Popular Science articles about Earth & Climate

Researchers at Washington University in St. Louis hope that nanoparticle technology can help reduce the need for fertilizer, creating a more sustainable way to grow crops such as mung beans.

Not just climate change: Study finds human activity is a major factor driving wildfires

A new study examining wildfires in California found that human activity explains as much about their frequency and location as climate influences. The researchers systematically looked at human behaviors...

Evidence points to widespread loss of ocean oxygen by 2030s

Marine life moves much more slowly in a low-oxygen ocean.Climate change has caused a drop in the amount of oxygen dissolved in the oceans in some parts of the world, and those effects should become evident across large parts...

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New tool puts a consistent value on experts' uncertainty on climate change models

Science can flourish when experts disagree, but in the governmental realm uncertainty can lead to inadequate policy and preparedness. When it comes to climate change, it can be OK for...

Model predicts how forests will respond to climate change

This image shows the probability future climate will move beyond range of present day forest tolerance to drought.Drought could render the U.S. Northeast's mixed forests unsustainable after 2050 while Washington's Cascade Mountains may require tropical and subtropical forest species, according to researchers using a new type of...

Rare ice data collected by early 'citizen scientists' confirms warming

Lake Suwa in Shinano Province. Woodblock color print created by Katsushika Hokusai and part of the online collection of the Brooklyn Museum.In 1442, 50 years before Columbus "sailed the ocean blue," Shinto priests in Japan began keeping records of the annual freeze dates of a nearby lake. Along a Finnish river,...

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Corals most important for building reefs are now in sharp decline

A new study has found that the very corals responsible for establishing today's reefs are now some of the most threatened coral species due to climate change and other man-made...

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Researchers discover fate of melting glacial ice in Greenland

A team from Rutgers University and the University of Georgia, led by Asa Rennermalm of Rutgers, measures meltwater runoff from the ice sheet margin in Greenland during summer 2013.Over the past several decades, scientists have observed a significant increase in the melting of glacial land ice on the island of Greenland, spurring concerns about global sea level rise...

Do fish survive in streams in winter?

Christina Weber is documenting the studies during a field research assignment.Most stream-resident fish stay throughout winter despite the ice. This has been shown by Christine Weber, previous researcher at Umeå University, by tagging trout and sculpins with transponders to follow...

Old-growth forests may provide buffer against rising temperatures

These old-growth forests in the Cascades may exceed 500 years old.The soaring canopy and dense understory of an old-growth forest could provide a buffer for plants and animals in a warming world, according to a study from Oregon State University...

Better data needed to stop sixth mass extinction

Cambridge, UK and Gland, Switzerland. To prevent a new mass extinction of the world's animal and plant life, we need to understand the threats to biodiversity, where they occur and...

Hunting wolves near Denali, Yellowstone cuts wolf sightings in half

A wolf trots ahead of a visitor bus in Denali National Park and Preserve.Visitors to national parks are half as likely to see wolves in their natural habitat when wolf hunting is permitted just outside park boundaries.

Water storage made prehistoric settlement expansion possible in Amazonia

Contemporary water storage. Location: Bom Futuro.Columbian settlements in Amazonia were not limited to the vicinities of rivers and lakes. One example of this can be found in the Santarém region in Brazilian Amazonia, where most...

Contamination in North Dakota linked to fracking spills

One of the 9,700 oil and gas wells drilled in North Dakota in the last decade. A Duke study has found wastewater spills are widespread, causing long-lasting contamination of soil and water.Accidental wastewater spills from unconventional oil production in North Dakota have caused widespread water and soil contamination, a new Duke University study finds.

Beach buoys deployed to detect beach contamination

Beachgoers may soon be able to know in a timely manner if the water is clean enough for swimming, thanks to some new technology developed by researchers from Michigan State...

One oil field a key culprit in global ethane gas increase

A single U.S. shale oil field is responsible for much of the past decade's increase in global atmospheric levels of ethane, a gas that can damage air quality and impact...

Carbon dioxide fertilization greening Earth, study finds

This image shows the change in leaf area across the globe from 1982-2015.From a quarter to half of Earth's vegetated lands has shown significant greening over the last 35 years largely due to rising levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide, according to a...

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Ancient marine sediments provide clues to future climate change

Researchers analyze the fossil shells of minute planktonic creatures called foraminifera to determine the acidity of the water in which they lived. This, in turn, allows for the estimation of the carbon dioxide content of the water and atmosphere.Atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration was the major driver behind the global climatic shifts that occurred between 53 and 34 million years ago, according to new research led by the University...

Large wildlife important for carbon storage in tropical forests

Many tropical forest trees depend on large fruit-eating birds and animals such as hornbills and monkeys for dispersing their sizeable seeds.Many tropical forest trees depend on large fruit-eating animals such as elephants, tapirs, monkeys and hornbills for dispersing their sizeable seeds. Declines of these large mammals and birds due to...

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Scientists discover new reef system at mouth of Amazon River

The University of Georgia's Patricia Yager, center, oversees ocean sampling equipment on board the RV Atlantis before it's lowered into the Amazon River plume.A new reef system has been found at the mouth of the Amazon River, the largest river by discharge of water in the world. As large rivers empty into the...

Plastic below the ocean surface

Plastics are all around us. They are found in containers and packing materials, children's toys, medical devices and electronics.

Unhealthy ozone days could increase by more than a week in coming decades

In the lower atmosphere, sunlight reacts with nitrogen oxides, methane and other volatile organic molecules to produce ozone. At this level of the atmosphere, ozone acts as a pollutant, rather than a protectant, as shown in this aerial photo of Mexico City. New research shows that if emission rates continue unchecked, some regions of the United States could experience between three and nine additional days per year of unhealthy ozone levels by 2050.If emission rates continue unchecked, regions of the United States could experience between three and nine additional days per year of unhealthy ozone levels by 2050, according to a new...

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