news 2020


Earth Sciences

Results 1 - 12 of 12.

Earth Sciences - Environment - 26.05.2020
Dinosaur-dooming asteroid struck Earth at 'deadliest possible' angle
Dinosaur-dooming asteroid struck Earth at ’deadliest possible’ angle
New simulations from Imperial College London have revealed the asteroid that doomed the dinosaurs struck Earth at the -deadliest possible- angle. The simulations show that the asteroid hit Earth at an angle of about 60 degrees , which maximised the amount of climate-changing gases thrust into the upper atmosphere.

Environment - Earth Sciences - 24.04.2020
Dramatic decrease in cold-water plankton during industrial era
There has been a dramatic decrease in cold-water plankton during the 20th century, in contrast to thousands of years of stability, according to a new UCL-led study. The research, published iná Geophysical Research Letters , analysed the fossilised remains of plankton, sampled from the Northeast Atlantic Ocean, south of Iceland.

Environment - Earth Sciences - 23.04.2020
Ocean biodiversity has not increased substantially for hundreds of millions of years - new study
A new way of looking at marine evolution over the past 540 million years has shown that levels of biodiversity in our oceans have remained fairly constant, rather than increasing continuously over the last 200 million years, as scientists previously thought. A team led by researchers from the School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences at the University of Birmingham have used a big data approach to study this question, which has been disputed by palaeobiologists in recent years.

Earth Sciences - Environment - 03.04.2020
Plant root hairs key to reducing soil erosion
Soil erosion can have a devastating impact across the globe and a serious threat for modern agriculture. The increased demand for agriculture has led to forests and natural grasslands being converted to farm fields and pastures. However, many of the plants grown, such as coffee, cotton and palm oil, can significantly increase soil erosion beyond the soil's ability to maintain and renovate.

Earth Sciences - Environment - 25.03.2020
Scientists get first look at cause of 'slow motion' earthquakes
Scientists get first look at cause of ’slow motion’ earthquakes
An international team of scientists has for the first time identified the conditions deep below the Earth's surface that lead to the triggering of so-called ‘slow motion' earthquakes. These events, more commonly known as slow slip events, are similar to regular sudden and catastrophic earthquakes but take place on much longer timescales, usually from days to months.

Earth Sciences - Environment - 02.03.2020
Ocean changes almost starved life of oxygen
Chemical changes in the oceans more than 800 million years ago almost destroyed the oxygen-rich atmosphere that paved the way for complex life on Earth, finds new research involving UCL scientists. Then, as now, the planet had an oxidising atmosphere driven by phytoplankton, which release oxygen during photosynthesis.

Environment - Earth Sciences - 27.02.2020
Turning back the clock on blue carbon tolls a warning bell for the environment
A new study of a Scottish sea loch which reconstructs 5,000 years of its climate history is casting doubt on hopes that 'blue carbon' could help slow the rate of global heating. 'Blue carbon' is the term used to describe atmospheric carbon which has been captured by underwater vegetation and stored under the sea bed.

Earth Sciences - Environment - 21.01.2020
Earth's oldest known impact might have ended 'snowball Earth' ice age
Earth’s oldest known impact might have ended ’snowball Earth’ ice age
New evidence has confirmed Australia's Yarrabubba crater as the world's oldest preserved impact structure - but did it thaw Earth and end an ice age? The crater is regarded as one of Earth's oldest, but until now has lacked a precise age. Now, a new study has used geological dating to pin the impact to 2.229 billion years ago - a time that coincided with Earth's recovery from an ice age known as ‘ Snowball Earth ', where most of Earth's surface was covered with ice sheets between two and five kilometres thick.

Life Sciences - Earth Sciences - 20.01.2020
A chronicle of giant straight-tusked elephants
A chronicle of giant straight-tusked elephants
About 800,000 years ago, the giant straight-tusked elephant Palaeoloxodon migrated out of Africa and became widespread across Europe and Asia. It divided into many species, with distinct types in Japan, Central Asia and Europe — even some dwarf forms as large as a small donkey on some Mediterranean islands.

Environment - Earth Sciences - 20.01.2020
Local water availability is permanently reduced after planting forests
Local water availability is permanently reduced after planting forests
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Earth Sciences - Environment - 16.01.2020
Asteroid impact, not volcanic eruptions, killed the dinosaurs
Volcanic activity did not play a direct role in the mass extinction event that killed the dinosaurs and about 75 per cent of Earth's species 66 million years ago, according to a team involving UCL and University of Southampton researchers.

Environment - Earth Sciences - 09.01.2020
Scientists use ancient marine fossils to unravel long-standing climate puzzle
Scientists use ancient marine fossils to unravel long-standing climate puzzle
During this period, known as the middle Miocene Climate Optimum, global temperatures were as much as 3 to 4 degrees warmer than today's average temperatures, similar to estimates for 2100. The position of the continents were similar to today and the seas were flourishing with life. This period, which occurred between 15 and 17 million years ago, has puzzled geologists for decades as they have tried to explain the initial cause of the global warming and the environmental conditions that existed on Earth afterwards.

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