Archive for October, 2015

Arctic snow not darkening due to soot, dust

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A new study shows that degrading satellite sensors, not soot or dust, are responsible for the apparent decline in reflectivity of inland ice across northern Greenland....

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Mass gains of Antarctic Ice Sheet greater than losses

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A new study says that an increase in Antarctic snow accumulation that began 10,000 years ago is currently adding enough ice to the continent to outweigh the increased losses from its thinning glaciers....

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Technique for analyzing bedrock could help builders, planners identify safe building zones

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The thin layer of bedrock below the Earth's surface is the foundation for all life on land. Cracks and fractures within bedrock provide pathways for air and water, which chemically react to break down rock, forming soil -- an essential ingredient for all terrestrial organisms. Scientists have dubbed this layer Earth's 'critical zone.' Now scientists have found a way to predict the spatial extent of bedrock weathering....

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What are the vampire squid and the vampire fish?

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The vampire squid is a small ( 12-inch-long ) cephalopod found in deep temperate and tropical seas. Originally thought to be an octopus because it lacks the two long tentacles that usually extend past a squid’s eight arms, the vampire squid possesses characteristics of both squid and octopi, and occupies its own order in taxonomy (scientific classification).



On the freshwater side, the vampire fish is a nickname for the payara, an abundant gamefish found in the Amazon Basin. While this large, 1.5-to-3 feet, fish does not suck the blood of its prey, its six-inch-long fangs, which protrude from an undershot jaw, result in a face only a (payara) mother could love.

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Researchers advance understanding of mountain watersheds

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Scientists may be able to predict the distribution of pore space in the subsurface of mountain watersheds by looking at the state of stress in the earth's crust....

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Land-facing, southwest Greenland Ice Sheet movement decreasing

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In the face of decades of increasing temperatures and surface melting, the movement of the southwest portion of the Greenland Ice Sheet that terminates on land has been slowing down, according to a new study....

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Moderate increase of oceanic acidification leads to a dramatic shift in benthic habitats

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Rising levels of carbon dioxide released by anthropogenic activities are driving unprecedented changes in the chemistry of the oceans. The mean ocean surface acidity has increased by a near 30% as the advent of the Industrial Revolution. In agreement, ocean acidification is receiving increasing attention because of its potential to affect marine ecosystems....

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Nordic Seas cooled 500,000 years before global oceans

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The cooling of the Nordic Seas towards modern temperatures started in the early Pliocene, half a million years before the global oceans cooled. A new study of fossil marine plankton demonstrates this....

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Marine reserves will need stepping stones to help fish disperse between them

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A massive field effort on the Belizean Barrier Reef has revealed for the first time that the offspring of at least one coral reef fish, a neon goby, do not disperse far from their parents. The results indicate that if marine protected areas aim to conserve such fishes, and biodiversity more broadly, then they must be spaced closely enough to allow larvae to disperse successfully between them....

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100-year-old mystery solved: Adult eel observed for the first time in the Sargasso Sea

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After more than a century of speculation, researchers have finally proved that American eels really do migrate to the Sargasso Sea to reproduce. A team of Canadian scientists reports having established the migratory route of this species by tracking 28 eels fitted with satellite transmitters. One of these fish reached the northern boundary of the Sargasso Sea, the presumed reproduction site for the species, after a 2,400 km journey....

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