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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: Thu, 27 Apr 2017 23:24:01 EDT

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



Rising carbon dioxide levels, ocean acidity may change crucial marine process

Thu, 27 Apr 2017 00:00:00 EDT

(Florida State University) Climate change may be putting cyanobacteria that are crucial to the functioning of the ocean at risk as the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere increases and the acidity of ocean water changes.



NRL breakthrough enables safer alternative to lithium-ion batteries

Thu, 27 Apr 2017 00:00:00 EDT

(Naval Research Laboratory) Researchers at NRL have developed a breakthrough alternative to fire-prone lithium-ion batteries.



NASA sees vertical wind shear affecting Tropical Storm Muifa

Thu, 27 Apr 2017 00:00:00 EDT

(NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center) Vertical wind shear can weaken a tropical cyclone and that's what's happening to the now weaker Tropical Depression Muifa in the Northwestern Pacific Ocean. NASA gathered rainfall information about the storm as wind shear continued to weaken it.



Ice cave in Transylvania yields window into region's past

Thu, 27 Apr 2017 00:00:00 EDT

(National Science Foundation) Ice cores drilled from a glacier in a cave in Transylvania offer new evidence of how Europe's winter weather and climate patterns fluctuated during the last 10,000 years, known as the Holocene period.



Bureau of Reclamation makes water and related data available for easy download and use

Thu, 27 Apr 2017 00:00:00 EDT

(Bureau of Reclamation) The Bureau of Reclamation is making its water data publicly available and easily accessible through a new open data pilot project. The Reclamation Water Information System consolidates and publishes water and related data from throughout Reclamation, which makes it easier to locate and access.



NASA sees formation of Tropical Storm Frances near Darwin

Thu, 27 Apr 2017 00:00:00 EDT

(NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center) Tropical Storm Frances has formed in the Beagle Gulf, east of the Timor Sea near Darwin, Australia, and NASA's Aqua satellite captured a clear image of the storm.



Two UTA students earn prestigious NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program funding

Thu, 27 Apr 2017 00:00:00 EDT

(University of Texas at Arlington) Two University of Texas at Arlington College of Science students have been named recipients of National Science Foundation funds to further their graduate education through the NSF's prestigious Graduate Research Fellowship Program for 2017. Priscilla Glenn, a senior biology major, and Mayowa Olawoyin, a second-year Ph.D. student in mathematics, are among the awardees.



Survey: Another good year for Chesapeake Bay's underwater grasses

Thu, 27 Apr 2017 00:00:00 EDT

(Virginia Institute of Marine Science) An annual survey led by researchers at the Virginia Institute of Marine Science shows the abundance of underwater grasses in Chesapeake Bay increased 8 percent between 2015 and 2016, continuing an upward trend initiated in 2012.



Colorado State University leads $3.8 million study on western wildfire smoke

Thu, 27 Apr 2017 00:00:00 EDT

(Colorado State University) With a $3.8 million grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) Atmospheric Chemistry program, Colorado State University is one of five universities working to gather a more comprehensive data set aimed at understanding how wildfire smoke changes chemically with time. The other universities involved are University of Wyoming, University of Montana, University of Washington, and University of Colorado Boulder.



Animals actively choose to match their surroundings to avoid predation

Thu, 27 Apr 2017 00:00:00 EDT

(Wiley) Animals can match their background to avoid detection by predators. For instance, numerous species have evolved color patterns that help them blend into their surroundings and avoid predators -- a phenomenon called crypsis. A new experimental study found that ghost crabs in the Solomon Islands may achieve crypsis by actively choosing to live in sand background that matches their body color.



Feeling the heat

Thu, 27 Apr 2017 00:00:00 EDT

(Institute of Atmospheric Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences) How has thermal comfort changed in recent decades over China against the background of the global warming? Scientists carried out an investigation over the Chinese mainland using the index of effective temperature (ET), which combines the effects of temperature, humidity and wind speed.



Scientists examine impact of high-severity fires on conifer forests

Thu, 27 Apr 2017 00:00:00 EDT

(Harvard University) The ability of some Western conifer forests to recover after severe fire may become increasingly limited as the climate continues to warm, scientists from the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute (SCBI) and Harvard Forest found in a new study published today in Global Change Biology.



A new technique makes it possible to extract the DNA from hominids preserved in sediments

Thu, 27 Apr 2017 00:00:00 EDT

(Spanish National Research Council (CSIC)) The sediments forming the layers or strata at archaeological sites can be very rich in bone remains, but until now their possible fossil DNA content had not attracted the attention of paleoanthropologists. Now, a new technique developed by an international team, in which the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC) has participated, allows the remains of groups of hominids in these sediments to be traced, even in caves or in strata which have no skeletal remains. The results are published in the latest issue of Science.



