Popular Science articles about Earth & Climate

First eyewitness accounts of mystery volcanic eruption

This eruption occurred just before the 1815 Tambora volcanic eruption which is famous for its impact on climate worldwide, with 1816 given memorable names such as 'Eighteen-Hundred-and-Froze-to-Death', the 'Year of the Beggar' and the 'Year Without a Summer' because of...

Global shift away from cars saves US$100 trillion, eliminates 1,700 MT of CO2 pollution

More than $100 trillion in cumulative public and private spending, and 1,700 megatons of annual carbon dioxide (CO2) -- a 40 percent reduction of urban passenger transport emissions -- could...

Boosting global corn yields depends on improving nutrient balance

Purdue agronomist Tony Vyn found that high yields were linked to corn's absorption of nutrients at specific ratios -- 5-to-1 for nitrogen to phosphorus and 1-to-1 for nitrogen to potassium.Ensuring that corn absorbs the right balance of nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium is crucial to increasing global yields, a Purdue and Kansas State University study finds.

Politics divide coastal residents' views of environment, UNH research finds

On 35 out of 36 comparisons in one analysis, Democrats were more likely than Republicans to see environmental problems as a serious threat. The partisan gap was the widest, ranging from 21 to 42 points, on a survey question related to climate change: concern about sea-level rise.From the salmon-rich waters of Southeast Alaska to the white sand beaches of Florida's Gulf Coast to Downeast Maine's lobster, lumber and tourist towns, coastal residents around the U.S. share...

Research offers new way to predict hurricane strength, destruction

This is Vasu Misra, associate professor of meteorology and co-director of the Florida Climate Institute at Florida State University.A new study by Florida State University researchers demonstrates a different way of projecting a hurricane's strength and intensity that could give the public a better idea of a storm's...

NJIT researchers working to safeguard the shoreline

An NJIT research team has estimated the total mass of oil that reached the Gulf of Mexico shore in the wake of the BP Deepwater Horizon blowout. It's the first...

Study ties groundwater to human evolution

Our ancient ancestors' ability to move around and find new sources of groundwater during extremely dry periods in Africa millions of years ago may have been key to their survival...

New study reconstructs mega-earthquakes timeline in Indian Ocean

Kelly Jackson and Falk Amelung interviewed local residents of Hambantota, Sri Lanka, about their experiences during Dec. 26, 2004 tsunami.A new study on the frequency of past giant earthquakes in the Indian Ocean region shows that Sri Lanka, and much of the Indian Ocean, is affected by large tsunamis...

Indian Ocean expedition pioneers citizen oceanography

Captain and professor Federico Lauro, of UNSW and Nanyang Technological University, with crew, prepares S/Y Indigo V for a squall.Recreational sailors who become "citizen oceanographers" could help provide vital scientific knowledge about the world's oceans by sampling and testing remote waters from their yachts, according to a UNSW Australia-led...

Textbook theory behind volcanoes may be wrong

In the typical textbook picture, volcanoes, such as those that are forming the Hawaiian islands, erupt when magma gushes out as narrow jets from deep inside Earth. But that picture...

Like weeds of the sea, 'brown tide' algae exploit nutrient-rich coastlines

A new study led by Lamont-Doherty graduate student Kyle Frischkorn shows how 'brown tide' algae thrive in waters that are murky and low in inorganic nutrients.The sea-grass beds of Long Island's Great South Bay once teemed with shellfish. Clams, scallops and oysters filtered nutrients from the water and flushed money through the local economy. But...

This image shows Xin Heng, left, Ph.D. student, and Cheng Luo, UT Arlington professor in the Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering Department.

New research shows tornadoes occurring earlier in 'Tornado Alley'

Peak tornado activity in the central and southern Great Plains of the United States is occurring up to two weeks earlier than it did half a century ago, according to...

Study on global carbon cycle may require reappraisal of climate events in Earth's history

This subaerial exposure surface is observed at 33.782 meters below the mudpit. The units of the rule on the left side of the image are in centimeters. 
Note of special interest: small piece of grey at the top represents a period of time where sediments were not deposited in this location for five million years.A recent study of the global carbon cycle offers a new perspective of Earth's climate records through time. Scientists at the University of Miami (UM) Rosenstiel School of Marine and...

Early Earth less hellish than previously thought

Calvin Miller is shown at the Kerlingarfjoll volcano in central Iceland. Some geologists have proposed that the early Earth may have resembled regions like this.Conditions on Earth for the first 500 million years after it formed may have been surprisingly similar to the present day, complete with oceans, continents and active crustal plates.

Stanford-led study assesses the environmental costs and benefits of fracking

This is a fracking operations at a well pad near a farm over the Marcellus shale formation in Pennsylvania.A strange thing happened on the way to dealing with climate change: Advances in hydraulic fracturing put trillions of dollars' worth of previously unreachable oil and natural gas within humanity's...

Seismic gap may be filled by an earthquake near Istanbul

When a segment of a major fault line goes quiet, it can mean one of two things: The "seismic gap" may simply be inactive -- the result of two tectonic...

Residual hydraulic fracturing water not a risk to groundwater

Sixty-one minutes of imbibition and evaporation of a 154 microliter bead of tap water on a 2.3 gram chip of the Union Springs Member of the Marcellus Formation. The drop disappeared in approximately 100 minutes.  The photograph labeled 0 min was taken about 10 seconds after the bead was dropped on the Marcellus chip. Counter-current imbibition is indicated by methane bubbles floating up into the water bead from the Marcellus chip, starting on the left side of the bead at time = 0 min. This experiment was started 5 days after receiving fresh cuttings of the Union Springs from a horizontal well in PA.Hydraulic fracturing -- fracking or hydrofracturing -- raises many concerns about potential environmental impacts, especially water contamination. Currently, data show that the majority of water injected into wells stays underground,...

Ocean warming affecting Florida reefs

These are colonies of "blade fire coral" that have lost their symbiotic algae, or "bleached," on a reef off of Islamorada, Florida. Hard and soft corals are presently bleaching -- losing their symbiotic algae -- all over the coral reefs of the Florida Keys due to unusually warm ocean temperatures this summer. Months with waters warmer than 85 F have become more frequent in the last several decades compared to a century ago, stressing and in some cases killing corals when temperatures remain high for too long.Late-summer water temperatures near the Florida Keys were warmer by nearly 2 degrees Fahrenheit in the last several decades compared to a century earlier, according to a new study by...

Shift in Arabia sea plankton may threaten fisheries

The rise of <i>Noctiluca scintillans</i> at the base of the Arabian Sea food chain threatens fisheries in Oman and other countries bordering the sea.A growing "dead zone" in the middle of the Arabian Sea has allowed plankton uniquely suited to low- oxygen water to take over the base of the food chain. Their...

Dietary recommendations may be tied to increased greenhouse gas emissions

If Americans altered their menus to conform to federal dietary recommendations, emissions of heat-trapping greenhouse gases tied to agricultural production could increase significantly, according to a new study by University...

Mantle plumes crack continents

In some parts of the Earth, material rises upwards like a column from the boundary layer of Earth's core and the lower mantle to just below Earth's crust hundreds of...

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