Popular Science articles about Earth & Climate

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, according to an extensive new meta-analysis by an international team...

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...

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...

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...

Climate change not responsible for altering forest tree composition

Eastern US forest canopy is depicted.Change in disturbance regimes -- rather than a change in climate -- is largely responsible for altering the composition of Eastern forests, according to a researcher in Penn State's College...

Earth's magnetic field could flip within a human lifetime

Left to right, Biaggio Giaccio, Gianluca Sotilli, Courtney Sprain and Sebastien Nomade sitting next to an outcrop in the Sulmona basin of the Apennines that contains the Matuyama-Brunhes magnetic reversal. A layer of volcanic ash interbedded with the lake sediments can be seen above their heads.Imagine the world waking up one morning to discover that all compasses pointed south instead of north.

NASA study finds 1934 had worst drought of last thousand years

This photo shows a farmer and his two sons during a dust storm in Cimarron County, Oklahoma, 1936. The 1930s Dust Bowl drought had four drought events with no time to recover in between: 1930-31, 1934, 1936 and 1939-40.A new study using a reconstruction of North American drought history over the last 1,000 years found that the drought of 1934 was the driest and most widespread of the...

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New forecasting method: Predicting extreme floods in the Andes mountains

This might allow for improved disaster preparedness. As the complex systems technique builds upon a mathematical comparison that can be utilised for any time series data, the approach could be...

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, the Canadian sweet cherry industry has had to modify logistics...

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...

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...

Past climate change and continental ice melt linked to varying CO2 levels

Scientists at the Universities of Southampton and Cardiff have discovered that a globally warm period in Earth's geological past featured highly variable levels of CO2.

Hydraulic fracturing linked to earthquakes in Ohio

Hydraulic fracturing triggered a series of small earthquakes in 2013 on a previously unmapped fault in Harrison County, Ohio, according to a study published in the journal Seismological Research Letters...

Rising sea levels of 1.8 meters in worst-case scenario

The climate is getting warmer, the ice sheets are melting and sea levels are rising -- but how much? The report of the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)...

Some sections of the San Andreas Fault system in San Francisco Bay Area are locked, overdue

Four urban sections of the San Andreas Fault system in Northern California have stored enough energy to produce major earthquakes, according to a new study that measures fault creep. Three...

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