Articles by elegant

Earth

SpaceX launches Jason-3 satellite to monitor sea levels

Jason-3, a U.S.-European oceanography satellite mission with NASA participation that will continue a nearly quarter-century record of tracking global sea level rise, lifted off from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California Sunday at 10:42 a.m. PST (1:42 p.m. EST) aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket.Jason-3 is an international mission led by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) in partnership with NASA, the French space agency CNES, and the European Organisation for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites.”Jason-3 will take the pulse of our changing planet by gathering environmental intelligence from the world's oceans,” said Stephen Volz, assistant administrator for NOAA's Satellite and Information Service. 

Earth

How soil frost affects greenhouse gas emissions from Arctic soils

Soil frost is a nearly universal process in the Arctic. In a recent dissertation by doctoral student Marina Becher at Umeå University, it is shown that the frequency and extent of soil frost is important for the release of the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide from arctic soil.Soil in the Arctic has for thousands of years gathered large quantities of decomposed organic matter due to the decomposition being slow at the low temperatures in the region. As temperatures in the Arctic are increasing, there is a growing concern that the organic matter stored in the ground will be decomposed and released as carbon dioxide. Such a process would contribute to the ongoing increase in this greenhouse gas in the atmosphere.

Earth

‘Space Warps’ and other citizen science projects reap major dividends for astrophysics

The astrophysics project Space Warps offers a compelling example of why citizen science has become such a popular tool and how valuable it can be. In a roundtable discussion with the Kavli Foundation, citizen science leaders and astrophysicists Chris Lintott, Anupreeta More and Aprajita Verma discuss the tremendous impact these enthusiastic volunteers are having.

Earth

Gregarious chimps harbor richer gut microbiomes

Spending time in close contact with others means risking catching germs and getting sick. But being sociable may also help transmit ‘good’ microbes, finds a new study. Researchers monitored changes in the gut microbiomes and social behavior of chimpanzees over eight years in Tanzania. The number of bacterial species in a chimp’s GI tract increased when the chimps were more gregarious. The results help scientists understand the factors that maintain a healthy gut microbiome.

Earth

Warming climate may impact animals' ability to eat some toxic plants

University of Utah lab experiments found that when temperatures get warmer, woodrats suffer a reduced ability to live on their normal diet of toxic creosote – suggesting that global warming may hurt plant-eating animals.”This study adds to our understanding of how climate change may affect mammals, in that their ability to consume dietary toxins is impaired by warmer temperatures,” says biologist Denise Dearing, senior author of the research published online Jan. 13 in the British journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B.