If you've ever watched birds at a feeder, you've seen changes in how many birds feed from season to seasons and year to year. Do some of the long-term shifts reflect changes in the environment and climate? To find out, the Cornell Lab of Ornithology's Project FeederWatch is asking bird watchers for help.

The release of sulfur and nitrogen into the atmosphere by power plants and agricultural activities--commonly referred to as acid rain--plays a minor role in making the ocean more acidic on a global scale, but the impact is greatly amplified in the shallower waters of the coastal oceans, according to new research.

The most heavily affected areas tend to be downwind of power plants (particularly coal-fired plants) and predominantly on the eastern edges of North America, Europe, and south and east of Asia.

Not all areas of the Tibetan Plateau rose at the same time, according to researchers who are determining the past elevation of plateau locations by studying the remains of terrestrial plants that once grew there.

"The Tibetan Plateau is responsible for the monsoons in India," says Dr. Pratigya J. Polissar, postdoctoral fellow in geosciences, Penn State. "People have documented ecological changes around the edge of the plateau that may indicate when it was high, but we do not really know when the plateau rose and so we do not know when the monsoon circulation began."

Researchers have found native gold, silver and platinum salts in the dust of decayed stumps. A ton of their ashes contains 3 kilograms of silver, nearly 200 milligrams of gold and 5 grams of platinum.

These biogeochemical anomalies in complex ore deposit regions were formed by microbes and trees, which act as "gold-diggers" and draw soluble salts out of the soil and then die off, leaving behind the concentrate with enormous precious metals content.

One of the world’s rarest birds is to be championed at an event in Britain this weekend in a last ditch attempt to save it from extinction.

The Bengal florican – the rarest of the globe’s 27 bustards - is amongst 189 critically endangered birds being targeted by an initiative to find companies and individuals who will highlight each species’ plight and contribute funds towards helping them.

More than a mile beneath the Atlantic’s surface, roughly halfway between New York and Portugal, seawater rushing through the narrow gullies of an underwater mountain range much as winds gust between a city’s tall buildings is generating one of the most turbulent areas ever observed in the deep ocean.

A new regional study shows that land-use policies in Peru have been key to tempering rain forest degradation and destruction in that country. Scientists at the Carnegie Institution’s Department of Global Ecology led an international effort to analyze seven years of high-resolution satellite data covering most (79%) of the Peruvian Amazon for their findings.

Miniature oceanographic sensors attached to southern elephant seals have provided scientists with an unprecedented peek into the secret lives of seals.

The measurements reveal in detail where the seals go on their winter feeding trips, where they find food and where they don’t, and help explain why some populations have remained stable since 1950 while others have declined.

Within Southern Florida, soil and water conditions indicate potential for leaching from the use of atrazine-based herbicides in corn crops. Scientists from USDA-Agricultural Research Service (ARS) and University of Florida conducted studies to evaluate the specific groundwater risk from atrazine use by focusing on a specific cover crop that seems to have the potential to greatly reduce that risk. The crop is called sunn hemp. It’s a tall, herbaceous annual that grows rapidly to a height of 6 to 7 feet.

You could understand if a half-dozen Magellanic penguins developed a "big bird is watching" phobia before this month is over, but the surveillance really will be for their own good.The feathers of three Magellanic penguins blackened with oil, seen along Argentina's Atlantic coast in October 2005. Credit: Dee Boersma