Popular Science articles about Earth & Climate

Land-based food not nutritionally sufficient for wild polar bears, according to new study

A study, by San Diego Zoo Global conservationists, released this week (Sept. 12, 2016) is shedding new light on how scientists evaluate polar bear diet and weight loss during their fasting season. On average, a polar bear loses up to...

Westerly winds have blown across central Asia for at least 42 million years

A graduate student collects samples of ancient dust on the northeastern Tibetan Plateau. The once-remote field site is now close to booming development in the city of Xining, seen in the distance.The gusting westerly winds that dominate the climate in central Asia, setting the pattern of dryness and location of central Asian deserts, have blown mostly unchanged for 42 million years....

Chemistry says Moon is proto-Earth's mantle, relocated

Two recent models for the formation of the moon, one that allows exchange through a silicate atmosphere (top), and another that creates a more thoroughly mixed sphere of a supercritical fluid (bottom), lead to different predictions for potassium isotope ratios in lunar and terrestrial rocks (right).Measurements of an element in Earth and Moon rocks have just disproved the leading hypotheses for the origin of the Moon.

NIST and Navy tests suggest telecom networks could back up GPS time signals

Mathematician Marc Weiss in the NIST Boulder laboratory that controls an experimental demonstration of time transfer over commercial telecommunications networks. In the experiment, equipment in this room locks onto NIST's official version of international time, transfers time signals back and forth between NIST and US Naval Observatory time services in Colorado Springs, and measures system time transfer accuracy.Precision time signals sent through the Global Positioning System (GPS) synchronize cellphone calls, time-stamp financial transactions, and support safe travel by aircraft, ship, train and car.

Forecasting climate change's effects on biodiversity hindered by lack of data

An international group of biologists is calling for data collection on a global scale to improve forecasts of how climate change affects animals and plants.

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NASA sees remnants of Tropical Cyclone Newton over Southwestern US

On Sept. 7 at 4:40 p.m. EDT (2040 UTC) NASA's Aqua satellite flew over the clouds associated with Tropical Depression Newton over Mexico.NASA's Aqua satellite passed over the U.S. Southwest and captured infrared data on the clouds associated with former Tropical Cyclone Newton.

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Study finds increased ocean acidification due to human activities

Oceanographers from MIT and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution report that the northeast Pacific Ocean has absorbed an increasing amount of anthropogenic carbon dioxide over the last decade, at a rate...

NASA sees Hurricane Newton approaching landfall in Baja California, Mexico

NASA's Terra satellite captured a visible image of Newton on Sept. 5, Monday, at 1:45 p.m. EDT (17:45 UTC) just as it was classified as a hurricane.NASA's Terra satellite and a NASA animation of imagery from NOAA's GOES-West satellite provided views of Hurricane Newton as it neared landfall in Baja California, Mexico, today, Sept. 6.

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IUCN-led panel finds critically endangered whales in Russia recovering

International Union for Conservation for Nature, WWF and International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) examines the results of the work of an IUCN-led independent panel of scientists, which has been...

Study: Earth's carbon points to planetary smashup

The ratio of volatile elements in Earth's mantle suggests that virtually all of the planet's life-giving carbon came from a collision with an embryonic planet approximately 100 million years after Earth formed.Research by Rice University Earth scientists suggests that virtually all of Earth's life-giving carbon could have come from a collision about 4.4 billion years ago between Earth and an embryonic...

NASA takes parting look at Hermine

NOAA's GOES-East satellite on Sept. 8 at 9:30 a.m. EDT showed Hermine's remnants as a swirl of clouds located off of Cape Cod, Mass. A line of clouds over northern New England from an oncoming cold front were located to the northwest of the remnants.Tropical Cyclone Hermine was just a swirl of clouds with no rainfall off the coast of southeastern Massachusetts on Thursday, Sept. 8. Just two days earlier, the GPM satellite saw...

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On Sept. 12 at 0206 UTC, GPM DPR data indicated rain was falling at a rate of over 299 mm (11.8 inches) per hour in powerful storms in the northeastern side of Meranti's eye wall.
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NASA sees formation of Central Atlantic Tropical Storm Ian

The low pressure area known as System 94L developed into Tropical Storm Ian on Sept. 14. NOAA's GOES-East satellite data was made into an animation that showed the...

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One-tenth of the world's wilderness lost in 2 decades

A research team including Professor William Laurance from James Cook University has discovered there has been a catastrophic decline in global wilderness areas during the past 20 years.

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Study finds earthquakes can trigger near-instantaneous aftershocks on different faults

This is a photograph of damage to Helena High School, which collapsed following a major aftershock of the 1935 Helena magnitude 6.2 earthquake in Montana.According to a new study by scientists at Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California San Diego, a large earthquake on one fault can trigger large aftershocks on...

Seeing the forest for the trees: World's largest reforestation program overlooks wildlife

China's Grain-for-Green Program, the world's largest reforestation effort, has transformed 69.2 million acres of cropland and barren scrubland back to forest. Yet, the program overwhelming leads to the planting of monoculture forests (the eucalyptus forest, Japanese cedar forest and bamboo forest pictured above), falling short of restoring the biodiversity of native forests -- and can even harm existing wildlife.After years of environmental destruction, China has spent billions of dollars on the world's largest reforestation program, converting a combined area nearly the size of New York and Pennsylvania back...

Future fisheries can expect $10 billion revenue loss due to climate change

Global fisheries stand to lose approximately $10 billion of their annual revenue by 2050 if climate change continues unchecked, and countries that are most dependent on fisheries for food will...

OU study demonstrates seasonality of bird migration in response to environmental cues

Seasonality of bird migration is shifting in response to climate change.A University of Oklahoma study demonstrates for the first time that remote sensing data from weather surveillance radar and on-the-ground data from the eBird citizen science database both yield robust...

Nutrient pollution is changing sounds in the sea

Nutrient pollution emptying into seas from cities, towns and agricultural land is changing the sounds made by marine life - and potentially upsetting navigational cues for fish and other sea...

During drought, dry air can stress plants more than dry soil

This is the Ameriflux Tower at Morgan-Monroe State Forest in Indiana.Newly published research by Indiana University scientists finds that low relative humidity in the atmosphere is a significant, growing and often under-appreciated cause of plant stress in hot, dry weather...

NASA sees Namtheun dissipating in the Sea of Japan

NASA's Aqua satellite revealed patchy and limited convection (yellow) and thunderstorm development in weakening Tropical Depression Namtheun early on Sept. 5.NASA's Aqua satellite passed over the Sea of Japan and saw Tropical Depression Namtheun weakening.

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A strange thing happened in the stratosphere

A predictable pattern of winds in the stratosphere recently changed in a way scientists had not seen in more than 60 years of record-keeping.This disruption to the wind pattern - called the "quasi-biennial oscillation" - did not have any immediate impact on weather or climate as we experience it on Earth's surface. But...

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