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Plants Under Heat Stress Must Act Surprisingly Quickly to Survive

In new results reported in The Plant Cell, molecular biologist Elizabeth Vierling at the University of Massachusetts Amherst and colleagues in India and China report finding a crucial mechanism that plants need to recover from heat stress.




Methane Hydrate is not a Smoking Gun in the Arctic Ocean

Clathrate (hydrate) gun hypothesis stirred quite the controversy when it was posed in 2003. It stated that methane hydrates – frozen water cages containing methane gas found below the ocean floor – can melt due to increasing ocean temperatures.




Methane Hydrate is not a Smoking Gun in the Arctic Ocean

Clathrate (hydrate) gun hypothesis stirred quite the controversy when it was posed in 2003. It stated that methane hydrates – frozen water cages containing methane gas found below the ocean floor – can melt due to increasing ocean temperatures.




Hidden river once flowed beneath Antarctic ice

Antarctic researchers from Rice University have discovered one of nature’s supreme ironies: On Earth’s driest, coldest continent, where surface water rarely exists, flowing liquid water below the ice appears to play a pivotal role in determining the fate of Antarctic ice streams.

The finding, which appears online this week in Nature Geoscience, follows a two-year analysis of sediment cores and precise seafloor maps covering 2,700 square miles of the western Ross Sea. As recently as 15,000 years ago, the area was covered by thick ice that later retreated hundreds of miles inland to its current location. The maps, which were created from state-of-the-art sonar data collected by the National Science Foundation research vessel Nathaniel B. Palmer, revealed how the ice retreated during a period of global warming after Earth’s last ice age. In several places, the maps show ancient water courses — not just a river system, but also the subglacial lakes that fed it.




Hidden river once flowed beneath Antarctic ice

Antarctic researchers from Rice University have discovered one of nature’s supreme ironies: On Earth’s driest, coldest continent, where surface water rarely exists, flowing liquid water below the ice appears to play a pivotal role in determining the fate of Antarctic ice streams.

The finding, which appears online this week in Nature Geoscience, follows a two-year analysis of sediment cores and precise seafloor maps covering 2,700 square miles of the western Ross Sea. As recently as 15,000 years ago, the area was covered by thick ice that later retreated hundreds of miles inland to its current location. The maps, which were created from state-of-the-art sonar data collected by the National Science Foundation research vessel Nathaniel B. Palmer, revealed how the ice retreated during a period of global warming after Earth’s last ice age. In several places, the maps show ancient water courses — not just a river system, but also the subglacial lakes that fed it.




NASA Gets a Final Look at Hurricane Gert's Rainfall

Before Hurricane Gert became a post-tropical cyclone, NASA got a look at the rainfall occurring within the storm. After Gert became post-tropical NOAA’s GOES-East satellite captured an image as Gert was merging with another system.

The Global Precipitation Measurement mission or GPM core observatory satellite provided rainfall information on Hurricane Gert on August 16, 2017 at 5:37 p.m. EDT (2137 UTC). At that time, Gert was a strong category two hurricane with maximum sustained winds of about 93.5 mph (85 knots).




NASA Gets a Final Look at Hurricane Gert's Rainfall

Before Hurricane Gert became a post-tropical cyclone, NASA got a look at the rainfall occurring within the storm. After Gert became post-tropical NOAA’s GOES-East satellite captured an image as Gert was merging with another system.

The Global Precipitation Measurement mission or GPM core observatory satellite provided rainfall information on Hurricane Gert on August 16, 2017 at 5:37 p.m. EDT (2137 UTC). At that time, Gert was a strong category two hurricane with maximum sustained winds of about 93.5 mph (85 knots).




Climate Change and Habitat Conversion Combine to Homogenize Nature

Climate change and habitat conversion to agriculture are working together to homogenize nature, indicates a study in the journal Global Change Biology led by the University of California, Davis.

In other words, the more things change, the more they are the same.

While the individual impacts of climate change and habitat conversion on wildlife are well-recognized, little is known about how species respond to both stressors at once.




Right kind of collaboration is key to solving environmental problems

The coming decade may determine whether humanity will set a course toward a more socially and ecologically sustainable society. A crucial part of this goal is to develop a better understanding of how cooperation can be improved and become more effective, both within and among private stakeholders and public institutions.

“Collaborative governance is often highlighted as a solution to different environmental problems. For example, when small-scale fishermen agree to avoid overfishing or when states agree to reduce greenhouse gases. But we don’t know so much about how cooperation around environmental issues works in a complex world. Different actors want different things, different environmental problems are related to each other, and different groups have differing amounts of influence. Does cooperation actually lead to a better environment?” says Örjan Bodin, lecturer at the Stockholm Resilience Centre who conducts interdisciplinary research on better ways to handle diverse environmental problems.




NOAA scientists get rare chance to study the effects of an eclipse on weather

It’s the most fundamental principle of meteorology - energy from the sun drives Earth’s weather.

So what happens when the sun’s rays are blocked by an eclipse? And can modern forecasting tools accurately predict changes in the weather when the sun’s rays are partially or totally blocked?




Mosses used to evaluate atmospheric conditions in urban areas

Researchers have developed a method to evaluate atmospheric conditions using mosses (bryophytes) in urban areas, a development that could facilitate broader evaluations of atmospheric environments.

