Earth science research and news. Read science articles on air quality, geology, meteorology, oceanography, paleontology and science and the environment.
Understanding Greenland Ice Sheet's meltwater channels
Observations of moulins (vertical conduits connecting water on top of the glacier down to the bed of the ice sheet) and boreholes in Greenland show that subglacial channels ameliorate the speedup caused by water delivery to the base of the ice sheet in the short term. By mid summer, however, the channels stabilize and are unable to grow any larger.
Hypertension risk rises closer to major roadways
In a newly published analysis, the risk of high blood pressure among 5,400 post-menopausal women was higher the closer they lived to a major roadway. The result, which accounts for a wide variety of possible confounding factors, adds to concerns that traffic exposure may present public health risks.
Coral reef winners and losers as water temperatures rise
Contrary to the popular research-based assumption that the world's coral reefs are doomed, a new longitudinal study paints a brighter picture of how corals may fare in the future. A subset of present coral fauna will likely populate oceans as water temperatures continue to rise, researchers have reported.
Predicting impact of climate change on species that can't get out of the way
When scientists talk about the consequences of climate change, it can mean more than how we human beings will be impacted by higher temperatures, rising seas and serious storms. Plants and trees are also feeling the change, but they can't move out of the way. Researchers have developed a new tool to overcome a major challenge of predicting how organisms may respond to climate change.
Support for controversial Darwin theory of 'jump dispersal'
More than one hundred and fifty years ago, Charles Darwin hypothesized that species could cross oceans and other vast distances on vegetation rafts, icebergs, or in the case of plant seeds, in the plumage of birds. Though many were skeptical of Darwin's 'jump dispersal' idea, a new study suggests that Darwin might have been correct.
Dog waste contaminates our waterways: A new test could reveal how big the problem is
Americans love their dogs, but they don't always love to pick up after them. And that's a problem. Dog feces left on the ground wash into waterways, sometimes carrying bacteria -- including antibiotic-resistant strains -- that can make people sick. Now scientists have developed a new genetic test to figure out how much dogs are contributing to this health concern.
Changing Antarctic waters could trigger steep rise in sea levels, conditions 14,000 years ago suggest
Current changes in the ocean around Antarctica are disturbingly close to conditions 14,000 years ago that new research shows may have led to the rapid melting of Antarctic ice and an abrupt 3-4 meter rise in global sea level.
Fall in monsoon rains driven by rise in air pollution, study shows
Emissions produced by human activity have caused annual monsoon rainfall to decline over the past 50 years, a study suggests. In the second half of the 20th century, the levels of rain recorded during the Northern Hemisphere's summer monsoon fell by as much as 10 per cent, researchers say. Changes to global rainfall patterns can have serious consequences for human health and agriculture.
Ethical filament: Can fair trade plastic save people and the planet?
It’s old news that open-source 3-D printing is cheaper than conventional manufacturing, not to mention greener and incredibly useful for making everything from lab equipment to chess pieces. Now it’s time add another star to the 3-D printing constellation. It may help lift some of the world’s most destitute people from poverty while cleaning up a major blight on the earth and its oceans: plastic trash.
Microbes in Central Park soil: If they can make it there, they can make it anywhere
Researchers have uncovered more than 167,000 kinds of bacteria, archaea and eukaryotes in the soil beneath one of the nation's iconic urban environments. That’s 260 times as many species of birds, plants and invertebrates that live in New York City's Central Park -- combined.