Earth

Within Southern Florida, soil and water conditions indicate potential for leaching from the use of atrazine-based herbicides in corn crops. Scientists from USDA-Agricultural Research Service (ARS) and University of Florida conducted studies to evaluate the specific groundwater risk from atrazine use by focusing on a specific cover crop that seems to have the potential to greatly reduce that risk. The crop is called sunn hemp. It’s a tall, herbaceous annual that grows rapidly to a height of 6 to 7 feet.

You could understand if a half-dozen Magellanic penguins developed a "big bird is watching" phobia before this month is over, but the surveillance really will be for their own good.The feathers of three Magellanic penguins blackened with oil, seen along Argentina's Atlantic coast in October 2005. Credit: Dee Boersma

The most accurate measures of European daily temperatures ever indicate that the length of heat waves on the continent has doubled and the frequency of extremely hot days has nearly tripled in the past century. The new data shows that many previous assessments of daily summer temperature change underestimated heat wave events in western Europe by approximately 30 percent.

About twice as many Atlantic hurricanes form each year on average than a century ago, according to a new statistical analysis of hurricanes and tropical storms in the north Atlantic. The study concludes that warmer sea surface temperatures (SSTs) and altered wind patterns associated with global climate change are fueling much of the increase.

The study, by Greg Holland of the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) and Peter Webster of Georgia Institute of Technology, will be published online July 30 in Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London.

Seawater intrusion is often the consequence of freshwater aquifers overexploitation. This is a very common and serious phenomenon all over the Mediterranean basin, as well as in other areas with similar weather conditions and population.

Scientists have provided new evidence that using more fish oil than vegetable oil in the diet decreases the formation of chemicals called prostanoids, which, when produced in excess, increase inflammation in various tissues and organs. The results, by William L. Smith, Professor and Chair of Biological Chemistry at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, and colleagues, may help in designing new anti-inflammatory drugs with fewer side effects than the ones currently available.

Over the last five years, large, predatory Humboldt squid moved north from equatorial waters and invaded the sea off Central California, where they may be decimating populations of Pacific hake, an important commercial fish. Ironically, these squid may have benefited from the decline of large tuna and billfish in the Equatorial Pacific, which previously preyed upon and competed with the Humboldt squid for food.

The 3,000-kilometer-long Transantarctic Mountains are a dominant feature of the Antarctic continent, yet up to now scientists have been unable to adequately explain how they formed. In a new study, geologists report that the mountains appear to be the remnant edge of a gigantic high plateau that began stretching and thinning some 105 million years ago, leaving the peaks curving along the edge of a great plain.

Researchers exploring a remote terrain in Arctic Canada have made discoveries that may rock the world of Canadian geology.

Geologists from the University of Alberta have found that portions of Canada collided a minimum of 500 million years earlier than previously thought. Their research, published in the American journal Geology, is offering new insight into how the different continental fragments of North America assembled billions of years ago.

Ice loss from glaciers and ice caps is expected to cause more global sea rise during this century than the massive Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets, according to a new University of Colorado at Boulder study.