Sandia National Laboratories researchers Mark Ivey and Bernie Zak are members of a research team from around the world whose work on the cold tundra in northern Alaska is helping to transform scientists' understanding of what the future may hold for Earth's climate.

The team conducts research at the North Slope of Alaska east of Barrow along the coast of the Chukchi Sea.Instrument clusters near Barrow, Alaska, gather data useful in refining global climate models. (Photo by Mark Ivey)

Crumpled kitchen foil that lays flat for reuse. Bent bumpers that straighten overnight. Dents in car doors that disappear when heated with a hairdryer. These and other physical feats may become possible with a technique to make memory metals discovered by researchers at the University of Illinois.

Fewer big sharks in the oceans led to the destruction of North Carolina’s bay scallop fishery and inhibits the recovery of depressed scallop, oyster and clam populations along the U.S. Atlantic Coast, according to an article in the March 30 issue of the journal Science.

New calculations show that sensitivity of Earth's climate to changes in the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide (CO2) has been consistent for the last 420 million years, according to an article in Nature by geologists at Yale and Wesleyan Universities.

A popular predictor of future climate sensitivity is the change in global temperature produced by each doubling of CO2 in the atmosphere. This study confirms that in the Earth's past 420 million years, each doubling of atmospheric CO2 translates to an average global temperature increase of about 3° Celsius, or 5° Fahrenheit.

Tidal marshes, which nurture marine life and reduce storm damage along many coastlines, should be able to adjust to rising sea levels and avoid being inundated and lost, if their vegetation isn't damaged and their supplies of upstream sediment aren't reduced, a new Duke University study suggests.

Although it's been more than a year since Mount Augustine had its memorable eruption, work continues for University of Alaska Fairbanks researchers. The work of Alaska Volcano Observatory employees from UAF's Geophysical Institute will be appearing in the upcoming issue of the journal Science.

Scientists at the Naval Research Laboratory - Stennis Space Center (NRL-SSC) have directly derived the air-sea momentum exchange at the ocean interface using observed ocean currents under Hurricane Ivan and determined that it decreases when winds exceed 32 meters per second. This is the first time that momentum exchange at the air-sea interface has been directly calculated from ocean current observations under extreme winds generated by a major tropical cyclone.

A new climate modeling study forecasts the complete disappearance of several existing climates in tropical highlands and regions near the poles, while large swaths of the tropics and subtropics may develop new climates unlike any seen today.

In general, the models show that existing climate zones will shift toward higher latitudes and higher elevations, squeezing out the climates at the extremes--tropical mountaintops and the poles--and leaving room for unfamiliar climes and new ecological niches around the equator.

The Himalaya, the “Roof of the World”, source of the seven largest rivers of Asia are, like other mountain chains, suffering the effects of global warming. To assess the extent of melting of its 33 000 km2 of glaciers, scientists have been using a process they have been pioneering for some years. Satellite-imagery derived glacier surface topographies obtained at intervals of a few years were adjusted and compared. Calculations indicated that 915 km2 of Himalayan glaciers of the test region, Spiti/Lahaul (Himachal Pradesh, India) thinned by an annual average of 0.85 m between 1999 and 2004.

Scientists of the University of Almeria, led by Gabriel Acién, are carrying out a research project on the development of new systems to eliminate carbon dioxide emissions thanks to the microalgae photosynthetic activity. This project, called CENIT CO2, is being developed by Spanish electricity company Endesa on the initiative of the Spanish Ministry of Industry.