Popular Science articles about Earth & Climate

Biofuels not as 'green' as many think

Statements about biofuels being carbon neutral should be taken with a grain of salt. This is according to researchers at the University of Michigan Energy Institute after completing a retrospective, national-scale evaluation of the environmental effect of substituting petroleum fuels...

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Molecular signature shows plants are adapting to increasing atmospheric CO2

<I>Plantago lanceolata</I> -- the plantain found in the high carbon dioxide springs and the subject of this study.Plants are adapting to increasing atmospheric CO2 according to a new study from the University of Southampton.

Human footprint surprisingly outpaced by population and economic growth

The global impact of human activities on the natural environment is extensive, but those impacts are expanding at a slower rate than the rate of economic and population growth.Analysis in Journal Nature Communications says humanity's impact on terrestrial environment has fallen behind population and economic growth Urbanization and good government contribute to slow-down Environmental impacts are still...

Study reveals surprising role of haze in the warming of Chinese cities

A new Yale-led study published in the journal Nature Communications sheds light on the surprising role that haze in China plays in promoting the urban heat island effect [UHI], a...

NASA sees examines new tropical storm in infrared light

NASA's Aqua satellite provided temperature data on Tropical Depression 13E on Aug. 24 at 4:17 p.m. EDT (2017 UTC) and strongest storms appear in purple, indicating coldest cloud tops.When NASA's Aqua satellite passed over the eastern Pacific Ocean it looked at a newly developed tropical depression that would later strengthen into Tropical Storm Lester. Aqua analyzed the depression...

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2014 Napa earthquake continued to creep, weeks after main shock

Nearly two years ago, on August 24, 2014, just south of Napa, California, a fault in the Earth suddenly slipped, violently shifting and splitting huge blocks of solid rock, 6...

Pacific sea level predicts global temperature changes

The Jason series of US/European satellites can measure the height of the ocean surface.The amount of sea level rise in the Pacific Ocean can be used to estimate future global surface temperatures, according to a new report led by University of Arizona geoscientists.

NASA analyzes deadly Louisiana flooding

NASA's IMERG data from Aug. 8 to Aug. 15, 2016 showed over 20 inches (508 mm) of rainfall was estimated in large areas of southeastern Louisiana and extreme southern Mississippi. Even greater rainfall totals of 30 inches (762 mm) were indicated in a small area of Louisiana west of Lake Pontchartrain.Record-setting rainfall and flooding in southern Louisiana have been calculated at NASA with data from satellites.

Blue Cut Fire in California spreads quickly

NASA's Suomi NPP satellite collected this natural-color image using the VIIRS (Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite) instrument on August 17, 2016. Actively burning areas, detected by thermal bands, are outlined in red.The Blue Cut Fire, just outside of Los Angeles, is a quickly growing fire that is currently an imminent threat to public safety, rail traffic and structures in the Cajon...

Thin tropical clouds cool the climate

On this picture, thin mid-level clouds are observed in the foreground with deep convective clouds in the background.Thin clouds at about 5 km altitude are more ubiquitous in the tropics than previously thought and they have a substantial cooling effect on climate. This is shown in a...

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Sewage sludge could make great sustainable fertilizer

Ever thought of putting sewage on your plants? Scientists say thermally conditioned sewage sludge serves as an excellent fertilizer to improve soil properties. This was recently published in the open-access...

Scientists begin to unravel summer jet stream mystery

Scientists have discovered the cause of the recent run of miserable wet summers as they begin to unravel the mysteries of the Atlantic jet stream.

Arctic gives clues on worst mass extinction of life

96 percent of marine species, and 70 percent of terrestrial life died off in the Permian-Triassic extinction event, as geologists know it. It is also known as The Great Dying...

Coral conservation efforts aided by computer simulations

This image shows coral releasing egg/sperm bundles which will be fertilized in the water to form poppy-seed-sized larvae.Contrary to a prevailing theory, coral larvae could not survive the five-thousand-kilometer trip across the Pacific Ocean to replenish endangered corals in the eastern Pacific, according to new research. Researchers...

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Urban pumping raises arsenic risk in Southeast Asia

High concentrations of arsenic are making their way from the Red River into aquifers near Hanoi, Vietnam, a new study shows. Mason Stahl tests water at the river's edge where sediment is being deposited.Large-scale groundwater pumping is opening doors for dangerously high levels of arsenic to enter some of Southeast Asia's aquifers, with water now seeping in through riverbeds with arsenic concentrations more...

Hibernating pygmy-possums can sense danger even while dormant

Pygmy-possum.What happens to hibernating or torpid animals when a bushfire rages? Are they able to sense danger and wake up from their energy-saving sleep to move to safety? Yes, says...

NASA monitors the 'new normal' of sea ice

Visualization of Arctic sea ice extent on Aug. 13, 2016.This year's melt season in the Arctic Ocean and surrounding seas started with a bang, with a record low maximum extent in March and relatively rapid ice loss through May....

'Ecosystem canaries' provide early warning signs of catastrophic changes to ecosystems

Co-author Enlou Zhang collecting a sediment core in Lake Erhai for analysis of midges.New research, led by the University of Southampton, demonstrates that 'ecosystem canaries' can provide early warning signals of large, potentially catastrophic, changes or tipping points in ecosystems.

Mussel flexing: Bivalve save drought-stricken marshes, research finds

As coastal ecosystems feel the heat of climate change worldwide, new research shows the humble mussel and marsh grass form an intimate interaction known as mutualism that benefits both partner...

New ranger patrol method shows major improvements in detection

This photo shows rangers from the Uganda Wildlife Authority Entering Data on a smart phone.A team of scientists from WCS, University of York, and Uganda Wildlife Authority have developed a new method of detecting illegal activities in protected areas by as much as 250...

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Sea ice strongly linked to climate change in past 90 000 years

The single celled algae, diatoms, can be seen using Scanning Electron Microscopy. It can take up to a year to clean a sample enough to be able to take a picture like this."The Arctic sea ice responded very rapidly to past climate changes. During the coldest periods of the past 90,000 years the sea ice edge spread relatively quickly to the Greenland-Scotland...

Methane leaks: A new way to find and fix in real time

Researchers have flown aircraft over an oil and gas field and pinpointed--with unprecedented precision--sources of the greenhouse gas methane in real time.

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