Scientists have developed a model to calculate the age of nitrogen in corn and soybean fields, which could lead to improved fertilizer application techniques to promote crop growth while reducing leaching. Nitrogen, a key nutrient for plants, can cause problems when it leaches into water supplies.
According a National Science Foundation (NSF), scientific literature and fisheries management and conservation efforts have for years assumed that the survival of adult fish is relatively constant through time. They further held that most fluctuations in the numbers of adults come from variation in the number of young fish that are produced and survive to maturity. Those assumptions have been challenged by new research by the National Science Foundation's Long-Term Ecological Research (LTER) Network.
Going where larger, human-piloted planes cannot, a new unmanned aircraft system promises to close a key gap in knowledge for climate modelers seeking to measure and eventually predict exactly what's going on underneath Antarctic Ice Sheets.
Remote waters affect billions of people, shape climate and air chemistry worldwide
Equipped with high-speed, high-resolution video, researchers discovered how the larvae of Atlantic slipper limpets, marine snails, swim, a behavior that determines individual dispersal and ultimately, survival.
Climate change is already affecting the spread of infectious diseases--and human health and biodiversity worldwide--according to disease ecologists reporting research results in the August 2, 2013 issue of the journal Science. Modeling disease outcomes from host and parasite responses to climate variables, they say, could help public health officials and environmental managers address the challenges posed by the changing landscape of infectious disease.
“The geckos stuck just as well under water as they did on a dry surface, as long as the surface was hydrophobic [water-loving],” Stark explains. “We believe this is how geckos stick to wet leaves and tree trunks in their natural environment.”
The study has implications for the design of a synthetic gecko-inspired adhesive. Geckos' ability to stick to trees and leaves during rainforest downpours has fascinated scientists for decades, leading a group of University of Akron researchers to solve the mystery.
Increasing levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide alter how plants use water: Spurred by increasing levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide, forests over the last two decades have become dramatically more efficient in how they use water. "Findings from this study are important to our understanding of forest ecosystems--and how they can be managed more effectively now and in the future."
The icy Southern Ocean that surrounds Antarctica is about as cold, stormy and inhospitable a body of water as can be imagined. But thanks to the ingenuity of a group of high-school students, their teacher and a miniature video camera on a cable, it has also become a real-life classroom for budding marine engineers.
Researchers study water vapor to learn more about the water cycle and impacts of climate change
University of Colorado meteorologist David Noone and his team are working to understand how water moves around the planet. With support from the National Science Foundation (NSF), the project team observes and analyzes the stable isotope composition of water vapor and precipitation, primarily at the 300-meter (984-foot) Boulder Atmospheric Observatory tower.