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Earth in the News
The latest reports of natural disasters and scientific discoveries about the Earth.
Researchers have found that major flooding and large amounts of precipitation occur on 500-year cycles in central China. These findings shed light on the forecasting of future floods and improve understanding of climate change over time and the potential mechanism of strong precipitation in monsoon regions.
A new research article gives indications of the best places in Iceland to build thermal power stations.
Rainfall patterns in the Sahara during the 6,000-year 'Green Sahara' period have been pinpointed by analyzing marine sediments. From 5,000 to 11,000 years ago, what is now the Sahara Desert had ten times the rainfall it does today and was home to hunter-gatherers who lived in the region's savannahs and wooded grasslands. The new research is the first to compile a continuous record of the region's rainfall going 25,000 years into the past.
Production of a potent greenhouse gas can be bypassed as soil nitrogen breaks down into unreactive atmospheric N2, an international team of researchers has discovered.
Prehistoric mega-lake sediment offers key insight into how inland regions responded to ‘super-greenhouse’ event
Sediment found at the site of one of the largest lakes in Earth's history could provide a fascinating new insight into how inland regions responded to global climate change millions of years ago.
For decades, scientists have theorized that the movement of Earth's tectonic plates is driven largely by negative buoyancy created as they cool. New research, however, shows plate dynamics are driven significantly by the additional force of heat drawn from the Earth's core. The new findings also challenge the theory that underwater mountain ranges known as mid-ocean ridges are passive boundaries between moving plates. The findings show the East Pacific Rise, the Earth's dominant mid-ocean ridge, is dynamic as heat is transferred.
Glaciologists have uncovered large valleys in the ocean floor beneath some of the massive glaciers flowing into the Amundsen Sea in West Antarctica. Carved by earlier advances of ice during colder periods, the troughs enable warm, salty water to reach the undersides of glaciers, fueling their increasingly rapid retreat.
Earth's 2016 surface temperatures were the warmest since modern recordkeeping began in 1880, according to independent analyses by NASA and NOAA. This makes 2016 the third year in a row to set a new record for global average surface temperatures.
Vitamin B-12 exists in two different, incompatible forms in the oceans. An organism thought to supply essential vitamin B-12 in the marine environment is actually churning out a knockoff version.
Scientists and policymakers rely on complex computer simulations called Integrated Assessment Models to figure out how to address climate change. But these models need tinkering to make them more accurate.
A new model reconstruction shows in exceptional detail the evolution of the Eurasian ice sheet during the last ice age. This can help scientists understand how climate and ocean warming can affect the remaining ice masses on Earth.
Conditions suitable to support complex life may have developed in Earth's oceans -- and then faded -- more than a billion years before life truly took hold, a new study has found.
In a new article, experts outline three key questions that are needed to direct the next generation of climate research.
Expect strong increases in rainfall during extreme precipitation events in Australia as a result of global warming making Dorothy Mackellar's now classic view of Australia as a country of droughts and flooding rains truer than ever.
Critical information about tiny organisms under our feet has now been uncovered. Although small, these organisms can have a huge impact on the environment.
A focus on policies to conserve tropical forests for their carbon storage value may imperil some of the world’s most biologically rich tropical forests, says new research.
China has introduced an unprecedented policy platform for stewarding its fisheries and other marine resources. In order to achieve a true paradigm shift a team of international scientists from within and outside of China recommend major institutional reform.
An international team of researchers has identified the genetic mutations which allowed microalgae (phytoplankton) from the Southern Ocean to adapt to extreme and highly variable climates -- a step towards understanding how polar organisms are impacted by climate change.
In the Antarctic Ocean, large populations of the diatom Fragillariopsis cylindrus dominate the phytoplankton communities. To learn more about how F. cylindrus adapted to its extremely cold environment, a team of researchers conducted a comparative genomic analysis involving three diatoms. The results provided insights into the genome structure and evolution of F. cylindrus, as well as this diatom's role in the Southern Ocean.
SMAP's first year of observational data has now been analyzed and is providing some significant surprises that will help in the modeling of climate, forecasting of weather, and monitoring of agriculture around the world.