Alarmingly high mercury concentrations in the Arctic might be due to Siberian rivers

Besides ever thinning ice, permafrost melting, soot deposits, habitat loss, you might as well add another significant factor threatening the arctic ecosystem – mercury. For some time, the alarmingly high mercury concentrations in the regions were rather unaccounted for, in part, however a new research by scientists at Harvard’s Atmospheric Chemistry Modeling Group suggests that three Siberian rivers might be

New vital feeding sensory organ discovered in Rorqual whales

A group of researchers at University of British Columbia and the Smithsonian Institution have discovered a new sensory organ in rorqual whales, a subspecies of  baleen whales, which also includes the largest animal that has ever lived, the blue whale, capable of reaching 150 tonnes. The scientists involved in the study claim that this organ plays a vital role in the Rorqual whales signature lunge-feeding behaviour,

Heartland Institute facing uncertain future in the aftermath of criminal ads

Remember the Heartland Institute advertising campaign? The one climate scientists to criminals and terrorist? If you don’t let’s just refresh a little: they displayed this kind of ads in Chicago, displaying criminals supporting climate change, suggesting that all those who support climate change are criminals. Of course, this raised outrage throughout the entire world, and the ads were removed after

Seagrass on ocean coasts can store twice as much carbon as tropical rainforests, yet face destruction

A new research from a team of international marine geoscientists has found that seagrass meadows, found in coastal regions, can store up to twice as much carbon as temperate or tropical forests. The scientists involved in the study, thus, believe that seagrasses can potentially become a viable solution to climate change, if scaled and preserved through out the world. Data

Chemical reactions turns CO2 into semiconductor material, and releases energy [!]

In an absolutely remarkable discovery, Professor Yun Hang Hu, along with associates at Michigan Technological University, have discovered a chemical reaction which can turn the alarmingly ever increasing greenhouse gas carbon dioxide into a solid-state semiconductor (Li2CN2), while also releasing energy in the process. You couldn’t ask for something better. CO2 is an extremely pesky compound for researchers, because of its extremely

Pollution in thunderclouds leads to global warming

A new study published by the Department of Energy’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory found that pollution leads thunderstorm clouds to capture more heat than in normal, clean air conditions, thus becoming a contributing factor to global warming. Thunderclouds or deep convective clouds, by the scientific term, generally form and develop in any geographic location and represent an important part of

Earliest evidence of pollination is 100 million years-old, found in perfectly preserved insects

Scientists have uncovered pieces of fossilized amber containing tiny female insects called thrips, which upon closer inspections were found to have particles of pollen dusted over them.  The insects found are around 100 million years old, officially making them the oldest pollination record ever found. During the  lower Cretaceous Period, which corresponds to the recently discovered fossilized thrips, the world’s flowering

Humans need an extra planet at current rate of resource depletion, study finds

According to the World Wildlife Fund‘s annual Living Planet report, humans are using Earth’s resources at a rate 1.5 times  greater than the rate of replenishment.  “During the 1970s, humanity as a whole passed the point at which the annual Ecological Footprint matched the Earth’s annual biocapacity. This situation is called “ecological overshoot”, and has continued since then. An overshoot of 50

Most endangered gorilla species caught for the first time on film

The Cross River gorilla is a critically endangered gorilla species, native to the border region of Nigeria-Cameroon. Today, only about 250 to 300 individuals are alive, due to habitat loss and poaching, making it the rarest of all four gorilla species. It’s so rare and elusive, that no one has ever been able to record a Cross River gorilla, and

Horse domestication origins revealed after extensive gene study

Horses are arguably one of the most helpful animals man has ever managed to domesticate. At first they were used as source of meat and milk, but it was soon evident that horses were a lot more suited as labor animals than as a direct food medium. Important agricultural advancements were made possible thanks to horses, and due to their reliable nature,

Plant study hints at dangers of global warming

Plants are flowering much, much faster than scientists predicted in response to climate change, United States research shows, which could have absolutely devastating effects on food chains and ecosystems. Global warming is having a significant, indirect impact on hundreds of plant and animal species around the world, changing breeding, migratory and feeding patterns. This is just one of the many

Preposterous ‘advertising’: likening climate scientists to terrorists

So much for reasoned debate and scientific discussions: a controversial group bent on discrediting climate science revealed several billboards that compared people interested in climate change with terrorists. The Heartland Institute, a Chicago based group posted these billboards which displayed Ted Kaczynski, a terrorist whose bombing campaign lasted almost 20 years, killing three people and injuring 23 others. As if

Hyper-parasite defends ant colonies from zombie-ant fungus

Last year, we reported on one of the most gruesome and horrific acts that goes on in nature; it seems so unreal, like if some sort of SciFi monstrous scenario transcended into the realm of reality, that one has a hard time wrapping his head around it. Yes, as some of you might have read previously, I’m talking about the zombie-ant fungus

Dinosaurs were plagued by giant fleas ten times bigger than today and a lot meaner

During the tumultuous  Cretaceous and Jurassic periods if you could only choose one word to describe the world, it would’ve certainly be ‘big’. Big dinosaurs, big plants, big trees, big fish and big insects, of course. Chinese scientists have found almost perfectly preserved fossils of two previously unknown extinct flea species in Inner Mongolia, which are roughly ten times the size of

24 new lizard species discovered in the Caribbean – already faced with extinction

A team of researchers at Penn State University has identified 24 new species of skinks, a subspecies of lizards, native to the Caribbean Islands, turning the region’s fauna from one of the smallest lizard groups in the world to one of the largest. However, half of these new species are considered already extinct or very close to extinction, while the

Eco Energy Lighting Up the Home 2012

When it comes to lighting the home, lumens matter more than wattage. That’s a truth that people are coming to grips with manufactures change the labels on light bulbs to meet new energy-efficiency regulations. Consumers accustomed to equating watts with a certain amount of illumination are beginning to understand that the two are not intrinsically linked. New technologies are driving

Rare and elusive Amur leopard captured on photo for first time in China

The Amur leopard is a beautiful leopard subspecies native to the region of the Russian far east, which since 1996 has been classified as critically endangered. Only a handful of specimens remain today, however a photo which surprised an Amur leopard in China suggests that the species’ numbers are steadily increasing, and conservation efforts are beginning to show signs of

Ash and smoke spewed by Popocatepetl Volcano in Mexico warns of imminent eruption [PHOTOS]

  Mexico’s second highest peak, the  Popocatepetl Volcano, which means “Smoking Mountain” in the indigenous Nahuatl language, first began rumbling on April 13, when the first signs of ash and steam were sighted spewing from its crater.   Right in the surrounding of Mexico City, columns of ash have been shooting from more than 60 openings in the crust of the

Diversity is what helped mammals survive through deep time

After the great dinosaur extinction some 65 million years ago, mammals finally had their big shot as numerous niches became free for the taking. Thus, from mouse size, some mammal species surfaced which were as large as a bus, the so called mammal megafauna, like mammoths, giant sloths or saber-tooth tigers. However, a dire trial of their own was to come. Through

Greenhouse gas is 70 times more potent than CO2 bubbling from deep ocean

A new source of methane, a gas which is many times more destructive for the environment than CO2 has been identified by scientists over vast areas of the Arctic, especially over the areas where the sea has melted. Researchers found massive amounts of methane being released in the atmosphere from the ocean through cracks in the ice. Eric Kort of