Earth science research and news. Read science articles on air quality, geology, meteorology, oceanography, paleontology and science and the environment.
Invisible helpers of the sea: Marine bacteria boost growth of tiny ocean algae
A common diatom grows faster in the presence of bacteria that release a growth hormone known to benefit plants on land. The authors of a new report showed that these bacteria exchange material with the diatoms while in turn producing auxin, a well-known hormone made by microbes living around the roots of land plants.
Global climate on verge of multi-decadal change
The global climate is on the verge of broad-scale change that could last for a number of decades a new study implies. The change to the new set of climatic conditions is associated with a cooling of the Atlantic, and is likely to bring drier summers in Britain and Ireland, accelerated sea-level rise along the northeast coast of the United States, and drought in the developing countries of the Sahel region.
Flood aftermath linked to post-traumatic stress, study shows
Brisbane flood victims suffered more psychological distress during the rebuilding phase than as waters inundated their homes and businesses, a study has found. The lead researcher notes that while the flood was frightening on the day, the most difficult aspect for many people was the aftermath including the clean-up, the re-building process and dealing with insurance companies.
Destructive factors causing deterioration of paints on buildings walls
Scientists have investigated how various destructive factors affect painted building walls. According to their report, the external surface of building walls is continuously affected by the natural climate of variable intensity and the factors occurring due to the anthropogenic activity.
Glacier changes at the top of the world
If greenhouse-gas emissions continue to rise, glaciers in the Everest region of the Himalayas could experience dramatic change in the decades to come. Researchers have found Everest glaciers could be very sensitive to future warming, and that sustained ice loss through the 21st century is likely.
Conservation theory gets mathematical treatment
Theories used for the last four decades as a tool to guide the conservation of flora and fauna may have misinterpreted the biological reality, according to new research by mathematicians.
Fertilization regimen reduces environmental impact of landscape palms
Areca palms can be grown in a native sand soil or in a calcareous fill soil without supplemental phosphorus, and with no nitrogen applied during the rainy summer months (June-September) in southern Florida. This study also demonstrated that the negative effects caused by high nitrogen:potassium ratio turf fertilizers can be mitigated by adding a controlled release palm fertilizer that contains no nitrogen or potassium.
Historian mapping out a new view of the Medieval world
Maps show us the way and identify major landmarks – rivers, towns, roads and hills. For centuries, they also offered a perspective on how societies viewed themselves in comparison to the rest of the world. New research looks at maps from the medieval and early-modern Muslim world.
Changes in forest structure affect bees, other pollinators
Over the past century, many forests have shifted from open to closed canopies. The change in forest structure could be contributing to declines in pollinator species, especially native bees, according to a new study.
Severe ozone depletion avoided
We are already reaping the rewards of the Montreal Protocol, researchers say, with the ozone layer in much better shape than it would have been without the UN treaty. Although the Montreal Protocol came into force in 1987 and restricted the use of ozone-depleting substances, atmospheric concentrations of these harmful substances continued to rise as they can survive in the atmosphere for many years. Concentrations peaked in 1993 and have subsequently declined, the researchers say.