15 January 2019
The first comprehensive assessment of glacier mass loss for all regions in western North America (excluding Alaskan glaciers) suggests that ice masses throughout western North America are in significant decline: glaciers have been losing mass during the first two decades of the 21st century.
14 January 2019
Fort McMurray homes have normal levels of indoor toxic substances following wildfire, new study reveals
Researchers have examined dust from homes in Fort McMurray in Canada for evidence of harmful toxins left in the aftermath of the devastating 2016 wildfire. Their study reveals normal levels of contaminants that are comparable to homes across Canada, and so far, no evidence of long-term health risks from fire-ash exposure in residents’ homes
11 January 2019
Sand dunes on coastal barrier islands buffer the U.S. Atlantic and Gulf coasts from oncoming hurricanes. Every year, millions of public and private dollars fund the restoration of these barrier islands, but managers often focus on the recovery of smaller sand dunes and aim at making them bigger, for better storm protection. But new research presented at the 2018 AGU Fall Meeting last month finds sand dunes on these barrier islands don’t all recover at the same rate. Small dunes go back to becoming small dunes; large dunes recover to be large dunes; and they don’t typically grow larger than they were before the storm struck.
9 January 2019
Cattle burps are the number two source of methane in the U.S., but it’s tricky to measure exactly how much methane one cow produces in a day. That’s why researchers at the USDA-ARS Conservation and Production Research Laboratory in Bushland, Texas set out to use a number of different methane assessment methods — including a “breathalyzer for cows” — to determine the methane emissions of free-range cattle on Oklahoma grasslands.
7 January 2019
The surface waters of Lake Dillon, a mountain reservoir that supplies water to the the Denver area, have warmed by nearly 5 degrees Fahrenheit (2.5 degrees Celsius) in the last 35 years, which is twice the average warming rate for global lakes. Yet surprisingly, Dillon does not show adverse environmental changes, such as nuisance algal blooms, often associated with warming of lakes.
3 January 2019
Climate models predict plant decomposition in the tropics will increase in a warmer world, but a new study shows the opposite
2 January 2019
On January 16, 2016, a sudden swath of large and powerful waves swept through seaside communities along 450 kilometers (280 miles) of Pacific Northwest coastline. From Washington to northern California, water rushed past normal tide lines and filled beaches and streets, stretching hundreds of meters inland. These “sneaker waves” are aptly named given their unannounced arrival, which occurs when massive waves push extra water onshore—a higher-than-usual water level that scientists refer to as runup. At best, these events take beachgoers by surprise. At worst, they are disastrous and fatal.
28 December 2018
Tropical cyclones, and the torrential rains and strong winds these storms bring along with them, threaten coastal communities around the world and are expected to increase in intensity due to climate change. Whether or not a natural hazard, such as a tropical cyclone, becomes a natural disaster depends on whether the hazard overwhelms existing human infrastructure in a particular country or region. But when does a natural disaster result in fatalities?
27 December 2018
Saturn’s rings act like Venetian blinds that block sunlight for the hemisphere that’s tilted farther away from the Sun, limiting winter sunlight. This cuts down on the planet’s haze and golden glow.
26 December 2018
Supermarket purchases show scientists how communities respond to health-related water quality violations, which could provide them with a new tool for monitoring public health concerns, according to new research. In a new study, researchers saw increased purchases of bottled water and over-the-counter antidiarrheal medicine in areas where health-related violations of the Safe Water Drinking Act were reported.