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Fate of the subducted oceanic crust revealed by laboratory experiments

A schematic image of subducted oceanic crust inferred from this study. Basalt and harzburgite layers of the oceanic crust accumulate beneath and above the 660 km discontinuity, respectively. Credit: Ehime University Professor Tetsuo Irifune of the Geodynamics Research Center (GRC) of Ehime University heads a research group investigating the Earth's interior by means of experiments…

Life thrived on Earth 3.5 billion years ago, research suggests

Electron microscopy image of microbial cells which respire sulfate. Credit: Guy Perkins and Mark Ellisman, National Center for Microscopy and Imaging Research Three and a half billion years ago Earth hosted life, but was it barely surviving, or thriving? A new study carried out by a multi institutional team with leadership including the Earth-Life Science…

Sand from glacial melt could be Greenland’s economic salvation

Eight percent of the of the annual sediment contribution delivered to the global oceans comes from the Greenland Ice Sheet. Credit: Nicolaj Kroeg Larsen As climate change melts Greenland's glaciers and deposits more river sediment on its shores, an international group of researchers has identified one unforeseen economic opportunity for the Arctic nation: exporting excess…

NASA finds possible second impact crater under Greenland ice

Just 114 miles from the newly-found Hiawatha impact crater under the ice of northwest Greenland, lies a possible second impact crater. The 22-mile wide feature would be the second crater found under an ice sheet, and if confirmed, would be the 22nd-largest crater on Earth. A NASA-led team discovered the feature using satellite data of…

Undersea gases could superheat the planet

A deep-sea reservoir near Taiwan spews carbon dioxide when its slurry-like hydrate cap ruptures. Credit: National Academy of Sciences The world's oceans could harbor an unpleasant surprise for global warming, based on new research that shows how naturally occurring carbon gases trapped in reservoirs atop the seafloor escaped to superheat the planet in prehistory. Scientists…

Moving artificial leaves out of the lab and into the air

An artificial, bio-inspired leaf. Carbon dioxide (red and black balls) enter the leaf as water (white and red balls) evaporates from the bottom of the leaf. An artificial photosystem (purple circle at the center of the leaf) made of a light absorber coated with catalysts converts carbon dioxide to carbon monoxide and converts water to…

Antarctic ice shelves buckle under weight of meltwater lakes

Meltwater lakes in Antarctica. Credit: Alison Banwell The filling and draining of meltwater lakes has been found to cause a floating Antarctic ice shelf to flex, potentially threatening its stability. A team of British and American researchers, co-led by the University of Cambridge, has measured how much the McMurdo ice shelf in Antarctica flexes in…

New deep sea animal discoveries warrant expanded protections in Costa Rican...

Chimaeras are cartilaginous fish, largely confined to deep water. Their closest living relatives are sharks, though their last common ancestor with sharks lived nearly 400 million years ago. Credit: Schmidt Ocean Institute A three week expedition off the coast of Costa Rica has just expanded our knowledge of deep sea ecosystems in the region. Led…

When coral species vanish, their absence can imperil surviving corals

Waves of annihilation have beaten coral reefs down to a fraction of what they were 40 years ago, and what's left may be facing...

How staying in shape is vital for reproductive success

Cells must keep their shape and proportions to successfully reproduce through cell division, finds new research from the Francis Crick Institute and King's College...

Emperor penguins’ first journey to sea

Emperor penguin chicks hatch into one of Earth's most inhospitable places--the frozen world of Antarctica. Childhood in this environment is harsh and lasts only...

Better Roads Equals Reduced Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Keeping road pavement in good shape saves money and energy and reduces greenhouse gas emissions, more than offsetting pollution generated during road construction, according...

Making ammonia ‘greener’

Ammonia, a compound first synthesized about a century ago, has dozens of modern uses and has become essential in making the fertilizer that now...

Japan just found a huge rare-earth mineral deposit that can supply...

Researchers have found a deposit of rare-earth minerals off the coast of Japan that could supply the world for centuries, according to a new...

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