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Earth Sciences - 06.03.2023
Mineral dust and Earth’s oxygen levels
Mineral dust played a key role in raising oxygen levels in the Earth's atmosphere billions of years ago, with major implications for the way intelligent life later evolved, say researchers. Up to now, scientists have argued that oxygen levels rose as the result of photosynthesis by algae and plants in the sea, where oxygen was produced as a by-product and released into the atmosphere.

Earth Sciences - Environment - 02.03.2023
New perspective on processes behind Earth system change
The incoming head of the School of Geographical and Earth Sciences has contributed a Perspective article to the latest edition of the journal Science . Professor Todd Ehlers, currently of the University of Tübingen, Germany, was invited to contribute the piece in response to research published in the same issue which discusses a new computer-model reconstruction of global topography over the last 100 million years.

Environment - Earth Sciences - 27.02.2023
Satellites reveal speed-up of Antarctic glaciers
Satellites reveal speed-up of Antarctic glaciers
Glaciers along the Antarctic peninsula are flowing faster in the summer because of a combination of melting snow and warmer ocean waters, say researchers. On average, the glaciers - giant blocks of moving ice - travel at around 1km a year. But a new study has found a seasonal variation to the speed of the ice flow, which increases by up to 22% in summer when temperatures are warmer.

Earth Sciences - Environment - 23.02.2023
Origins of mysterious patterns created by salt deserts 
Origins of mysterious patterns created by salt deserts 
The curious landscapes formed by dried out salt lakes are caused by the movement of fluids in the soil beneath the surface, according to new research published today. The characteristic honeycomb patterns are found worldwide, including in Death Valley in California where they attract tens of thousands of tourists.

Environment - Earth Sciences - 21.02.2023
Accuracy at risk as governments reject specialist mapping tools
Accuracy at risk as governments reject specialist mapping tools
Governments are not using the latest mapping technology to report key environmental data about tropical forests to the UN, say researchers. Under what is known as the UN's Global Stocktake , set up as part of the Paris Agreement, governments report on the level of carbon emitted or removed in forested areas.

Environment - Earth Sciences - 15.02.2023
Origins of biodiversity gradient
Origins of biodiversity gradient
Researchers have used nearly half a million fossils to solve a scientific mystery - why the number of different species is greatest near the equator and decreases towards polar regions. The results, published in the journal Nature , give valuable insight into how biodiversity is generated over long timescales, and how climate change can affect the richness of global species.

Earth Sciences - Environment - 10.02.2023
Earth's atmosphere adds a quick pinch of salt to meteorites, scientists find
Earth’s atmosphere adds a quick pinch of salt to meteorites, scientists find
New analysis of the Winchcombe meteorite has revealed just how quickly space rocks which fall to Earth can be contaminated by our atmosphere. The meteorite, which landed in Gloucestershire in February last year, was the first to be recovered on UK soil in nearly 30 years. Fragments were recovered from a domestic driveway hours after it entered the Earth's atmosphere.

Earth Sciences - 06.02.2023
Magma observed taking an unexpected route beneath volcanoes
Magma observed taking an unexpected route beneath volcanoes
Researchers have observed magma taking an unexpected route beneath volcanoes, shedding light on the processes behind eruptions. The findings were based on data from a tectonic plate boundary in the Eastern Caribbean region. The results help us understand what drives the type and rate of volcanic eruptions , as well as the make-up of erupted magma.

Earth Sciences - Environment - 05.01.2023
Antarctic glaciers formed 30 million years earlier than previously thought
A new study has revealed that glaciers formed in the highest mountains of Antarctica at least 60 million years ago, which is 30 million years earlier than previously thought, and almost as long ago as the geological era of the dinosaurs. The continent of Antarctica is the coldest on Earth. Its extensive ice sheets, which today occupy approximately 98% of the land surface, have shrouded the continent for the last 34 million years, when they expanded as global climate cooled dramatically at the Eocene-Oligocene boundary.

Chemistry - Earth Sciences - 24.11.2022
Possible organic compounds found in Mars crater rocks
Possible organic compounds found in Mars crater rocks
Rock samples from the Jezero crater analysed by the Perseverance rover show evidence of liquid water and signatures that could be organic compounds. A study published in Science analyses multiple rocks found at the bottom of Jezero Crater on Mars, where the Perseverance rover landed in 2020, revealing significant interaction between the rocks and liquid water.

