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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. http://media.gla.ac.uk/web/news/campusenews/bluecarbon.mp4 '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.

Environment - Earth Sciences - 10.12.2019
Scientific advances needed to track progress of methane levels in the atmosphere
Scientific advances needed to track progress of methane levels in the atmosphere
Understanding what influences the amount of methane in the atmosphere has been identified by the American Geophysical Union to be one of the foremost challenges in the earth sciences in the coming decades because of methane's hugely important role in meeting climate warming targets. Methane is the second most important human-made greenhouse gas and is rising in the atmosphere more rapidly than predicted for reasons that are not well-understood.

Environment - Earth Sciences - 06.12.2019
The Arctic’s changing landscape: Impact on plants, animals, livelihoods and global temperatures
With 2019 on track to be one of the warmest years on record, a major new study reveals the impact of warming temperatures on Arctic vegetation, animal species, and human communities who rely on the stability of the Arctic food chain to survive. The study, published today in Science Advances by an international team of researchers, reports that the Arctic has warmed by 0.75 Celsius in the last decade.

Environment - Earth Sciences - 05.12.2019
Carbon emissions from volcanic rocks can create global warming - study
Carbon emissions from volcanic rocks can create global warming - study
Greenhouse gas emissions released directly from the movement of volcanic rocks are capable of creating massive global warming effects - a discovery which could transform the way scientists predict climate change, a new study reveals. Scientists' calculations based on how carbon-based greenhouse gas levels link to movements of magma just below earth's surface suggest that such geological change has caused the largest temporary global warming of the past 65 million years.

Astronomy / Space Science - Earth Sciences - 03.12.2019
Analysis: We may have solved the mystery of how landslides form on Mars
Mars's huge landslides can move at speeds of up to 360 kilometres an hour for up to tens of kilometres. PhD candidate Giulia Magnarini and Dr Tom Mitchell (UCL Earth Sciences) write about how these landslides may have formed. Some landslides on Mars seem to defy an important law of physics. "Long, runout landslides" are formed by huge volumes of rock and soil moving downslope, largely due to the force of gravity.

Earth Sciences - Chemistry - 27.11.2019
Barbequed clams on the menu for ancient Puerto Ricans
Scientists have reconstructed the cooking techniques of the early inhabitants of Puerto Rico by analysing the remains of clams. Led by Philip Staudigel, who conducted the analysis as a graduate student at the University of Miami Rosenstiel School and is now a postdoctoral researcher at Cardiff University, the team has used new chemical analysis techniques to identify the exact cooking temperatures at which clams were cooked over 2500 years ago.

Life Sciences - Earth Sciences - 25.11.2019
Changes in oxygen concentrations in our ocean can disrupt fundamental biological cycles
Changes in oxygen concentrations in our ocean can disrupt fundamental biological cycles
The nitrogen cycle is essential to all forms of life on Earth - nitrogen is a basic building block of DNA. The marine nitrogen cycle is strongly controlled by biology and small changes in the marine nitrogen cycle have major implications on life. It is thought that the marine nitrogen cycle has stayed relatively stable over geological time due to a range of different feedback mechanisms.

Palaeontology - Earth Sciences - 04.11.2019
Discriminating diets of meat-eating dinosaurs
Discriminating diets of meat-eating dinosaurs
A big problem with dinosaurs is that there seem to be too many meat-eaters. From studies of modern animals, there is a feeding pyramid, with plants at the bottom, then plant-eaters, and then meat-eaters at the top. A new study by scientists at the University of Bristol's School of Earth Sciences , published in the journal Palaeontology, shows that dinosaurian meat-eaters, the theropod dinosaurs, specialised a great deal, and so broadened their food base.

Earth Sciences - Environment - 30.10.2019
Climate models and geology reveal new insights into the East Asian monsoon
Climate models and geology reveal new insights into the East Asian monsoon
A team of scientists, led by the University of Bristol, have used climate models and geological records to better understand changes in the East Asian monsoon over long geologic time scales. Their findings, published today in the journal Science Advances , suggest that the monsoon system's development was more sensitive to changes in geography (especially mountain height) rather than carbon dioxide, and that the monsoon came into existence around 40 million years earlier than previously thought.

Environment - Earth Sciences - 25.10.2019
Climate change is affecting the way Europe floods, experts warn
Climate change is disrupting the rhythms of spring growing and river flooding across Europe, which could pose new problems for biodiversity and food security in floodplains, scientists say. New analysis of five decades of European flood and temperature data, published in the journal Geophysical Research Letters, demonstrates for the first time an increasing overlap between the onset of spring and the highest points of seasonal flooding.

Astronomy / Space Science - Earth Sciences - 24.10.2019
Martian landslides not conclusive evidence of ice
Martian landslides not conclusive evidence of ice
Giant ridges on the surface of landslides on Mars could have formed without ice, challenging their use by some as unequivocal evidence of past ice on the red planet, finds a new UCL-led study using state-of-the-art satellite data. Detailed three-dimensional images of an extensive landslide on Mars, which spans an area more than 55 kilometres wide, have been analysed to understand how the unusually large and long ridges and furrows formed about 400 million years ago.

Astronomy / Space Science - Earth Sciences - 14.10.2019
Q&A: How exploring Venus could unlock our understanding of Earth's future
Q&A: How exploring Venus could unlock our understanding of Earth’s future
As the EnVision mission to Venus is preparing for its planned launch in 2032, we speak to the Imperial researcher who is a part of the Science Team. With its extremely high temperatures and surface veiled by thick clouds, Venus represents an unusual example of planet formation and evolution. Once thought to be a tropical paradise, it was only in the 1960s that scientists were able to observe its hostile environment.
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