Mercury in coastal fog linked to upwelling of deep ocean water

Ethical Markets Earth Systems Science

Mercury in coastal fog linked to upwelling of deep ocean water

Posted: 04 Dec 2012 04:43 PM PST

An ongoing investigation of elevated mercury levels in coastal fog in California suggests that upwelling of deep ocean water along the coast brings mercury to the surface, where it enters the atmosphere and is absorbed by fog.

U.S wildfire risk worsening, according to climate projections

Posted: 04 Dec 2012 11:59 AM PST

Scientists have projected drier conditions likely will cause increased fire activity across the United States in coming decades. Other findings about U.S. wildfires, including their amount of carbon emissions and how the length and strength of fire seasons are expected to change under future climate conditions, were also researched.

Potent greenhouse gas: California’s N2O emissions may be nearly triple current estimates

Posted: 04 Dec 2012 11:59 AM PST

Using a new method for estimating greenhouse gases that combines atmospheric measurements with model predictions, scientists have found that the level of nitrous oxide in California may be 2.5 to 3 times greater than the current inventory. At that level, total N2O emissions — which are believed to come primarily from nitrogen fertilizers used in agricultural production — would account for about 8 percent of California’s total greenhouse gas emissions.

Gulf oil spill: Oil-dispersing chemicals had little effect on oil surfacing, according to new study

Posted: 04 Dec 2012 11:58 AM PST

A new study examined the effects of the use of unprecedented quantities of synthetic dispersants on the distribution of an oil mass in the water column. Scientists developed and tested models to show that the application of oil-dispersing chemicals had little effect on the oil surfacing in the Gulf of Mexico.

Prioritizing rather than canvassing entire plant genome may lead to improved crops

Posted: 04 Dec 2012 11:56 AM PST

A genetics study shows promise in feeding the world in spite of heat and drought.

African savannah — and its lions — declining at alarming rates

Posted: 04 Dec 2012 11:55 AM PST

About 75 percent of Africa’s savannahs and more than two-thirds of the lion population once estimated to live there have disappeared in the last 50 years, according to a new study.

Pacific Northwest and Himalayas could experience major earthquakes, geophysicists say

Posted: 04 Dec 2012 08:22 AM PST

Recent research by scientists focused on geologic features and activity in the Himalayas and Pacific Northwest that could mean those areas are primed for major earthquakes.

Fox invasion threatens wave of extinction in Tasmania

Posted: 04 Dec 2012 08:20 AM PST

The effort to stop the irreversible spread of foxes in Tasmania is at a critical stage with many native species at risk of extinction, new research shows.

How copper restricts the spread of global antibiotic-resistant infections

Posted: 04 Dec 2012 05:11 AM PST

New research has shown that copper can prevent horizontal transmission of genes, which has contributed to the increasing number of antibiotic-resistant infections worldwide. Horizontal gene transfer (HGT) in bacteria is largely responsible for the development of antibiotic resistance, which has led to an increasing number of difficult-to-treat healthcare-associated infections (HCAIs).

Lobster farming breakthrough: Doubling survival rates among lobster larvae under farmed conditions

Posted: 04 Dec 2012 05:11 AM PST

Researchers in Norway have recently succeeded in doubling survival rates among lobster larvae under farmed conditions. This could boost populations of a species threatened in the wild.

Fitness for toad sperm: Secret is to mate frequently

Posted: 04 Dec 2012 05:11 AM PST

Fertility tests frequently reveal that males have problems with the quality of their sperm.  The problems often relate to sperm senescence, which is a reduction in quality with age.  Sperm senescence can arise either before or after the DNA in the sperm cells is produced by a process known as meiosis.  So-called ?pre-meiotic? senescence results from accumulated damage in the germline cells with increasing age and results in older males having sperm of lower quality.  Post-meiotic senescence occurs after the sperm cells have been produced, either during storage of sperm by the male or after ejaculation and before they fertilize the eggs.

Research, response for future oil spills: Lessons learned from Deepwater Horizon

Posted: 03 Dec 2012 11:59 AM PST

A special collection of articles about the Deepwater Horizon oil spill provides the first comprehensive analysis and synthesis of the science used in the unprecedented response effort by the government, academia, and industry. Two overview papers and 13 specialty papers constitute a special section of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Russian Far East holds seismic hazards: Potential to trigger tsunamis that pose risk to Pacific Basin

Posted: 03 Dec 2012 11:58 AM PST

Research shows that the Kamchatka Peninsula and Kuril Islands, long shrouded in secrecy by the Soviet government, are a seismic and volcanic hotbed with a potential to trigger tsunamis that pose a risk to the rest of the Pacific Basin.

DNA analysis of microbes in a fracking site yields surprises

Posted: 03 Dec 2012 11:58 AM PST

Researchers have made a genetic analysis of the microbes living deep inside a deposit of Marcellus Shale at a hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking,” site, and uncovered some surprises.

Dressing U.S. troops to safeguard against insect attacks

Posted: 03 Dec 2012 10:16 AM PST

Outfitting soldiers with clothing that effectively repels or kills insects is one of the strategies U.S. Department of Agriculture scientists are using to help protect US military personnel deployed overseas against disease-transmitting mosquitoes and sand flies.