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E.g., 12/17/2018
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  • News

    New research may upend what we know about how tornadoes form

    WASHINGTON — Tornadoes may form from the ground up, rather than the top down. 

    That could sound counterintuitive. Many people may picture a funnel cloud emerging from the bottom of a dark mass of thunderstorms and then extending to the ground, atmospheric scientist Jana Houser said December 13 in a news conference at the American Geophysical Union meeting.

    Scientists have long...

    12/14/2018 - 14:06 Climate
  • News

    Hybrid rice engineered with CRISPR can clone its seeds

    After more than 20 years of theorizing about it, scientists have tweaked a hybrid variety of rice so that some of the plants produce cloned seeds. No plant sex necessary. The feat, described December 12 in Nature, is encouraging for efforts to feed an increasingly crowded world.

    Crossing two good varieties of grain can make one fabulous one, combining the best versions of genes to give...

    12/12/2018 - 15:52 Plants, Genetics, Sustainability
  • Rethink

    Nearly 200 Great Barrier Reef coral species also live in the deep sea

    Nearly 200 species of Great Barrier Reef corals have found a second home in the deep ocean. That’s six times as many species as previously thought to be living in the dark, cold waters off northeastern Australia, researchers report December 12 in Proceedings of the Royal Society B.

    Perhaps more important than the number of species cataloged at those depths is the fact that every...

    12/11/2018 - 19:05 Animals, Oceans, Climate
  • News

    Here’s what was surprising about Kilauea’s 3-month-long eruption

    WASHINGTON — After a stunningly explosive summer, Kilauea, the world’s longest continuously erupting volcano, finally seems to have taken a break. But the scientists studying it haven’t. Reams of new data collected during an unprecedented opportunity to monitor an ongoing, accessible eruption are changing what’s known about how some volcanoes behave.

    “It was hugely significant,” says...

    12/11/2018 - 18:39 Earth
  • News

    A new way to turn saltwater fresh can kill germs and avoid gunk buildup

    A new design for sun-powered desalination technology may lead to longer-lasting devices that produce cleaner water.

    The trick boils down to preventing a device’s components from touching the saltwater. Instead, a lid of light-absorbing material rests above a partially filled basin of water, absorbing sunlight and radiating that energy to the liquid below. That evaporates the water to...

    12/11/2018 - 11:00 Technology, Sustainability
  • News

    The list of extreme weather caused by human-driven climate change grows

    WASHINGTON – A months-long heat wave that scorched the Tasman Sea beginning in November of 2017 is the latest example of an extreme event that would not have happened without human-caused climate change.

    Climate change also increased the likelihood of 15 other extreme weather events in 2017, from droughts in East Africa and the U.S. northern Plains states to floods in Bangladesh, China...

    12/11/2018 - 10:41 Climate
  • News in Brief

    Global carbon dioxide emissions will hit a record high in 2018

    Global carbon dioxide emissions are expected to hit a record high in 2018, despite urgent calls from climate scientists and international groups such as the United Nations to cut back.

    Worldwide, fossil fuel use is projected to pump 2.7 percent more CO2 into the atmosphere in 2018 compared with 2017. Last year, such emissions contributed 9.9 gigatons of carbon. The data are presented in...

    12/06/2018 - 18:09 Climate, Sustainability, Science & Society
  • News

    Volcanic eruptions that depleted ocean oxygen may have set off the Great Dying

    A massive series of volcanic eruptions in Earth’s distant past left ocean creatures gasping for breath. Greenhouse gases emitted by the volcanoes dramatically lowered oxygen levels in the oceans, a deadly scenario that may have been the main culprit in the Great Dying, researchers report.

    Earth scientist Justin Penn of the University of Washington in Seattle and colleagues mapped out...

    12/06/2018 - 14:00 Oceans, Climate, Earth, Paleontology
  • Science Stats

    Half the world’s annual rain falls in just 12 days

    Half of the world’s annual rain and snow falls on the year’s 12 wettest days. As climate change brings more intense downpours, the same amount of precipitation could take just 11 days by the end of the century, scientists report online November 4 in Geophysical Research Letters. 

    “Climate scientists generally have this notion that precipitation falls unevenly in time,” says climate...

    11/30/2018 - 13:55 Climate, Earth
  • News

    An acid found in soil may make a disease killing deer less infectious

    An acid found in rich humus soil breaks down the misfolded brain proteins — called prions — that cause chronic wasting disease.

    When concentrations of humic acid similar to those found in soils were applied to diseased elk brain tissue, chemical signatures of the infectious prions were nearly erased, researchers report online November 29 in PLOS Pathogens. That suggests that the acid...

    11/30/2018 - 06:00 Toxicology, Animals, Microbiology