news 2014


Earth Sciences

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Environment - Earth Sciences - 24.12.2014
Climate change threat to mussels’ shells
The world's mussel population could be under threat as climate change causes oceans to become increasingly acidic, scientists have discovered. In a new paper published today (Wednesday 24 December) in the Royal Society's journal Interface , researchers from the University of Glasgow describe how mussels' shells become more brittle when they are formed in more acidic water.

Earth Sciences - 15.12.2014
New understanding of how magma moves underground
An international team of geoscientists have demonstrated how magma-filled cracks form and spread underneath volcanic systems, such as the one extending from Iceland's Bįršarbunga volcano to an eruptive site which has now been active for more than 100 days. This is probably the best-documented eruption ever Bob White Using the most extensive dataset ever gathered from a volcanic eruption, an international team of researchers have developed a model of how huge magma-filled cracks form underneath volcanic systems and how they spread.

Environment - Earth Sciences - 15.12.2014
Past global warming similar to today’s, but in two pulses
Lee Siegel, University of Utah, 801-581-8993, 801-244-5399, lee.siegel [a] utah (p) edu or Jim Erickson, University of Michigan, 734-647-1842, ericksn [a] umich (p) edu ANN ARBOR-The rate at which carbon emissions warmed Earth's climate almost 56 million years ago resembles modern, human-caused global warming much more than previously believed but involved two pulses of carbon to the atmosphere, researchers at the University of Utah, the University of Michigan and three other universities found.

Earth Sciences - Life Sciences - 12.12.2014
Rapid bird evolution after the age of dinosaurs unprecedented, study confirms
The most ambitious genetic study ever undertaken on bird evolution has found that almost all modern birds diversified after the dinosaurs became extinct 66 million years ago. "The popular view until now has been that the extraordinary diversity of birds began during the dinosaur age but we found little support for this," said Associate Professor Simon Ho , from the University of Sydney who led a major component of the research looking at evolutionary timescale.

Environment - Earth Sciences - 11.12.2014
Researchers project Southern California rainfall levels through end of century
Models show more precipitation will be rain instead of snow, which would increase flood risk and limit chance to capture water Alison Hewitt Courtesy C-CHANGE.LA Regional water managers said the study shows the need for increased investment in storm water capture infrastructure. A UCLA study published today provides the most detailed scientific projections to date of how climate change will affect rainfall and snowfall in Southern California through the end of the 21st century.

Earth Sciences - Environment - 09.12.2014
Warmer Pacific Ocean could release millions of tons of seafloor methane
Warmer Pacific Ocean could release millions of tons of seafloor methane
Off the West Coast of the United States, methane gas is trapped in frozen layers below the seafloor. New research from the University of Washington shows that water at intermediate depths is warming enough to cause these carbon deposits to melt, releasing methane into the sediments and surrounding water.

Environment - Earth Sciences - 03.12.2014
Birds conform to local 'traditions'
New findings debunk theories that over hunting by early humans led to the disappearance of mastodons from the Arctic and Subarctic. New dates show they were wiped out locally before human colonisation. The paper published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences suggests that the Arctic and Subarctic were just temporary "holiday homes" for mastodons when the local climate was warm around 125,000 years ago.

Environment - Earth Sciences - 03.12.2014
Small volcanoes make a dent in global warming
New research shows that relatively small volcanic eruptions can increase aerosol particles in the atmosphere, temporarily mitigating the global warming caused by greenhouse gases. The impact of such smaller eruptions has been underestimated in climate models, the researchers say, and helps to account for a discrepancy between those models and the actual temperatures observed over the last 15 years.

Environment - Earth Sciences - 01.12.2014
New research highlights the key role of ozone in climate change
The models which are used to predict how climate change will occur could be much improved by including the key role of ozone, which is often overlooked in current models. These models are the only tools we have in terms of predicting the future impacts of climate change Peer Nowack Many of the complex computer models which are used to predict climate change could be missing an important ozone 'feedback' factor in their calculations of future global warming, according to new research led by the University of Cambridge and published today (1 December) .

Civil Engineering - Earth Sciences - 28.11.2014
Greener cities are cooler cities in summer: new guide reveals how
Andi Horvath 0419 359 350 or Nerissa Hannink  0430 588 055 news(at) Australian councils are being urged to take up new guidelines in green urban planning to create cooler cites with greener landscapes to reduce the risk of heat stress. Australia is experiencing a trend of hotter temperatures and as a result heat stress is now a serious health problem for Australians who live in urban areas.

