Mapping the demise of the dinosaurs
Published Dec 10, 2013 - 7:53:16 AM
About 65 million years ago, an asteroid or comet crashed into a shallow sea near what is now the Yucatán Peninsula of Mexico. The resulting firestorm and global dust cloud caused the extinction of many land plants and large animals, including most of the dinosaurs. At this week's meeting of the American Geophysical Union (AGU) in San Francisco, MBARI researchers will present evidence that remnants from this devastating impact are exposed along the Campeche Escarpment—an immense underwater cliff in the southern Gulf of Mexico.
CU-Boulder scientist: 2012 solar storm points up need for society to prepare
Published Dec 10, 2013 - 7:52:29 AM
A massive ejection of material from the sun initially traveling at over 7 million miles per hour that narrowly missed Earth last year is an event solar scientists hope will open the eyes of policymakers regarding the impacts and mitigation of severe space weather, says a University of Colorado Boulder professor.
You Can't Get Entangled Without a Wormhole
Published Dec 9, 2013 - 6:14:46 AM
Quantum entanglement is one of the more bizarre theories to come out of the study of quantum mechanics — so strange, in fact, that Albert Einstein famously referred to it as "spooky action at a distance."
Deep-Sea Study Reveals Cause of Japan's 2011 Tsunami
Published Dec 9, 2013 - 6:11:05 AM
The devastating tsunami that struck Japan's Tohoku region in March 2011 was touched off by a submarine earthquake far more massive than anything geologists had expected in that zone. Now, a team of scientists including McGill University geologist Christie Rowe, has published a set of studies in the journal Science that shed light on what caused the dramatic displacement of the seafloor off the northeastern coast of Japan. The findings also suggest that other zones in the northwest Pacific may be at risk of similar huge earthquakes.
New Jersey Shore Likely Faces Unprecedented Flooding by Mid-Century
Published Dec 6, 2013 - 12:51:41 PM
Geoscientists at Rutgers and Tufts universities estimate that the New Jersey shore will likely experience a sea-level rise of about 1.5 feet by 2050 and of about 3.5 feet by 2100 – 11 to 15 inches higher than the average for sea-level rise globally over the century.
Sea-level rise to drive coastal flooding, regardless of changes in hurricane activity
Published Dec 5, 2013 - 8:15:39 AM
Clamor about whether climate change will cause increasingly destructive tropical storms may be overshadowing a more unrelenting threat to coastal property — sea-level rise — according to a team of researchers writing in the journal Nature this week.
Rising Ocean Acidification Leads to Anxiety in Fish
Published Dec 5, 2013 - 8:13:54 AM
A new research study combining marine physiology, neuroscience, pharmacology, and behavioral psychology has revealed a surprising outcome from increases of carbon dioxide uptake in the oceans: anxious fish.
A growing base of scientific evidence has shown that the absorption of human-produced carbon dioxide into the world's oceans is causing surface waters to decline in pH, causing a rise in acidity. This ocean acidification is known to disrupt the growth of shells and skeletons of certain marine animals but other consequences such as behavioral impacts have been largely unknown.
What Happened to Comet ISON?
Published Dec 5, 2013 - 7:12:02 AM
Astronomers have long known that some comets like it hot. Several of the greatest comets in history have flown close to the sun, puffing themselves up with solar heat, before they became naked-eye wonders in the night sky.
Tracking Fracking Pollution: Researchers Establish Benchmarks to Monitor Shale Gas Pollution
Published Dec 3, 2013 - 9:50:50 AM
As a result of the fracking revolution, North America has overtaken Saudi Arabia as the world's largest producer of oil and gas. This, despite endless protests from environmentalists. But does drilling for natural gas really cause pollution levels to skyrocket?
Precipitation declines in Pacific Northwest mountains
Published Dec 3, 2013 - 9:43:46 AM
Recent Forest Service studies on high-elevation climate trends in the Pacific Northwest United States show that streamflow declines tie directly to decreases and changes in winter winds that bring precipitation across the region. Scientists believe the driving factors behind this finding relates to natural climate variations and man-made climate change.
Earth's gravity scarred by earthquake
Published Dec 3, 2013 - 7:46:07 AM
ESA's GOCE satellite has revealed that the devastating Japanese earthquake of 2011 left its mark in Earth's gravity – yet another example of this extraordinary mission surpassing its original scope.
Air pollution and genetics combine to increase risk for autism
Published Dec 2, 2013 - 7:06:44 AM
Exposure to air pollution appears to increase the risk for autism among people who carry a genetic disposition for the neurodevelopmental disorder, according to newly published research led by scientists at the Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California (USC).
Comet ISON May Have Survived
Published Nov 29, 2013 - 9:59:41 AM
Continuing a history of surprising behavior, material from Comet ISON appeared on the other side of the sun on the evening on Nov. 28, 2013, despite not having been seen in observations during its closest approach to the sun.
Eat crow if you think I'm a bird-brain
Published Nov 29, 2013 - 8:59:26 AM
Scientists have long suspected that corvids – the family of birds including ravens, crows and magpies – are highly intelligent. Now, Tübingen neurobiologists Lena Veit und Professor Andreas Nieder have demonstrated how the brains of crows produce intelligent behavior when the birds have to make strategic decisions. Their results are published in the latest edition of Nature Communications.
Climate Change: The State of the Science (VIDEO)
Published Nov 29, 2013 - 8:54:31 AM
Coproduced by the International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme (IGBP) and Globaïa, the film was financed by the United Nations Foundation to highlight the publication of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s latest report, published in September, and launched on the day of the opening of the high level segment of the Warsaw Conference on Climate Change, Tuesday November 19th.
