Popular Science articles about Earth & Climate

They know the drill: UW leads the league in boring through ice sheets

Wisconsin is famous for its ice fishers -- the stalwarts who drill holes through lake ice in the hope of catching a winter dinner. Less well known are the state's big-league ice drillers -- specialists who design huge drills and...

Where did all the oil go?

This image shows hydrocarbon contamination from Deepwater Horizon overlaid on sea floor bathymetry, highlighting the 1,250 square mile area identified in the study.Due to the environmental disaster's unprecedented scope, assessing the damage caused by the 2010 Deepwater Horizon spill in the Gulf of Mexico has been a challenge. One unsolved puzzle is...

World losing 2,000 hectares of farm soil daily to salt damage: UN University

Every day for more than 20 years, an average of 2,000 hectares of irrigated land in arid and semi-arid areas across 75 countries have been degraded by salt, according to...

University of Delaware study connects penguin chick weights to local weather conditions

University of Delaware researchers have reported a connection between local weather conditions and the weight of Adélie penguin chicks in Antarctica.Adélie penguins are an indigenous species of the West Antarctic Peninsula (WAP), one of the most rapidly warming areas on Earth. Since 1950, the average annual temperature in the Antarctic...

Recently discovered microbe is key player in climate change

This is the study site, Stordalen Mire in Abisko National Park in Sweden, just north of the Arctic Circle.Tiny soil microbes are among the world's biggest potential amplifiers of human-caused climate change, but whether microbial communities are mere slaves to their environment or influential actors in their own...

Helping sweet cherries survive the long haul

A new study says that cherry producers need to understand new intricacies of the production-harvest-marketing continuum in order to successfully move sweet cherries from growers to end consumers. For example,...

A global surge of great earthquakes from 2004-2014 and implications for Cascadia

The last ten years have been a remarkable time for great earthquakes. Since December 2004 there have been no less than 18 quakes of Mw8.0 or greater -- a rate...

New tracers can identify frack fluids in the environment

Scientists have developed new geochemical tracers that can identify hydraulic fracturing flowback fluids that have been spilled or released into the environment.

NASA begins sixth year of airborne Antarctic ice change study

NASA's DC-8 research aircraft will be flying scientists and instruments over Antarctica to study changes in the continent's ice sheet, glaciers and sea ice.NASA is carrying out its sixth consecutive year of Operation IceBridge research flights over Antarctica to study changes in the continent's ice sheet, glaciers and sea ice. This year's airborne...

Shrinking resource margins in Sahel region of Africa

This is a grazing camel in the Kordofan region in Sudan. The area is sensitive to climate changeThe need for food, animal feed and fuel in the Sahel belt is growing year on year, but supply is not increasing at the same rate. New figures from 22...

Microfossils reveal warm oceans had less oxygen, Syracuse geologists say

Assistant Professor of Earth Sciences Zunli Lu was among the researchers to release these findings.Researchers in Syracuse University's College of Arts and Sciences are pairing chemical analyses with micropaleontology -- the study of tiny fossilized organisms -- to better understand how global marine life...

Magma pancakes beneath Lake Toba

The tremendous amounts of lava that are emitted during super-eruptions accumulate over millions of years prior to the event in the Earth's crust. These reservoirs consist of magma that intrudes into the crust in the form of numerous horizontally oriented...

CU Denver study says upgrading infrastructure could reduce flood damage

The severe flooding that devastated a wide swath of Colorado last year might have been less destructive if the bridges, roads and other infrastructure had been upgraded or modernized, according...

Reducing population is no environmental 'quick fix'

New multi-scenario modelling of world human population has concluded that even stringent fertility restrictions or a catastrophic mass mortality would not bring about large enough change this century to solve...

Climate change impacts countered by stricter fisheries management

This is a basket full of paddle-tail snappers. A newly published 17-year study by the Wildlife Conservation Society has found that implementing stricter fisheries management overcame the expected detrimental effects of climate change disturbances in coral reef fisheries badly impacted by the 1997/98 El Nino.A new study has found that implementing stricter fisheries management overcame the expected detrimental effects of climate change disturbances in coral reef fisheries badly impacted by the 1997/98 El Niño,...

No-till agriculture may not bring hoped-for boost in global crop yields, study finds

No-till farming, a key conservation agriculture strategy that avoids conventional plowing and otherwise disturbing the soil, may not bring a hoped-for boost in crop yields in much of the world,...

Rising above the risk: America's first tsunami refuge

Washington's coast is so close to the seismically active Cascadia Subduction Zone that if a megathrust earthquake were to occur, a tsunami would hit the Washington shoreline in just 25...

Massive debris pile reveals risk of huge tsunamis in Hawaii

Hawaii's evacuation maps are based in part on the 1946 tsunami, the most destructive tsunami in Hawaii's recent history. But new research shows that mammoth tsunamis, many times the size of the 1946 event, have struck the island in the past, and may again in the future.A mass of marine debris discovered in a giant sinkhole in the Hawaiian islands provides evidence that at least one mammoth tsunami, larger than any in Hawaii's recorded history, has...

Asbestos likely more widespread than previously thought

Naturally occurring asbestos minerals may be more widespread than previously thought, with newly discovered sources now identified within the Las Vegas metropolitan area. The asbestos-rich areas are in locations not...

Journey to the center of the earth

This map of the Samoan hotspot shows its division into three parallel volcanic lineaments.A UC Santa Barbara geochemist studying Samoan volcanoes has found evidence of the planet's early formation still trapped inside the Earth. Known as hotspots, volcanic island chains such as Samoa...

Rivers flow differently over gravel beds, study finds

River researchers used a specially constructed model to study how water flows over gravel river beds. Illinois postdoctoral researcher Gianluca Blois (left) and professor Jim Best also developed a technique to measure the water flow between the pore spaces in the river bed.River beds, where flowing water meets silt, sand and gravel, are critical ecological zones. Yet how water flows in a river with a gravel bed is very different from the...

Researchers turn to 3-D technology to examine the formation of cliffband landscapes

This is a scene from the Colorado Plateau region of Utah.A blend of photos and technology takes a new twist on studying cliff landscapes and how they were formed. Dylan Ward, a University of Cincinnati assistant professor of geology, will...

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