Earth

Cardiff University researchers who are part of a British-German team searching the depths of space to study gravitational waves, may have stumbled on one of the most important discoveries in physics according to an American physicist.

Craig Hogan, a physicist at Fermilab Centre for Particle Astrophysics in Illinois is convinced that he has found proof in the data of the gravitational wave detector GEO600 of a holographic Universe – and that his ideas could explain mysterious noise in the detector data that has not been explained so far.

The snow is thawing, the first crocuses are fighting their way through the cold earth into the daylight and hay fever sufferers are already pulling out their handkerchiefs. A new type of measuring station will automatically determine the pollen count and thus improve the forecast.

The Monsoon and Environment Research Group of Peking University submitted a report to Chinese Science Bulletin, recently, showed that regional summer monsoon rainfall in China can be predicted by 1-2 seasons ahead by using the signals of the sea surface temperature anomaly (SSTA) and the subsurface temperature anomaly (STA) in the central equatorial Pacific (CEP). Several new facts have been revealed as follows.

Filling our fuel tanks with cellulosic ethanol instead of gasoline or corn-based ethanol may be even better for our health and the environment than previously recognized, according to new research from the University of Minnesota.

The study finds that cellulosic ethanol has fewer negative effects on human health because it emits smaller amounts of fine particulate matter, an especially harmful component of air pollution. Earlier work showed that cellulosic ethanol and other next-generation biofuels also emit lower levels of greenhouse gas emissions.

Mountain pine beetles devastating lodgepole pine stands across the West might best be kept in check with aerial application of flakes containing a natural substance used in herbal teas that the insects release to avoid overcrowding host trees, according to a team of scientists.

Get ready to send the biology textbooks back to the printer. In a new paper published in Nature, Benjamin Van Mooy, a geochemist with the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) and his colleagues report that microscopic plants growing in the Sargasso Sea have come up with a completely unexpected way of building their cells.

Shopping locally may not be as good for the environment as having food delivered, according to new research by the University of Exeter (UK). Published in the journal Food Policy, the study shows that, on average, lower carbon emissions result from delivering a vegetable box than making a trip to a local farm shop.

A team of researchers at Monash University has released a new analysis of precipitation records from the long-term cloud seeding operation in Tasmania that shows a promising increase in rainfall during periods of seeding.

The team worked with Hydro Tasmania analysing the cloud seeding activity over the hydroelectric catchment area in central Tasmania for more than four decades – from 1960 – 2005.

An experiment to study the effects of naturally deposited iron in the Southern Ocean has filled in a key piece of the puzzle surrounding iron's role in locking atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) in the ocean. The research, conducted by an international team led by Raymond Pollard of the National Oceanography Centre, Southampton, and included Matthew Charette, a marine chemist at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI), found that natural iron fertilization enhanced the export of carbon to the deep ocean. The research was published January 29, 2009, in the journal Nature.

EAST LANSING, Mich. -- Knowledge gaps continue to hobble scientists' assessments of the environment, a Michigan State University researcher and colleagues warn. Their warning follows sobering conclusions drawn from what they do know and could help set the global agenda for research funding in the years to come.