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Climate to Blame for Most of 2013 Wild Weather

September 29, 2014 2:00 pm | by Associated Press, Seth Borenstein | News | Comments

Scientists looking at 16 cases of wild weather around the world last year see the fingerprints of man-made global warming on more than half of them. Researchers found that climate change increased the odds of nine extremes: heat waves in Australia, Europe, China, Japan and Korea, intense rain in parts of the U.S. and India and severe droughts in California and New Zealand.

Greenland More Vulnerable to Climate Change than Thought

September 29, 2014 2:00 pm | by Univ. of Cambridge | News | Comments

A new model has shown that despite its apparent stability, the massive ice sheet covering most...

Japanese Volcano Death Toll Stands at 36

September 29, 2014 8:20 am | by Associated Press, Emily Wang | News | Comments

Five more bodies were found near the summit of a Japanese volcano today, bringing the total...

Climate Change: Mixed Bag for Common Frog

September 29, 2014 7:00 am | by Case Western Reserve Univ. | News | Comments

Scientists have found amphibians worldwide are breeding earlier because of climate change, but...

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Climate Change: Mixed Bag for Common Frog

September 29, 2014 7:00 am | by Case Western Reserve Univ. | News | Comments

Scientists have found amphibians worldwide are breeding earlier because of climate change, but how that affects species is just now being answered. After warmer winters, wood frogs breed earlier and produce fewer eggs. Frogs produce more eggs during winters with more rain and snow.

California May Impose Strictest Pesticide Restrictions

September 26, 2014 2:00 pm | by Associated Press, Scott Smith | News | Comments

California farmers who spray a widely used insecticide on some of the state's most abundant crops may soon have to overcome the nation's steepest restrictions or find another pest killer, officials said this week. Regulators are proposing heavy restrictions— but not an all-out ban— on chlorpyrifos, used to treat crops like grapes and almonds.

Plants Can Be Mined for Metal

September 26, 2014 7:00 am | by Univ. of Queensland | News | Comments

Future generations of miners could harvest metals from trees, capitalizing on the ability of some plants to isolate and accumulate metals in their shoots. Plants that can extract metals, such as nickel or cobalt, from the soil could be harvested for significant returns.

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Study Tracked Sea Levels Over Five Ice Ages

September 26, 2014 7:00 am | by Univ. of Southampton | News | Comments

Land ice decay at the end of the last five ice ages caused global sea levels to rise at rates of up to 5.5 meters per century, according to a new study. Researchers have developed a 500,000 year record of sea level variability to provide the first account of how quickly sea level changed during the last five ice age cycles.

Natural Gas Use Will Do Little to Reduce Emissions

September 26, 2014 7:00 am | by UC Irvine | News | Comments

Abundant supplies of natural gas will do little to reduce harmful U.S. emissions causing climate change, according to researchers. They found that inexpensive gas boosts electricity consumption and hinders expansion of cleaner energy sources, such as wind and solar.

There May Be a Volcano Season

September 25, 2014 2:00 pm | by The Conversation, Robin Wylie | News | Comments

The Earth seems to have been smoking a lot recently. These eruptions have raised a question: is there such a thing as a season for volcanic eruptions? Surprisingly, this may be a possibility. While volcanoes may not have “seasons” as we know them, scientists have started to discern intriguing patterns in their activity.

Biochar Alters Water Flow, Improves Sand, Clay

September 25, 2014 7:00 am | by Rice Univ. | News | Comments

As more gardeners and farmers add ground charcoal, or biochar, to soil to both boost crop yields and counter global climate change, a new study by researchers could help settle the debate about one of biochar’s biggest benefits— the seemingly contradictory ability to make clay soils drain faster and sandy soils drain slower.

Wasps Are SWAT Team in War on Crop Killer

September 24, 2014 2:00 pm | by Associated Press, Margie Mason | News | Comments

They are the size of a pinhead and don't even pack a sting, but tiny wasps are cold-blooded killers nonetheless. They work as nature's SWAT team, neutralizing a pest that threatens to destroy one of the developing world's most important staple foods: cassava.

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Trading Pollution Credits Can Yield Cleaner Water

September 24, 2014 2:00 pm | by Duke Univ. | News | Comments

Allowing polluters to buy, sell or trade water quality credits could significantly reduce pollution in river basins and estuaries faster and at lower cost than requiring the facilities to meet compliance costs on their own. The scale and type of the trading programs, though critical, may matter less than just getting them started.

Obama: Nobody has 'Free Pass' on Climate

September 24, 2014 7:00 am | by Associated Press, Josh Lederman | News | Comments

In a forceful appeal for international cooperation on limiting carbon pollution, President Barack Obama warned starkly that the globe's climate is changing faster than efforts to address it. "Nobody gets a pass," he declared. "We have to raise our collective ambition."

Mown Grass Sends SOS for Help

September 23, 2014 2:00 pm | by Texas A&M AgriLife Research | News | Comments

The smell of cut grass in recent years has been identified as the plant’s way of signaling distress, but new research says the aroma also summons beneficial insects to the rescue.

