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Water used for hydraulic fracturing varies widely across United States

July 1, 2015 7:00 am | by American Geophysical Union | News | Comments

The amount of water required to hydraulically fracture oil and gas wells varies widely across the country, according to the first national-scale analysis and map of hydraulic fracturing water usage detailed in a new study.

Making clothes out of gelatin could reduce agricultural waste

June 26, 2015 10:30 am | by American Chemical Society | News | Comments

From gummy bears to silky mousses, gelatin is essential for making some of our favorite sweets....

Analysis shows increased carbon intensity from Canadian oil sands

June 26, 2015 10:23 am | by Greg Cunningham, Argonne National Laboratory | News | Comments

Argonne National Laboratory released a study that shows gasoline and diesel refined from...

Backward-moving glacier helps scientists explain glacial earthquakes

June 26, 2015 7:21 am | by Jim Erickson, Univ. of Michigan | Videos | Comments

The relentless flow of a glacier may seem unstoppable, but a team of researchers has shown that...

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Analyzing ocean mixing reveals insight on climate

June 25, 2015 1:30 pm | by Nancy Ambrosiano, Los Alamos National Laboratory | News | Comments

Scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory have developed a computer model that clarifies the complex processes driving ocean mixing in the vast eddies that swirl across hundreds of miles of open ocean.

Science Connect: Water Shortage, Reuse is a Social Problem

June 25, 2015 7:31 am | by Michelle Taylor, Editor-in-Chief, Laboratory Equipment and Jon Dipierro, Multimedia Production | Videos | Comments

In this one-minute video, hear from an expert in water sustainability regarding the economic and social challenges of water purification and reuse. Are these challenges holding back the potential of modern water technology?

Study: Weather patterns that bring heatwaves happening more

June 24, 2015 2:06 pm | by Seth Borenstein, AP Science Writer, Associated Press | News | Comments

Daily weather patterns have changed in recent decades, making eastern North America, Europe and western Asia more prone to nastier summer heatwaves that go beyond global warming, a new study finds. A team of climate scientists at Stanford Univ. looked at weather patterns since 1979 and found changes in frequency and strength in parts of the world.

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Science Connect: GMOs Could be Nutritionally Valuable, If Not for Intense Regulations

June 23, 2015 7:47 am | by Michelle Taylor, Editor-in-Chief, Laboratory Equipment and Jon Dipierro, Multimedia Production | Videos | Comments

In this one-minute video, hear from Nina Fedoroff, the former Science and Technology advisor to U.S. Secretaries of State Condoleezza Rice and Hillary Clinton, on why she blames intense regulatory demands for the lack of nutritionally valuable GMOs.

Top doctors' prescription for feverish planet: Cut out coal

June 22, 2015 8:04 pm | by Seth Borenstein, AP Science Writer, Associated Press | News | Comments

Some top international doctors and public health experts have issued an urgent prescription for a feverish planet Earth: Get off coal as soon as possible. Substituting cleaner energy worldwide for coal will reduce air pollution and give Earth a better chance at avoiding dangerous climate change, recommended a global health commission.

Scientists make new estimates of the deep carbon cycle

June 22, 2015 8:23 am | by Stuart Wolpert, UCLA | News | Comments

Over billions of years, the total carbon content of the outer part of the Earth has gradually increased, scientists reported in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Craig Manning, a professor of geology and geochemistry at UCLA, and Peter Kelemen, a geochemistry professor at Columbia Univ., present new analyses that represent an important advance in refining our understanding of Earth's deep carbon cycle.

Climate change won’t reduce winter deaths

June 19, 2015 9:12 am | by Institute of Physics | News | Comments

In a study that contradicts the received wisdom on health impacts of climate change, scientists say that we shouldn’t expect substantial reduction in winter deaths as a result of global warming. This new research is published in Environmental Research Letters.

