Earth

Rapidly warming climate is likely to seriously alter crop yields in the tropics and subtropics by the end of this century and, without adaptation, will leave half the world's population facing serious food shortages, new research shows.

To compound matters, the population of this equatorial belt – from about 35 degrees north latitude to 35 degrees south latitude – is among the poorest on Earth and is growing faster than anywhere else.

Priceless treasure from the bottom of the sea is locked away at Texas A&M University, stacked on floor-to-ceiling racks and kept secure in 15,000 square feet of refrigerated space.

Although it's not gold bullion or precious gems, this treasure dazzles oceanographers, geologists, geophysicists and other geoscientists who come from around the world to College Station to sample it. One piece is even on permanent display at the Smithsonian.

Rocks on Mars are on the move, rolling into the wind and forming organized patterns, according to new research.

The new finding counters the previous explanation of the evenly spaced arrangement of small rocks on Mars. That explanation suggested the rocks were picked up and carried downwind by extreme high-speed winds thought to occur on Mars in the past.

Images taken by the Mars Exploration Rover Spirit show small rocks regularly spaced about 5 to 7 centimeters apart on the intercrater plains between Lahontan Crater and the Columbia Hills.

Boulder, CO, USA - GEOLOGY topics include "the best submarine record of displacement," geophysical data from the Black Sea, hazardous volcanic ice-slurry flows, the controversy over riverbank erosion rates, surface cracks in the Atacama Desert, CO2 sequestration, ultradeep Australian diamonds, Earth's magnetic field and the cosmic-ray-climate theory, fresh-water megafloods into the Pacific, early marine fossils preserved in French amber, tiny fossil fish teeth recovered by the Ocean Drilling Program, and alkaline groundwater at the dawn of land plant radiation.

ITHACA, N.Y. – The evolutionary history of diatoms -- abundant oceanic plankton that remove billions of tons of carbon dioxide from the air each year -- needs to be rewritten, according to a new Cornell study. The findings suggest that after a sudden rise in species numbers, diatoms abruptly declined about 33 million years ago -- trends that coincided with severe global cooling.

The study is published in the Jan. 8 issue of the journal Nature.

Flooding like that which devastated the North of England last year is set to become a common event across the UK in the next 75 years, new research has shown.

A study by Dr Hayley Fowler, of Newcastle University, predicts that severe storms – the likes of which currently occur every five to 25 years across the UK – will become more common and more severe in a matter of decades.

Looking at 'extreme rainfall events' – where rain falls steadily and heavily for between one and five days – the study predicts how the intensity of these storms may change in the future.

New research indicates that the ocean could rise in the next 100 years to a meter higher than the current sea level – which is three times higher than predictions from the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, IPCC. The groundbreaking new results from an international collaboration between researchers from the Niels Bohr Institute at the University of Copenhagen, England and Finland are published in the scientific journal Climate Dynamics.

HIAPER, one of the nation's most advanced research aircraft, is scheduled to embark on an historic mission spanning the globe from the Arctic to the Antarctic.

Starting Jan. 7, 2008, the HIAPER Pole-to-Pole Observations (HIPPO) mission will cover more than 24,000 miles as an international team of scientists makes a series of five flights over the next three years sampling the atmosphere in some of the most inaccessible regions of the world.

HICKORY CORNERS, Mich. --- Smooth, dark buildings, vehicles and even roads can be mistaken by insects and other creatures for water, according to a Michigan State University researcher, creating "ecological traps" that jeopardize animal populations and fragile ecosystems.