Glacial Water Flows
May 22, 2014 07:53 AM - Harriet Jarlett, Planet Earth Online
Subglacial lakes in Antarctica might have nutrient-rich groundwater flowing into them, say scientists investigating the origin of the water in ice streams. Ice streams are huge, fast-flowing glaciers that meander across Antarctica. They are responsible for nearly all of the Antarctic's contribution to sea-level rise, yet scientists have little understanding of where the water flowing through them comes from. This means that the contents of the subglacial lakes which lie underneath these streams is also a mystery.
Winds of Environmental Change in China
May 22, 2014 07:51 AM - Alex Wang and Benjamin van Rooij, UCLA
China's national legislature has adopted sweeping changes to the country's Environmental Protection Law, revisions that have been hailed as major steps toward saving China's environment from rampant degradation. The authorities will now have stronger enforcement powers, including the right to detain persistent violators for up to 15 days and to fine polluters more heavily than before. Some legally registered civil-society organizations will now be able to initiate public-interest litigation as well.
Technology reducing cost of solar panels by half
May 21, 2014 10:00 AM - Click Green Staff, ClickGreen
A world expert on solar panels will today outline how his pioneering work is set to significantly improve the performance of solar panels whilst simultaneously contributing to their cost being reduced by half. The technology will be commercialized within the next five years.
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.