Earth Sciences

The Alps are steadily "growing" by about one to two millimeters per year. Likewise, the formerly glaciated subcontinents of North America and Scandinavia are also undergoing constant upward movement.

This is due to the fact that at the end of the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM) about 18,000 years ago the glaciers melted and with this the former heavy pressure on the Earth's surface diminished. The ice reacted rapidly to climate change at that time whereas the Earth's crust is still responding today to this relatively sudden melting of ice. During the LGM the Alps were also coated with an ice cap that temporarily reached far into the alpine foreland.

The extent of glaciation was much smaller here than on the subcontinents of North America and Scandinavia.

Atmospheric scientists at the Desert Research Institute (DRI) have turned their attention toward the growing e-cigarette industry and found that toxic aldehydes, such as formaldehyde, are formed during the chemical breakdown of the flavored e-liquid during the rapid heating process (pyrolysis) that occurs inside e-cigarettes or electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS).

Since the dose makes the poison, is this a concern? Not really, but in the modern world of International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) hazard assessments, risk has become irrelevant and the presence of any compound, even in trace levels, is declared carcinogenic if the levels are within seven orders of magnitude, so 10,000,000 to 1.

A mathematical model that assists in decision-making at a facility devoted to the cultivation and production of the common mushroom (Agaricus bisporus) has received the prize for the best scientific contribution during the 2nd International Food Operations&Processing Simulation Workshop, FoodOPS, held in Larnaca (Cyprus).

Kaikaifilu is a new species of giant sea lizard (mosasaur) discovered in 66 million year-old rocks of Antarctica. At about 10 m long, it is the largest known top marine predator from this continent. It lived near the end of the dinosaur age, when Antarctica was a much warmer ecosystem, and fed on filter-feeding marine reptiles.

We power humanity mostly by burning fossil fuels, thereby turning chemical energy into heat that ultimately gets radiated into space. In doing so we achieve some results deemed useful: we cook food, we keep our homes and offices at comfortable temperatures, we watch television, listen to music, take hot showers, generate light during dark hours, and move from A to B and back. 

"What area on Mars is the most interesting for us?". My answer to this question isn’t an impressive geological feature like Olympus Mons or Valles Marineres. For me, it’s a rather unremarkable seeming crater, Richardson crater near the south pole. Let me explain why.

First this shows where it is. It is close to the south pole - this is an elevation map and I’ve trimmed it down to the southern hemisphere. You can see Olympus Mons as the obvious large mountain just right of middle, and Hellas Basin as the big depression middle left. Richardson crater is about half way between them and much further south.

Thanks, but no thanks, say British scientists about controversial British evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins, primarily known for his criticism of religion.

A majority of those surveyed who mentioned Dawkins’ work during research interviews reject his approach to public engagement and said his work misrepresents science and scientists because he conveys the wrong impression about what science can do and the norms that scientists observe in their work.
New research suggests that "flash droughts", like the one that unexpectedly gripped the Southern Rockies and Midwest in the summer of 2012, could be predicted months in advance using soil moisture and snowpack data.

Scientists at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) analyzed the conditions leading up to the 2012 drought, which ultimately caused $30 billion in economic losses, looking for any warning signs that a drought was on the way. They find that observations of snowmelt and soil moisture could have predicted the ensuing drought up to four months in advance.
Environmental Defense Fund (EDF), one of the nation's largest environmental groups, which has been bankrolled with $50 million from the heirs to the Walmart fortune, has spent millions of dollars pushing a wholesale change in how the U.S. manages its fisheries, to the detriment of fishermen and with no benefit to nature

The gusting westerly winds that dominate the climate in central Asia, setting the pattern of dryness and location of central Asian deserts, have blown mostly unchanged for 42 million years.
A University of Washington geologist led a team that has discovered a surprising resilience to one of the world's dominant weather systems. The finding could help long-term climate forecasts, since it suggests these winds are likely to persist through radical climate shifts.