NASA: International satellite studying oceans stops working

June 17, 2015 8:04 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

NASA says an international satellite studying the world's oceans has stopped working after four years. The space agency said Wednesday that the Argentine-built satellite ceased operations last week after a hardware failure. The satellite carried a NASA instrument called Aquarius that measured the concentration of dissolved salt at the sea surface.

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Leaving on a biofueled jet plane

June 16, 2015 7:55 am | by Lynn Yarris, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory | News | Comments

The problem is simple to understand. Molecules of carbon and other greenhouse gases absorb heat. The more greenhouse gases emitted into the atmosphere, the warmer the atmosphere becomes, exacerbating global climate change. Solving the problem is not so simple, especially with regards to aviation.

Small thunderstorms may cause massive cyclones on Saturn

June 16, 2015 7:34 am | by Jennifer Chu, MIT News Office | News | Comments

For the last decade, astronomers have observed curious “hotspots” on Saturn’s poles. In 2008, NASA’s Cassini spacecraft beamed back close-up images of these hotspots, revealing them to be immense cyclones, each as wide as the Earth. Scientists estimate that Saturn’s cyclones may whip up 300 mph winds, and likely have been churning for years.

New calculations to improve carbon dioxide monitoring from space

June 15, 2015 8:01 am | by Rebecca Caygill, Univ. College London | News | Comments

How light of different colors is absorbed by carbon dioxide can now be accurately predicted using new calculations developed by a Univ. College London (UCL)-led team of scientists. This will help climate scientists studying Earth's greenhouse gas emissions to better interpret data collected from satellites and ground stations measuring carbon dioxide.

A computer simulation reveals how Langrangian coherent structures can serve as temporary "tracer patterns" for the growth of atmospheric rivers. Courtesy of Vicente Perez-Munuzuri/U. Santiago de Compostela

How atmospheric rivers form

June 12, 2015 3:05 pm | by American Institute of Physics | News | Comments

If you want to assign blame on an overcast day, then cast your eyes on the tropics. Water vapor originating is transported to midlatitudes on long filaments of flowing air that intermittently travel across the world’s oceans. When these airy tendrils make landfall, they can cause severe floods. Yet despite the importance of these “atmospheric rivers” for global water and heat cycles, the mechanism behind their formation is a mystery.

Variations in atmospheric oxygen levels shaped Earth’s climate

June 11, 2015 4:37 pm | by Jim Erickson, Univ. of Michigan | News | Comments

Variations in the amount of oxygen in Earth's atmosphere significantly altered global climate throughout the planet's history. Efforts to reconstruct past climates must include this previously overlooked factor, a new Univ. of Michigan-led study concludes. Oxygen currently comprises about 21% of Earth's atmosphere by volume but has varied between 10% and 35% over the past 541 million years.

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Cutting carbon emissions could have indirect effects on hunger

June 11, 2015 9:05 am | by American Chemical Society | News | Comments

As many of the world’s nations prepare and implement plans to cut greenhouse gas emissions, researchers say another critical factor needs to be considered. A new study has found for the first time that efforts to keep global temperatures in check will likely lead to more people going hungry. That risk, they say, doesn’t negate the need for mitigation but highlights the importance of comprehensive policies.

Ocean helps unravel mysteries of cloud formation

June 10, 2015 8:17 am | by Libby Dowdall, Univ. of Wisconsin-Madison | News | Comments

In a recently published study, a research team peels back the mysteries of the structures of tiny aerosol particles at the surface of the ocean. The work shows how the particles' chemical composition influences their abilities to take in moisture from the air, which indicates whether the particle will help to form a cloud, a key to many basic problems in climate prediction.

Catalyst removes cancer-causing benzene in gasoline

June 8, 2015 8:02 am | by Megan Fellman, Northwestern Univ. | News | Comments

Northwestern Univ. scientists are experimenting with ways to eliminate a cancer-causing agent from gasoline by neutralizing the benzene compound found in gasoline. They developed a catalyst that effectively removed benzene from the other aromatic compounds in gasoline, making it cleaner and more efficient.

