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  • News in Brief

    As CO2 increases, rice loses B vitamins and other nutrients

    By the end of this century, rice may not deliver the same B vitamin levels that it does today. Protein and certain minerals will dwindle, too, new data suggest.

    Testing higher carbon dioxide concentrations in experimental rice paddies in China predicts losses in four vitamins — B1, B2, B5 and B9 — an international team reports May 23 in Science Advances. Adding results from similar...

    05/23/2018 - 16:17 Climate, Agriculture
  • News

    Keeping global warming to 1.5 degrees C helps most species hold their ground

    Limiting global warming this century to just 1.5 degrees Celsius above preindustrial temperatures would be a boon to the planet’s biodiversity. This lower warming threshold, compared with warming of 2 degrees C, will preserve much larger swaths of the geographic ranges of tens of thousands of land-based species of plants, vertebrates and insects living on the planet, a new study suggests.

    ...
    05/17/2018 - 14:21 Earth, Climate, Animals, Ecology
  • News

    Nanoparticles could help rescue malnourished crops

    Synthetic nanoparticles used to fight cancer could also heal sickly plants.

    The particles, called liposomes, are nanosized, spherical pouches that can deliver drugs to specific parts of the body (SN: 12/16/06, p. 398). Now, researchers have filled these tiny care packages with fertilizing nutrients. The new liposomes, described online May 17 in Scientific Reports, soak into plant leaves...

    05/17/2018 - 09:00 Agriculture, Technology
  • Science & the Public

    No, Kilauea won’t cause mass destruction

    Kilauea isn’t about to become another Krakatoa. So let’s just stop that rumor right there.

    Twitter was awash last weekend in indignant volcanologists responding to a now-corrected Associated Press story that appeared to link the Hawaii volcano to the so-called Ring of Fire, and suggest its eruption could spark others in the ring. That’s just wrong, for a number of reasons.

    The Ring...

    05/16/2018 - 17:02 Earth
  • It's Alive

    These caterpillars march. They fluff. They scare London.

    Of course the guy’s wearing a full-body protective suit with face mask and goggles good and snug. He’s about to confront a nest of little fluffy caterpillars.

    Insect control can get surreal in the London area’s springtime battle against the young of oak processionary moths (Thaumetopoea processionea).  The species, native to southern Europe, probably hitchhiked into England as eggs on...

    05/11/2018 - 08:00 Animals, Health, Climate
  • News in Brief

    Satellite data backs theory of North Korean nuclear site collapse

    A new analysis of satellite images and seismic waves from North Korea’s nuclear test site support theories that the underground facility has at least partially collapsed.

    Seismologists across the world have been tracking the clandestine nuclear weapons program for years by analyzing vibrations that emanate from explosions at the test site under Mount Mantap (SN: 8/5/17, p. 18). Now,...

    05/10/2018 - 14:00 Earth, Science & Society
  • News

    How long will Kilauea’s eruption last?

    Cracks open in the ground. Lava creeps across roads, swallowing cars and homes. Fountains of molten rock shoot up to 70 meters high, catching treetops on fire.

    After a month of rumbling warning signs, Kilauea, Hawaii’s most active volcano, began a new phase of eruption last week. The volcano spewed clouds of steam and ash into the air on May 3, and lava gushed through several new rifts...

    05/08/2018 - 17:16 Earth
  • Science Stats

    Globetrotting tourists are leaving a giant carbon footprint on the Earth

    Going green may mean staying at home.

    Global tourism contributes about 8 percent of total greenhouse gas emissions to the atmosphere, researchers report May 7 in Nature Climate Change. That carbon footprint is about three times as large as tourism-related emissions estimated by previous studies.

    The jump is largely because the new study doesn’t just tally up emissions from the...

    05/07/2018 - 11:00 Climate, Earth
  • News

    Bull sharks and bottlenose dolphins are moving north as the ocean warms

    Far from their usual tropical waters, some 200 bottlenose dolphins and about 70 false killer whales have been spotted off the western coast of Canada’s Vancouver Island. Over on the Atlantic coast, bull sharks have turned a North Carolina estuary into a nursery — a sight more familiar in Florida, until now.

    Two new studies highlight the unusual northern sightings of these three ocean...

    05/02/2018 - 11:52 Climate, Oceans, Animals, Ecosystems
  • News in Brief

    Last year’s solar eclipse set off a wave in the upper atmosphere

    It was the eclipse felt ‘round the world. The August 21, 2017, total solar eclipse that crossed the United States launched a wave in the upper atmosphere that was detected nearly an hour later from Brazil (SN Online: 8/11/17).

    “The eclipse itself is a local phenomenon, but our study shows that it had effects around the world,” says space scientist Brian Harding of the University of...

    04/30/2018 - 14:43 Planetary Science, Earth