Earth Sciences - 20.11.2014
Geologists discover ancient buried canyon in South Tibet
The discovery of an ancient buried canyon in Tibet rules out a popular model used to explain how the massive and picturesque gorges of the Himalaya became so steep, so fast. It was amazing to see that the river once cut quite deeply into the Tibetan Plateau Jean-Philippe Avouac A team of researchers from the UK, USA, Germany and China have discovered an ancient, deep canyon buried along the Yarlung Tsangpo River in south Tibet, north of the eastern end of the Himalaya.

Earth Sciences - Environment - 18.11.2014
Mountain range is being created and destroyed by earthquakes
Mountain range is being created and destroyed by earthquakes
Scientists have shown that earthquakes, not an ancient wetter climate as previously thought, are eroding the mountains in Peru. A team of geologists including an Imperial researcher have for the past several years been studying cobbles, which are stones that have been rounded as they bounce downstream, in the tributary system that feeds into the Pisco River in the Western Andes Mountains of Peru.

Life Sciences - Earth Sciences - 06.11.2014
Ancient DNA shows earliest European genomes weathered the ice age, and shines new light on Neanderthal interbreeding and a mystery human lineage
Ancient DNA shows earliest European genomes weathered the ice age, and shines new light on Neanderthal interbreeding and a mystery human lineage A genome taken from a 36,000 year old skeleton reveals an early divergence of Eurasians once they had left Africa, and allows scientists to better assess the point at which 'admixture' - or interbreeding - between Eurasians and Neanderthals occurred.

Earth Sciences - Chemistry - 05.11.2014
Increase in ozone destroying substances - but Montreal Protocol on track
Research from the University of Leeds and an international team of scientists has shown a recent increase in atmospheric hydrogen chloride (HCl), a substance linked to destruction of the ozone layer. It was anticipated that there would be a decline in HCl under the Montreal Protocol, the international treaty designed to protect the ozone layer by phasing out the production of ozone-depleting substances.

Earth Sciences - Environment - 01.11.2014
Study of Chile earthquake identifies rock structure that affects rupture
Researchers have found an unusual mass of rock deep in the active fault line beneath Chile Researchers from the University of Liverpool have found an unusual mass of rock deep in the active fault line beneath Chile which influenced the rupture size of a massive earthquake that struck the region in 2010.

Health - Earth Sciences - 21.10.2014
Watching 3-D videos of trees helps people recover from stress, researchers say
Watching 3-D videos of trees helps people recover from stress, researchers say
Viewing 3-D videos of tree-lined residential streets significantly aids in people's recovery from stressful events, according to research by lecturer Bin Jiang (right) and professor William C. Sullivan, both in the department of landscape architecture. (Not pictured) Linda Larsen, an instructor of English, and landscape architecture graduate student Dongying Li were co-authors on a paper about the study.

Earth Sciences - Computer Science - 17.10.2014
Australian volcanic mystery explained
Australian volcanic mystery explained
Scientists have solved a long-standing mystery surrounding Australia's only active volcanic area, in the country's southeast. The research explains a volcanic region that has seen more than 400 volcanic events in the past four million years. The 500 kilometre long region stretches from Melbourne to the South Australian town of Mount Gambier, which surrounds a dormant volcano that last erupted only 5,000 years ago.

Earth Sciences - Environment - 15.10.2014
Rivers flow differently over gravel beds, study finds
Rivers flow differently over gravel beds, study finds
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. River beds, where flowing water meets silt, sand and gravel, are critical ecological zones. Yet how water flows in a river with a gravel bed is very different from the traditional model of a sandy river bed, according to a new study that compares their fluid dynamics. The findings establish new parameters for river modeling that better represent reality, with implications for field researchers and water resource managers.

History / Archeology - Earth Sciences - 10.10.2014
Greek Bronze Age ended 100 years earlier than thought, new evidence suggests
Conventional estimates for the collapse of the Aegean civilization may be incorrect by up to a century, according to new radiocarbon analyses. While historical chronologies traditionally place the end of the Greek Bronze Age at around 1025 BCE, this latest research suggests a date 70 to 100 years earlier.

Astronomy / Space - Earth Sciences - 09.10.2014
Space-based methane maps find largest U.S. signal in Southwest
Space-based methane maps find largest U.S. signal in Southwest
Contact Nicole Casal Moore, U-M, (734) 647-7087, ncmoore [a] umich (p) edu or Alan Buis, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, (818) 354-0474, Alan.Buis [a] jpl.nasa (p) gov ANN ARBOR-An unexpectedly high amount of the climate-changing gas methane, the main component of natural gas, is escaping from the Four Corners region in the U.S. Southwest, according to a new study by the University of Michigan and NASA.
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