Warmer, lower-oxygen oceans will shift marine habitats

June 5, 2015 10:20 am | by Hannah Hickey, Univ. of Washington | News | Comments

Modern mountain climbers typically carry tanks of oxygen to help them reach the summit. It’s the combination of physical exertion and lack of oxygen at high altitudes that creates one of the biggest challenges for mountaineers. Univ. of Washington researchers and collaborators have found that the same principle will apply to marine species under global warming.

U.N. says China to make pledge for climate treaty this month

June 5, 2015 12:03 am | by Cara Anna, Associated Press | News | Comments

China is expected this month to formally submit its pledge for a global climate treaty that countries are seeking to finalize by December, the United Nations' top adviser on climate change said Thursday. Chinese President Xi Jinping sent a letter to Ban Ki-moon last week about the issue, U.N. assistant secretary-general Janos Pasztor told The Associated Press. Pasztor did not give details.

A check on runaway lake drainage

June 4, 2015 7:34 am | by Jennifer Chu, MIT News Office | News | Comments

Each summer, Greenland’s ice sheet begins to melt. Pockets of melting ice form hundreds of large, “supraglacial” lakes on the surface of the ice. Many of these lakes drain through cracks and crevasses in the ice sheet, creating a liquid layer over which massive chunks of ice can slide. This natural conveyor belt can speed ice toward the coast, where it eventually falls off into the sea.

Paleo study shows how elevation may affect evolution

June 3, 2015 7:56 am | by David Orenstein, Brown Univ. | News | Comments

Paleontologists have documented how dramatic shifts in climate have led to dramatic shifts in evolution. One such event, the Grande Coupure, was a wipeout of many European mammal species 33.9 million years ago when global temperatures and precipitation declined sharply. What has been puzzling is that during the same transition between the Eocene and Oligocene periods, North American mammals fared much better.

Saving money and the environment with 3D printing

June 3, 2015 7:47 am | by Amanda Morris, Northwestern Univ. | News | Comments

A Northwestern Univ. team has confirmed a new way to help the airline industry save dollars while also saving the environment. And the solution comes in three dimensions. By manufacturing aircrafts’ metal parts with 3D printing, airlines could save a significant amount of fuel, materials and other resources.

Greenhouse gas-caused warming felt in just months

June 2, 2015 12:38 pm | by Carnegie Institution | News | Comments

The heat generated by burning a fossil fuel is surpassed within a few months by the warming caused by the release of its carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, according to new work. The release of CO2 into the atmosphere contributes to the trapping of heat that would otherwise be emitted into outer space.

Ancient algae found deep in tropical glacier

June 1, 2015 11:04 am | by Mike Williams, Rice Univ. | News | Comments

The remains of tiny creatures found deep inside a mountaintop glacier in Peru are clues to the local landscape more than a millennium ago, according to a new study. The unexpected discovery of diatoms, a type of algae, in ice cores pulled from the Quelccaya Summit Dome Glacier demonstrate that freshwater lakes or wetlands that currently exist at high elevations on or near the mountain were also there in earlier times.

Lab can create hurricane conditions on demand

May 29, 2015 8:57 am | by Jennifer Kay, Associated Press | News | Comments

Researchers trying to figure out what makes some hurricanes strengthen into catastrophic monsters have a new lab that allows them to generate tropical storm conditions with the flip of a switch. The lab is at the Univ. of Miami's Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science. It's known as the Surge-Structure-Atmosphere Interaction, or SUSTAIN.

Study shows influence on climate of fresh water during last Ice Age

May 29, 2015 8:26 am | by Oregon State Univ. | News | Comments

A new study shows how huge influxes of fresh water into the North Atlantic Ocean from icebergs calving off North America during the last ice age had an unexpected effect—they increased the production of methane in the tropical wetlands. Usually increases in methane levels are linked to warming in the Northern Hemisphere, but scientists have identified rapid increases in methane during particularly cold intervals.

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