More than a century of theory about the evolutionary history of dinosaurs has been turned on its head following the publication of new research from scientists at the University of Cambridge and Natural History Museum in London. Their work suggests that the family groupings need to be rearranged, re-defined and re-named and also that dinosaurs may have originated in the northern hemisphere rather than the southern, as current thinking goes.
A team of scientists at the University of Cambridge has developed a way of using solar power to generate a fuel that is both sustainable and relatively cheap to produce. It’s using natural light to generate hydrogen from biomass.
This view, acquired on Nov. 7, 2016, by the Operational Land Imager (OLI) on Landsat 8, shows a portion of Canada's Mackenzie River Delta and the town of Inuvik, home to more than 3,000 people. A frozen highway -- 194 kilometers (120 miles) long -- runs between the remote outposts of Inuvik and Tuktoyaktuk along the river’s East Channel. White, snow-and-ice covered waterways stand out amid green, pine-covered land. The low angle of the sunlight bathes the higher elevations in golden light.
Most of us take it for granted that the taps in our homes will deliver safe and clean water for drinking, cooking, showering and cleaning. This means there is usually little interest from the public in how the water gets there. However, it took less than a day for a story from Onoway, a small town in Alberta, Canada, with just over 1,000 residents, to make it from social media to global newsfeeds. “Bright pink water comes out of taps in Canada!” – suddenly we are all interested in water treatment methods.
On a moonless night, light levels can be more than 100m times dimmer than in bright daylight. Yet while we are nearly blind and quite helpless in the dark, cats are out stalking prey, and moths are flying agilely between flowers on our balconies.
The average global sea level has risen by more than 20cm since 1980 – that’s a rate of 0.5mm per month – according to new research from the Basque Centre for Climate Change (BCCC). These are frightening statistics for Europe’s vulnerable coastal cities including Barcelona, Istanbul, Dublin and others. With homes, infrastructure and indeed entire economies at stake, it’s crucial for authorities to understand the extent of the risk these cities are facing – and take steps to manage it.
The Earth has been the blue planet for as many as 3.8 billion years. Ancient sedimentary rock deposits and lava that cooled into characteristic pillow shapes provide irrefutable evidence that liquid water has existed at the Earth’s surface for at least this long. But given how many barren rocks there are in the galaxy, Earth’s abundant oceans raise the question of where all that water came from.
At high latitudes, such as near Antarctica and the Arctic Circle, the ocean’s surface waters are cooled by frigid temperatures and become so dense that they sink a few thousand meters into the ocean’s abyss.
Humans like to think that they rule the planet and are hard wired to do so. But our stewardship has been anything but successful. The last major extinction event, 66 million years ago, was caused by a meteorite. But the next mass extinction event, which is under way right now, is our fault.
When the dinosaurs were wiped off the face of the planet, how did they leave? Was it a slow, plodding decline or a short sharp bang? Back in the 1960s and 1970s, debate about this question was mainly taking place on the ground, at fossil sites in places like Montana. Paleontologist Robert Sloan and his colleagues documented evidence for the long-term decline of dinosaurs over a 10m to 20m-year period. Dinosaurs had been losing out, ever so slowly, to the rising mammals, mainly as a result of cooling climates.
Not only is it aurora season in Alaska, its sounding rocket season! NASA started launching a series of five sounding rockets from the Poker Flat Research Range in Alaska to study the aurora. The first of these rockets for this year, a Black Brant IX, was launched in the early morning hours of February 22, 2017.
Most people don’t often think about bees’ brainpower. Bees are generally regarded as tiny unthinking machines, flying from flower to flower, genetically pre-programmed to collect pollen and nectar and make honey.
One of the most worrisome aspects of Climate Change is the role played by positive feedback mechanisms. In addition to global temperatures rising because of increased carbon dioxide and greenhouse gas emissions, there is the added push created by deforestation, ocean acidification, and (most notably) the disappearance of the Arctic Polar Ice Cap.
In a new study published today in Nature, researchers from UCL, University of Cambridge and University of Louvain have combined existing ideas to solve the problem of which solar energy peaks in the last 2.6 million years led to the melting of the ice sheets and the start of a warm period.
Located along the east coast of the Antarctic Peninsula is the Larsen Ice Shelf. Named after the Norwegian Captain who explored the ice front back in 1893, this ice shelf has been monitored for decades due to its close connection with rising global temperatures. Essentially, since the 1990s, the shelf has been breaking apart, causing collapses of considerable intensity.
Standard advice about preparing for disasters focuses on building shelters and stockpiling things like food, water and batteries. But resilience - the ability to recover from shocks, including natural disasters - comes from our connections to others, and not from physical infrastructure or disaster kits.
Our Earth has unimaginable diversity, from seascapes 8,000 meters below the ocean’s surface to landscapes 8,000 meters above it. Its physical beauty comes in inconceivable living varieties. Some mammals lay eggs; some lizards are legless. Bats catch fish. Birds catch bats. Wood frogs in Alaska survive through winter even as two-thirds of their body tissues turn to ice.
In North America when the leaves start to fall and the days get shorter, many birds head south for warmer weather. Only a small number of species stick it out for the winter. If you’re out in the woods in a typical February, it’s a pretty quiet place.
Silk is a high performance protein-baed fibre that is naturally produced by invertebrates. The most well-known is the domesticated silk moth (Bombyx mori), whose silk has been used in fabrics for more than 4,000 years.