Can oilfield water safely be reused for irrigation in California?

2 days 7 hours ago
A new study by researchers at Duke University and RTI International finds that reusing oilfield water that's been mixed with surface water to irrigate farms in the Cawelo Water District of California's Kern County does not pose major health risks, as some opponents of the practice have feared.

Bluesky examines the atmosphere during the coronavirus lockdown

2 days 8 hours ago
The COVID-19 pandemic is not only affecting almost every aspect of our daily lives, but also the environment. A German team, led by the Max Planck Institute for Chemistry and the German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt; DLR), now wants to find out how strong these effects are on the atmosphere. Over the next two weeks, as part of the Bluesky research programme, scientists will measure concentrations of trace gases and pollutants in the air over European urban areas and in the flight corridor to North America. The aim of these research missions is to investigate how reduced emissions from industry and transport are changing atmospheric chemistry and physics.

Earth's lower mantle can be oxidized in the presence of water

2 days 8 hours ago
If we took a journey from Earth's surface to the center, the midway point is roughly at 1900 km depth in the lower mantle. The lower mantle ranges from 660 to 2900 km depth and occupies 55% of our planet by volume. The chemical composition of the lower mantle is rather simple. It has long been pictured as being made up of 2 major minerals (~95%), namely bridgmanite and ferropericlase. Recently, this model was directly challenged by a set of discoveries in the lower mantle.

Video: Isolation in Antarctica

2 days 8 hours ago
Cold, dark, remote, Antarctica is as close to space as you can get on Earth. Humans conduct research in Antarctic bases on a wide range of topics, from climate studies and astronomy to glaciology and human physiology and psychology.

Snow mass estimates now more reliable

2 days 9 hours ago
Estimating the amount of seasonal snow is important for understanding the water cycle and Earth's climate system, but establishing a clear and coherent picture of change has proven difficult. New research from ESA's Climate Change Initiative has helped to produce the first reliable estimate of snow mass change and has helped to identify different continental trends.

Transportation policymaking in Chinese cities

2 days 9 hours ago
In recent decades, urban populations in China's cities have grown substantially, and rising incomes have led to a rapid expansion of car ownership. Indeed, China is now the world's largest market for automobiles. The combination of urbanization and motorization has led to an urgent need for transportation policies to address urban problems such as congestion, air pollution, and greenhouse gas emissions.

Journey to uncover mysteries of the Pacific Ocean

2 days 9 hours ago
On 14 February, nine National University of Singapore (NUS) researchers hopped onboard a vessel to start a 37-day expedition to explore an understudied area nestled in the Pacific Ocean known as the Clarion-Clipperton Zone (CCZ). Flat and deep—reaching down between 4,000 to 6,000 metres below the surface—the CCZ is often referred to as an abyssal plain.

Image: Atacama minerals

2 days 9 hours ago
The Copernicus Sentinel-2 mission takes us over part of Chile's Atacama Desert, which is bound on the west by the Pacific and on the east by the Andes. The Atacama is considered one of the driest places on Earth—there are some parts of the desert where rainfall has never been recorded.

Food system sustainability requires lower energy use

2 days 9 hours ago
Modern sustainability practices often encourage resource and energy efficiencies across separate sectors, such as food production or biofuels, but this siloed approach could actually lead to ongoing environmental decay, according to a recent commentary by researchers in the University of Georgia College of Engineering.

Researchers create global arsenic-in-groundwater maps to highlight threats

2 days 9 hours ago
A pair of researchers at the Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology has created a global map that highlights areas where there are likely dangerous levels of arsenic in groundwater. In their paper published in the journal Science, Joel Podgorski and Michael Berg describe combining data from a variety of sources to train a machine learning algorithm to highlight possible hot spots on a global map. Yan Zheng, with Southern University of Science and Technology has published a Perspective piece outlining the work by the research pair in the same journal issue.

NASA Snow campaign wraps 2020 survey

3 days 3 hours ago
As spring and summer temperatures return to the Northern Hemisphere, winter's snow is melting, releasing precious fresh water into Earth's streams, rivers and oceans. This annual change provides liquid water for drinking, agriculture and hydropower for more than one billion people around the world. In the future, NASA plans to use a satellite mission to measure how much water the world's winter snowpack contains, and to do that, they need to know what combination of instruments and techniques will efficiently measure this information from space.
12 minutes 50 seconds ago
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