Fears of global warming and its impact on our environment have left scientists scrambling to decrease levels of atmospheric carbon we humans produce. Now, Tel Aviv University researchers are doing their part to reduce humanity's carbon footprint by successfully growing forests in the most unlikely place—deep in Israel's Aravah Desert.
Climate models have a hard time representing clouds accurately because they lack the spatial resolution necessary to accurately simulate the billowy air masses. But Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory scientists and international collaborators have developed a new tool that will help scientists better represent the clouds observed in the sky in climate models.
The first international survey by a peer-reviewed journal on the public perception of geoengineering and solar radiation management has found that 72% of respondents approved research into these climate-manipulating techniques.
Since the emergence of nanotechnology, researchers, regulators, and the public have been concerned that the potential toxicity of nano-sized products might threaten human health by way of environmental exposure. Now, with the help of high-powered transmission electron microscopes, chemists captured never-before-seen views of miniscule metal nanoparticles naturally being created by silver articles, showing nanoparticle have been in contact with humans for a long time.
In the 1980s, work with bacterial cells showed that they have mechanosensitive channels, tiny pores in the cells membrane that open when the cell bloats with water, letting charged atoms and other molecules to rush out of the cell. A scientist at Washington University in St. Louis believes plants have similar mechanisms, and is using this theory to learn how plants sense touch, gravity and other physical forces.
The discovery of the mineral jarosite in rocks analyzed by the Mars Rover, Opportunity, on the Martian surface had special meaning for a team of Syracuse University scientists who study the mineral here on Earth. Jarosite can only form in the presence of water. Its presence on Mars means that water had to exist at some point in the past.
At the end of October, the United Nations Environment Programme, or UNEP, will conduct the third of five meetings to hammer out a treaty that may involve the comprehensive ban on mercury. The problem, says many health experts, is that a proposed ban might include thiomersal, a mercury compound used to prevent contamination and extend the shelf life of vaccines.
On Thursday, California formally adopted the nation's most comprehensive so-called "cap-and-trade" system. The system will be an experiment by the world's eighth-largest economy to provide financial incentives for polluters to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Some businesses claim it will hurt job growth and increase electricity costs; proponents say it will do the opposite.
Cities release more heat to the atmosphere than the rural vegetated areas around them, but how much influence these urban "heat islands" have on global warming has been a matter of debate. Now a study by Stanford University researchers has quantified the contribution of the heat islands for the first time, showing that it is modest compared with what greenhouse gases contribute to global warming.
By investigating a link between atmospheric oxygen levels and rising concentrations of chromium in the rock of ancient sea beds nearly 2.5 billion years ago, researchers in Canada theorize that the oxygen-breathing bacteria arrived on land earlier than previously thought.
Doing some detective work, biologists and earth scientists surveyed 18 coasts worldwide, evaluating contamination by small particles of plastic. Based on the size and shape of the particles, they concluded that fibers loosened during a typical laundry cycle in a washing machine could be the primary source for this swiftly growing form of pollution.
Concern is growing in the scientific community about the changing attitude of Congress toward federal research and development activities. Once content to rely upon the recommendations of government research officials, Congressional leaders now are swinging to the other extreme—the questioning of virtually every major research decision.
Created from images collected by the Japanese Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer, or ASTER, aboard NASA’s Terra spacecraft, the latest, improved global digital elevation model spans wavelengths from infrared to visible light, and has a spatial resolution of as little as 15 m.
It is difficult to measure accurately each nation's contribution of carbon dioxide to the Earth's atmosphere. Carbon is extracted out of the ground as coal, gas, and oil, and these fuels are often exported to other countries where they are burned to generate the energy that is used to make products. In turn, these products may be traded to still other countries where they are consumed. A team led by the Carnegie Institution has tracked and quantified this supply chain of global carbon dioxide emissions.
North American forests appear to have a greater capacity to soak up heat-trapping carbon dioxide gas than researchers had previously anticipated. As a result, they could help slow the pace of human-caused climate warming more than most scientists had thought, according to a University of Michigan ecologist and his colleagues.
The tiny phytoplankton Emiliania huxleyi , invisible to the naked eye, plays an outsized role in drawing carbon from the atmosphere and sequestering it deep in the seas. But this role may change as ocean water becomes warmer and more acidic, according to a San Francisco State University research team.
Led by Penn State University researchers, the new Marcellus Shale Research Network will consolidate and routinely update water data being collected by watershed groups, government agencies, industry stakeholders and universities as a searchable database.
Many people in Bangladesh and other parts of Asia have been poisoned by drinking groundwater laced with arsenic leaching from sediments. New understanding of this naturally-occurring process may help others wells, including those in the United States.
Global glaciation likely put a chill on life on Earth hundreds of millions of years ago, but new research indicates that simple life in the form of photosynthetic algae could have survived in a narrow body of water with characteristics similar to today's Red Sea.
Earth's largest mass extinction event eradicated an estimated 90% of Earth's marine life. To better understand the cause of this "mother of all mass extinctions," researchers from Arizona State University and the University of Cincinnati used a new geochemical technique to discover something new: the relative change in anoxia conditions in the ocean.
A new study suggests that an estimated 100,000 people in India may have escaped HIV infection over five years thanks to one of the world's biggest prevention programs. Though the true impact of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s Avahan project is uncertain, its an encouraging sign that targeting high-risk groups remains vital even as more donors focus on treatment.
The lack of a settled legal framework that balances private property rights while maximizing the public good ultimately hinders the large-scale commercial deployment of geologic carbon sequestration, according to published research by a University of Illinois expert in renewable energy law.
Dozens of foreign insects and plant diseases slipped undetected into the United States in the years after 9/11, when authorities were so focused on preventing another attack that they overlooked a pest explosion that threatened the quality of the nation's food supply.
Makers of the controversial chemical bisphenol-A have asked federal regulators to phase out rules that allow its use in baby bottles and sippy cups, saying those products haven't contained the plastic-hardening ingredient for two years.
In California’s rift, the San Andreas Fault, the center of the action lies in the lithosphere, which makes up the tectonic plates and includes the crust and part of the upper mantle. Researchers at Brown University have produced the highest-resolution picture of the bottom of the lithosphere in southern California, yielding new insights on the complex geologic region.