A rise in temperatures that caused the last major global defrost has now been placed in the same 150-year window as an accompanying CO2 increase by Frédéric Parrenin from the French National Centre for Scientific Research and his teammates, rather than happening 800 years before the CO2 change as previously thought. ... Read more »
F. Parrenin, V. Masson-Delmotte, P. Köhler, D. Raynaud, D. Paillard, J. Schwander, C. Barbante, A. Landais, A. Wegner, J. Jouze. (2013) Synchronous Change of Atmospheric CO2 and Antarctic Temperature During the Last Deglacial Warming. Science, 1060-1063. info:/
An international team of researchers has discovered an ancient microcontinent, that once was tucked in between southern India and Madagascar and is now believed to hide about 10 kilometers beneath the island Mauritius.... Read more »
Greenhouse gases currently trapped in the frozen soil risk release past a 1.5°C temperature threshold for melting at the permafrost boundary, found in a 500,000 year record collected by Anton Vaks from the University of Oxford, and his colleagues. ... Read more »
A. Vaks, O. S. Gutareva, S. F. M. Breitenbach, E. Avirmed, A. J. Mason, A. L. Thomas, A. V. Osinzev,5 A. M. Kononov, G. M. Henderson. (2013) Speleothems Reveal 500,000-Year History of Siberian Permafrost. Science. info:/
Is U.S. energy independence, based in part on 'fracking' shale deposits to access oil and gas reservoirs, just a pipe dream? A comment by JD Hughes in this week's Nature posits just this, pointing out that production at most of these deposits declines steeply in just a few years - the industry is simply not sustainable. But why all the hype around such an unsustainable resource?In my view, the industry practice of fitting hyperbolic curves to data on declining productivity, and inferring li........ Read more »
Can past observations be used to help constrain future temperature projections? This question is particularly relevant given the last decade which has shown relatively less warming than expected. One of the main approaches used to address this problem is called … Continue reading →... Read more »
Stott, P., Good, P., Jones, G., Gillett, N., & Hawkins, E. (2013) The upper end of climate model temperature projections is inconsistent with past warming. Environmental Research Letters, 8(1), 14024. DOI: 10.1088/1748-9326/8/1/014024
A study calling on 8326 weather stations has confirmed that annual precipitation highs are intensifying by around 7% per 1°C warming, explains University of Adelaide’s Seth West... Read more »
Westra, S., Alexander, L., & Zwiers, F. (2012) Global increasing trends in annual maximum daily precipitation. Journal of Climate, 2147483647. DOI: 10.1175/JCLI-D-12-00502.1
Geology and history have much in common. Both seek to understand the past by objective analysis of the traces it has left in the present. Both arose from the application of hand and mind to the study of particular things … Continue reading →... Read more »
Desaulty, A., & Albarede, F. (2012) Copper, lead, and silver isotopes solve a major economic conundrum of Tudor and early Stuart Europe. Geology, 41(2), 135-138. DOI: 10.1130/G33555.1
Recent research has almost confirmed that the dinosaurs were completely destroyed by the impact of an asteroid in Mexico nearly 66 million years ago.
This research has been published online in the journal Science.
The impact of the asteroid, nearly 15 kilometers (9 miles) wide resulted in the most recent and most familiar mass extinction, i.e. Cretaceous-Paleogene extinction that destroyed nearly 75% of the planet’s species including almost every dinosaur. Birds are considered as the........ Read more »
Renne, P., Deino, A., Hilgen, F., Kuiper, K., Mark, D., Mitchell, W., Morgan, L., Mundil, R., & Smit, J. (2013) Time Scales of Critical Events Around the Cretaceous-Paleogene Boundary. Science, 339(6120), 684-687. DOI: 10.1126/science.1230492
Cold… Darkness… … And life. Sure, microbial life, but life nonetheless. Lake Whillans, part of the Whillans Ice Stream, to be found at the West Antarctic Ice Sheet, has been reached and sampled a little less than two weeks ago. Now, researchers of the WISSARD team report the presence of microscopic life in the samples. [...]... Read more »
Priscu, J., Powell, R., & Tulaczyk, S. (2010) Probing Subglacial Environments Under the Whillans Ice Stream. Eos, Transactions American Geophysical Union, 91(29), 253-254. DOI: 10.1029/2010EO290002
Even as the world warms, stronger high pressures have driven extreme cold events happening since the 1990s in Europe and Asia, says Xiangdong Zhang at University of Alaska, Fairbanks.... Read more »
Zhang, X., Lu, C., & Guan, Z. (2012) Weakened cyclones, intensified anticyclones and recent extreme cold winter weather events in Eurasia. Environmental Research Letters, 7(4), 44044. DOI: 10.1088/1748-9326/7/4/044044
Working in the Arctic is hard. Despite climate warming, despite diminishing ice cover, despite public interest and global impact, it is still a hostile and challenging place. It is also very expensive to get to. It usually takes me 2-4 … Continue reading →... Read more »
O'Hara, K. (2010) Canada must free scientists to talk to journalists. Nature, 467(7315), 501-501. DOI: 10.1038/467501a
By Alyssa DeRubeis The long and tapered wings on this young Peregrine Falcon means it was built for some serious speed! Photo by Alyssa DeRubeis.Maybe you’ve been put under the false assumption that humans are cool. Don’t get me wrong; our bodies can do some pretty neat physiological stuff. But I’m gonna burst your bubble: humans are lame. Just think of how fast we can run compared to a Peregrine Falcon in a full stoop: 27 MPH versus 242 MPH. Keep thinking about all the cool things birds c........ Read more »
Møller, A., Biard, C., Karadas, F., Rubolini, D., Saino, N., & Surai, P. (2011) Maternal effects and changing phenology of bird migration. Climate Research, 49(3), 201-210. DOI: 10.3354/cr01030
Møller AP, Erritzøe J, & Karadas F. (2010) Levels of antioxidants in rural and urban birds and their consequences. Oecologia, 163(1), 35-45. PMID: 20012100
Cohen, A., McGraw, K., & Robinson, W. (2009) Serum antioxidant levels in wild birds vary in relation to diet, season, life history strategy, and species. Oecologia, 161(4), 673-683. DOI: 10.1007/s00442-009-1423-9
Geology is such a great thing to study because it involves making so many connections through time and space, switching scales from the cosmic to the atomic. This means that challenge for this series of posts about the geology of … Continue reading →... Read more »
L. Robin M. Cocks, & Trond H. Torsvik. (2005) Baltica from the late Precambrian to mid-Palaeozoic times: The gain and loss of a terrane’s identity. Earth-Science Reviews. DOI: 10.1016/j.earscirev.2005.04.001
D.H.W. Hutton, & G.I. Alsop. (2004) Dalradian Supergroup of NW Ireland Evidence for a major Neoproterozoic orogenic unconformity within the Dalradian Supergroup of NW Ireland . Journal of the Geological Society. DOI: 10.1144/0016-764903-094
Researchers have found that the chances of allergies and asthma are higher near equators.
