An impenetrable fog rolled into London Wednesday morning (Dec. 11), which caused some travel woes, and also produced rare views of the city's skyline…Read More »
from above, with only the tallest buildings poking above the mist.
While many planes at London's major airports were grounded, a team of officers with the city's Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) flew above the fog in a helicopter. One of the members of this Air Support Unit snapped this amazing photo with an iPhone and posted it to Twitter.
Warming of the climate isn't directly causing the decline in frog populations in the Andes mountains. Instead, the frogs are falling victim to a killer…Read More »
fungus that is decimating amphibian species worldwide: Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, or chytrid fungus.
A new study of frogs living in the Andes of southern Peru found that the animals can withstand rising temperatures at higher elevations. But the warming trend has extended the range where chytrid fungus can thrive, leading to widespread infections of the disease known as chytridiomycosis.
As humans clamber to grab smartphones, pose at arm's length, and snap well-framed pictures of themselves throughout their daily lives, the animal world…Read More »
goes about snapping selfies a little less earnestly, relying on humans to spread the images across the Internet.
The wildlife pictures may not officially fit Oxford Dictionaries' definition of their recently announced 2013 Word of the Year as "a photograph that one has taken of oneself, typically one taken with a smartphone or a webcam and uploaded to a social media website," since animals don't use smartphones or social media. However, the shots still have the in-the-moment and up-close-and-personal feel of authentic selfies.
Color-morphing may sound less intimidating than, say, baring teeth or dragging hooves, but male chameleons rely on such psychedelic intimidation to ward…Read More »
off male rivals, according to a new study.
Chameleons are popularly thought to use their color-changing abilities to blend into their environments, but, in recent years, researchers have found this shade-shifting may play a larger role in social interactions than in camouflage.
Credit: NOAA Okeanos Explorer Program, 2013 Northeast U.S. Canyons Expedition.
Imagine for a moment what it might be like to be an octopus.
You're smart. You might even be able to use tools. But most of your brain cells are packed…Read More »
into your limbs — eight infinitely flexible arms that seem to think for themselves. You're a loner. You seek contact only to mate. You also see only in shades of green (though to you, it probably all looks gray). And despite your own colorblindness, you can imitate an amazing breadth of colors, changing the hue of your body in a fraction of a second. Perhaps it's that you can see with your skin. Your ability to vanish from predators is sometimes enhanced by a well-timed deployment of a cloud of dark ink. And you do all this without a spine.
A storm of charged particles coursing through a volcanic ash cloud sparked the spectacular green lightning seen at Chile's Chaiten Volcano in 2008, a researcher…Read More »
said here Monday (Dec. 9) at the annual meeting of the American Geophysical Union.
The green lightning revealed an electrical dance normally hidden inside thunderclouds, Arthur Few, an atmospheric scientist at Rice University in Houston, said. "It probably occurs in all thunderstorms, but you never see it," Few said. "Because of the structure of charges in a volcano cloud, it's on the outside of the cloud."
Kilimanjaro's shrinking northern glaciers, thought to be 10,000 years old, could disappear by 2030, researchers said here yesterday (Dec. 12) at the annual…Read More »
meeting of the American Geophysical Union.
The entire northern ice field, which holds most of Kilimanjaro's remaining glacial ice, lost more than 140 million cubic feet (4 million cubic meters) of ice in the past 13 years, said Pascal Sirguey, a research scientist at the University of Otago in New Zealand. That's a cube measuring roughly 520 feet (158 m) on each side.
China's latest spell of severe pollution can be seen from space.
NASA's Terra satellite captured this image of the thick smog lingering over China, from…Read More »
Beijing to Shanghai, on Dec. 7. The haze is shown in gray, while the white areas represent clouds and fog, according to NASA's Earth Observatory. At the time, the Air Quality Index had climbed to 487 in Beijing and 404 in Shanghai. The scale goes up to 500, but levels above 300 are considered dangerous.
Credit: Ted Scambos, National Snow and Ice Data Center.
Antarctica's crumbling Larsen B Ice Shelf is poised to finally finish its collapse, a researcher said Tuesday (Dec. 10) here at the annual meeting of the…Read More »
American Geophysical Union.
The Scar Inlet Ice Shelf will likely fall apart during the next warm summer, said Ted Scambos, a glaciologist at the National Snow and Ice Data Center in Boulder, Colo. Scar Inlet's ice is the largest remnant of the vast Larsen B shelf still attached to the Antarctic Peninsula. (Another small fragment, the Seal Nunataks, clings on as well.) In the Southern Hemisphere's summer of 2002, about 1,250 square miles (3,250 square kilometers) of the enormous Larsen B Ice Shelf splintered into hundreds of icebergs. Scar Inlet is about two-thirds the size of the ice lost from Larsen B.
Monitor lizards breathe by taking in air that flows through their lungs in a one-way loop — a pattern of breathing that may have originated 270 million…Read More »
years ago in the ancestral group that gave rise to dinosaurs, and eventually alligators and birds, a new study finds.
Researchers at the University of Utah, in Salt Lake City, and Harvard University, in Cambridge, Mass., studied unidirectional breathing in monitor lizards, which can be found throughout Africa, China, India and other parts of Southeast Asia. Their findings suggest one-way airflow breathing may have evolved earlier than scientists had thought.
Calm winds, clear skies and long winter nights are ideal conditions for temperature inversions. When these conditions mingle, a layer of cool air at the canyon floor can become trapped underneath warmer air. This is opposite of the usual weather pattern, since temperature generally decreases with altitude. When moisture is trapped in this cool layer of air, fog can form.
Last week, a text-book temperature inversion in the Grand Canyon created a sea of fog across the 18-mile-wide (28.9 kilometers) gap, which was carved by Colorado River and stretches 277 miles (446 km). [Related: 7 Amazing Grand Canyon Facts]