May 13, 2009
Mercury seals – The Polar Bear has often been given the role of proverbial environmental canary, coming to prominence in the movie An Inconvenient Truth by former US Vice President Al Gore. But, researchers in Canada have now reported for the first time how high levels of the toxic metal mercury present in certain Arctic seals could also be an indicator of the effects of climate change, hinting at how vanishing sea ice caused by rising temperatures may be to blame. The study provides new insights into the impact of climate change on Arctic marine life.
Global thermostat – Could increased chemical weathering of rocks by rivers increase the absorption of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and so regulate the planet’s temperature? Ocean chemistry is affected by the chemical breakdown of continental rocks by rain and ground water, according to UK scientists. Their research published in Nature points to how climate change affects this breakdown and could have important implications for understanding Earth’s history.
13.73 Billion years BCE – Science doesn’t have a lot to say about what happened before the Big Bang, but researchers have now developed microwave detectors that will let them take a look at the first trillionth of a trillionth of a trillionth of a second after that primordial cosmic event.