From EGU -- When we think of rainforests, we imagine remote regions of natural beauty, with pure air and none of the atmospheric pollution that we see in the big cities. However, an international team of researchers has found evidence of manmade pollution deep inside the rainforest of Borneo in Southeast Asia.
Animated Life: Pangea - This animated documentary tells the story of polar explorer Alfred Wegener, the unlikely scientist behind continental drift theory. Video by Flora Lichtman and Sharon Shattuck on Publish Date February 17, 2015.
Read the full article on the New York Times website: http://www.nytimes.com/2015/02/17/opinion/animated-life-pangaea.html.
From NSF -- Antarctica's Weddell seals have biological adaptations that allow them to dive deep--as much as of hundreds of meters--while hunting, but also an uncanny ability to find the breathing holes they need in the surface of the ice that covers the sea. Now, a team of researchers supported by the U.S. Antarctic Program, which is managed by the National Science Foundation, believe they have figured out they they navigate so well; by sensing the Earth's magnetic fields.
From Understanding Evolution -- Last month, scientists announced the discovery of 55-million-year-old fossils that belong to a mammal from ancient India, Cambaytherium thewissi. The hoofed animal may not have been particularly distinctive looking — it would have weighed between 45 and 75 pounds, resembling a cross between a wild boar and a tapir — but it does occupy a distinctive place on the Tree of Life. Some news outlets immediately began heralding the discovery as a "missing evolutionary link" between horses and rhinos. But is this accurate?
From Earth Magazine -- Earth's abundant silicate minerals are degraded over time by exposure to water, chemical dissolution, and physical and chemical weathering by tree roots and even insects such as ants and termites. Such weathering plays a significant role in decreasing carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, as carbon dioxide is consumed in chemical weathering reactions and the resultant carbonate becomes sequestered in the form of limestone and dolomite.
A recent report shows carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere rose at a record rate in 2013. Humans aren’t the only species affected by these changes. A new report by the National Audubon Society makes it clear that bird species in the U.S. and Canada are at risk of losing their habitats and potentially their lives due to climate change.
From EARTH Magazine -- The La Brea tar pits in downtown Los Angeles are a famous predator trap. For every herbivore, a dozen or more carnivores - saber-toothed cats and dire wolves chief among them - are pulled from the prolific Pleistocene fossil site. In fact, the remains of more than 4,000 dire wolves have been excavated, along with more than 2,000 saber-toothed cats. The sheer number of fossils allows researchers to ask population-level questions about the climate and environment as well as how these animals evolved.