Greening of the Arctic thaws permafrost

Oct 18, 2018 Erwin van den Burg


Greening of the Arctic is not only the result of global warming, it has also become a local accelerator. When insulating snow covers the shrubs, it promotes the warming of the ground, thus thawing the permafr... Read more

Forests are minor contributors to the mitigation of climate change

Oct 16, 2018 Erwin van den Burg

Managing Europe’s forests to maximize carbon sequestration will have only a negligible effect on the global climate, a new study shows. Using computer modeling, it appeared that, for instance, changing ... Read more

The chemistry of the oceans is changing

Oct 10, 2018 Erwin van den Burg


The ongoing acidification of oceans has been attributed to vast capacity of the oceans to store carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, but new research has shown that this cannot be the only culprit. In the Sout... Read more

Global sea level rise projected to be 50 feet by 2300

Oct 09, 2018 Erwin van den Burg


Sea water level will rise by about 8 inches (20 cm) by 2100, and probably by 50 feet (1.5 m) by 2300, a new study reports. These estimations are based on methods that have reconstructed the past, and are then... Read more

Species-rich forests take up twice as much carbon as monocultures

Oct 05, 2018 Erwin van den Burg


Subtropical forests with a rich variety of tree species store more than twice as much carbon as monocultures, new research shows. This has been concluded after evaluation of data from forests that had been pl... Read more

Preindustrial fires cooled the Earth

Oct 03, 2018 Erwin van den Burg

By analyzing fire proxy records such as ice cores, charcoal depositions in lake and marine sediments, and scarring in tree rings, researchers have found that fires were much more common before the industrial ... Read more

Unexpected protectors of the oceans: the robot jellyfish

Oct 02, 2018 Alexandru Ciobanu


Scientists came up with an original solution for monitoring the fragile ecosystems of the world’s oceans: a robotic jellyfish.

A soft robot like this can easily explore and monitor diffic... Read more

Coastal wetlands need inland space to survive rising sea water

Sep 21, 2018 Erwin van den Burg


A global study has shown that for coastal wetlands to survive, more room to move inland (accommodation space) is necessary. In Europe and China, most of inland migration of marshes is strongly impaired by dik... Read more

Oldest animal identified

Sep 21, 2018 Erwin van den Burg


Is it a lichen, a giant single-celled amoebe, or an animal? Now, paleontologists have found the answer of what a bizarre fossil of 558 million years old really is: the earliest known animal to live on the Ear... Read more

When the going gets tough, some plants and insects get going

Sep 19, 2018 Erwin van den Burg


Ecologists have found that some plant and insect species resist to intensive farming, despite the decline of many other species. Surviving plants include species like brambles and thistles that can cope with ... Read more

Dead trees that lived 12,000 years ago show the consequences of abrupt climate change

Sep 18, 2018 Erwin van den Burg


Burried remains of pine trees in the south of France that lived during a cold period, the Dryas, between 12,700 and 11,600 years ago reveal what an abrupt climate change might lead to. By measuring isotopes o... Read more

Geological study shows how Britain was formed

Sep 17, 2018 Erwin van den Burg


New research suggests that Britain was formed from three ancient land masses, and not two as previously thought: Laurentia in the North, Avalonia in the centre and the South, and Armorica in the South West. T... Read more

Pollinators benefit from organic farming methods

Sep 14, 2018 Alexandru Ciobanu


Worldwide, there is a decline in pollinating insects (bumblebees, butterflies, bees) and this is bad news for agriculture, nature and eventually for us, humans. Recently, an extensive 3-year study from Sweden... Read more

Abstract drawing found from 73,000 years ago

Sep 13, 2018 Erwin van den Burg


Archaeologists have made a spectacular discovery in the Blombos Cave in South Africa: an abstract drawing made by humans 73,000 years ago. This drawing predates any other drawing found in Europe, Asia, and Af... Read more

Fossil teeth show how reptiles adapted to rising sea water

Sep 10, 2018 Erwin van den Burg


By analyzing fossil teeth from the Jurassic era, 150 million years ago, paleontologists have managed to assess which species thrived, and which species died out during climate and sea water level changes. It ... Read more

Past global warming: dramatic forecast for the immediate future

Sep 06, 2018 Erwin van den Burg


The Spanish Pyrenees tell a story of the consequences of global warming that occurred some 56 million years ago. By studying river sediments in ancient rock formations, scientists found that a relatively rapi... Read more

Alpine ecosystems hardly recover from nitrogen deposition

Sep 05, 2018 Erwin van den Burg

An experimental study on Colorado’s Niwot Ridge at an elevation of 11,400 feet shows that alpine ecosystems struggle to recover from nitrogen deposition. After applying nitrogen for 12 years, researcher... Read more

Flaring of gas mapped out

Aug 31, 2018 Erwin van den Burg


By tapping in to a variety of sources, scientists have been able to determine which countries have high oil production emissions. The emissions are the burning, or flaring, of unwanted gas that is produced to... Read more

More hungry insects looking for crops with global warming

Aug 31, 2018 Erwin van den Burg


With rising global temperatures, insects’ metabolism and population growth will be dramatically on the rise, leading to many hungry insect mouths to feed. This will be devastating to crops, especially w... Read more

Fate of plastics in the ocean

Aug 30, 2018 Erwin van den Burg


While many used plastics end up in the oceans, surprisingly few plastic particles are found high in the water column. Now, by doing experiments in the laboratory, scientists have found that plastic microparti... Read more