Winemakers lose billions of dollars every year due to natural disasters

Thu, 27 Apr 2017 00:00:00 EDT

(Karlsruher Institut für Technologie (KIT) ) Every year, worldwide wine industry suffers losses of more than ten billion US dollars from damaged assets, production losses, and lost profits due to extreme weather events and natural disasters. A multidisciplinary European-Australian team of researchers led by Dr. James Daniell of Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) examines the extent to which regions are affected by the risks and how climate change influences wine industry.



Fukomys livingstoni, I presume?

Thu, 27 Apr 2017 00:00:00 EDT

(Queen Mary University of London) Two new species of African mole-rat have been discovered by researchers at Queen Mary University of London (QMUL), together with colleagues in Tanzania and at the University of Pretoria.



Cold-water corals: Acidification harms, warming promotes growth

Thu, 27 Apr 2017 00:00:00 EDT

(Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel (GEOMAR)) The cold-water coral Lophelia pertusa is able to counteract negative effects of ocean acidification under controlled laboratory conditions when water temperature rises by a few degrees at the same time. Whether this will also be possible in the natural habitat depends on the degree of change in environmental conditions, researchers from GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel argue in a publication in the journal Frontiers in Marine Science.



Mechanism of the influence of the Tibetan-Iranian Plateaus on the circulation and climate in summer

Thu, 27 Apr 2017 00:00:00 EDT

(Science China Press) The Iranian-Tibetan Plateaus have both dynamic and thermal influences on Asian climate and global circulation. Scientists have been puzzled the mechanism of the influence. Now researchers in Beijing have identified the interactions and feedbacks among the heating over the two plateaus and circulation as well as the associated impacts of such interactions on Asian summer monsoon.



Mineral resources: Exhaustion is just a myth

Thu, 27 Apr 2017 00:00:00 EDT

(Université de Genève) Recent articles have declared that deposits of mineral raw materials will be exhausted within a few decades. An international team, including UNIGE has shown that the resources of most mineral commodities are sufficient to meet the growing demand from industrialization and future demographic changes. Future shortages will arise not from physical exhaustion of different metals but from causes related to industrial exploitation, the economy, and environmental or societal pressures on the use of mineral resources.



For first time, researchers measure forces that align crystals and help them snap together

Thu, 27 Apr 2017 00:00:00 EDT

(DOE/Pacific Northwest National Laboratory) For the first time, researchers have measured the force that draws tiny crystals together and visualized how they swivel and align. Called van der Waals forces, the attraction provides insights into how crystals self-assemble, an activity that occurs in a wide range of cases in nature, from rocks to shells to bones.



Discovery in northern lakes may be key to understanding early life on Earth

Thu, 27 Apr 2017 00:00:00 EDT

(University of Waterloo) A team of researchers has discovered that many Canadian lakes can provide new insights into ancient oceans, and their findings could advance research about greenhouse gas emissions, harmful algal blooms, and early life forms.



DNA from extinct humans discovered in cave sediments

Thu, 27 Apr 2017 00:00:00 EDT

(Max-Planck-Gesellschaft) Researchers have developed a new method to retrieve hominin DNA from cave sediments -- even in the absence of skeletal remains.



Ocean warming to cancel increased CO2-driven productivity

Thu, 27 Apr 2017 00:00:00 EDT

(University of Adelaide) University of Adelaide researchers have constructed a marine food web to show how climate change could affect our future fish supplies and marine biodiversity.



Weather extremes and trade policies were main drivers of wheat price peaks

Thu, 27 Apr 2017 00:00:00 EDT

(Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK)) Price peaks of wheat on the world market are mainly caused by production shocks such as induced for example by droughts, researchers found. These shocks get exacerbated by low storage levels as well as protective trade policies, the analysis of global data deriving from the US Department of Agriculture shows. In contrast to widespread assumptions, neither speculation across stock or commodity markets nor land-use for biofuel production were decisive for annual wheat price changes in the past four decades.



Ocean acidification could impair the nitrogen-fixing ability of marine bacteria

Thu, 27 Apr 2017 00:00:00 EDT

(American Association for the Advancement of Science) While increased carbon dioxide levels theoretically boost the productivity of nitrogen-fixing bacteria in the world's oceans, because of its 'fertilizing' effect, a new study reveals how increasingly acidic seawater featuring higher levels of this gas can overwhelm these benefits, hampering the essential service these bacteria provide for marine life.



Tibetan people have multiple adaptations for life at high altitudes

Thu, 27 Apr 2017 00:00:00 EDT

(PLOS) The Tibetan people have inherited variants of five different genes that help them live at high altitudes, with one gene originating in the extinct human subspecies, the Denisovans. Hao Hu and Chad Huff of the University of Texas, Houston, and colleagues report these findings in a new study published April 27, 2017, in PLOS Genetics.