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Life is the Missing Link in Cloud Formation
Topic: Biosphere
A new study reveals bacterial genes that influence sulfur gas flux from seawater. The research could have implications for understanding the role of ocean bacteria in cloud formation.

Greenhouse Oceans
Topic: Biosphere
New research points to mass mortality in the oceans at a time in history when the Earth was experiencing a greenhouse effect. The study shows that the oceans are in a much more delicate balance than previously thought, and could be a warning of things to come.

Beetle Bling
Topic: Biosphere
Brilliant gold- and silver-colored beetles have given optics researchers new insights into the way biology can recreate the appearance of some of nature's most precious metals.

Icebergs Influence on Biology and Climate
Topic: Biosphere
Scientists have discovered that when icebergs cool and dilut the seas, they also raise chlorophyll levels. This may increase the amount of carbon dioxide that is absorbed in the Southern Ocean, and could have global implications for Earth's climate.

New Group of Algae Discovered
Topic: Biosphere
Biologists have discovered a new group of algae living in a variety of marine and freshwater environments. The newly discovered members of our biosphere, dubbed 'rappemonads', could play an important role in the cycling of elements on our planet.

Microbes and the Swirl of the Ocean
Topic: Biosphere
New research shows that microorganisms help control the amount of light that is reflected off ocean surfaces. The amount of light that oceans absorb can have effects on our planet's climate.

Plankton are Key to Earth's Oxygen
Topic: Biosphere
Researchers have provided new information about the role of plankton in the oxygenation of Earth's atmosphere. The study will help scientists better understand the links between life, the environment and the habitability on Earth.

Using Math to Predict Future Extinctions
Topic: Biosphere
A new mathematical model is helping scientists understand the complex interactions within ecological food webs. The model could help astrobiologists understand the future of extinction events on our planet.

The Art of Environment
Topic: Biosphere
Scientists and artists have collaborated to address looming environmental issues. Works included those that address issues related to astrobiology, including the relationship between life and the biosphere. The art show took place in early February at Arizona State University.

Earth's Life Support Systems
Topic: Biosphere
Astrobiologists study Earth's biogeochemical cycles as a reference for understanding what makes an environment habitable. Cycles of carbon, nitrogen and phosphorous show how life and the Earth itself are intricately linked.

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