Climate and carbon cycle trends of the past 50 million years reconciled

Cleveland Volcano, Aleutian Islands eruption in 2006. Volcanism is one of the main carbon dioxide sources in the long-term carbon cycle balanced by weathering sinks, which, among others, represent important processes included in Komar and Zeebe’s model. Credit: NASA image courtesy Jeff Williams Predictions of future climate change require a clear and nuanced understanding of […]

UK coronavirus variant may be more deadly, early evidence suggests

Officials in the United Kingdom say the U.K. variant of the novel coronavirus may be more deadly than other strains, but they stress that the evidence for this is still very uncertain.  This variant, called B.1.1.7, was first identified in Kent, England, in September 2020 and has since spread around the world. This variant is […]

Fossils show giant worms may have burrowed into the ancient seafloor

illustration of ancient bobbit worms

Around 20 million years ago, giant ocean worms may have burrowed into the seafloor and burst forth like the space slug from Star Wars to ambush unsuspecting fish. Ancient underground lairs left behind by these animals appear in rocks from coastal Taiwan, researchers report January 21 in Scientific Reports. The diggers may have been analogs […]

Researchers Unearth Bedrock Carbon and Water Dynamics

On Earth’s surface, countless plants and animals grow and move, taking in and releasing carbon. Beneath all that, the soil teems with insects, microbes, and fungi, all bustling and respiring. The bedrock farther below the surface, in contrast, may seem sterile, although it, too, often hosts life. Trees and other plants commonly work […]

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MRI helps unravel the mysteries of sleep

Our state of consciousness changes significantly during stages of deep sleep, just as it does in a coma or under general anesthesia. Scientists have long believed – but couldn’t be certain – that brain activity declines when we sleep. Most research on sleep is conducted using electroencephalography (EEG), a method that entails measuring brain activity […]

How did forelimb function change as vertebrates acquired limbs and moved onto land?

Life reconstruction of the early tetrapod Pederpes showing the forelimb bones beneath the skin. Credit: Image copyright 2021, Julia Molnar. When tetrapods (four-limbed vertebrates) began to move from water to land roughly 390 million years ago it set in motion the rise of lizards, birds, mammals, and all land animals that exist today, including humans […]

Upward-shooting ‘blue jet’ lightning spotted from International Space Station

Scientists on the International Space Station spotted a bright-blue lightning bolt shooting upward from thunderclouds.  Blue jets can be difficult to spot from the ground, since the electrical discharges erupt from the tops of thunderclouds. But from space, scientists can peer down at this cerulean lightshow from above. On Feb. 26, 2019, instruments aboard the […]

PTSD link to pandemic fears — ScienceDaily

Even at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic last year, people around the world became more fearful of what could happen to them or their family. A new Flinders University study of 1040 online participants from five western countries published in PLOS ONE explores people’s response to the stresses of the escalating pandemic, finding more […]