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New Shrimp Species Discovered In Mariana Trench

15 Feb

The stylodactylid shrimp was recently captured live on video deep within the Mariana Trench.

The Mariana Trench is one of the deepest parts of the ocean. As such, it is extremely difficult to explore. However, researchers have taken on the challenge of enabling exploration through the use of remote-operated vehicles such as the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Deep Discoverer. Some of their discoveries include a vast array […]

Ocean Acidification Helps Microscopic Shell Formation

13 Feb

Ocean acidification could actually be helping foraminifera and other shelled microorganisms, but at what cost?

Although we’ve only been talking about ocean acidification for a relatively short period of time, the acidity of the ocean has increased by 30 percent since 1750. Many creatures are having difficulty adapting to increased ocean acidification, especially coral and shellfish because they use lime to build their shells. In more acidic water, lime dissolves […]

Researchers Use Robots to Replicate Plankton Swarms

8 Feb

Researchers have created grapefruit-sized robots that help them track the behavior of plankton in the sea.

Plankton are tiny aquatic creatures which form the basis of many of the food webs found in the world’s oceans. Each smaller than a grain of rice, they band together in huge swarms that sometimes manifest on the surface as “red tides.” But for the most part, they actually live under the ocean’s surface, where […]

Ex-National Park Employee Incites “Climate Facts” Twitter Rebellion

30 Jan

These are some of the tweets from Badlands National Park's account. They were quickly deleted, but the internet is forever.

There has been a lot of talk about government social media accounts and the current administration. The issues apparently began when the Department of the Interior’s National Park Service retweeted a photo comparing the audience of President Obama’s inauguration ceremony with the audience of the current president’s inauguration ceremony. In response to that, and the […]

Are We Using the Right Date Range for Pre-Industrial Climate Records?

27 Jan

Scientists are starting to question whether we are using the proper date range for the pre-industrial period when measuring climate change.

In today’s climate studies, researchers define the pre-industrial period as being between 1850 and 1900. The trouble with that date range is, the Industrial Revolution began in Britain in the late 1700s and was in high gear throughout the western world by 1850. In fact, industrial development was at its peak during the years that […]

Researchers Looking For the Best Algae For Biofuels

25 Jan

Researchers are looking for the best algae to use as biofuels.

Biofuel is a renewable alternative energy source that, while it’s catching on, is nowhere close to replacing petroleum. One reason for that is the cost of growing the algae used to produce some of those biofuels. This is where a new project at the Department of Energy’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory comes in. The team […]

Researchers Find Way to Sequester Carbon Dioxide in Crystals

18 Jan

Scientists have recently discovered a way to sequester carbon dioxide from air.

While working a system to remove contaminants from water, scientists at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory stumbled on a system to remove carbon dioxide from air, by storing it in crystals. The crystals are formed when a synthetic guanidine in water is exposed to air. “When we left an aqueous solution of the guanidine open […]

Burying Fossil Fuels Helped Keep Oxygen in the Atmosphere

16 Jan

Burying fossil fuels helped keep oxygen in the atmosphere.

The creation of fossil fuels may have helped kick off the evolution of animal life on the planet. Why? Animals need oxygen, not just to breathe but also to process energy from food. But large amounts of carbon in the form of plant material were left on the surface of the earth for billions of […]

22 Million Pounds of Plastic Enters the Great Lakes Each Year

4 Jan

An estimated 22 million pounds of plastic garbage enters the Great Lakes every year.

A recent study from the Rochester Institute of Technology has estimated that around 10,000 metric tons (22 million pounds) of plastic enters the Great Lakes each year. It is the first study to take several smaller, local studies and use mathematical models to extrapolate how much plastic is entering the lake system overall. By comparison, […]

Researchers Reinvent Sawdust As an Oil Spill Cleanup Tool

21 Dec

Scientists have reinvented sawdust as an oil spill cleanup tool.

As long as we continue to rely on oil for fuel, we’re going to have to deal with oil spills. While there are several ways to clean up oil spills, they were designed for use in warm water, not the cold and sometimes rough seas of far northern latitudes. But scientists working for the Pacific […]