Wissenschaftler der Universität Marburg und der Senckenberg Gesellschaft für Naturforschung haben die Veränderung der Weideflächen auf dem Tibetischen Hochplateau untersucht. Sie kommen in ihrer kürzlich online im Fachjournal „Scientific Reports“ veröffentlichten Studie zu dem Schluss, dass der globale Klimawandel den Grasflächen insgesamt mehr Schaden zufügt als die zunehmende Landnutzung. Das tibetische Hochland ist eine klimatische Schlüsselregion – beinah 40 Prozent der Bevölkerung weltweit sind von den dort entspringenden Flüssen abhängig. (more…)
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Geographen der Universität Tübingen messen in internationaler Studie die Gletscherschmelze auf dem Tibetischen Plateau
Die Erde erwärmt sich, die Gletscher schrumpfen – aber nicht jede Gletscherschmelze lässt wie gefürchtet den Meeresspiegel ansteigen. In Tibet bleibt gemäß Messungen eines internationalen Forscherteams mit Beteiligung der Universität Tübingen ein beträchtlicher Teil des Schmelzwassers auf dem Land. Die Folgen sind jedoch dennoch negativ: Auf dem Tibetischen Plateau kann es die abflusslosen Seen überlaufen lassen und wertvolles Weideland fluten. (more…)
AUSTIN, Texas — For the first time, scientists have documented an acceleration in the melt rate of permafrost, or ground ice, in a section of Antarctica where the ice had been considered stable. The melt rates are comparable with the Arctic, where accelerated melting of permafrost has become a regularly recurring phenomenon, and the change could offer a preview of melting permafrost in other parts of a warming Antarctic continent.
Tracking data from Garwood Valley in the McMurdo Dry Valleys region of Antarctica, Joseph Levy, a research associate at The University of Texas at Austin’s Institute for Geophysics, shows that melt rates accelerated consistently from 2001 to 2012, rising to about 10 times the valley’s historical average for the present geologic epoch, as documented in the July 24 edition of Scientific Reports. (more…)
For years, many scientists had thought that plate tectonics existed nowhere in our solar system but on Earth. Now, a UCLA scientist has discovered that the geological phenomenon, which involves the movement of huge crustal plates beneath a planet’s surface, also exists on Mars.
“Mars is at a primitive stage of plate tectonics. It gives us a glimpse of how the early Earth may have looked and may help us understand how plate tectonics began on Earth,” said An Yin, a UCLA professor of Earth and space sciences and the sole author of the new research. (more…)
COLUMBIA, Mo. – Marrying multiple husbands at the same time, or polyandry, creates a safety net for women in some cultures, according to a recent study by a University of Missouri researcher. Extra husbands ensure that women’s children are cared for even if their fathers die or disappear. Although polyandry is taboo and illegal in the United States, certain legal structures, such as child support payments and life insurance, fill the same role for American women that multiple husbands do in other cultures.
“In America, we don’t meet many of the criteria that tend to define polyandrous cultures,” said Kathrine Starkweather, doctoral student in MU’s Department of Anthropology in the College of Arts and Science. “However, some aspects of American life mirror polyandrous societies. Child support payments provide for offspring when one parent is absent. Life insurance allows Americans to provide for dependents in the event of death, just as secondary husbands support a deceased husband’s children in polyandrous societies.” (more…)
ANN ARBOR, Mich.— Fifty million years ago, India slammed into Eurasia, a collision that gave rise to the tallest landforms on the planet, the Himalaya Mountains and the Tibetan Plateau.
India and Eurasia continue to converge today, though at an ever-slowing pace. University of Michigan geomorphologist and geophysicist Marin Clark wanted to know when this motion will end and why. She conducted a study that led to surprising findings that could add a new wrinkle to the well-established theory of plate tectonics – the dominant, unifying theory of geology. (more…)
LAUREL, Md. — Wild migratory birds may indeed play a role in the spread of bird flu, also known as highly pathogenic avian influenza H5N1.
A study by the U.S. Geological Survey, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization and the Chinese Academy of Sciences used satellites, outbreak data and genetics to uncover an unknown link in Tibet among wild birds, poultry and the movement of the often-deadly virus. (more…)
While the BP Deepwater Horizon well spits tens of thousands of barrels of oil offshore on the Gulf of Mexico, an environmental disaster of proportions never before imagined, a beautiful new kind of bird flies silently in the skies on its first test flight.