Earth

Imagine descending in a submarine to the ice-cold, ink-black depths of the ocean, 800 metres under the surface of the Atlantic. Here the tops of the hills are covered in large coral reefs. NIOZ-researcher Furu Mienis studied the formation of these unknown cold-water relatives of the better-known tropical corals.

WASHINGTON, Nov. 3, 2008 — Move over, oil, gasoline, and coal. Researchers are describing key advances in developing new fuels to help supply an energy-hungry world in the 21st Century in the eighth and ninth episodes in the American Chemical Society's Global Challenges/Chemistry Solutions series. Those fuels include "green gasoline," "designer hydrocarbons," "the ice that burns," and other sources that can help power an energy-hungry world into the future.

The Greenland ice cap has been a focal point of recent climate change research because it is much more exposed to immediate global warming than the larger Antarctic ice sheet. Yet while the southern Greenland ice cap has been melting, it is still not clear how much this is contributing to rising sea levels, and much further research is needed. A framework for such research was defined at a recent workshop organised by the European Science Foundation (ESF).

AUSTIN, Texas—Conducting a rapid response research mission after Hurricane Ike, scientists at The University of Texas at Austin surveyed the inlet between Galveston Bay and the Gulf of Mexico, discovering the hurricane significantly reshaped the seafloor and likely carried an enormous amount of sand and sediment out into the Gulf.

A resounding vote of international petroleum geologists from around the globe concluded that the mud volcano was triggered by drilling of a nearby gas exploration well.

This may have implications for compensation of the local population affected.

Lusi started to erupt in East Java, Indonesia, on May 29th 2006, and is still spewing huge volumes of boiling mud over the surrounding area. It has displaced around 30,000 people from their homes and swamped 12 villages.

29 October 2008

Boulder, CO, USA - The latest issue of GSA BULLETIN spans the globe, examining ancient soils in Big Bend National Park, Texas; loess soils in Nebraska, including the greatest known thickness of the Peoria Loess in the world; folding, faulting, and metamorphism as seen in detailed geologic mapping across Pakistan; tectonic fractures in Southeast Viti Levu, Fiji; subsidence in Mexico City; groundwater arsenic in Araihazar, Bangladesh; the formation of the Andes; and earthquakes in the Seattle fault zone.

Highlights are provided below.

After eight years of near-zero growth in atmospheric methane concentrations, levels have again started to rise.

"This is not good news for future global warming," says CSIRO's Dr Paul Fraser, who co-authored a paper to be published in Geophysical Research Letters, a journal of the American Geophysical Union.

A quarter-million people were killed when a tsunami inundated Indian Ocean coastlines the day after Christmas in 2004. Now scientists have found evidence that the event was not a first-time occurrence.

A giant Atlantic bluefin tuna weighing more than half a ton had the honor of being fitted with the 1000th electronic tracking tag placed on this threatened species when it was caught and released on Monday (October 20) in the Gulf of St. Lawrence off Port Hood, Nova Scotia.

(Washington, DC – October 29, 2008) The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is collaborating with the National Geographic Society and the World Resources Institute to develop tools that will help to fully account for the value of ecosystem services.

Ecosystem services are the goods and services people obtain from natural systems. These benefits include clean air and water, erosion and flood control, soil enrichment, food, and fiber.