Arctic Seas' Ice Shrinks to Sixth-lowest Recorded

September 23, 2014 7:00 am | by Associated Press, Seth Borenstein | News | Comments

Ice in Arctic seas shrank this summer to the sixth lowest level in 36 years of monitoring. The National Snow and Ice Data Center reported this week that the ice reached its seasonal minimum on Sept. 17 of 1.94 million square miles.

Engineers Want National Plan for Flooding

September 22, 2014 2:00 pm | by Associated Press, Geoff Mulvihill | News | Comments

An organization of civil engineers is calling for a national strategy for mitigating flood risks, saying the U.S. has not fully heeded lessons from Hurricane Katrina and Superstorm Sandy.

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Less Wind May Change Predator-prey Balance

September 22, 2014 7:00 am | by Univ. of Wisconsin-Madison | News | Comments

Rising temperatures and shifting precipitation patterns may get the lion's share of our climate change attention, but predators may want to give some thought to wind, according to a zoologist's study, which is among the first to demonstrate the way "global stilling" may alter predator-prey relationships.

Communal Nesting Confuses Paternity, Reduces Infanticide

September 19, 2014 2:00 pm | by The Conversation, Sinead English | News | Comments

It is a cruel world out there, particularly for young animals born into social groups where infanticide occurs. This dark side of evolution is revealed when adults– often males– kill offspring to promote their own genes being passed on, by reducing competition for resources or making females become sexually receptive more quickly.

Unmown Areas Benefit Nature, Humans

September 19, 2014 7:00 am | by Univ. of Sussex | News | Comments

Creating unmown areas in an urban park can significantly increase flowers and pollinating insects while also leading to a greater enjoyment of the space by people, according to a year-long study.

Corn Yields Depend on Nutrient Balance

September 19, 2014 7:00 am | by Purdue Univ. | News | Comments

Ensuring that corn absorbs the right balance of nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium is crucial to increasing global yields. A review of data from more than 150 studies from the U.S. and other regions showed that high yields were linked to production systems in which corn plants took up key nutrients at specific ratios— nitrogen and phosphorus at a ratio of five-to-one and nitrogen and potassium at a ratio of one-to-one.

Plant Engineered for Better Photosynthesis

September 19, 2014 7:00 am | by Cornell Univ. | News | Comments

A genetically engineered tobacco plant, developed with two genes from blue-green algae holds promise for improving the yields of many food crops.

Chevron Meets Voluntary Shale Drilling Rules

September 18, 2014 2:00 pm | by Associated Press, Kevin Begos | News | Comments

Chevron has become the first energy company to meet a new set of voluntary shale gas drilling standards that aim to go beyond existing state laws in Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia, the Pittsburgh-based Center for Sustainable Shale announced today.

Researchers Look at the Origins of Plate Tectonics

September 18, 2014 2:00 pm | by Univ. of Sydney | News | Comments

The mystery of what kick-started the motion of our earth's massive tectonic plates across its surface has been explained by researchers. Their new model also makes a number of predictions explaining features that have long puzzled the geoscience community.

Artificial Beaks May Be Drought Solution

September 18, 2014 7:00 am | by ACS | News | Comments

From the most parched areas of Saudi Arabia to water-scarce areas of the western U.S., the idea of harvesting fog for water is catching on. Now, a novel approach to this process could help meet affected communities’ needs for the life-essential resource.

What is Chikungunya? Concerns Over New Mosquito-borne Virus

September 17, 2014 1:37 pm | by Carol Kuchta, Art Director, Advantage Business Media | News | Comments

Chikungunya, a mosquito-borne virus similar to dengue, is spreading rapidly in the Western Hemisphere. Although there is little risk of it becoming a major threat in the U.S., health officials are still warning residents to exercise caution when outdoors as there have been confirmed cases in the U.S., mostly due to traveling citizens. Check out the infographic for more info on the relatively unspoken-about virus.

Meteorite Doomed Dinos, Altered Forests

September 17, 2014 7:00 am | by Univ. of Arizona | News | Comments

The meteorite impact that spelled doom for the dinosaurs 66 million years ago decimated the evergreens among the flowering plants to a much greater extent than their deciduous peers. Researchers have found evidence that, after the event, fast-growing, deciduous angiosperms had replaced their slow-growing, evergreen peers to a large extent.

Feds Explore Shipwrecks Near San Francisco

September 17, 2014 7:00 am | by Associated Press, Terence Chea | News | Comments

Federal researchers are exploring several underwater sites where ships sank while navigating in the treacherous waters west of San Francisco in the decades following the Gold Rush. During the past week, researchers have used a remote-controlled underwater vehicle, equipped with sonar and video cameras, to examine and record the historic shipwrecks.

Early Earth Was Less Hellish than Thought

September 16, 2014 7:00 am | by Vanderbilt Univ. | News | Comments

Conditions on Earth for the first 500 million years after it formed may have been surprisingly similar to the present day, complete with oceans, continents and active crustal plates. This alternate view of Earth’s first geologic eon, called the Hadean, has gained substantial new support from the first detailed comparison of zircon crystals that formed more than 4 billion years ago with those formed contemporaneously in Iceland.

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