Fresh analysis of a reptile fossil is helping scientists solve an evolutionary puzzle -- how snakes lost their limbs.
When birds and humans sing it sounds completely different, but now new research reported in the journal Nature Communication shows that the very same physical mechanisms are at play when a bird sings and a human speaks.
Lush greenery rich in Douglas fir and hemlock trees covers the Triangle Lake valley of the Oregon Coast Range. Today, however, geologists are more focused on sediment samples dating back 50,000 years and which show the region, not covered by glaciers in the last ice age, was frost-covered and endured erosion rates must higher than those seen today.
Computer simulations have allowed scientists to work out how a puzzling 555-million-year-old organism with no known modern relatives fed, revealing that some of the first large, complex organisms on Earth formed ecosystems that were much more complex than previously thought.
Coccolithophores have been increasing in relative abundance in the North Atlantic over the last 45 years, as carbon input into ocean waters has increased. Their relative abundance has increased 10 times -- an order of magnitude -- during this sampling period. This finding was diametrically opposed to what scientists had expected since coccolithophores make their plates out of calcium carbonate, which is becoming more difficult as the ocean becomes more acidic and pH is reduced.
In power production, nearly two-thirds of energy input from fossil fuels is lost as waste heat. Industry is hungry for materials that can convert this heat to useful electricity, but a good thermoelectric material is hard to find. Northwestern University researchers now report that doping tin selenide with sodium boosts its performance as a thermoelectric material, pushing it toward usefulness. The doped material produces a significantly greater amount of electricity than the undoped material, given the same amount of heat input.
A microscopic marine alga is thriving in the North Atlantic to an extent that defies scientific predictions, suggesting swift environmental change as a result of increased carbon dioxide in the ocean.
Scientists have developed a new method to model heat wave magnitude that takes both the duration and the intensity of the heat wave into account. The new metric indicates that a little-studied heat wave in Finland in 1972 had the same extent and magnitude of the 2003 European heat wave that is considered the second strongest heat wave since 1950. The findings are published today, Nov. 27 2015, in the journal Environmental Research Letters.
Globally, phytoplankton absorb as much carbon dioxide as tropical rainforests and so understanding the way they respond to a warming climate is crucial.
Research from The University of Texas at Austin shows that rock salt, used by Germany and the United States as a subsurface container for radioactive waste, might not be as impermeable as thought.