Sunday, April 19, 2015

Earth & Climate News -- ScienceDaily

Earth science research and news. Read science articles on air quality, geology, meteorology, oceanography, paleontology and science and the environment.
Earth & Climate News -- ScienceDaily
  1. Seafood samples had no elevated contaminant levels from oil spill, study shows
    Following the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill in 2010, many people were concerned that seafood was contaminated by either the oil or dispersants used to keep the oil from washing ashore. A new study found that all seafood tested so far has shown “remarkably low contaminant levels,” based on FDA standards.
  2. Telling the time of day by color
    New research has revealed that the color of light has a major impact on how the brain clock measures time of day and on how the animals' physiology and behavior adjust accordingly. The study, for the first time, provides a neuronal mechanism for how our internal clock can measure changes in light color that accompany dawn and dusk.
  3. Impacts of Gulf oil spill on marine organisms on Gulf coast
    Researchers have determined the impacts of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill on marine organisms such as oysters, conch, shrimp, corals as well as marine plankton (microalgae or phytoplankton, rotifers or zooplankton), which provide the basis of coastal and oceanic food webs.
  4. Greenland continuing to darken
    Darkening of the Greenland Ice Sheet is projected to continue as a consequence of continued climate warming, according to experts.
  5. How radiative fluxes are affected by cloud and particle characteristics
    Climate models calculate a changing mix of clouds and emissions that interact with solar energy. To narrow the broad range of possible answers from a climate model, researchers analyzed the effect of several proven numerical stand-ins for atmospheric processes on the energy flux at the top of the atmosphere. They found that the flux is the main driver of surface temperature change.
  6. Evolution puts checks on virgin births
    It seems unnatural that a species could survive without having sex. Yet over the ages, evolution has endowed females of certain species of amphibians, reptiles and fish with the ability to clone themselves, and perpetuate offspring without males. Researchers have found that in species where females have evolved the ability to reproduce without males relatively recently, fertilization is still ensuring the survival of the maximum number of healthy offspring and thus males are still needed.
  7. Engineers purify sea and wastewater in 2.5 minutes
    A group of engineers have created technology to recover and purify, either seawater or wastewater from households, hotels, hospitals, commercial and industrial facilities, regardless of the content of pollutants and microorganisms in, incredibly, just 2.5 minutes, experts say.
  8. Comparing climate models to real world shows differences in precipitation intensity
    Precipitation is difficult to represent in global climate models. Although most single-column models can reproduce the observed average precipitation reasonably well, there are significant differences in their details. Scientists evaluated several single-column models, providing insights on how to improve models’ representation of convection, which is integral to storm cloud formation.
  9. How ancient species survived or died off in their old Kentucky home
    Researchers at an old geological site talk 'dirt' about how Ice Age climate change led to the extinction of mammoths and mastodons, but to the evolution and survival of bison, deer and other present-day species.
  10. Repeated marine predator evolution tracks changes in ancient and Anthropocene oceans
    Scientists synthesized decades of scientific discoveries to illuminate the common and unique patterns driving the extraordinary transitions that whales, dolphins, seals and other species underwent as they moved from land to sea. Drawing on recent breakthroughs in diverse fields such as paleontology, molecular biology and conservation ecology, their findings offer a comprehensive look at how life in the ocean has responded to environmental change from the Triassic to the Anthropocene.