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  • News

    Rising dolphin deaths linked to Deepwater Horizon spill

    The April 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill helped spark a massive, ongoing die-off of dolphins in the Gulf of Mexico, a new study suggests.

    Dead common bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) examined in the region had lung lesions and adrenal gland damage, injuries previously linked to oil exposure,...

    05/21/2015 - 18:14 Pollution, Toxicology, Oceans
  • News

    Tranquil ecosystems may explain wild swings in carbon dioxide stashing

    Placid prairies and austere scrublands may be key ecosystems for explaining mysterious year-to-year swings in the amount of carbon dioxide sucked out of the atmosphere.

    The unassuming landscapes are responsible for up to 50 percent of the yearly variation in how much of the greenhouse gas is stashed on land, ...

    05/21/2015 - 15:02 Climate, Ecosystems
  • Science Ticker

    Once-stable Antarctic glaciers are now melting rapidly

    A once-steadfast group of Antarctic glaciers has nosedived into rapid decline.

    Glaciers along the Southern Antarctic Peninsula remained roughly stable between 2003 and 2009. New satellite observations reveal that the region suddenly destabilized in 2009 and is now shedding around 56 billion metric tons of ice each year, enough water to raise sea levels by roughly 0.16 millimeters.


    05/21/2015 - 14:00 Climate, Earth
  • Wild Things

    Rising temperatures may cause problems for cold-blooded critters

    Last year in the pages of Science News, I tried to answer a question: Will the world’s plants, animals and other organisms be able to adapt to climate change? There wasn’t an easy answer to that question, in part because the effects of climate change are varied (they include rising...

    05/20/2015 - 15:00 Animals, Climate
  • Science Ticker

    E-cigarette flavorings may harm lungs

    Certain flavorings in e-cigarettes can harm lung cells, researchers report May 17 at the American Thoracic Society International Conference in Denver.

    Researchers exposed human lung cells to various doses of 13 flavorings for either 30 minutes or 24 hours. Five of the flavorings...

    05/18/2015 - 15:00 Toxicology, Health
  • News

    Asteroids boiled young Earth’s oceans, remnant rocks suggest

    Asteroid impacts around 3.3 billion years ago may have created hell on Earth.

    Rocks left over from Earth’s adolescence suggest that giant impacts boiled the oceans billions of years ago, lowering the global sea level by tens of meters. The huge amounts of energy released during the impacts increased air temperatures to more than 500° Celsius for weeks and above water’s boiling point for...

    05/15/2015 - 07:00 Earth, Planetary Science
  • News

    Mysterious form of phosphorus explained

    Facing famine, some crafty marine microbes may set up an exclusive black market for their rations of phosphorus.

    By converting the essential element of life into an unconventional chemical state, certain marine microbes could create a thriving exchange for phosphorus just among themselves, researchers report in...

    05/14/2015 - 14:00 Oceans, Ecosystems, Chemistry
  • Growth Curve

    Birth-weight boost tied to cleaner air during Beijing Olympics

    The Olympics are stuffed full of feel-good moments featuring amazing athletic feats, heart-warming backstories and national pride. Now, a new study details another Olympic win: Bigger babies.

    Babies whose eighth month of gestation fell during the 2008 Beijing Olympics and Paralympics were born slightly heavier than babies born a year earlier or later. Why? Because those Olympic babies...

    05/13/2015 - 10:00 Pollution, Human Development
  • Wild Things

    An island in the Maldives is made of parrotfish poop

    Vakkaru Island in the Maldives is little more than a spit of sand rising above the ocean, topped with a bit of vegetation and surrounded by coral reefs. Vakkaru is a reef island, which means that it’s made up of sediment produced on those reefs. There are around 1,200 islands like it in the Maldives, clustered in groups along the region’s numerous atolls. But where does the sediment come from...

    05/12/2015 - 14:30 Animals, Oceans
  • Science Ticker

    Another strong quake strikes Nepal

    A magnitude 7.3 earthquake rattled eastern Nepal near Mount Everest on May 12, hitting just 17 days after one that killed more than 8,000 people in the region. The latest quake is the largest aftershock to date of the April 25 Nepal earthquake, which struck around 150 kilometers to the west, the U.S. Geological Survey...

    05/12/2015 - 13:13 Earth