST

(Office of Naval Research) To better predict tropical cyclone intensity, scientists sponsored by the Office of Naval Research (ONR) recently worked with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to gather atmospheric data from storms that formed in the Atlantic Ocean in 2016.



Sea ice hit record lows in November

Tue, 06 Dec 2016 00:00:00 EST

(University of Colorado at Boulder) Unusually high air temperatures and a warm ocean have led to a record low Arctic sea ice extent for November, according to scientists at the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) at the University of Colorado Boulder. In the Southern Hemisphere, Antarctic sea ice extent also hit a record low for the month, caused by moderately warm temperatures and a rapid shift in circumpolar winds.



Scientists improve predictions of how temperature affects the survival of fish embryos

Tue, 06 Dec 2016 00:00:00 EST

(NOAA Fisheries West Coast Region) NOAA Fisheries Ecology Division and UC Santa Cruz researchers found the thermal tolerance of Chinook salmon embryos in the Sacramento River is much lower than expected from laboratory studies. Exploring the cause of this discrepancy led to new insights into how egg size and water flow affect the survival of fish eggs.



Ice age vertebrates had mixed responses to climate change

Tue, 06 Dec 2016 00:00:00 EST

(American Museum of Natural History) New research examines how vertebrate species in the eastern United States ranging from snakes to mammals to birds responded to climate change over the last 500,000 years. The study reveals that contrary to expectation, the massive glaciers that expanded and contracted across the region affected animal populations in different ways at different times. The analysis provides a window into how animals might react to any kind of climate change, whether glacial cycles or global warming.



Predicting unpredictability: Information theory offers new way to read ice cores

Tue, 06 Dec 2016 00:00:00 EST

(Santa Fe Institute) A new technique based in information theory promises to improve researchers' ability to interpret ice core samples and our understanding of the earth's climate history.



NREL 2016 Standard Scenarios outlook shows continued growth in renewables and gas

Tue, 06 Dec 2016 00:00:00 EST

(DOE/National Renewable Energy Laboratory) The Energy Department's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) has released the 2016 Standard Scenarios: A US Electricity Sector Outlook. The outlook shows significant projected growth in natural gas and renewables through 2050 driven by abundant, low-cost natural gas and renewable energy cost declines and performance improvements. The Standard Scenarios are designed to capture a range of possible futures across a variety of factors that could impact power sector evolution.



High renewable electricity growth continued in 2015

Tue, 06 Dec 2016 00:00:00 EST

(DOE/National Renewable Energy Laboratory) The 2015 Renewable Energy Data Book shows that US renewable electricity grew to 16.7 percent of total installed capacity and 13.8 percent of total electricity generation during the past year.



Top in US Chamber of Commerce's BusinessH2O Summit, Dec. 12, in Las Vegas

Tue, 06 Dec 2016 00:00:00 EST

(American Associates, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev) The summit will bring together policy experts, entrepreneurs, business leaders, and investors to discuss best practices in water policy. Water experts from BGU's Zuckerberg Institute for Water Research will discuss proven practices for promoting corporate water stewardship and public policies in Israel and the US that address the growing demand for water.



Iowa State scientist uses clam shells to help build 1,000-year record of ocean climate

Tue, 06 Dec 2016 00:00:00 EST

(Iowa State University) Just like trees have growth rings that scientists can study for clues about past growing conditions, clam shells have growth increments that offer clues about past ocean conditions. Scientists -- including Iowa State's Alan Wanamaker -- have sorted and studied thousands of clam shells to build a 1,000-year record of ocean conditions and climate changes at a spot just off North Iceland. The scientists' findings were just published online by the journal Nature Communications.



Assassins on the rise: A new species and a new tribe of endemic South African robber flies

Tue, 06 Dec 2016 00:00:00 EST

(Pensoft Publishers) Discovery of a new species of assassin flies led to the redescription of its genus. This group of curious predatory flies live exclusively in South Africa, preferring relatively dry habitats. Following the revisit, authors Drs. Jason Londt and Torsten Dikow publish updated information about all species within the genus, now counting a total of seven species, and also establish a new tribe. Their study is published in the open access journal African Invertebrates.



Researchers compare biodiversity trends with the stock market

Tue, 06 Dec 2016 00:00:00 EST

(Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research - UFZ) Essential Biodiversity Variables (EBVs) have the potential to help stop species loss. An international research team is using an analogy to explain what these variables are. Just as the price of a share varies according to supply and demand and the prices of all individual shares are used to calculate the index of a stock exchange, data from observations of nature is used to calculate biodiversity variables.



Social eating leads to overeating, especially among men

Tue, 06 Dec 2016 00:00:00 EST

(Cornell Food & Brand Lab) Gorging at a holiday meal or friend's BBQ might have more to do with your ego than the quality of the food -- especially if you're a man.



