Earth Sciences

The World Glacier Monitoring Service, which compiles the results of worldwide glacier observations in annual calls-for-data, has compiled such data on glacier changes for more than 120 years.

Now they have published a new analysis of global glacier changes and say observations of the first decade of the 21st century (2001-2010) compared to all available earlier data from in-situ, air-borne, and satellite-borne observations as well as to reconstructions from pictorial and written sources leads them to believe that observed glaciers currently lose between half a meter and one meter of ice thickness every year – this is two to three times more than the corresponding average of the 20th century.
Since 2010, the best estimate of the age of Earth’s magnetic field has been 3.45 billion years but new research says the magnetic field is far older. John Tarduno, a geophysicist at the University of Rochester and a leading expert on Earth’s magnetic field, and his team of researchers say they believe the Earth’s magnetic field is at least four billion years old.

There’s a new study that’s getting a fair amount of attention in the climate science community and the popular press.

Scientists analyzing the latest data from Comet 67P Churyumov-Gerasimenko have discovered molecules that can form sugars and amino acids, which are the building blocks of life as we know it. While this is a long, long way from finding life itself, the data shows that the organic compounds that eventually translated into organisms here on Earth existed in the early solar system.

Perhaps the most effective way to scare consumers and regulatory agencies alike is to suggest that a certain product contains a ‘dangerous’ chemical. Even more effective? Have a scientist with four degrees from MIT — but none in food science or genetics — publish a study concluding that the food we eat every day contains formaldehyde.

Nobody wants to ingest harmful substances let alone feed them to our family, so the idea of an embalming fluid finding its way to our dinner plates sounds horrific. But that’s exactly what Dr. V.A. Shiva Ayyadurai claims.

Antonio Aledo, Professor of Sociology at the University of Alicante, warns that "because of real estate speculation and the management of public budgets based on income from the real estate business, seismic risk has been forgotten."

As an example, he used the town of Torrevieja, where one of the biggest earthquakes in the province of Alicante took place in 1829 with more than 389 dead and 209 wounded. And things would not be much better now.

Researchers have completed a large-scale research project conducted over a five-year period on the African continent to compile the first greenhouse gas budget of African rivers.

Covering 12 rivers spread across the entire continent of Africa, the study shows that greenhouse gas emissions from the rivers are very significant. The researchers trawled the African continent in order to analyze the streams of carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4) and nitrous oxide (N2O), the three main GHG.

On April 20, 2010, BP's Deepwater Horizon (DWH) drilling rig experienced a failure resulting in the discharge of gas and light sweet crude oil from a depth of approximately 5,000 feet.

Discharge continued for 87 days until July 15, 2010, five years ago this week, when the well was capped and the leak was contained.

From trilobites to tyrannosaurs, most fossils are of creatures with hard shells or bones. These materials don’t easily biodegrade and sediment has time to build up around them and turn them into a record of the creature that is still with us millions of years after it has died. Soft-bodied organisms like worms, on the other hand, decay rapidly and their fossil record is decidedly patchy.

In exceptional circumstances, however, their remains are preserved and sometimes in the most unusual places. With the right detective skills, palaeontologists can use such discoveries to open up whole new windows on the history of life on Earth. A recent discovery found in 50-million-year-old rocks from Antarctica has yielded a particularly incredible example: fossilised worm sperm.

The arrival of intense cold similar to what some call the "Little Ice Age" of the late 17th century and early 18th century, is expected in the years 2030 to 2040, according to a presentation during the National Astronomy Meeting in Wales.