Earth

TUCSON, AZ—Capillary mats are popular in the retail nursery industry and with many home gardeners. The uniquely designed mats provide automated irrigation to a variety of plants, conserve water, and reduce the need for labor-intensive hand-watering.

Made with absorbent fabric lined with polyethylene film on the bottom and covered on top with perforated polyethylene or similar material, the mats help minimize evaporation while allowing water to move from the bottom of the mat up into the containers on top.

MADISON, WI, February 16, 2009 -- Grasslands in the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) in the United States may be increasingly converted to growing bioenergy grain crops. Questions abound regarding the fate of carbon sequestered in the soil during the CRP program by perennial grasses if the land is converted to grain crop production and the potential effectiveness of no-till production systems to conserve the sequestered soil organic carbon (SOC).

15.02.2009 | Potsdam: In the current issue of the Scientific Journal Nature Geoscience a group of Norwegian, Swiss and German geoscientists prove that before the set-in of the Holocene very rapid climate changes already existed. The transition from the stable cold period took place about 12 150 to 11 700 years ago with very rapid fluctations up to the temperatur-threshold at which the Holocene began.

The Greenland and Antarctica ice sheets are melting, but the amounts that will melt and the time it will take are still unknown, according to Richard Alley, Evan Pugh professor of geosciences, Penn State.

Based on a detailed analysis of ocean vertical temperature profiles for the 1955-2008 period, Sydney Levitus, lead author, talks about the change of global average sea level induced by the observed warming of the world ocean during the past 53 years. The warming of the world ocean is consistent with the amount of warming expected as a result of the observed increase in greenhouse gases in earth's atmosphere.

If you're looking for bargain air travel, a new study finds that you should look at more than just the ticket price. Instead, a researcher at North Carolina State University who co-authored the study says that consumers need to consider the quality of the flights being offered in order to get the best "price efficiency."

CHICAGO---The global travel logs of greenhouse gases are based on atmospheric sampling locations sprinkled over the Earth and short towers that measure the uptake or release of carbon from a small patch of forest. But those measurements don't agree with current computer models of how plants and soils behave.

A University of Michigan researcher is developing a unique way to reconcile these crucial data.

If you are a fish eater, it's likely that the salmon you had for dinner was not caught in the wild, but was instead grown in a mesh cage submerged in the open water of oceans or bays. Fish farming, a relatively inexpensive way to provide cheap protein to a growing world population, now supplies, by some estimates, 30 percent of the fish consumed by humans.

Two hundred and twenty species of finfish and shellfish are now grown in farms.

Earth's unique, forbidding ice oceans of the Arctic and Antarctic have revealed a trove of secrets to Census of Marine Life explorers, who were especially surprised to find at least 235 species live in both polar seas despite a distance of more than 13,000-kilometer distance in between.

President Barack Obama's pursuit of energy independence promises to accelerate research and development for alternative energy sources -- solar, wind and geothermal power, biofuels, hydrogen and biomass, to name a few.

For the hydrogen economy, one of the roadblocks to success is the hydrogen itself. Hydrogen needs to be purified before it can be used as fuel for fuel cells, but current methods are not very clean or efficient.