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Earth Climate News

Earth Science News. From earthquakes and hurricanes to global warming and energy use, read the latest research news here.

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Anthropologist contributes to major study of large animal extinction
Anthropologist contributed a large, multi-institutional study explaining how the human-influenced mass extinction of giant carnivores and herbivores of North America fundamentally changed the biodiversity and landscape of the continent.

Water may be scarce for new power plants in Asia
Climate change and over-tapped waterways could leave developing parts of Asia without enough water to cool power plants in the near future, new research indicates. The study found that existing and planned power plants that burn coal for energy could be vulnerable.

Surface melting causes Antarctic glaciers to slip faster towards the ocean
Study shows for the first time a direct link between surface melting and short bursts of glacier acceleration in Antarctica. During these events, Antarctic Peninsula glaciers move up to 100% faster than average. Scientists call for these findings to be accounted for in sea level rise predictions.

Untapped resource, or greenhouse gas threat, found below rifting axis off Okinawa coast
Using an automated method to create a high-resolution map of the seismic velocity below the seafloor, researchers found a large-scale gas reservoir in an area where the Earth's upper layers are being separated. This reservoir, the first of its kind, and the potential for others like it could have implications from natural resource or environmental standpoints depending on whether the trapped gas is methane or carbon dioxide and whether it remains trapped.

Researchers find way to kill pathogen resistant to antibiotics
Researchers have demonstrated a new strategy in fighting antibiotics resistance: the use of artificial haem proteins as a Trojan horse to selectively deliver antimicrobials to target bacteria, enabling their specific and effective sterilization. The technique killed 99.9% of Pseudomonas aeruginosa, a potentially deadly, antibiotic-resistant bacterium present in hospitals. The strategy should also work for other dangerous bacteria.

Rethinking how cholesterol is integrated into cells
Cholesterol is best known in connection with cardiovascular disease, but cholesterol is also vital for many fundamental processes in the body. Researchers have now presented a completely new, ground-breaking model for the integration and incorporation of cholesterol into cells, with great impact on our understanding of this important process.

Dengue virus becoming resistant to vaccines and therapeutics due to mutations in specific protein
Researchers have discovered that the dengue virus changes its shape through mutations in Envelope protein to evade vaccines and therapeutics. The study also gives insights on the types of treatment strategies to use at different stages of infection. This could give rise to new approaches in vaccine development and treatment for dengue disease.

New insight as to how cells maintain their identity
In the body's cells, some proteins are of vital importance as to which genes are active or turned off. Now, researchers have discovered which proteins are necessary in order to maintain the proper genetic regulation.

When natural disasters strike, men and women respond differently
Women tend to take cover or prepare to evacuate sooner, but often have trouble convincing the men in their life to do so, suggests a new study exploring how gender influences disaster response.

The next agricultural revolution is here
By using modern gene-editing technologies to learn key insights about past agricultural revolutions, two plant scientists are suggesting that the next agricultural revolution could be at hand.

Alzheimer's drug also treats parasitic Chagas disease
The drugs currently used to treat Chagas disease, a neglected tropical disease, have serious side effects and limited use in those with chronic disease. Now, researchers have reported that memantine, a drug currently used to treat Alzheimer's disease, can diminish the number of parasites in mice with Chagas disease, and increase the survival rate of the animals.

Hurricane Nicole sheds light on how storms impact deep ocean
2016's Hurricane Nicole had a significant effect on the ocean's carbon cycle and deep sea ecosystems.

Descendants of early Europeans and Africans in US carry Native American genetic legacy
Many people in the US do not belong to Native American communities but still carry bits of Native American DNA, inherited from European and African ancestors who had children with indigenous individuals during colonization and settlement. In a new study researchers investigate this genetic legacy and what it can tell us about how non-natives migrated across the US.

Researchers alter mouse gut microbiomes by feeding good bacteria their preferred fibers
Humans choose food based on the way it looks, smells, and tastes. But the microbes in our guts use a different classification system -- one that is based on the molecular components that make up different fibers. Investigators found particular components of dietary fiber that encourage growth and metabolic action of beneficial microbes in the mouse gut.

Alcohol-producing gut bacteria could cause liver damage even in people who don't drink
Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is the build-up of fat in the liver due to factors other than alcohol, but its cause remains unknown. Now, researchers have linked NAFLD to gut bacteria that produce a large amount of alcohol in the body, finding these bacteria in over 60% of NAFLD patients. Their findings could help develop a screening method for early diagnosis and treatment of non-alcoholic fatty liver.

US and Canada have lost more than 1 in 4 birds in the past 50 years
Data show that since 1970, the US and Canada have lost nearly 3 billion birds, a massive reduction in abundance involving hundreds of species, from beloved backyard songbirds to long-distance migrants.

Division by subtraction: Extinction of large mammal species likely drove survivors apart
A new study suggests that the extinctions of mammoths, dire wolves and other large mammal species in North America drove surviving species to distance themselves from their neighbors, reducing interactions as predators and prey, territorial competitors or scavengers. The discovery could preview the ecological effects of future extinctions, the researchers say.

Key similarities discovered between human and archaea chromosomes
A study has revealed key similarities between chromosomes in humans and archaea. The work could advance use of the single-celled organism in research on cancer.

New study opens the door to flood resistant crops
Of the major food crops, only rice is currently able to survive flooding. Thanks to new research, that could soon change -- good news for a world in which rains are increasing in both frequency and intensity.

Wild animals' immune systems decline with age, sheep study finds
It is well established that weakened immune systems in old age affect people's health and fitness, but a study suggests that it is also an issue for wild animals.