More than 80 percent of all waste from Pennsylvania's oil and gas drilling operations stays inside the state, according to a new study that tracks the disposal locations of liquid and solid waste from these operations across 26 years. Numerous human health hazards have been associated with waste from oil and gas extraction, including potential exposure to compounds known to cause cancer.
Nine years ago tomorrow -- April 20, 2010 -- crude oil began leaking from the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig into the Gulf of Mexico in what turned out to be the largest marine oil spill in history. A long-term study suggests the oil is still affecting the salt marshes of the Gulf Coast, and reveals the key role that marsh grasses play in the overall recovery of these important coastal wetlands.
A powerful computational study of southern California seismic records has revealed detailed information about a plethora of previously undetected small earthquakes, giving a more precise picture about stress in the earth's crust.
Understanding the ecology and distributions of species in Amazonia is hampered by lack of information about environmental conditions, such as soils. Plant occurrence data are typically more abundant than soil samples in poorly known areas, and researchers from Finland and Brazil have now developed a method that uses both plant and soil data to produce a map of soil properties.
New research reveals how soil bacteria build the only known enzyme for the destruction of the potent global warming and ozone-depleting gas nitrous oxide. Alongside carbon dioxide (CO2) and methane, the greenhouse gas nitrous oxide (N2O), commonly known as 'laughing gas', is now a cause for great concern, and there is much international focus on reducing emissions. It is hoped that the findings will help pave the way for strategies to mitigate the damaging effects of N2O.
A new study begins to resolve the scale and pace of change during the first phases of animal domestication beyond the Fertile Crescent. To reconstruct this history, the authors turned to an unusual source: urine salts left behind by humans and animals.
Geologic time scales are critical to understanding the timing, duration, and connection of geologic events. They are not static, and can be improved with research, integration, and refinements realized from biostratigraphic repetitive analysis. Over the past century they have proven important tools in petroleum exploration and studies of climatic and geologic events. Still, many geologists may not know the importance of microfossils to the construction of time scales and biostratigraphy.
Understanding how bacterial metacommunities homogenize could help scientists predict future changes to ecosystems.
Farmers can't predict their annual corn harvest with certainty, but with the help of new research from Michigan State University, they can now pinpoint specific parts of their fields that consistently produce either good or bad yields. Not only will this save them time and money; it will solve one of the most widespread environmental problems facing crop-producing regions -- nitrogen loss.
Researchers say mercury buried in ancient rock provides the strongest evidence yet that volcanoes caused the biggest mass extinction in the history of the Earth. The extinction 252 million years ago was so dramatic and widespread that scientists call it 'the Great Dying.' The catastrophe killed off more than 95 percent of life on Earth over the course of hundreds of thousands of years.