Earth

A new study suggests that the iron-rich winter runoff from Pacific Northwest streams and rivers, combined with the wide continental shelf, form a potent mechanism for fertilizing the nearshore Pacific Ocean, leading to robust phytoplankton production and fisheries.

The study, by three Oregon State University oceanographers, was just published by the American Geophysical Union in its journal, Geophysical Research Letters.

Atmospheric scientists have uncovered fresh evidence to support the hotly debated theory that global warming has contributed to the emergence of stronger hurricanes in the Atlantic Ocean.

The unsettling trend is confined to the Atlantic, however, and does not hold up in any of the world's other oceans, researchers have also found.

As climate change scientists develop ever more sophisticated climate models to project an expected path of temperature change, it is becoming increasingly important to include the effects of aerosols on clouds, according to Joyce E. Penner, a leading atmospheric scientist at the University of Michigan.

Northern Nevada energy consumers can be excused if they have a sense of "sticker shock" when their power bills come due following the holiday season. Or, that they have a feeling of powerlessness as the price of gasoline climbs to $3 per gallon.

They wonder: will the days of the $1 tank of gas ever return?

Drilling is complete on an Alaskan North Slope well, cofunded by the Department of Energy, that could prove to be an important milestone in assessing America's largest potential fossil energy resource: gas hydrate.

Gas hydrate is an ice-like solid that results from the trapping of methane molecules - the main component of natural gas - within a lattice-like cage of water molecules. Dubbed the "ice that burns," this substance releases gaseous methane when it melts.

Bacteria could be used to help steady buildings against earthquakes, according to researchers at UC Davis. The microbes can literally convert loose, sandy soil into rock.

When a major earthquake strikes, deep, sandy soils can turn to liquid, with disastrous consequences for buildings sitting on them. Currently, civil engineers can inject chemicals into the soil to bind loose grains together. But these epoxy chemicals may have toxic effects on soil and water, said Jason DeJong, an assistant professor of civil and environmental engineering at UC Davis.

Ancient people living in Panama were processing and eating domesticated species of plants like maize, manioc, and arrowroot at least as far back as 7,800 years ago – much earlier than previously thought – according to new research by a University of Calgary archaeologist.

Using corncob waste as a starting material, researchers have created carbon briquettes with complex nanopores capable of storing natural gas at an unprecedented density of 180 times their own volume and at one seventh the pressure of conventional natural gas tanks.

Science doesn’t always happen at a lab bench. For University of Toronto Mississauga physicist Kent Moore, it happens while strapped into a four-point harness, flying head-on into hurricane-force winds off the southern tip of Greenland.

New research aimed at understanding the link between carbon dioxide emissions and climate change in boreal systems has found clear links between both Spring and Fall temperature changes and carbon uptake/loss. Dr Kevin Robert Gurney, assistant professor in the Earth & Atmospheric Science/Agronomy at Purdue University and Associate Director of the Purdue Climate Change Research Center, presented these results at the “Is a Warmer Arctic Adding Carbon Dioxide to the Atmosphere” session of American Association for the Advancement of Science meeting in San Francisco, CA on December 17th.