Earth science research and news. Read science articles on air quality, geology, meteorology, oceanography, paleontology and science and the environment.
Cape Cod saltmarsh recovery looks good, falls short
In some places Cape Cod's imperiled saltmarsh grasses have been making a comeback, but a new study reports that their ability to protect the coast has not returned nearly as fast as their healthy appearance would suggest.
Global change: Trees continue to grow at a faster rate
Trees have been growing significantly faster since the 1960s. The typical development phases of trees and stands have barely changed, but they have accelerated -- by as much as 70 percent. This was the outcome of a study based on long-term data from experimental forest plots that have been continuously observed since 1870.
Global shift away from cars would save US$100 trillion, eliminate 1,700 MT of CO2 pollution
More than $100 trillion in cumulative public and private spending, and 1,700 megatons of annual carbon dioxide -- a 40 percent reduction of urban passenger transport emissions -- could be eliminated by 2050 if the world expands public transportation, walking and cycling in cities, according to a new report.
Recruiting bacteria as technology innovation partners: New self-healing materials and bioprocessing technologies
For most people biofilms conjure up images of slippery stones in a streambed and dirty drains. While there are plenty of 'bad' biofilms around, a team of scientists see biofilms as a robust new platform for designer nanomaterials that could clean up polluted rivers, manufacture pharmaceutical products, fabricate new textiles, and more.
Flying robots will go where humans can't
There are many situations where it’s impossible, complicated or too time-consuming for humans to enter and carry out operations. Think of contaminated areas following a nuclear accident, or the need to erect structures such as antennae on mountain tops. These are examples of where flying robots could be used.
Great Barrier Reef is an effective wave absorber
The Great Barrier Reef is a remarkably effective wave absorber, despite large gaps between the reefs, a study concludes. The Great Barrier Reef in Australia is the largest coral reef system in the world, extending 2,300 km alongshore. The reef matrix is a porous structure consisting of thousands of individual reefs.
Impact that doomed the dinosaurs helped the forests bloom
Some 66 million years ago, a 10-km diameter chunk of rock hit the Yucatan peninsula with the force of 100 teratons of TNT. It left a crater more than 150 km across, and the resulting megatsunami, wildfires, global earthquakes and volcanism are widely accepted to have wiped out the dinosaurs and made way for the rise of the mammals. But what happened to the plants on which the dinosaurs fed?
Meteorite that doomed dinosaurs remade forests
The impact decimated slow-growing evergreens and made way for fast-growing, deciduous plants, according to a study applying biomechanical analyses to fossilized leaves. The study provides much-needed evidence for how the extinction event unfolded in the plant communities at the time.
Study on global carbon cycle may require reappraisal of climate events in Earth's history
A recent study of the global carbon cycle offers a new perspective of Earth's climate records through time. Scientists suggest that one of the current methods for interpreting ancient changes in the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and oceans may need to be re-evaluated.
Tornadoes occurring earlier in 'Tornado Alley'
Peak tornado activity in the central and southern Great Plains is occurring up to two weeks earlier than it did half a century ago.