biosphere

EARTH: Sand Shouldn't Stand In for Volcanic Ash in Jet Engine Tests

EARTH Magazine

From EARTH Magazine, August 10, 2016  --  In 2010, trans-Atlantic airspace was shutdown, and international travel halted, when Iceland's Eyjafjallajökull erupted, spewing ash into the air. This was an expensive decision, triggered by the threat ash posed to aircraft, crews and passengers. When ash enters an aircraft turbine, which typically can reach temperatures of up to 2,000 degrees Celsius, the ash can melt, damaging the engines in midflight. 

EARTH Magazine: Growth Rings in Rocks Reveal Past Climate

EARTH Magazine

From EARTH Magazine, May 5, 2016  --  For years, scientists have used mineral, sediment and ice layers, deposited intermittently throughout geologic time, to track the global climate record. These can come from caves, lakes, the oceans and ice sheets. But over the course of the last decade a new method has been developed that presents an opportunity for geoscientists to assess global climate history in almost any arid landscape.

NSF: Researchers find that Earth may be home to 1 trillion species

National Science Foundation

From NSF, May 2, 2016  --  Largest analysis of microbial data reveals that 99.999 percent of all species remain undiscovered

Earth could contain nearly 1 trillion species, with only one-thousandth of 1 percent now identified, according to the results of a new study.

The estimate, based on universal scaling laws applied to large datasets, appears today in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The report's authors are Jay Lennon and Kenneth Locey of Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana.

Science Nation: Fertilizing sustainable growth in the forest industry

Science Nation

From NSF, March 28, 2016  --  Researchers partner with industry and government to make commercially grown forests more productive without sacrificing the environment

As money-makers, trees stand tall. The U.S. forest industry is an economic powerhouse. Southern states alone grow more commercial wood than any country in the world.

EARTH Magazine: Making Tracks Through the Dinosaur Diamond

EARTH Magazine

From EARTH Magazine, 04/26/2016  --  Between Utah and Colorado, there is a geographical diamond in which lies a rich collection of fossils and dinosaur footprints recording the history of when dinosaurs inhabited this region. All major ages of dinosaur life are recorded here, and for more than a hundred years, paleontologists have busily been debating which dinosaurs existed based on bones and abundant dinosaur tracks, the latter of which provide clues that allow geoscientists to interpret dinosaur daily life. 

EARTH Magazine: A Long Layover on the Bering Land Bridge

EARTH Magazine

From EARTH Magazine, 03/24/2016  --  In 2013, researchers uncovered the graves of two infants laid to rest about 11,500 years ago outside of what is now Fairbanks, Alaska. Researchers understood that these graves represented some of the earliest human migrants to North America, but were they more closely related to their Asian ancestors, or the modern-day residents of North and South America? Using mitochondrial DNA analysis of the infants, what could we learn about our own human history? 

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