Earth

Improving utilization of ammonia and carbon dioxide in microalgal cultivation

Improving utilization of ammonia and carbon dioxide in microalgal cultivation

Algaculture or algae farming, like any form of agriculture, is highly sensitive to fertilizer costs. A major roadblock to commercial algae farming is efficient utilization of volatile nutrients, specifically ammonia and carbon dioxide (CO2), to feed the algae being farmed. Currently, society produces large quantities of waste streams in the air and water that are not being efficiently treated or not treated at all.

Anomalous sinking of spheres in apparently fixed powder beds discovered

Anomalous sinking of spheres in apparently fixed powder beds discovered

A group of researchers at Okayama University and Osaka University, Japan examined the state of the surface of apparently fixed powder beds in which air weak enough not to move the powder is injected, and observed anomalous sinking phenomena, a world first.

New interpretation of the Rök runestone inscription changes view of Viking Age

New interpretation of the Rök runestone inscription changes view of Viking Age

The Rök Runestone, erected in the late 800s in the Swedish province of Östergötland, is the world's most well-known runestone. Its long inscription has seemed impossible to understand, despite the fact that it is relatively easy to read. A new interpretation of the inscription has now been presented - an interpretation that breaks completely with a century-old interpretative tradition. What has previously been understood as references to heroic feats, kings and wars in fact seems to refer to the monument itself.

Climate-exodus expected in the Middle East and North Africa

Climate-exodus expected in the Middle East and North Africa

More than 500 million people live in the Middle East and North Africa - a region which is very hot in summer and where climate change is already evident. The number of extremely hot days has doubled since 1970. "In future, the climate in large parts of the Middle East and North Africa could change in such a manner that the very existence of its inhabitants is in jeopardy," says Jos Lelieveld, Director at the Max Planck Institute for Chemistry and Professor at the Cyprus Institute.

Quantum sensors for high-precision magnetometry of superconductors

Scientists at the Swiss Nanoscience Institute and the Department of Physics at the University of Basel have developed a new method that has enabled them to image magnetic fields on the nanometer scale at temperatures close to absolute zero for the first time. They used spins in special diamonds as quantum sensors in a new kind of microscope to generate images of magnetic fields in superconductors with unrivalled precision. In this way the researchers were able to perform measurements that permit new insights in solid state physics, as they report in Nature Nanotechnology.

Influence of sea-ice loss on Arctic warming is shaped by temperatures in the Pacific Ocean

Influence of sea-ice loss on Arctic warming is shaped by varying temperatures in the Pacific Ocean, new study shows

The crucial role that sea-ice loss plays in rapid Arctic warming is regulated by variable climate patterns taking place in the Pacific Ocean, a pioneering new study has found.

The Arctic amplification phenomenon refers to the faster rate of warming in the Arctic compared to places farther south. Arctic amplification has been linked to a spike in the number of persistent cold spells experienced in recent years over Europe and North America.

How much does groundwater contribute to sea level rise?

Groundwater extraction and other land water contribute about three times less to sea level rise than previous estimates, according to a new study published in the journal Nature Climate Change. The study does not change the overall picture of future sea level rise, but provides a much more accurate understanding of the interactions between water on land, in the atmosphere, and the oceans, which could help to improve future models of sea level rise.

Demographic changes increase the risk of natural fires

In many parts of the world, grass and forest fires pose a threat to animals and humans. According to a new study from Lund University in Sweden, while climate change is likely to cause more and larger fires, in the future, more and more people will become directly affected as a result of demographic changes.

EARTH: Reading the ridges -- Are climate and the seafloor connected?

Alexandria, VA - EARTH Magazine plunges into the depths of the ocean with scientists seeking whether Earth's climate and sea-level history are intrinsically linked with tectonics at mid-ocean ridges. Since these ridges are not as well studied as terrestrial volcanoes, largely given the challenge to access them, teams of researchers are using tectonic models, evidence from high-resolution mapping of different spreading ridges and sediment cores to examine the evidence.

US climate-adaptation plans long on ideas, short on details, priorities

ANN ARBOR -- An analysis of more than 40 climate-adaptation plans from across the U.S. shows that local communities are good at developing strategies to combat the harmful effects of climate change but often fail to prioritize their goals or to provide implementation details.

In the past decade, several dozen U.S. communities have created stand-alone climate-adaptation plans that describe how climate change is projected to impact their communities and what actions should be taken now to prepare.