Category: Environment

More frequent droughts may endanger ecosystem resiliency

In a new paper published in Nature, research assistant professor Christopher Schwalm of Northern Arizona University’s Center for Ecosystem Science and Society (Ecoss) shares the results of a study investigating the impact of more frequent droughts on ecosystem resiliency and how this phenomenon could endanger the land carbon sink. Earth’s land carbon sink comprises all Read More

Volcanic microbes reveal how humans adjusted to atmosphere change

Ancient microbes that thrive in some of the world’s most extreme environments and modern-day humans have more in common than meets the eye — namely, they both respire and conserve energy using a similar molecular mechanism, one that has adapted to changing environmental conditions over billions of years. The findings, published today in Cell by scientists at Van Read More

Volcanic ‘plumerang’ could impact human health

A new study has found a previously undetected potential health risk from the high concentration of small particles found in a boomerang-like return of a volcanic plume. A team of scientists, led by Dr Evgenia Ilyinskaya at the University of Leeds, traced the evolution of the plume chemistry from the 2014-2015 Icelandic Holuhraun lava field Read More

Increased Sea Ice Drift Puts Polar Bears on Faster Moving Treadmill

A new study led by the U.S. Geological Survey and the University of Wyoming found that increased westward ice drift in the Beaufort and Chukchi seas requires polar bears to expend more energy walking eastward on a faster moving “treadmill” of sea ice. A polar bear walks across rubble ice in the Alaska portion of Read More

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How electric vehicles could take a bite out of the oil market

When will cars powered by gas-guzzling internal combustion engines become obsolete? Not as soon as it seems, even with the latest automotive news out of Europe. First, Volvo announced it would begin to phase out the production of cars that run solely on gasoline or diesel by 2019 by only releasing new models that are electric Read More

Novel Hawaiian communities operate similarly to native ecosystems

On the Hawaiian island of Oahu, it is possible to stand in a lush tropical forest that doesn’t contain a single native plant. The birds that once dispersed native seeds are almost entirely gone, too, leaving a brand-new ecological community composed of introduced plants and birds. In a first-of-its-kind study published today (April 4) in Read More