Many urban areas face atmospheric problems such as pollution and the heat island effect. With the need to evaluate atmospheric conditions, bioindicators—organisms whose response to environmental changes indicates the health of an ecosystem—have attracted considerable attention. Their merits include being able to evaluate an environment over a wide area at a low cost; detect environmental changes over an extended period; and assess these changes’ effects on the ecosystem. Bryophytes are one such group of plants known to be sensitive to environmental changes, in particular to atmospheric conditions.




New study validates East Antarctic ice sheet should remain stable even if western ice sheet melts

A new study from Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis validates that the central core of the East Antarctic ice sheet should remain stable even if the West Antarctic ice sheet melts.

The study's findings are significant, given that some predict the West Antarctic ice sheet could melt quickly due to global warming.




New study validates East Antarctic ice sheet should remain stable even if western ice sheet melts

A new study from Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis validates that the central core of the East Antarctic ice sheet should remain stable even if the West Antarctic ice sheet melts.

The study's findings are significant, given that some predict the West Antarctic ice sheet could melt quickly due to global warming.




NASA Sees Potential Tropical Depression 9 Form East of Lesser Antilles

NOAA's GOES-East Satellite spotted potential Tropical Depression 9 organizing east of the Lesser Antilles.

At 10:45 a.m. EDT (1445 UTC) on Aug. 13 NOAA's GOES-East satellite captured a visible image of potential Tropical Depression 9. The satellite imagery showed the circulation of the low pressure area was becoming better defined and that a cluster of strong convection has formed west of the center.

NOAA manages the GOES series of satellites, and NASA uses the satellite data to create images and animations. The image was created by the NASA/NOAA GOES Project at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland.




Satellites Show Hurricane Gert Being Affected by Wind Shear

NASA’s Aqua satellite and NOAA's GOES-East satellite provided an infrared and visible look at Atlantic Hurricane Gert. Both images showed the storm was being affected by wind shear and had become elongated.  




Satellites Show Hurricane Gert Being Affected by Wind Shear

NASA’s Aqua satellite and NOAA's GOES-East satellite provided an infrared and visible look at Atlantic Hurricane Gert. Both images showed the storm was being affected by wind shear and had become elongated.  




How future volcanic eruptions will impact Earth's ozone layer

CFCs, greenhouse gases, and naturally occurring emissions of halogens will shape how volcanoes impact the ozone layer into the next century 




How future volcanic eruptions will impact Earth's ozone layer

CFCs, greenhouse gases, and naturally occurring emissions of halogens will shape how volcanoes impact the ozone layer into the next century 




Investigating the Enigma of Clouds and Climate Change

Clouds perform an important function in cooling the planet as they reflect solar energy back into space. Yet clouds also intensify warming by trapping the planet’s heat and radiating it back to earth. As fossil fuel emissions continue to warm the planet, how will this dual role played by clouds change, and will clouds ultimately exacerbate or moderate global warming?




Investigating the Enigma of Clouds and Climate Change

Clouds perform an important function in cooling the planet as they reflect solar energy back into space. Yet clouds also intensify warming by trapping the planet’s heat and radiating it back to earth. As fossil fuel emissions continue to warm the planet, how will this dual role played by clouds change, and will clouds ultimately exacerbate or moderate global warming?




Freeze-dried foam soaks up carbon dioxide

Rice University materials scientists have created a light foam from two-dimensional sheets of hexagonal-boron nitride (h-BN) that absorbs carbon dioxide.

They discovered freeze-drying h-BN turned it into a macro-scale foam that disintegrates in liquids. But adding a bit of polyvinyl alcohol (PVA) into the mix transformed it into a far more robust and useful material.

The foam is highly porous and its properties can be tuned for use in air filters and as gas absorption materials, according to researchers in the Rice lab of materials scientist Pulickel Ajayan.

Their work appears in the American Chemical Society journal ACS Nano.




Urban floods intensifying, countryside drying up

A global analysis of rainfall and rivers by UNSW engineers has discovered a growing pattern of intense flooding in urban areas coupled with drier soils in rural and farming areas.




Urban floods intensifying, countryside drying up

A global analysis of rainfall and rivers by UNSW engineers has discovered a growing pattern of intense flooding in urban areas coupled with drier soils in rural and farming areas.




Balloons and drones and clouds; oh, my!

Last week, researchers at Sandia National Laboratories flew a tethered balloon and an unmanned aerial system, colloquially known as a drone, together for the first time to get Arctic atmospheric temperatures with better location control than ever before. In addition to providing more precise data for weather and climate models, being able to effectively operate UASs in the Arctic is important for national security.

“Operating UASs in the remote, harsh environments of the Arctic will provide opportunities to harden the technologies in ways that are directly transferable to the needs of national security in terms of robustness and reliability,” said Jon Salton, a Sandia robotics manager. “Ultimately, integrating the specialized operational and sensing needs required for Arctic research will transfer to a variety of national security needs.”




Climate change projected to significantly increase harmful algal blooms in U.S. freshwaters

Harmful algal blooms known to pose risks to human and environmental health in large freshwater reservoirs and lakes are projected to increase because of climate change, according to a team of researchers led by a Tufts University scientist.

The team developed a modeling framework that predicts that the largest increase in cyanobacterial harmful algal blooms (CyanoHABs) would occur in the Northeast region of the United States, but the biggest economic harm would be felt by recreation areas in the Southeast.