Earth news stories

New materials could turn water into the fuel of the future
14th March 2017 phys.org | Earth, Tech

Scientists at the Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) and the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) have—in just two years—nearly doubled the number of materials known to have potential for use in solar fuels.

Radioactive Boars in Fukushima Thwart Residents’ Plans to Return Home
14th March 2017 | nytimes.com | Animal Life, Earth

They descend on towns and villages, plundering crops and rampaging through homes. They occasionally attack humans. But perhaps most dangerous of all, the marauders carry with them highly radioactive material.

Hundreds of toxic wild boars have been roaming across northern Japan, where the meltdown of the Fukushima nuclear plant six years ago forced thousands of residents to desert their homes, pets and livestock. Some animals, like cattle, were left to rot in their pens.

Norway says half of new cars now electric or hybrid
14th March 2017 phys.org | Earth, Tech

Norway, which already boasts the world’s highest number of electric cars per capita, said Monday that electric or hybrid cars represented half of new registrations in the country so far this year.

Discovery of widespread platinum may help solve Clovis people mystery
13th March 2017 phys.org | Earth

No one knows for certain why the Clovis people and iconic beasts—mastodon, mammoth and saber-toothed tiger – living some 12,800 years ago suddenly disappeared. However, a discovery of widespread platinum at archaeological sites across the United States by three University of South Carolina archaeologists has provided an important clue in solving this enduring mystery.

The cold exterminated all of them
13th March 2017 | eurekalert.org | Ancient, Earth

Through age determinations that are using the radioactive decay of uranium, scientists have discovered that one of the greatest mass extinctions was due to an ice age and not to a warming of Earth temperature

Arctic circle could become completely free of sea ice even if global warming limited to two degrees Celsius
13th March 2017 | independent.co.uk | Earth

The Arctic Ocean could become free of sea ice for the first time in 100,000 years even if action is taken to keep global warming to within two degrees Celsius, scientists have warned.

The UK’s CO2 Emissions Have Hit a 100-Year Low
13th March 2017 futurism.com | Earth

/UK carbon dioxide emission levels are at their lowest since the 1920s, down 36 percent from 1990, according to a report from the non-profit Carbon Brief.

The achievement is attributed to the UK’s multi-pronged approach, which includes shifting away from coal, expanding renewable energy, and taxing coal carbon.

Trees’ ability to store carbon in doubt after groundbreaking Australian study
13th March 2017 phys.org | Earth

The ability of trees to offset carbon emissions has been questioned after a Western Sydney University study found common Australian trees are unable to store as much carbon as previously thought.

Published in the Nature Climate Change journal, the research found that Australia’s iconic Eucalyptus forests are likely to need additional soil nutrients in order to grow and take advantage of extra carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.

Remnants of 13,000 year old forest found during Amersfoort jog
13th March 2017 nltimes.nl | Ancient, Earth

The remains of a 13 thousand year old pine forest was found in Leusden in the province of Utrecht, the University of Utrecht said on its website. According to researchers from Utrecht University and the Netherlands Cultural Heritage Service, the discovery is very important as the trees give an accurate picture of the effects of an abrupt and drastic change in climate.

Teenager Is on Track to Plant a Trillion Trees
13th March 2017 news.nationalgeographic.com | Earth

Children are not often invited to speak to the United Nations General Assembly. But there stood Felix Finkbeiner, German wunderkind in his Harry Potter spectacles, gray hoodie, and mop-top haircut—with a somber question about climate change.

Earth’s mantle may be hotter than thought
10th March 2017 | sciencenews.org | Earth

Temperatures across Earth’s mantle are about 60 degrees Celsius higher than previously thought, a new experiment suggests. Such toasty temperatures would make the mantle runnier than earlier research suggested, a development that could help explain the details of how tectonic plates glide on top of the mantle, geophysicists report in the March 3 Science.

Mount Etna, Europe’s Most Active Volcano, Puts On a Show
10th March 2017 | nytimes.com | Earth

In a fiery reminder of its presence and its power, Mount Etna roared to life this week on the island of Sicily, sending red-hot fountains of molten rock and ash high into the air and down the slopes of Europe’s largest and most active volcano.

Climbing plants use taste to avoid clinging to other weak vines
9th March 2017 | newscientist.com | Earth

Vines are antisocial climbers. They send out tendrils to taste nearby plants, identifying and then steering clear of similarly weak-stemmed varieties.

Climbing plants are known to have a highly attuned sense of touch, which helps them scale other plants and structures. As soon as their tendrils brush up against a potential scaffold, they coil tightly around it.

Magic cover crop carpet?
9th March 2017 | sciencedaily.com | Earth

Organic farmers can use a combination of cover crops and no-till methods to improve soil health, suppress weeds, and retain moisture, suggests a new report.

Human Pollution May Be Fertilizing The Oceans. That’s Not a Good Thing
9th March 2017 | smithsonianmag.com | Earth

Scientists now understand how the carbon and methane emissions from our cars, livestock and electricity use are helping drive dramatic shifts in our climate through their contribution to the greenhouse effect. But they’re just beginning to untangle the effects of some of the other pollutants we produce.

AI Scientists Gather to Plot Doomsday Scenarios (and Solutions)
9th March 2017 | bloomberg.com | Earth, Tech

Artificial intelligence boosters predict a brave new world of flying cars and cancer cures. Detractors worry about a future where humans are enslaved to an evil race of robot overlords.

City of burning lakes: experts fear Bangalore will be uninhabitable by 2025
9th March 2017 | theguardian.com | Earth

The illegal dumping of waste mixed with mass untreated sewage in India’s Silicon Valley is creating a water crisis which threatens residents’ health – and is causing the city’s famous lakes to catch fire

News stories covering the environment, plant life, and the Earth itself.