ScienceDaily: Top Environment News: Expedition yields unexpected clues to ocean mysteries

Jay OwenEarth Systems Science


ScienceDaily: Top Environment News


Expedition yields unexpected clues to ocean mysteries

Posted: 03 Dec 2013 04:11 PM PST

Geoscientists have revealed new discoveries about Earth’s development, following a major international expedition that recovered the first-ever drill core from the lower crust of the Pacific Ocean.

Antarctic fjords are climate-sensitive hotspots of diversity in a rapidly warming region

Posted: 03 Dec 2013 04:11 PM PST

In the first significant study of seafloor communities in the glacier-dominated fjords along the west Antarctic Peninsula, scientists expected to find an impoverished seafloor highly disturbed by glacial sedimentation, similar to what has been documented in well-studied Arctic regions. Instead, they found high levels of diversity and abundance in megafauna. The difference can be explained by the fact that the subpolar Antarctic is in an earlier stage of climate warming than the Arctic.

Tipping points: Where may abrupt impacts from climate change occur?

Posted: 03 Dec 2013 09:47 AM PST

A new report extends the idea of abrupt climate change, stating that even steady, gradual change in the physical climate system can have abrupt impacts elsewhere — in human infrastructure and ecosystems for example — if critical thresholds are crossed.

Catastrophic collapse of Sahara Desert’s wildlife

Posted: 03 Dec 2013 09:45 AM PST

A new study warns that the world’s largest tropical desert, the Sahara, has suffered a catastrophic collapse of its wildlife populations.

Tracking fracking pollution

Posted: 03 Dec 2013 08:22 AM PST

A team of geochemistry researchers has just completed the first detailed study to examine the natural quality of groundwater prior to fracking.

Himalayan flowers shed light on climate change

Posted: 03 Dec 2013 08:03 AM PST

Flower color in some parts of the world, including the Himalayas, has evolved to attract bees as pollinators, research has shown for the first time.

Continuing with pledge pathways to 2030 could push climate goals out of reach

Posted: 03 Dec 2013 08:03 AM PST

Current pledges for greenhouse gas emission reductions are inadequate and will further increase the challenge to reach internationally agreed climate targets, according to new research.

Plastic found to account for the majority of marine microlitter accumulating in the food chain

Posted: 03 Dec 2013 06:14 AM PST

Researchers have demonstrated that microplastics are transferred in the marine food web. The study also provided additional support to suspicions that many plankton organisms are unable to separate plastic particles from their natural food and that they therefore also ingest plastic.

Airborne radar looking through thick ice during NASA polar campaigns

Posted: 02 Dec 2013 02:20 PM PST

The bedrock hidden beneath the thick ice sheets covering Greenland and Antarctica has intrigued researchers for years. Scientists are interested in how the shape of this hidden terrain affects how ice moves — a key factor in making predictions about the future of these massive ice reservoirs and their contribution to sea level rise in a changing climate.

Living desert underground: In perpetual darkness of limestone cave, surprisingly diverse ecosystem of microbes

Posted: 02 Dec 2013 01:22 PM PST

Researchers have discovered a surprisingly diverse ecosystem of microbes in a limestone cave near Tucson, Arizona, eking out a living from not much more than drip water, rock and air. The discovery not only expands our understanding of how microbes manage to colonize every niche on the planet but also could lead to applications ranging from environmental cleanup solutions to drug development.

Arctic study shows key marine food web species at risk from increasing carbon dioxide

Posted: 02 Dec 2013 01:21 PM PST

A research expedition to the Arctic, as part of the Catlin Arctic Survey, has revealed that tiny crustaceans, known as copepods, that live just beneath the ocean surface are likely to battle for survival if ocean acidity continues to rise. The study found that copepods that move large distances, migrating vertically across a wide range of pH conditions, have a better chance of surviving.

Researchers revise Darwin’s thinking on invasive species

Posted: 02 Dec 2013 01:21 PM PST

Rebutting Charles Darwin, researchers say the relatedness of native and introduced species is not as important as the details of how they go about doing their business. The model they’ve developed in analyzing Darwin’s “naturalization conundrum” could lead to a new way of gauging the potential of invasive species, a major ecological and economic concern as plants and animals have spread into new habitats around the planet.