Top Stories

How Birds Cope with Turbulence

Researchers set out to examine how soaring birds such as eagles, vultures, and kites, are able to fly in 'gusty' turbulent flight conditions that would keep a light aircraft grounded. They gave a captive steppe eagle (Aquila nipalensis), called 'Cossack', its own flight recorder backpack – a 75g black box incorporating GPS that also measured acceleration, rotation rate, and airspeed – and recorded it soaring over the Brecon Beacons in Wales. >> Read the Full Article

Methane sink discovered in oceanic rock

Since the first undersea methane seep was discovered 30 years ago, scientists have meticulously analyzed and measured how microbes in the seafloor sediments consume the greenhouse gas methane as part of understanding how the Earth works. The sediment-based microbes form an important methane "sink," preventing much of the chemical from reaching the atmosphere and contributing to greenhouse gas accumulation. As a byproduct of this process, the microbes create a type of rock known as authigenic carbonate, which while interesting to scientists was not thought to be involved in the processing of methane. >> Read the Full Article

Fly genome could help us improve our health and environment

The house fly might be a worldwide pest, but its genome will provide information that could improve our lives. From insights into pathogen immunity, to pest control and decomposing waste, the 691 Mb genome has been sequenced and analyzed by a global consortium of scientists, and is published in the open access journal Genome Biology. The genome highlights detoxification and immune system genes that are unique to the insect, and could be subjects of further study to help humans deal with toxic and disease causing environments. >> Read the Full Article

Space Weather and OUR weather

What is "space weather"? And how might it affect weather on Earth? Researchers have discovered a formerly undetected impact of space weather on the polar atmosphere, which may explain some previously unexplained variations in winter weather patterns. Their results, published today (Tuesday 14 October), in the journal Nature Communications could have important implications for seasonal weather forecasting. >> Read the Full Article

Why Cat Poop is Bad News for Sea Otters

A parasite spread by cat poop is causing a big problem for endangered sea otters in California, and researchers have finally figured out how. Sea otters were nearly wiped out by the fur trade at one point, but they've been slowly making a comeback thanks to conservation efforts and protection under the Endangered Species Act. While they're on the road to recovery the latest numbers from the U.S. Geological Survey released last month shows they're population growth has stalled, with the biggest issue being that they're dying in record numbers. >> Read the Full Article

How did Icebergs reach Florida in the last Ice Age?

Using a first-of-its-kind, high-resolution numerical model to describe ocean circulation during the last ice age about 21,000 year ago, oceanographer Alan Condron of the University of Massachusetts Amherst has shown that icebergs and meltwater from the North American ice sheet would have regularly reached South Carolina and even southern Florida. The models are supported by the discovery of iceberg scour marks on the sea floor along the entire continental shelf. Such a view of past meltwater and iceberg movement implies that the mechanisms of abrupt climate change are more complex than previously thought, Condron says. "Our study is the first to show that when the large ice sheet over North America known as the Laurentide ice sheet began to melt, icebergs calved into the sea around Hudson Bay and would have periodically drifted along the east coast of the United States as far south as Miami and the Bahamas in the Caribbean, a distance of more than 3,100 miles, about 5,000 kilometers." >> Read the Full Article

NASA maps methane emissions

An unexpectedly high amount of the climate-changing gas methane, the main component of natural gas, is escaping from the Four Corners region in the U.S. Southwest, according to a new study by the University of Michigan and NASA. The researchers mapped satellite data to uncover the nation's largest methane signal seen from space. They measured levels of the gas emitted from all sources, and found more than half a teragram per year coming from the area where Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado and Utah meet. That's about as much methane as the entire coal, oil, and gas industries of the United Kingdom give off each year. >> Read the Full Article

Companies Working to Eliminate Hunger

With a busy week behind you and the weekend within reach, there's no shame in taking things a bit easy on Friday afternoon. With this in mind, every Friday TriplePundit will give you a fun, easy read on a topic you care about. So, take a break from those endless email threads, and spend five minutes catching up on the latest trends in sustainability and business. >> Read the Full Article

Middle Eastern Vegetation Resistant to Climate Change

Ecosystems in the Middle East are home to a wealth of unique species – including the ancestors of many of our staple crops today. Yet the climate scenario in this dry region is alarming. Already, the region has a relatively small amount of water available for every person living there – and it is predicted that in the future, there will be even less rain. That could jeopardize Middle Eastern ecosystems and threaten the survival of important species. >> Read the Full Article

Fish Forced Poleward

Large numbers of fish will disappear from the tropics by 2050, finds a new University of British Columbia study that examined the impact of climate change on fish stocks. The study identified ocean hotspots for local fish extinction but also found that changing temperatures will drive more fish into the Arctic and Antarctic waters. >> Read the Full Article