Study of wild plants contribute to understanding of high risks associated with a warming climate

Tue, 06 Dec 2016 00:00:00 EST

(Canadian Science Publishing (NRC Research Press)) New research, published today in Botany, investigates how well native California wild mustard species withstand increasing temperatures with the goal of developing a better understanding of heat stress on plants in a warming climate. This study makes an important contribution to a growing body of research aimed at better understanding the effects of global climate change on our ability to grow plants for food.



Longest-living animal gives up ocean climate secrets

Tue, 06 Dec 2016 00:00:00 EST

(Cardiff University) A study of the longest-living animal on Earth, the quahog clam, has provided researchers with an unprecedented insight into the history of the oceans.



Growing mosquito populations linked to urbanization and DDT's slow decay

Tue, 06 Dec 2016 00:00:00 EST

(University of California - Santa Cruz) Mosquito populations have increased as much as ten-fold over the past five decades in New York, New Jersey, and California, according to long-term datasets from mosquito monitoring programs. The number of mosquito species in these areas increased two- to four-fold in the same period. A new study finds the main drivers of these changes were the gradual waning of DDT concentrations in the environment and increased urbanization.



Bacteria produce aphrodisiac that sets off protozoan mating swarm

Tue, 06 Dec 2016 00:00:00 EST

(American Society for Cell Biology) This demonstration that bacteria can drive mating in eukaryotes raises the possibility that environmental bacteria or bacterial symbionts may influence mating in animals.



Researchers study sea spray to improve hurricane intensity forecasting

Mon, 05 Dec 2016 00:00:00 EST

(University of Miami Rosenstiel School of Marine & Atmospheric Science) A University of Miami (UM) Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science research team is studying sea spray to help improve forecasting of hurricanes and tropical cyclones. In a recent study, the scientists found that in high winds conditions the amount of large sea spray droplets (over 0.5 milimeters in diameter) generated is as much as 1000 times more than previously thought.



Tulane announces five finalists for $1 million Dead Zone Challenge

Mon, 05 Dec 2016 00:00:00 EST

(Tulane University) The National Advisory Committee for the Tulane Nitrogen Reduction Challenge has selected five finalists for its $1 million cash prize, which will be awarded to the team that presents the best solution to combat hypoxia -- the deadly deficiency of oxygen that creates annual 'dead zones' in the world's lakes and oceans.



Everglades Foundation starts algae bloom solution search with 4-year, $10-million Prize

Mon, 05 Dec 2016 00:00:00 EST

(Bascom Communications & Consulting, LLC) In a bold effort to find a solution to one of the world's most challenging environmental problems, The Everglades Foundation (The Foundation) will officially kick off its four-year, $10-million George Barley Water Prize at the "Tapping Innovation: Breakthrough Thinking, Action & Awards" event on Wednesday, Dec. 7, 2016, at 6 p.m., at the Miami Science Barge, located at 1075 Biscayne Boulevard, Miami, FL.



Simple processing technique could cut cost of organic PV and wearable electronics

Mon, 05 Dec 2016 00:00:00 EST

(Georgia Institute of Technology) A simple solution-based electrical doping technique could help reduce the cost of polymer solar cells and organic electronic devices, potentially expanding the applications for these technologies.



When permafrost melts, what happens to all that stored carbon?

Mon, 05 Dec 2016 00:00:00 EST

(The Earth Institute at Columbia University) Arctic permafrost contains large stores of organic carbon that have been locked in for thousands of years. As global temperatures rise, that permafrost is starting to melt, raising concerns about the impact on climate. A new study is shedding light on what that could mean for the future by providing the first direct physical evidence of a massive release of carbon from permafrost during a warming spike at the end of the last glacial period.



Snow data from satellites improves temperature predictions, UT researchers show

Mon, 05 Dec 2016 00:00:00 EST

(University of Texas at Austin) Researchers with The University of Texas at Austin have found that incorporating snow data collected from space into computer climate models can significantly improve seasonal temperature predictions.



PNNL supports White House efforts on soil

Mon, 05 Dec 2016 00:00:00 EST

(DOE/Pacific Northwest National Laboratory) PNNL is supporting today's announcement by the White House about efforts related to soil sustainability by sponsoring research projects through two research initiatives with funding of $20 million. The research involves a range of diverse projects looking at soil's role in Earth's climate, the environment, food and fuel production.



During last warming period, Antarctica heated up 2 to 3 times more than planet average

Mon, 05 Dec 2016 00:00:00 EST

(University of California - Berkeley) A new study of warming after the last ice age 20,000 years ago confirms climate models that predict an amplification of warming at the poles. By 15,000 years ago, the Antarctic had warmed about 11 degrees Celsius, almost 3 times the average global warming (4 degrees Celsius). The calculations, based on temperature measurements down a 3.4-kilometer-deep borehole, prove that climate models do a good job of estimating past climatic conditions and, very likely, future changes.



Female lemurs with color vision provide advantages for their group

Mon, 05 Dec 2016 00:00:00 EST

(University of Texas at Austin) Female lemurs with normal color vision, as well as their cohabitating colorblind group members, may have selective advantage over lemur groups whose members are all colorblind, according to anthropologists at The University of Texas at Austin.