Archive | September, 2015

Tidally Locked Planets May be Habitable, Depending on “Air Conditioning”

25 Sep

Earthlike Planet

Humans have been looking for other inhabitable planets for about as long as we’ve understood what planets actually are. Unfortunately, we’ve largely been looking for other planets that remind us the most of home, and while that kind of makes sense, it eliminates from consideration almost every terrestrial exoplanet we’ve ever found. However, according to […]

Polar Bear Diets Make Melting Ice Less of a Threat

24 Sep

Polar Bear

For some years now, the plight of the polar bear has looked pretty grim. As climate change continues to accelerate Arctic ice melting, the seasons where they must stay on land, instead of being able to hunt for seals on ice floes, has seemed to doom the species. Some studies have predicted mass starvation by […]

Newly Discovered Ancestors Buried Their Dead Before Humans Evolved

23 Sep

It’s time to set another place at the table of human ancestry. A recent discovery in South Africa revealed a new humanoid ancestor, called Homo naledi. This newly discovered species was smaller than humans, with a brain size not much larger than that of a chimpanzee. However, the discovery came with a very special twist: […]

New Germanium Extraction Method Could be a Boon for Biogas

22 Sep

Biogas

In Germany, professor Hermann Heilmeier and his team have figured out a way to extract germanium from plants. Germanium is an element once used in transistors, and is now used in computers, smartphones, and fiber-optic cables. Unfortunately, it can be difficult to extract from the soil where it is found, and most of the world’s […]

Scientists to Awaken “Giant” Prehistoric Virus

16 Sep

giant virus

In what sounds like the start of a horror film, scientists are working to awaken a “giant” virus they found in Siberia, which has been frozen for over 30,000 years. They’re going to make sure that it can’t harm humans first. Mollivirus sibericum, as this virus is known, is 0.6 microns in length, or about […]

New, Better Weather Forecasts Have Grim Outlook for Climate Change

14 Sep

Climate Change

According to McGill University physics professor Shaun Lovejoy, the primary reason that weather forecasts are so often wrong is that they don’t make use of the atmospheres “long term memory.” By making greater use of historical climate data, he has developed a system that can better predict weather of periods of more than 10 days. […]

80% of Seabirds Have Digested Plastic in their Lives

11 Sep

Seabird

Since 1960, we’ve been finding plastic in the stomachs of seabirds, but back then, it was less than 5% of individual birds who faced this problem. According to scholars from CSIRO and Imperial College London, by 2010 that 5% had risen to 80%. Now, according to a new study, roughly 90% of seabirds have likely […]

Young Northern Bald Ibis to Begin Migratory Flight this Year

4 Sep

bald ibis

Until the 17th century, the northern bald ibis called Central Europe its home, and would migrate between there and northern Italy, around Tuscany. However, over-hunting has led to this species being the 12th most endangered bird in the world. Luckily, avian specialists in Europe have been working tirelessly to try help the species recover, and […]

2013 Storm in Colorado Caused 1,000 Years Worth of Erosion

1 Sep

Erosion

In 2013, a storm hit Colorado’s Front Range area that set a number of records. In a matter of 5 days, the area received about a year’s worth of normal rainfall, between 7 and 18 inches in most parts of Boulder and Larimer counties. The storm caused mudslides, landslides, and massive flooding. And in those […]