Rock Comet Sprouts a Tail
Published Nov 29, 2013 - 8:50:28 AM
Astronomers have long been puzzled by a certain meteor shower.
Every year in mid-December the sky fills with flashes of light shooting out of the constellation Gemini. The Geminids are fast, bright, and reliable. They never fail to show up and many observers count them as the finest meteors of the year.
Comet ISON Fizzles
Published Nov 28, 2013 - 2:38:16 PM
These images from NASA's Solar Terrestrial Relations Observatory and the ESA/NASA Solar and Heliospheric Observatory show Comet ISON growing dim as it made the journey around the sun. The comet was not visible at all in NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory. The comet is believed to have broken up and evaporated.
Figures of Eight and Peanut Shells: How stars move at the centre of the Galaxy
Published Nov 27, 2013 - 9:21:26 AM
Two months ago astronomers created a new 3D map of stars at the centre of our Galaxy (the Milky Way), showing more clearly than ever the bulge at its core. Previous explanations suggested that the stars that form the bulge are in banana-like orbits, but a paper published this week in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society suggests that the stars probably move in peanut-shell or figure of eight-shaped orbits instead.
A possible cause of the end-Permian mass extinction: Lemon juice?
Published Nov 26, 2013 - 7:53:21 AM
Rain as acidic as undiluted lemon juice may have played a part in killing off plants and organisms around the world during the most severe mass extinction in Earth's history.
Ancient minerals: Which gave rise to life?
Published Nov 26, 2013 - 7:38:48 AM
Life originated as a result of natural processes that exploited early Earth's raw materials. Scientific models of life's origins almost always look to minerals for such essential tasks as the synthesis of life's molecular building blocks or the supply of metabolic energy. But this assumes that the mineral species found on Earth today are much the same as they were during Earth's first 550 million years—the Hadean Eon—when life emerged. A new analysis of Hadean mineralogy challenges that assumption. It is published in American Journal of Science.
Study: Arctic seafloor methane releases double previous estimates
Published Nov 26, 2013 - 7:06:26 AM
The seafloor off the coast of Northern Siberia is releasing more than twice the amount of methane as previously estimated, according to new research results published in the Nov. 24 edition of the journal Nature Geoscience.
Even if emissions stop, carbon dioxide could warm Earth for centuries
Published Nov 25, 2013 - 7:10:31 AM
Even if carbon dioxide emissions came to a sudden halt, the carbon dioxide already in Earth's atmosphere could continue to warm our planet for hundreds of years, according to Princeton University-led research published in the journal Nature Climate Change. The study suggests that it might take a lot less carbon than previously thought to reach the global temperature scientists deem unsafe.
Report details high costs of Philippine typhoons for families, baby girls
Published Nov 25, 2013 - 6:56:51 AM
Tropical cyclones hitting the Philippines inflict more and longer-lasting economic loss than generally recognized, and are linked to dramatic increases in mortality rates for infant girls for up to 24 months after a typhoon, according to a study co-authored by a UC Berkeley assistant professor of public policy.
NASA's Solar Observing Fleet to Watch Comet ISON Slingshot Around the Sun on Thanksgiving Day
Published Nov 24, 2013 - 8:59:41 AM
It began in the Oort cloud, almost a light year away. It has traveled for over a million years. It has almost reached the star that has pulled it steadily forward for so long. On Thanksgiving Day, Nov. 28, 2013, Comet ISON will finally sling shot around the sun. Here its inward journey through the solar system will end -- either because it will break up due to intense heat and gravity of the sun, or because, still intact, it speeds back away, never to return.
U.S. losing 80,000 acres of wetlands in coastal watersheds per year -- equal to 7 football fields per hour
Published Nov 23, 2013 - 9:38:33 AM
The United States is losing wetlands in coastal watersheds at a significant rate, according to a new report released today by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). These wetlands are vital to the survival of diverse fish and wildlife species. Wetlands also help sustain the country's multi-billion-dollar coastal fisheries and outdoor recreation industries, improve water quality and protect coastal communities from the effects of severe storms.
Colossal new predatory dino terrorized early tyrannosaurs
Published Nov 22, 2013 - 10:00:23 AM
A new species of carnivorous dinosaur – one of the three largest ever discovered in North America – lived alongside and competed with small-bodied tyrannosaurs 98 million years ago. This newly discovered species, Siats meekerorum, (pronounced see-atch) was the apex predator of its time, and kept tyrannosaurs from assuming top predator roles for millions of years.
New species of crustacean discovered in California
Published Nov 20, 2013 - 6:59:00 AM
A study published in the journal 'Zootaxa' by the University of Seville (Spain) and the Museum of Natural History in Canada describes a new species of marine crustacean found on the coast of California (USA).
New findings could help target the bacteria that cause Lyme disease and syphilis
Published Nov 20, 2013 - 6:57:42 AM
The bacterial pathogens that cause Lyme disease and syphilis are highly invasive. These pathogens, or spirochetes, can invade the central nervous system and, in the case of syphilis, enter the placenta, causing disease in the unborn child. In the November 19 issue of the Biophysical Journal, a Cell Press publication, researchers provide new insights into how these spirochetes penetrate tissue barriers. The findings might be used to develop new treatment strategies to help affected patients or even prevent infections.
Phthalate exposure linked to preterm birth
Published Nov 20, 2013 - 6:57:02 AM
The odds of preterm birth for women exposed to a commonly used class of chemicals known as phthalates are increased significantly, according to a new study from the University of Michigan School of Public Health and Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston.
Dogs likely originated in Europe more than 18,000 years ago, UCLA biologists report
Published Nov 15, 2013 - 10:05:00 AM
Wolves likely were domesticated by European hunter–gatherers more than 18,000 years ago and gradually evolved into dogs that became household pets, UCLA life scientists report.