Earth

A team of researchers from the University of Manchester (United Kingdom), the National Institute of Applied Sciences in Lyon (France) and the ESRF has revealed how a growing crack interacts with the 3D crystal structure of stainless steel. By using a new grain mapping technique it was possible to determine the internal 3D structure of the material without destroying the sample. Afterwards, a crack was initiated in the stainless steel, and the scientists were able to study how the crack grew between the grains.

FRESNO, CA - Horticultural crops account for almost 50% of crop sales in the United States, and these crops are carefully managed to ensure good quality. But more information is needed about the crops' growth and response to seasonal and climatic changes so that management practices such as irrigation can be precisely scheduled. Existing research can be difficult to generalize because of variations in crops, planting densities, and cultural practices.

IMMOKALEE, FL - The Sunshine State has seen rapid growth in population during the last 50 years. The 1997 U.S. Census showed that the population of Florida increased more than five-and-a-half times from 1950 to 2000. Naturally, along with population increases, Florida is experiencing an increase in the amount of municipal waste. Studies confirm that the amount of wastewater generated by cities in Florida has increased more than fivefold since 1950.

The team's find, they argue, provides physical evidence that confirms the so-called southwestern United States and East Antarctica (SWEAT) hypothesis.

"What this paper does is say that we have three main new lines of evidence that basically confirm the SWEAT idea," said John Goodge, an NSF-funded researcher with the Department of Geological Sciences at the University of Minnesota-Duluth.

WASHINGTON -- A transition to hydrogen vehicles could greatly reduce U.S. oil dependence and carbon dioxide emissions, says a new congressionally mandated report from the National Research Council, but making hydrogen vehicles competitive in the automotive market will not be easy. While the development of fuel cell and hydrogen production technology over the past several years has been impressive, challenges remain. Vehicle costs are high, and the U.S. currently lacks the infrastructure to produce and widely distribute hydrogen to consumers.

University of Alberta scientists contend they have the answer to mass extinction of animals and plants 93 million years ago. The answer, research has uncovered, has been found at the bottom of the sea floor where lava fountains erupted, altering the chemistry of the sea and possibly of the atmosphere.

PROVIDENCE, R.I. [Brown University] — For decades, scientists have theorized ? romanticized, even ? that Mars has harbored water. The evidence has grown stronger as recent missions to the Red Planet have revealed in stunning detail Martian topography, mineralogy and clues to past climate. But how much water, where it was or is located and what it was doing have been hard to pin down.

"We've seen all this evidence of water on Mars," said John Mustard, a Brown professor of planetary geology, "but did it do any work?"

TORONTO, ON - In the remote desert highlands of southern Yemen, a team of archaeologists have discovered new evidence of ancient transitions from hunting and herding to irrigation agriculture 5,200 years ago.

As part of a larger programme of archaeological research, Michael Harrower from the University of Toronto and The Roots of Agriculture in Southern Arabia (RASA) team explored the Wadi Sana watershed documenting 174 ancient irrigation structures, modeled topography and hydrology, and interviewed contemporary camel and goat herders and irrigation farmers.

Mars once hosted vast lakes, flowing rivers and a variety of other wet environments that had the potential to support life, according to two new studies based on data from the Compact Reconnaissance Imaging Spectrometer for Mars (CRISM) and other instruments on board NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO).

"The big surprise from these new results is how pervasive and long-lasting Mars' water was, and how diverse the wet environments were," says Scott Murchie, CRISM's principal investigator at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory (APL), in Laurel, Md.

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - According to a new study, global warming could lead to larger changes in snowmelt in the western United States than was previously thought, possibly increasing wildfire risk and creating new water management challenges for agriculture, ecosystems and urban populations.

Researchers, including a Purdue University professor of earth and atmospheric sciences, discovered that a critical surface temperature feedback is twice as strong as what had been projected by earlier studies.