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This data visualization comes from the MODIS instrument on NASA´ AQUA spacecraft. Here we see a measure of global chlorophyll concentrations, derived from data collected between July 1, 2002, and December 31, 2004. This visualization has a 4-kilometer measure of resolution. Credit: NASA
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By monitoring the color of reflected light via satellite, scientists can determine how successfully plant life is photosynthesizing (or using the sun's energy). A measurement of photosynthesis is essentially a measurement of successful growth, and growth means successful use of ambient carbon. Until now, scientists have only had a continuous record of photosynthesis on land. But following three years of continual data collected by the SeaWiFS instrument, NASA has gathered the first record of photosynthetic productivity in the oceans. Credit: NASA Scientific Visualization Studio)
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Credit: The University of Liverpool
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Scientists at the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have ended a nine-year debate over whether the Earth's inner core is undergoing changes that can be detected on a human timescale. Their work, which appears in the August 26 issue of the journal Science, measured differences in the time it took seismic waves generated by nearly identical earthquakes up to 35 years apart to travel through the Earth's inner core...
Credit: Columbia University
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Different branches of seismic waves generated by an earthquake pass through different parts of the deep Earth (A). Seismograms from two earthquakes 10 years apart appear similar (B) indicating that the earthquakes must be nearly identical. But a detailed examination shows that the part of the seismic wave that passed through the inner core (PKP(DF)) made the trip faster in 2003 than in 1993 (C). Image Credit: Zhang, Song, et al
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"Snowball Earth" proponents, who say that Earth´ oceans were covered by thick ice, explain the survival of life by hypothesizing the existence of small warm spots, or refugia.
Credit: USC
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1.65 Ga Kombolgie Formation deposited by a braided river system that was probably syndepositional with the Barney
Creek Formation and possibly feeding into the sea of the McArthur Basin (Photo: Jochen J. Brocks, 12 August 2003, Bardedjilidji in Kakadu National Park, northern Australia).
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Credit: MIT
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Steve Giovannoni contemplates a drop of seawater, which contains approximately one million bacterial cells. (Photo by Lynn Ketchum, OSU EESC)
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Our experiments led to the discovery and first cultivation of SAR11, now named Pelagibacter. Credit: Oregon State University
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A sample sediment core. Stryofoam marks points in the core where samples have been extracted for study. Sediment cores reveal historical changes in climate, circulation patterns, volcanic eruptions, and other major geologic events. (Tom Kleindinst, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)
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The global ocean circulation system, often called the Ocean Conveyor, transports heat worldwide. White sections represent warm surface currents. Purple sections represent cold deep currents. (Jayne Doucette, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)
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Carmala Garzione, assistant professor of earth and environmental sciences (PHOTO CREDIT: University of Rochester)
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A perspective view of the Gabilan Mesa of central California, derived from a high-resolution laser altimetry map. Such distinct, periodically spaced ridges and valleys result from erosional processes that are strongly influenced by biota. Nonetheless, no unique topographic signature of life on Earth has yet been found. Credit: Berkeley
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Two hillslopes in the Atacama Desert of Chile –“ one of bedrock (A) and the other covered with soil (B) –“ look amazingly like the Columbia Hills on Mars (C) once the yellowish grey Martian sky has been artificially colored blue and the red color of the rocks has been removed. (Mars image, acquired by the rover Spirit, courtesy of NASA/JPL/Cornell University)
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Fluorescence micrographs of cyanobacteria. About 2 billions years ago, cyanobacteria –“ oxygen-producing photosynthetic prokaryotes that used to be called blue-green algae –“ were responsible for launching the process that increased the concentration of atmospheric oxygen from less than 1 percent to about 20 percent today, making possible the evolution of humans and other animals. Credit: Mary Sarcina University College London
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The evolution of genomic complexity and metabolic pathways during Earth's history. The earliest origin of life is not known. However, assuming a single last universal common ancestor evolved in mid-Proterozoic, there is evidence of microbial life. When oxygenic photosynthesis evolved is not clear, but geochemical data suggest that between about 2.3 and 2.2.billion years ago, there was sufficient oxygen in the atmosphere to permit an ozone layer to form. That singular event appears to have precipitated a massive increase in genome and metabolic complexity, culminating in the rise of metazoans around 600 million years ago, and the rise of terrestrial plants around 430 million years ago. The feedbacks in the evolutionary trajectory have led to increasing genomic and metabolic complexity. (Image and caption courtesy of Science.)
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Simulating biological networks in the presence or absence of specific metabolites, such as molecular oxygen, provides new insights into the evolution of life´ chemical capabilities. This image of one such simulation was created by LLNL postdoctoral researcher Jason Raymond.
