Earth

Edmonton—Canada's inland waters, the countless lakes and reservoirs across the country, are important "sentinels" for climate change and Ottawa and the provinces are ignoring the warnings.

That's the message from University of Alberta biologist David Schindler and colleagues in a paper to be released Feb. 12, 2009, in the prestigious publication, Science.

Schindler is a co-author of Sentinels of Change, which reviewed papers addressing the effects of climate change revealed in numerous long-term studies presented at a conference last September.

The study, funded in part by the National Geographic Society, found that songbirds' overall migration rate was two to six times more rapid in spring than in fall. For example, one purple martin took 43 days to reach Brazil during fall migration, but in spring returned to its breeding colony in only 13 days. Rapid long-distance movement occurred in both species, said Stutchbury.

BOZEMAN, Mont. -- A new Montana State University study says that weather, especially in late winter and early spring, is getting warmer in northwestern North America.

CHESTNUT HILL, MA (February 12, 2009) – Restoring habitat for spawning species of fish, such as Atlantic salmon, starts with a geological inventory of suitable rivers and streams, and the watershed systems that support them. But the high-tech mapping tools available to geologists and hydrologists have had their limits.

Now, lasers beamed from planes overhead are adding greater clarity to mapping streams and rivers and interpreting how well these bodies of water can help maintain or expand fish stocks, according to a new study.

MOSS LANDING, CA — Over the last two decades, marine biologists have discovered lush forests of deep-sea corals and sponges growing on seamounts (underwater mountains) offshore of the California coast. It has generally been assumed that many of these animals live only on seamounts, and are found nowhere else. However, two new research papers show that most seamount animals can also be found in other deep-sea areas. Seamounts, however, do support particularly large, dense clusters of these animals.

Blacksburg, Va. – Tomorrow's fuel-cell vehicles may be powered by enzymes that consume cellulose from woodchips or grass and exhale hydrogen.

Researchers at Virginia Tech, Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), and the University of Georgia have produced hydrogen gas pure enough to power a fuel cell by mixing 14 enzymes, one coenzyme, cellulosic materials from nonfood sources, and water heated to about 90 degrees (32 C).

It was the geological collision between India and Asia millions of years ago that created one of the world's most distinctive places: The area around Lake Baikal in Siberia, which contains 20 per cent of the world's fresh water reserves and a unique display of plant- and wildlife.

That is the conclusion reached by two Danish researchers from the University of Copenhagen, Professor Hans Thybo and PhD Christoffer Nielsen, after many seismic examinations, including blowing up tons of dynamite, and five years work of analysing the data.

COLUMBIA, Mo. – More than 20 million tons of plastic are placed in U.S. landfills each year. Results from a new University of Missouri study suggest that some of the largely petroleum-based plastic may soon be replaced by a nonpolluting, renewable plastic made from plants. Reducing the carbon footprint and the dependence on foreign oil, this new 'green' alternative may also provide an additional cash crop for farmers.

By controlling emissions of fossil fuels we may be able to greatly delay the start of the next ice age, new research from the Niels Bohr Institute at University of Copenhagen concludes. The results have been published in the scientific magazine, Geophysical Research Letters.

MADISON — Taking a chemical approach, researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison have developed a two-step method to convert the cellulose in raw biomass into a promising biofuel. The process, which is described in the Wednesday, Feb. 11 issue of the Journal of the American Chemical Society, is unprecedented in its use of untreated, inedible biomass as the starting material.