WASHINGTON — Earth’s largest inland body of water has been slowly evaporating for the past two decades due to rising temperatures associated with climate change, according to a new study led by The University of Texas at Austin. (more…)
Tag Archives: evaporation
A new study using data from NASA satellite missions finds that, although the long-term water picture for the Aral Sea watershed in Central Asia remains bleak, short-term prospects are better than previously thought.
Once the fourth largest inland sea in the world, the Aral Sea has lost 90 percent of its water volume over the last 50 years. Its watershed — the enormous closed basin around the sea — encompasses Uzbekistan and parts of Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan. (more…)
Significant portions of the Ogallala Aquifer, one of the largest bodies of water in the United States, are at risk of drying up if it continues to be drained at its current rate.
In the current issue of Earth’s Future, a journal of the American Geophysical Union, Michigan State University scientists are proposing alternatives that will halt and hopefully reverse the unsustainable use of water drawdown in the aquifer. The body of water, also known as the High Plains Aquifer, spans from Texas to South Dakota and drives much of the region’s economy. (more…)
It’s not exactly icing on a cake, but it could be icing on a lake. A new paper by scientists on NASA’s Cassini mission finds that blocks of hydrocarbon ice might decorate the surface of existing lakes and seas of liquid hydrocarbon on Saturn’s moon Titan. The presence of ice floes might explain some of the mixed readings Cassini has seen in the reflectivity of the surfaces of lakes on Titan.
“One of the most intriguing questions about these lakes and seas is whether they might host an exotic form of life,” said Jonathan Lunine, a paper co-author and Cassini interdisciplinary Titan scientist at Cornell University, Ithaca, N.Y. “And the formation of floating hydrocarbon ice will provide an opportunity for interesting chemistry along the boundary between liquid and solid, a boundary that may have been important in the origin of terrestrial life.” (more…)
PASADENA, Calif. – Scientists with NASA’s Cassini mission have spotted what appears to be a miniature, extraterrestrial likeness of Earth’s Nile River: a river valley on Saturn’s moon Titan that stretches more than 200 miles (400 kilometers) from its “headwaters” to a large sea. It is the first time images have revealed a river system this vast and in such high resolution anywhere other than Earth.
Scientists deduce that the river, which is in Titan’s north polar region, is filled with liquid hydrocarbons because it appears dark along its entire length in the high-resolution radar image, indicating a smooth surface. (more…)
A NASA-sponsored expedition is set to sail to the North Atlantic’s saltiest spot to get a detailed, 3-D picture of how salt content fluctuates in the ocean’s upper layers and how these variations are related to shifts in rainfall patterns around the planet.
The research voyage is part of a multi-year mission, dubbed the Salinity Processes in the Upper Ocean Regional Study (SPURS), which will deploy multiple instruments in different regions of the ocean. The new data also will help calibrate the salinity measurements NASA’s Aquarius instrument has been collecting from space since August 2011. (more…)
UCLA life scientists, working with colleagues in China, have discovered a new method to quickly assess plants’ drought tolerance. The method works for many diverse species growing around the world. The research, published in the journal Methods in Ecology and Evolution, may revolutionize the ability to survey plant species for their ability to withstand drought, said senior author Lawren Sack, a UCLA professor of ecology and evolutionary biology.
“This method can be applied rapidly and reliably for diverse species across ecosystems worldwide,” he said of the federally funded research by the National Science Foundation. (more…)
EAST LANSING, Mich. — The world’s rubber supplies are in peril, and automobile tire producers are scrambling to seek alternative solutions.
Tom Sharkey, chairperson of the Michigan State University biochemistry and molecular biology department, believes isoprene, a gas given off by many trees, ferns and mosses, could be a viable option. Some plants use it as a mechanism to tolerate heat stress as opposed to most crops, which stay cool through evaporation. (more…)