Earth

(Santa Barbara, Calif.) - Thousands of feet below the bottom of the sea, off the shores of Santa Barbara, single-celled organisms are busy feasting on oil.

Until now, nobody knew how many oily compounds were being devoured by the microscopic creatures, but new research led by David Valentine of UC Santa Barbara and Chris Reddy of Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in Massachusetts has shed new light on just how extensive their diet can be.

The Captain can't freeze smelly fish that's past its best - and Icelandic scientists can now help him out by detecting the levels of stench-making bacteria faster than ever before.

The research in the Royal Society of Chemistry's Journal of Environmental Monitoring reports a new method to detect bacteria that break down dead fish and produce the distasteful smell of rotting fish.

It opens the door to a standard of quality control even higher and speedier than the finely-tuned nose of the bushy-bearded Birdseye.

This press release is also available in German.

In an interview published today in Weather, the magazine of the Royal Meteorological Society, His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales talks about his longstanding interest in the weather and its impact on the environment. The interview covers His Royal Highness's love of gardening and his environmental work to protect the rainforests, as well as his memories of the impact of weather on communities at home and abroad.

Researchers from TU Delft joined forces with the Center for Space Research (CSR) in Austin, Texas, USA, to develop a method for creating an accurate picture of Greenland's shrinking ice cap. On the strength of this method, it is now estimated that Greenland is accountable for a half millimetre-rise in the global sea level per year. These findings will be published in the scientific journal Geophysical Research Letters in early October.

It is common knowledge that the world's oceans and atmosphere are warming as humans release more and more carbon dioxide into the Earth's atmosphere. However, fewer people realize that the chemistry of the oceans is also changing—seawater is becoming more acidic as carbon dioxide from the atmosphere dissolves in the oceans. According to a paper to be published this week by marine chemists at the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute, these changes in ocean temperature and chemistry will have an unexpected side effect—sounds will travel farther underwater.

LIVERMORE, Calif. - Will there be another "dust bowl" in the Great Plains similar to the one that swept the region in the 1930s?

It depends on water storage underground. Groundwater depth has a significant effect on whether the Great Plains will have a drought or bountiful year.

Recent modeling results show that the depth of the water table, which results from lateral water flow at the surface and subsurface, determines the relative susceptibility of regions to changes in temperature and precipitation.

University of Calgary climate change scientist David Keith and his team are working to efficiently capture the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide directly from the air, using near-commercial technology.

In research conducted at the U of C, Keith and a team of researchers showed it is possible to reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) – the main greenhouse gas that contributes to global warming – using a relatively simple machine that can capture the trace amount of CO2 present in the air at any place on the planet.

The sudden thinning in 1997 of Jakobshavn Isbræ, one of Greenland's largest glaciers, was caused by subsurface ocean warming, according to research published in the journal Nature Geoscience. The research team traces these oceanic shifts back to changes in the atmospheric circulation in the North Atlantic region.

A team of scientists, including Penn State Distinguished Professor of Biology Hong Ma, has identified a gene in rice that controls the size and weight of rice grains. The gene may prove to be useful for breeding high-yield rice and, thus, may benefit the vast number of people who rely on this staple food for survival. "Our work shows that it is possible to increase rice's yield by enhancing the expression of a particular gene," said Ma.