This research has been published in the Annals of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology.
Allergy is the condition in which the immune system of the body gives sensitized response to the first exposure of the substance, such as pollen grains, dust mites and molds, and the reaction takes place only on subsequent exposures. According to American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology (ACAAI), many people, who ha........ Read more »
Oktaria, V., Dharmage, S., Burgess, J., Simpson, J., Morrison, S., Giles, G., Abramson, M., Walters, E., & Matheson, M. (2013) Association between latitude and allergic diseases: a longitudinal study from childhood to middle-age. Annals of Allergy, Asthma , 110(2), 80-850. DOI: 10.1016/j.anai.2012.11.005
Warm years limit flu transmission, but that makes us more susceptible to the virus the following season, explains Sherry Towers at Arizona State University, meaning health authorities have to watch for severe epidemics as climate changes. ... Read more »
Towers, S., Chowell, G., Hameed, R., Jastrebski, M., Khan, M., Meeks, J., Mubayi, A., & Harris, G. (2013) Climate change and influenza: the likelihood of early and severe influenza seasons following warmer than average winters. PLoS Currents. DOI: 10.1371/currents.flu.3679b56a3a5313dc7c043fb944c6f138
Two large calving events in 2010 and 2012 reduced the floating part of Petermann Gletscher by 44 km (28 miles) in length, 6 Manhattans (380 km^2) in area, and 42 giga tons in mass. But what’s a giga ton? ... Read more »
Johnson, H., Münchow, A., Falkner, K., & Melling, H. (2011) Ocean circulation and properties in Petermann Fjord, Greenland. Journal of Geophysical Research, 116(C1). DOI: 10.1029/2010JC006519
Münchow, A., & Garvine, R. (1993) Dynamical properties of a buoyancy-driven coastal current. Journal of Geophysical Research, 98(C11), 20063. DOI: 10.1029/93JC02112
Rignot, E., & Steffen, K. (2008) Channelized bottom melting and stability of floating ice shelves. Geophysical Research Letters, 35(2). DOI: 10.1029/2007GL031765
150 years since Henry David Thoreau observed them, plants flower three weeks earlier thanks to climate change, find Boston University’s Libby Ellwood and her teammates.... Read more »
Ellwood, E., Temple, S., Primack, R., Bradley, N., & Davis, C. (2013) Record-Breaking Early Flowering in the Eastern United States. PLoS ONE, 8(1). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0053788
Beautiful art depicting the state of science on the life in the triassic period.... Read more »
Sahney, S., & Benton, M. (2008) Recovery from the most profound mass extinction of all time. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 275(1636), 759-765. DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2007.1370
Fowler, D., Freedman, E., Scannella, J., & Kambic, R. (2011) The Predatory Ecology of Deinonychus and the Origin of Flapping in Birds. PLoS ONE, 6(12). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0028964
A while ago I wrote about how bacteria make their way into clouds, where they act as seeds around which …Continue reading »... Read more »
Vaitilingom, M., Deguillaume, L., Vinatier, V., Sancelme, M., Amato, P., Chaumerliac, N., & Delort, A. (2012) Potential impact of microbial activity on the oxidant capacity and organic carbon budget in clouds. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 110(2), 559-564. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1205743110
NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) has found evidences of flowing lake in the McLaughlin Crater’s past.
This research has been published online in the journal Nature GeoScience.
McLaughlin crater, one of the deepest craters on Mars, is 57 miles across and 1.4 miles deep with apparent rocks of carbonate and clay minerals at the bottom that usually form in the presence of water.
Scientists found the minerals using the Compact Reconnaissance Imaging Spectrometer for Mars (........ Read more »
Michalski, J., Cuadros, J., Niles, P., Parnell, J., Deanne Rogers, A., & Wright, S. (2013) Groundwater activity on Mars and implications for a deep biosphere. Nature Geoscience. DOI: 10.1038/ngeo1706
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