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Tag: Earth’s

Ancient crystals suggest Earth’s crust enjoyed growth spurt 3 billion years ago

Ancient crystals suggest Earth’s crust enjoyed growth spurt 3 billion years ago

Science
Jan. 12 (UPI) -- Ancient crystals recovered from stream sediments in Greenland suggest bits of Earth's primordial crust seeded the growth of later generations of crust. According to a new study published Tuesday in the journal Nature Communications, the process fueled a massive crustal growth three billion years ago. Advertisement Scientists were able identify the origins of the ancient growth spurt by analyzing the chemistry of crystals eroded from ancient rocks. The chemical makeup of the ancient zircon crystals, found among modern stream sediment in Greenland, revealed signatures left their incorporation into younger crustal rocks and sediment during what scientists call lithospheric reworking. "We found there was a widespread bloom in crust production three billion years ago, during ...
Sentinel-6 satellite to help NASA track climate change’s effects on Earth’s oceans

Sentinel-6 satellite to help NASA track climate change’s effects on Earth’s oceans

Science
Nov. 20 (UPI) -- While NASA has been using satellites to measure the height of the ocean for the last 28 years, the Sentinel-6 Michael Freilich satellite is slated to offer greater precision than ever before. Sentinel-6, jointly developed by NASA, the European Space Agency, the European Organization for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites and NOAA, is set to launch Saturday at 12:17p.m. EST from Space Launch Complex 4 East at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. Advertisement The satellite will use a trio of instruments to calculate its position and distance above the ocean's surface as the satellite follows its polar orbit. "It's going to be a new star in the sky, giving us the best possible measurements of sea level rise, ocean waves and wind," Craig Donlon, Sentinel-6 mis...
Ocean salinity study reveals amplification of Earth’s water cycle

Ocean salinity study reveals amplification of Earth’s water cycle

Science
Sept. 9 (UPI) -- New analysis of ocean salinity data suggests Earth's water cycle has amplified significantly over the last half-century. The global water cycle has a strong influence on the planet's climate system, and vice versa. As Earth's water cycle changes, so does the climate. To accurately model climate change and its effects on global weather patterns, scientists must understand changes to the planet's water cycle. Advertisement Previous climate models have suggested Earth's water is evaporating at an accelerated pace, a phenomenon that should yield increased precipitation rates across the globe. It's a logical prediction: as Earth gets warmer, more water should become vaporized, triggering the formation of heavier clouds. However, scientists have struggled to confirm such a patt...
Earth’s ‘lost species’ only the tip of the iceberg

Earth’s ‘lost species’ only the tip of the iceberg

Science
Scientists have calculated how many mammals might be lost this century, based on fossil evidence of past extinctions.Their predictions suggest at least 550 species will follow in the footsteps of the mammoth and sabre-toothed cat.With every "lost species" we lose part of the Earth's natural history, they say.Yet, despite these "grim" projections, we can save hundreds of species by stepping up conservation efforts.The new research, published in the journal Science Advances, suggests that humans are almost entirely responsible for extinctions of mammals in past decades. And rates will escalate in the future if we don't take action now.Despite this "alarming" scenario, we could save hundreds if not thousands of species with more tar...
‘Mummified’ plants give glimpse of Earth’s future

‘Mummified’ plants give glimpse of Earth’s future

Science
Fossil leaves from the remains of a 23 million-year-old forest suggest some plants may adapt to grow more quickly as CO2 levels rise, a study says.Scientists recovered the very well-preserved leaves from an ancient lake on New Zealand's South Island.They have enabled the scientists to link for the first time the high temperatures of the period with high levels of atmospheric CO2.The results have been published in the journal Climate of the Past.In their scientific paper, the team shows that some plants were able to harvest carbon dioxide more efficiently for photosynthesis - the biological process that harnesses light from the Sun to produce food for the plant.They say their findings may hold clues for how the dynamics of plant l...