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Earth Climate News

Earth Science News. From earthquakes and hurricanes to global warming and energy use, read the latest research news here.

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Cell death shines a light on the origins of complex life
Organelles continue to thrive after the cells within which they exist die, scientists have found, overturning previous assumptions that organelles decay too quickly to be fossilized.

Up-trending farming and landscape disruptions threaten Paris climate agreement goals
Earth system science researchers conducted an analysis of greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture and land use since 1961, finding some opportunities for mitigation as well as areas where curtailment will require sacrifices.

Diving into Devonian seas: Ancient marine faunas unlock secrets of warming oceans
Paleontologists use ancient marine faunas to test long-term changes in our warming oceans.

Geological phenomenon widening the Atlantic Ocean
An upsurge of matter from deep beneath the Earth's crust could be pushing the continents of North and South America further apart from Europe and Africa, new research has found.

Key switchgrass genes identified, which could mean better biofuels ahead
Biologists believe they are one step closer to a long-held goal of making a cheap, widely available plant a source for energy and fuel, meaning one of the next big weapons in the battle against climate change may be able to trace its roots to the side of a Texas highway.

Researchers use car collisions with deer to study mysterious animal-population phenomena
By parsing data on weather, deer populations and deer-vehicle collisions in Wisconsin, investigators show spatial synchrony could be driving population cycles, rather than the reverse.

Carbon: Getting to net zero -- and even net negative -- is surprisingly feasible, and affordable
Reaching zero net emissions of carbon dioxide from energy and industry by 2050 can be accomplished by rebuilding U.S. energy infrastructure to run primarily on renewable energy, at a net cost of about $1 per person per day, according to new research.

More than just CO2: It's time to tackle short-lived climate-forcing pollutants
Climate change mitigation is about more than just CO2. So-called 'short-lived climate-forcing pollutants' such as soot, methane, and tropospheric ozone all have harmful effects. Climate policy should be guided by a clearer understanding of their differentiated impacts.

Newly discovered fossil, likely subaqueous insect
A newly discovered trace fossil of an ancient burrow has been discovered. The fossil has an important role to play in gauging how salty ancient bodies of water were, putting together a clearer picture of our planet's past.

Ancient proteins help track early milk drinking in Africa
Got milk? The 1990s ad campaign highlighted the importance of milk for health and wellbeing, but when did we start drinking the milk of other animals? And how did the practice spread? A new study led by scientists from Germany and Kenya highlights the critical role of Africa in the story of dairying, showing that communities there were drinking milk by at least 6,000 years ago.

Genome-editing tool TALEN outperforms CRISPR-Cas9 in tightly packed DNA
Researchers used single-molecule imaging to compare the genome-editing tools CRISPR-Cas9 and TALEN. Their experiments revealed that TALEN is up to five times more efficient than CRISPR-Cas9 in parts of the genome, called heterochromatin, that are densely packed. Fragile X syndrome, sickle cell anemia, beta-thalassemia and other diseases are the result of genetic defects in the heterochromatin.

Carbon-chomping soil bacteria may pose hidden climate risk
Much of the earth's carbon is trapped in soil, and scientists have assumed that potential climate-warming compounds would safely stay there for centuries. But new research shows that carbon molecules can potentially escape the soil much faster than previously thought. The findings suggest a key role for some types of soil bacteria, which can produce enzymes that break down large carbon-based molecules and allow carbon dioxide to escape into the air.

Harpy eagles could be under greater threat than previously thought
New research suggests estimates of the species' current distribution are potentially overestimating range size.

Pace of prehistoric human innovation could be revealed by 'linguistic thermometer'
A physics professor has joined forces with language experts to build a 'linguistic thermometer' that can record the temperature of 'hot' or 'cold' (ie fast or slow) developments in modern linguistic features to create a computer-based model that can provide a better understanding of the development in human language and innovation stretching back to pre-history.

Ancient indigenous New Mexican community knew how to sustainably coexist with wildfire
Wildfires are the enemy when they threaten homes in California and elsewhere. But a new study suggests that people living in fire-prone places can learn to manage fire as an ally to prevent dangerous blazes, just like people who lived nearly 1,000 years ago.

New light shed on behavior of giant carnivorous dinosaur Spinosaurus
New research has reignited the debate around the behavior of the giant dinosaur Spinosaurus.

Solar material can 'self-heal' imperfections
A material that can be used in technologies such as solar power has been found to self-heal, a new study shows.

Fixing global biodiversity policy: Avoiding repeating old mistakes
Global goals for biodiversity must apply to all member states of the UN Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) also at national level. This is one of four recommendations for improving the global strategy for biodiversity. The researchers analyze why the goals have been largely missed so far and present concrete policy options.

When push comes to shove, what counts as a fight?
Biologists often study animal sociality by collecting observations about behavioral interactions. These interactions can be things like severe or minor fights, cooperative food sharing or grooming. But to analyze animal behavior, researchers need to make decisions about how to categorize and code these interactions. That gets tricky.

Southern Africa's most endangered shark just extended its range by 2,000 kilometers
A team of marine scientists has confirmed that southern Africa's most threatened endemic shark - the Critically Endangered shorttail nurse shark (Pseudoginglymostoma brevicaudatum) - has been found to occur in Mozambique; a finding that represents a range extension of more than 2,000 kilometers (1,242 miles).