Longer growing season does not yield growth increase for trees and shrubs
May 21, 2014 09:29 AM - Robin Blackstone, ENN
As the earth's temperatures rise, some have speculated that trees and shrubs in the colder climates might experience and increase in growth as a result of the extended growing season. "Not so," says a recent study authored by a University of Washington biology and applied mathematics postdoctoral student. Her study demonstrates that bushes achieve less yearly growth when cold winter temperatures are interrupted by warm spurts that trigger growth.
Antarctica dances to Carole King's "The Earth Moves Under My Feet"
May 20, 2014 02:07 PM - Robin Blackstone, ENN
Antarctica has apparently been living by the lyrics of Carole King's 1971 hit song "The Earth Moves Under My Feet". According to a study from Newcastle University in the United Kingdom, Antarctica has been moving "rapidly". Recently published in Earth and Planetary Science Letters, the study explains why the upward motion of the Earth's crust in the Northern Antarctic Peninsula is currently taking place so quickly. While earlier studies have shown the earth is 'rebounding' due to the overlying ice sheet shrinking in response to climate change, GPS data is suggesting otherwise. The international research team led in part by Newcastle researchers has revealed that this land is rising at a remarkable rate of 15mm a year.
Reintroducing the European Bison
May 20, 2014 09:47 AM - Robin Blackstone, ENN
In a coordinated effort to reintroduce the European bison to the grasslands of southern Romania, the World Wildlife Fund for Nature (WWF) and Rewilding Europe recently brought 20 bison to the Southern Carpathians. Ten more will be reintroduced over the summer. The species has been absent for about 200 years.
Alarming data on Arctic Ice Loss
May 20, 2014 06:43 AM - Alex Peel, Planet Earth online
The Antarctic ice sheet has lost ice twice as quickly in the past three years as when it was last surveyed between 2005 and 2010, say scientists. Results from the CryoSat-2 satellite mission, published today in the journal Geophysical Research Letters, say the largest ice sheet on Earth is now losing 159 billion tonnes of ice each year.
Canyons in Greenland hold a lot more glacial ice than thought
May 19, 2014 04:44 PM - Editor, ENN
Greenland is now mostly white. Snow and ice and glaciers abound, but are shrinking as the climate warms. Turns out that some of the glaciers are found in canyons and the canyons are deeper than previously thought. Scientists at NASA and the University of California, Irvine (UCI), have found that canyons under Greenland's ocean-feeding glaciers are deeper and longer than previously thought, increasing the amount of Greenland's estimated contribution to future sea level rise. "The glaciers of Greenland are likely to retreat faster and farther inland than anticipated, and for much longer, according to this very different topography we have discovered," said Mathieu Morlighem, a UCI associate project scientist who is lead author of the new research paper. The results were published Sunday in the journal Nature Geoscience.
Fighting air pollution with innovation and technology
May 19, 2014 10:46 AM - ENN Editor
Air pollution has become one of the world's biggest threats to the future of our planet. Chronic air pollution shortens our lives and the lives of the ecologies around us. In parts of Asia, where air pollution is most pervasive, food crops and other plants are exhibiting signs of stress due to low air quality.
Head in the Clouds
May 16, 2014 09:42 AM - ENN Editor
Clouds play a critical role in Earth's climate and are the largest source of uncertainty in present climate models, stemming from cloud formation complexity, according to the latest report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.
Go out and play!
May 14, 2014 11:34 AM - Robin Blackstone, ENN
New research confirms the health benefits associated with outdoor play for children. New research from the University of Bristol shows that while most children spend the largest amount of their after-school time indoors either alone or with their parents, hours spent outdoors with friends has the greatest positive affect on a child's level of physical activity. The correlation works out like this: children get an extra 17 minutes of physical activity for every hour of time spent outdoors.
Overwhelming the Mississippi
May 14, 2014 10:52 AM - Robin Blackstone, ENN
New evidence from University of Texas at Austin researchers posit that the great Mississippi's natural ability to chemically filter out nitrates is being overwhelmed. UT's hydrologists demonstrate the enormity of the filtering process for almost every drop of water that enters into the 311,000-mile long course ending in the Gulf of Mexico.
Carbon Dioxide pushing weather around in the southern hemisphere
May 14, 2014 09:49 AM - Robin Blackstone, ENN
So why is Antarctica is not warming as much as other continents, and why are there more droughts in southern Australia? According to new Antarctic ice core research published in Nature Climate Change, rising levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere are intensifying the Southern Ocean winds, which are known to deliver rain to southern Australia, but instead they are pushing them further south towards Antarctica.