Earth Sciences - Environment - 18.11.2022
Sea level rise to dramatically speed up erosion of rock coastlines by 2100
Rock coasts, which make up over half the world's coastlines, could retreat more rapidly in the future due to accelerating sea level rise. This is according to new research led by Imperial College London and supported by researchers from the University of Glasgow. The researchers modelled likely future cliff retreat rates of two rock coasts in the UK, based on forecasts of sea level rise for different greenhouse gas emissions and climate change scenarios.

Earth Sciences - Chemistry - 16.11.2022
Winchcombe meteorite holds information about the origin of Earth’s oceans
The Winchcombe meteorite, a rare carbonaceous meteorite which crashed onto a driveway in Gloucestershire, has been found to contain extra-terrestrial water and organic compounds that reveal insights into the origin of Earth's oceans. A new study led by experts from the Natural History Museum and the University of Glasgow reports the orbital history and first laboratory analyses of the Winchcombe meteorite, which was recovered only hours after its spectacular fireball lit up the skies over the UK in February 2021.

Environment - Earth Sciences - 07.11.2022
Working with mountain communities could help water systems adapt to climate
Working with mountain communities could help water systems adapt to climate
Imperial scientists have shared how working directly with mountain communities could drive adaptation to the loss of their main water sources. Nearly two billion people globally rely on mountain water for drinking and irrigation, but this water source is under threat due to global heating. Mountainous regions are particularly impacted by the effects of the climate crisis , with melting glaciers and snow adding to water scarcity in regions such as the Himalayas, Central Asia, and Andes.

Environment - Earth Sciences - 07.11.2022
Rethinking mountain water security
Water security in mountain regions relies on an understanding of the interlinks of water supply and demand that goes far beyond the study of glacier melt. Current information on how the communities which depend on water from mountain snow and ice will be affected by climate change is limited, according to new research published in Nature Sustainability.

Environment - Earth Sciences - 27.10.2022
River longer than the Thames beneath Antarctic ice sheet could affect ice loss
River longer than the Thames beneath Antarctic ice sheet could affect ice loss
An unexpected river under the Antarctic ice sheet affects the flow and melting of ice, potentially accelerating ice loss as the climate warms. The 460km-long river is revealed in a new study, which details how it collects water at the base of the Antarctic ice sheet from an area the size of Germany and France combined.

Earth Sciences - Astronomy / Space - 24.10.2022
Science sleuths solve century-old mystery of Martian meteorite’s discovery
A toxin which makes pigs vomit is the surprising key which has unlocked the century-old mystery of the origins of a Martian meteorite, and the possible identity of the Black student who discovered it. In 1931, an unusual stone stored in the geological collection of Purdue University in the USA was identified as a pristine example of a meteorite - a piece of space rock blasted from the surface of Mars millions of years ago before being pulled into the Earth's atmosphere.

Earth Sciences - Environment - 14.10.2022
Dynamic oxygen levels may have accelerated animal evolution 
Dynamic oxygen levels may have accelerated animal evolution 
Oxygen levels in the Earth's atmosphere are likely to have -fluctuated wildly- one billion years ago, creating conditions that could have accelerated-the development of early animals, say researchers. Scientists believe atmospheric oxygen-developed in three stages, starting with what is known as the Great Oxidation Event-around two billion years ago, when oxygen first appeared in the-atmosphere.

Environment - Earth Sciences - 05.10.2022
Releasing charge from robotic aircraft can change water droplets
Releasing charge from robotic aircraft can change water droplets
Electric charge released into fog changes how water droplets behave, first-of-its-kind research from the universities of Bath and Reading has revealed. Real world experiments have demonstrated that releasing charge led to detectable changes in the size and number of fog droplets. The new results are published in the journal Geophysical Research Letters .

Astronomy / Space - Earth Sciences - 29.09.2022
New evidence for liquid water beneath the south polar ice cap of Mars
An international team of researchers has revealed new evidence for the possible existence of liquid water beneath the south polar ice cap of Mars. Scientists from the University of Sheffield are part of an international team of researchers that have revealed new evidence for the possible existence of liquid water beneath the south polar ice cap of Mars The findings provide the first independent line of evidence, using data other than radar, that there is liquid water beneath Mars- south polar ice cap Like Earth, Mars has thick water ice caps at both poles.

Environment - Earth Sciences - 27.09.2022
Seawater could have provided phosphorous required for emerging life
Seawater could have provided phosphorous required for emerging life
The problem of how phosphorus became a universal ingredient for life on Earth may have been solved by researchers from the University of Cambridge and the University of Cape Town, who have recreated primordial seawater containing the element in the lab.