Earth Sciences

A new analysis of the stability of the Antarctic ice sheet shows that ice rises (pinning points that keep the floating parts of ice sheets in place) are formed during the transition between glacial and interglacial periods, which significantly slows down the response of the ice sheet to climate change.
According to a new global-scale projection, terrestrial vegetation emits several million tons of extremely low-volatility organic compounds (ELVOCs) per year to the atmosphere, which affect cloud seeds via formation of low-volatility vapors. These oxidation products of compounds such as monoterpenes results in an increase of condensing vapors that can further form cloud condensation nuclei over the continents and have an influence on the formation of clouds.

The results show how a number of natural compounds, which together account for around 70 percent of the biological hydrocarbon emissions, produce low-volatility products and how they can possibly effect the climate via aerosol particles. 
It is somehow ingrained in my body, I think. The appreciation of biodiversity. I know I love wetlands, growing up by a lake (mostly in it as a child) as I did. It turns out that parts of that lake are so-called Ramsar wetlands of international importance. Little did I know, growing up to be an astrophysicist that these sites existed and that it would once become part of my professional life. Here. On my home planet. bliksvaer
Bliksvaer Ramsar site, Norway. Photo: Bente Lilja Bye

 Karin Heineman, Inside Science –  Predicting and analyzing weather is a highly sophisticated scientific endeavor these days. But, it is also peppered with a good deal of lore.

We're here to debunk some popular weather myths.

Myth #1: Heat lightning, or the distant flashes of lightning you see in the sky (without hearing the clap of thunder) during the hot summer months, only occur because it is hot out.

Wrong. The truth is you're actually seeing lightning from a storm that's really far away. Since most severe thunderstorms often happen during hot summer months – the name "heat" lightning stuck.

Myth #2: The Earth is farthest from the sun in January.

Serengeti  means means “endless plains” in the Maasai language, but Tanzania's Serengeti National Park, which extends into Kenya towards the Mau Forest, the largest virgin montane forests of Africa, faces huge pressures from population growth.

It's easy for western elites who already have homes and educations to lament encroachment of nature by humans living in remote areas without either, but the real world needs more practical solutions. A new EU program is attempting to help.
When you mention rich ecosystems that are vital for life on Earth, people tend to think of rainforests, but ocean plankton are actually just as crucial. The microscopic beings that drift on the upper layer of the oceans are globally referred to as "plankton"; together they produce half of our oxygen, act as carbon sinks, influence our weather, and serve as the base of the ocean food web that sustains the larger fish and marine mammals that we depend upon or draw delight from.

"Beyond the cutting-edge science that was developed thanks to our collaborative work with the Tara Expéditions Foundation, this adventure is also about showing people all over the world how important the ocean is for our own well-being," says Eric Karsenti, director of Tara Oceans, from EMBL and CNRS.

Anna Reusch, a doctoral student at ETH Zurich's Geological Institute, was making a routine research vessel run on Lake Neuchâtel when she noticed an unusual shape on the control panel screen.

At a depth of over 100 mettrs, she found something no one had ever detected before: a crater measuring 10 meters deep and 160 meters in diameter. 

Reusch investigates the sediment in the lakes on the western Swiss Plateau for traces of past earthquakes, which involves taking high-resolution measurements of the floor of Lake Neuchâtel to find evidence of tectonically active zones that could trigger major earthquakes. The period Reusch is looking at is geologically speaking very recent: sometime in the past 12,000 years. 


Nuclear power is sometimes described as being free of greenhouse gas emissions, and that’s true of the nuclear fission reactions themselves. But here is a list of all the stages of the nuclear power cycle at which greenhouse gases are emitted: uranium mining, uranium milling, conversion of uranium ore to uranium hexafluoride, uranium enrichment, fuel fabrication, reactor construction, reactor decommissioning, fuel reprocessing, nuclear waste disposal, mine site rehabilitation, and transport throughout all stages.

Researchers have confirmed strong warming in the upper troposphere, known colloquially as the tropospheric hotspot, long expected as part of the global warming hypothesis. 

Though the tropospheric hotspot appears in many global climate models, the inability to detect it has been used to suggest climate change is not occurring as a result of increasing carbon dioxide emissions. 


Like with emissions-free, white-collar astronomy jobs, it seems strange that anyone would protest emissions-free alternative energy, but in the United States it faces an uphill battle. On one side environmental groups lobby for it, while on the other, different environmentalists wait to file lawsuits and if they aren't paid off quickly, it could take years to resolve in court.