Ozone depletion following the Toba eruption around 74,000 years ago compounded the ensuing volcanic winter and caused a human population bottleneck.
Centuries-old smoke particles preserved in the ice reveal a fiery past in the Southern Hemisphere and shed new light on the future impacts of global climate change.
After a wildfire, soils in burned areas often become water repellent, leading to increased erosion and flooding after rainfall events - a phenomenon that many scientists have attributed to smoke and heat-induced changes in soil chemistry. But this post-fire water repellency may also be caused by wildfire smoke in the absence of heat, according to a new paper from the Desert Research Institute (DRI) in Nevada.
New research from Florida State University shows that concentrations of the toxic element mercury in rivers and fjords connected to the Greenland Ice Sheet are comparable to rivers in industrial China, an unexpected finding that is raising questions about the effects of glacial melting in an area that is a major exporter of seafood.
Solar geoengineering is not a fix-all for climate change but it could be one of several tools to manage climate risks. A growing body of research has explored the ability of solar geoengineering to reduce physical climate changes. But much less is known about how solar geoengineering could affect the ecosystem and, particularly, agriculture. Now, research finds that solar geoengineering may be surprisingly effective in alleviating some of the worst impacts of global warming on crops.
Georgia Tech researchers find that oxygenation of Earth's surface is key to the evolution of large, complex multicellular organisms. If cells can access oxygen, they get a big metabolic benefit. However, when oxygen is scarce, it can't diffuse very far into organisms, so there is an evolutionary incentive for multicellular organisms to be small to ensure most of their cells can still access oxygen.
As the global energy demand continues to grow along with atmospheric levels of carbon dioxide (CO2), there has been a major push to adopt more sustainable and more carbon-neutral energy sources. Solar/wind power and CO2 capture - the process of capturing waste CO2 so it is not introduced into the atmosphere - are two promising pathways for decarbonization, but both have significant drawbacks.
High-temperature and high-pressure experiments involving a diamond anvil and chemicals to simulate the core of the young Earth demonstrate for the first time that hydrogen can bond strongly with iron in extreme conditions. This explains the presence of significant amounts of hydrogen in the Earth's core that arrived as water from bombardments billions of years ago.
Scientists led by Michael Ackerson, a research geologist at the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History, provide new evidence that modern plate tectonics, a defining feature of Earth and its unique ability to support life, emerged roughly 3.6 billion years ago. The study, published May 14 in the journal Geochemical Perspectives Letters, uses zircons, the oldest minerals ever found on Earth, to peer back into the planet's ancient past.
Scientists exploring the drivers of Antarctic climate change have discovered a new and more efficient pathway for the creation of natural aerosols and clouds which contribute significantly to temperature increases.