Breaking Waves: Ocean News

African bird discovery proves there is something new under the sun
03/15/2010 - 23:00
"Four and 20 black birds baked in a pie" -- but wait, one has blue-gray eyes. That discovery, backed by DNA analysis, means scientists now know there is one more species of black shrike in the Albertine Rift of Africa than was previously thought. And if Dr. Gary Voelker has his way, he'll soon be studying the bird's habits to determine its susceptibility to the deforestation now occurring across its native habitat.
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Urban CO2 domes increase deaths, poke hole in cap-and-trade proposal
03/14/2010 - 23:00
In the first study ever done on the local health effects of the domes of carbon dioxide that develop above cities, researchers found that the domes increase the local death rate. The result provides a scientific basis for regulating CO2 emissions at the local level and points out a significant oversight in the carbon dioxide "cap-and-trade" proposal that was passed by the House of Representatives in June 2009.
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Grass, fungus combination affects ecology
03/14/2010 - 23:00
Fescue grass covers an area equivalent to 12 million football fields in the US, and a new study by ecologists shows that the grass and a symbiotic fungus can affect local ecosystems in significant ways. Study results show that the genetic identity of an invisible fungus living symbiotically in fescue can alter the surrounding composition and diversity of the plant community.
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Flowering plants may be considerably older than previously thought
03/14/2010 - 23:00
Flowering plants may be considerably older than previously thought, says a new analysis of the plant family tree. Previous studies suggest that flowering plants, or angiosperms, first arose 140 to 190 million years ago. Now, a new article pushes back the age of angiosperms to 215 million years ago, some 25 to 75 million years earlier than either the fossil record or previous molecular studies suggest.
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Southern Ocean winds open window to the deep sea
03/14/2010 - 23:00
Scientists have discovered how changes in winds blowing on the Southern Ocean drive variations in the depth of the surface layer of sea water responsible for regulating exchanges of heat and carbon dioxide between the ocean and the atmosphere.
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People will forgo luxury for green products when status is on mind, researcher finds
03/14/2010 - 23:00
A new study finds that people will forgo luxury and comfort for a green item.
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Earthquake observatory in Northern Chile to monitor the last seismic gap
03/14/2010 - 23:00
The high-magnitude earthquake of Feb. 27, 2010 in southern Central Chile closed one of the two remaining seismic gaps at the South American plate boundary. After the quake of Concepción, the remaining gap in the north of Chile now holds potential for a comparable strong quake and is, thus, moving more and more into the focus of attention.
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Phylogenetic analysis of Mexican cave scorpions suggests adaptation to caves is reversible
03/12/2010 - 00:00
A new study of the scorpion family Typhlochactidae, a group of nine dark-adapted species endemic to Mexico, shows that specialized traits are not necessarily an evolutionary dead end. At least three reversals, or a return to generalized morphology, were found in a phylogenetic analysis.
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Scarcity of phosphorus threat to global food production
03/11/2010 - 00:00
Phosphorus is just as important to agriculture as water. But a lack of availability and accessibility of phosphorus is an emerging problem that threatens our capacity to feed the global population. Like nitrogen and potassium, it is a nutrient that plants take up from the soil and it is crucial to soil fertility and crop growth.
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