Top Stories

More funding for long-term studies necessary for best science, environmental policy

Environmental scientists and policymakers value long-term research to an extent that far outstrips the amount of funding awarded for it, according to a study published today.

Graduate students and faculty members in the Oregon State University College of Science were part of a collaboration that evaluated the perceived benefits of long-term ecological and environmental studies – known as LTEES – to both researchers and those who determine environmental policy. 

>> Read the Full Article

NASA Examines Deadly Spring-Like Weather With GPM Satellite

Rainfall from spring-like downpours in the U.S. from February 25 to March 1 were analyzed at NASA using data from the Global Precipitation Measurement mission or GPM satellite.

Record breaking warm temperatures this winter have caused plants to bloom early in the eastern United States. Unfortunately this has also resulted in the formation of spring-like severe thunderstorms and deadly tornadoes. Multiple tornado sightings were made in three of the last seven days. On Saturday February 25, 2017 destructive tornadoes were reported in Maryland, Pennsylvania and Massachusetts.

>> Read the Full Article

Iron dissolved by air pollution may increase ocean potential to trap carbon

Iron particles generated by cities and industry are being dissolved by man-made air pollution and washed into the sea – potentially increasing the amount of greenhouse gases that the world’s oceans can absorb, a new study suggests.

Scientists have long believed that acids formed from human-generated pollution and natural emissions dissolve iron in airborne particles - increasing the amount of iron to the ocean – but have lacked direct evidence to prove this theory.

>> Read the Full Article

What Global Climate Change May Mean for Leaf Litter in Streams and Rivers

Rate of leaf litter decay — and release of carbon to the atmosphere — may not accelerate as much as previously predicted as temperatures rise

Carbon emissions to the atmosphere from streams and rivers are expected to increase as warmer water temperatures stimulate faster rates of organic matter breakdown.

>> Read the Full Article

Study: Volkswagen's excess emissions will lead to 1,200 premature deaths in Europe

In September 2015, the German Volkswagen Group, the world’s largest car producer, admitted to having installed “defeat devices” in 11 million diesel cars sold worldwide between 2008 and 2015. The devices were designed to detect and adapt to laboratory tests, making the cars appear to comply with environmental standards when, in fact, they emitted pollutants called nitric oxides, or NOx, at levels that were on average four times the applicable European test-stand limit.

>> Read the Full Article

Brake Dust May Cause More Problems Than Blackened Wheel Covers

Though tailpipe emissions could fall in the years ahead as more zero-emission vehicles hit the streets, one major source of highway air pollution shows no signs of abating: brake and tire dust.

Metals from brakes and other automotive systems are emitted into the air as fine particles, lingering over busy roadways. Now, researchers at Georgia Institute of Technology have shown how that cloud of tiny metal particles could wreak havoc on respiratory health.

>> Read the Full Article

Late winter 'heatwave' hits the U.S. in February

It has been warm this winter for much of the country. But even with that said, temperatures recorded during a four-day period in late February 2017 across the central and eastern United States were extraordinary for the end of meteorological winter—December through February.

>> Read the Full Article

Human, Cattle Viruses Detected in Some Great Lakes Tributaries

Human and bovine, or cattle, viruses were detected in a small percentage of some Great Lakes Basin streams, with human viruses more prevalent in urban streams and bovine viruses more common in streams in agricultural areas, according to a recent U.S. Geological Survey-led study.

>> Read the Full Article

Taking Earth's Inner Temperature

The temperature of Earth’s interior affects everything from the movement of tectonic plates to the formation of the planet.

A new study led by Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) suggests the mantle—the mostly solid, rocky part of Earth’s interior that lies between its super-heated core and its outer crustal layer – may be hotter than previously believed. The new finding, published March 3 in the journal Science, could change how scientists think about many issues in Earth science including how ocean basins form.

>> Read the Full Article

NASA Study Improves Forecasts of Summer Arctic Sea Ice

The Arctic has been losing sea ice over the past several decades as Earth warms. However, each year, as the sea ice starts to melt in the spring following its maximum wintertime extent, scientists still struggle to estimate exactly how much ice they expect will disappear through the melt season. Now, a new NASA forecasting model based on satellite measurements is allowing researchers to make better estimates.

Forecasts of how much Arctic sea ice will shrink from spring into fall is valuable information for such communities as shipping companies and native people that depend on sea ice for hunting. Many animal and plant species are impacted directly by changes in the coverage of sea ice across the Arctic. Uncertain weather conditions through spring and summer make the forecasting of Arctic sea ice for a given year extremely challenging.

>> Read the Full Article