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An intense dust storm sent a massive plume of dust from the Saharan Desert northwestward over the Atlantic Ocean on March 2, 2003. In this true-color scene, acquired by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) aboard NASA´ Terra satellite, the thick dust plume (light brown) can be seen blowing westward and then routed northward by strong southerly winds. The plume extends more than 1,000 miles (1,600 kilometers), covering a vast swath of ocean extending from the Cape Verde Islands (lower left), off the coast of Senegal, to the Canary Islands (top center) off the coast of Morocco. (Image courtesy of Jacques Descloitres, MODIS Rapid Response Team, NASA/GSFC)
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Dust storms sweep iron-rich particles (mineral aerosols) from the continents into the atmosphere. They fall into, or are rained into, the oceans, where iron dissolves into a form that is used, along with other nutrients such as nitrate (N) and phosphate (P), by phytoplankton and bacteria to live and grow. Small marine animals (zooplankton) eat phytoplankton and bacteria. When they excrete fecal pellets or die, organic matter is transferred to the depths. (Jack Cook, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)
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Motion of the North Pole, as determined by the IERS
Earth Orientation Parameter Center of the Paris Observatory,
for the study period, 1 November 2005 to 14 February 2006. Each
marker represents the position of the pole on one day. Five loops
are identified. Never before have these small polar movements
been traced with such precision.
Credit: American Geophysical Union
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A chain of salpa aspera (Photo by Larry Madin, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)
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Larry Madin looks at a solitary salp (not salpa aspera) in his lab. The jar at right contains aggregates of S.aspera. (Photo by Tom Kleindinst, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)
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A chain of salpa aspera (Photo by Larry Madin, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)
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The antarctic ice cap is a perfect archive for precpitation and dust particles. Even with a blue sky you findprecipitation of ice particles at Kohnen Station, which can build a halo. Besides the terrestrical dust also extraterrestrical dust is deposed. On top left an extraterrestrical dust particle in size of a few micrometer is included.
Foto: Johannes Freitag & Hubertus Fischer, Alfred Wegener Institute.
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Detail of an ice core from 2668 meters depth. Foto: Josef Kipfstuhl Alfred Wegener Institute.
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Kohnen station is the summer station of EPICA in Dronning Maud Land, Antarctica and located at 75°00´ S und 00°04´ E.
Foto: Hubertus Fischer, Alfred Wegener Institute.
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USC College professor Jed Fuhrman and his colleagues show that most kinds of bacteria thrive under predictable conditions and at predictable times. Credit: USC
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This graphic shows the tilting of the Earth that might occur if a dramatic imbalance in the planet´ mass distribution ever developed in the Arctic. According to the theory of true polar wander, a heavy spot in the Arctic -- caused by a very large upwelling of magma, for instance -- would reorient the planet over 5 to 20 million years so that the heavy spot would lie at the equator, changing the orientation of the Earth in relation to its poles. New evidence uncovered by the team of Princeton geoscientist Adam Maloof shows that this sort of reorientation may have occurred in the planet´ distant past.
Credit: Maloof Laboratory
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Coauthors Jennifer Eigenbrode and Katherine Freeman in the field. Credit: Carnegie Institution
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Want biodiversity? Look no further than the air around you. It could be teeming with more than 1,800 types of bacteria, according to a first-of-its-kind census of airborne microbes recently conducted by scientists from the U.S. Department of Energy´ Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab). Wind-blown dust from the expanding Sahara Desert reaches far out into the Atlantic Ocean, and eventually North America. Scientists hope to learn how this process, which is linked to climate change, alters the microbial population of the air. (Photo NASA)
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PhyloChip boasts a lot of analytical power in a small package.
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From left, Gary Andersen, Eoin Brodie, and Todd DeSantis next to a computer readout of the bacteria found in an air sample.
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A male sea lion shares his intimate knowledge of the ocean with researchers via an electronic tag. Image credit: Mike Weise
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The field team attaches a tag to the fur of a sedated male elephant seal. Special permits are required for this work to ensure the animal's protection. Image credit: Daniel Costa
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Temperature profiles generated by seven elephant seals travelling across the North Pacific. Image credit: Daniel Costa
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Beneath Earth's solid crust are the mantle, the outer core, and the inner core. Scientists learn about the inside of Earth by studying how waves from earthquakes travel through the planet. Image credit: World Book illustration by Raymond Perlman
and Steven Brayfield, Artisan-Chicago
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Seismologists at Washington University believe a very high-attenuation anomaly at the top of the lower mantle beneath eastern Asia is due to water. The left figure is a slice through the earth, showing the anomalies within the mantle. The location of the slice - red line in the upper right figure - is a map of the seismic attenuation at a depth of roughly 620 miles. In both images, red shows unusually soft and weak rock, and blue shows unusually stiff rock. Credit: Eric Chou / Washington University
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This images shows the pattern of convection cells above the polar caps during
different orientations of the Interplanetary Magnetic Field.
Credit: Max-Planck-Institut für extraterrestrische Physik (S. Haaland) / ESA
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Cover of the book, Under a Green Sky, by paleontologist Peter Ward. His book says that past extinctions on Earth has been caused by global warming.
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Sprite Dance
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Red sprite
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