Share on Facebook
Share on Twitter
Share on Share on Reddit

Earth Climate News

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

(Note: Links open in new browser windows)

Dinosaur relative's genome linked to mammals: Curious genome of ancient reptile
Biologists have sequenced the genome of the tuatara, a lizard-like creature that lives on the islands of New Zealand.

Ancient mountains recorded in Antarctic sandstones reveal potential links to global events
A new analysis of sandstones from Antarctica indicates there may be important links between the generation of mountain belts and major transitions in Earth's atmosphere and oceans. A team of researchers analyzed the chemistry of tiny zircon grains commonly found in the Earth's continental rock record to determine their ages and chemical compositions.

Scientists discover the switch that makes human brown fat burn energy
The receptor responsible for activating the energy-burning property of brown fat in humans has been identified. The next step is to investigate drugs that fit the receptor and trigger the response as a means to treat obesity and type-2 diabetes.

Scientists find how clock gene wakes up green algae
Researchers have found the mechanism of the night-to-day transition of the circadian rhythm in green algae. The findings could be applied to green algae to produce larger amounts of lipids, which are a possible sustainable source of biofuel.

Molecular forces: The surprising stretching behavior of DNA
Experiments with DNA molecules show that their mechanical properties are completely different from what those of macroscopic objects - and this has important consequences for biology and medicine. Scientists has now succeeded in explaining these properties in detail by combining ideas from civil engineering and physics.

Carbon footprinting and pricing under climate concerns
Marketers can lead how their companies can use the cost and demand effects of reducing the carbon footprint of their products to determine the profit-maximizing design.

Disparities in a common air pollutant are visible from space
As a global center for petrochemical manufacturing, Houston, Texas, experiences some of the worst air quality in the country, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Evidence suggests that air pollution disproportionately affects low-income, non-white and Hispanic residents, but it's difficult to directly observe differences in pollutants between neighborhoods. Now, researchers have used airplanes and a satellite to uncover disparities in nitrogen dioxide amounts in the atmosphere above Houston.

Scientists discover new penguin colonies from space
A new study using satellite mapping technology reveals there are nearly 20% more emperor penguin colonies in Antarctica than was previously thought. The results provide an important benchmark for monitoring the impact of environmental change on the population of this iconic bird.

Geologists publish new findings on carbonate melts in Earth's mantle
Geologists have discovered how carbon-rich molten rock in the Earth's upper mantle might affect the movement of seismic waves.

In a warming world, New England's trees are storing more carbon
The study reveals that the rate at which carbon is captured from the atmosphere at Harvard Forest nearly doubled between 1992 and 2015.

Increased global mortality linked to arsenic exposure in rice-based diets
Rice is the most widely consumed staple food source for a large part of the world's population. It has now been confirmed that rice can contribute to prolonged low-level arsenic exposure leading to thousands of avoidable premature deaths per year.

Key brain region was 'recycled' as humans developed the ability to read
A new study offers evidence that the brain's inferotemporal cortex, which is specialized to perform object recognition, has been repurposed for a key component of reading called orthographic processing -- the ability to recognize written letters and words.

Studies shed new light on how biodiversity influences plant decay
Scientists have provided new insights on the relationship between plant diversity in forests and the diversity of organisms involved in their decay, such as bacteria and fungi.

Artificial organelles created to control cellular behavior
Biomedical engineers have demonstrated a method for controlling the phase separation of an emerging class of proteins to create artificial membrane-less organelles within human cells. The advance, similar to controlling how vinegar forms droplets within oil, creates opportunities for engineering synthetic structures to modulate existing cell functions or create entirely new behaviors within cells.

AI may offer a better way to ID drug-resistant superbugs
Biomedical engineers have shown that different strains of the same bacterial pathogen can be distinguished by a machine learning analysis of their growth dynamics alone, which can then also accurately predict other traits such as resistance to antibiotics. The demonstration could point to methods for identifying diseases and predicting their behaviors that are faster, simpler, less expensive and more accurate than current standard techniques.

Cell diversity in the embryo
Epigenetic factors control the development of an organism.

Between shark and ray: The evolutionary advantage of the sea angels
Angel sharks are sharks, but with their peculiarly flat body they rather resemble rays. An international research team has now investigated the origin of this body shape. The results illustrate how these sharks evolved into highly specialized, exclusively bottom-dwelling ambush predators and thus also contribute to a better understanding of their threat from environmental changes.

The wrong track: How papillomaviruses trick the immune system
Specific antibodies protect us against viral infections - or do they not? Researchers studied the immune response to papillomaviruses in mice and discovered a hitherto unknown mechanism by which the pathogens outwit the immune system: At the beginning of the infection cycle, they produce a longer version of a protein that surrounds the viral genome. The body produces antibodies against this protein, but they are not effective in fighting the pathogen.

Nanostructures modeled on moth eyes effective for anti-icing
Researchers have been working for decades on improving the anti-icing performance of functional surfaces and new work investigates a unique nanostructure, modeled on moth eyes, that has anti-icing properties. Moth eyes are of interest because they have a distinct ice-phobic and transparent surface. The researchers fabricated the moth eye nanostructure on a quartz substrate that was covered with a paraffin layer to isolate it from a cold and humid environment.

The problem with microwaving tea
Through convection, as the liquid toward the bottom of a container warms up, it becomes less dense and moves to the top, allowing a cooler section of the liquid to contact the heating source. This ultimately results in a uniform temperature. Inside a microwave, however, the electric field acting as the heating source exists everywhere and the convection process does not occur.