Archive for 2007

“Doomsday” Vault Will End Crop Extinction, Expert Says

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: December 27, 2007   View Article

Deep in Norway’s frozen Svalbard archipelago sits a high-tech facility that could save the world.

If global catastrophes like asteroid impacts or disease pandemics were to strike, seeds stored in this first ever “doomsday” vault would ensure that humans could regrow the crops needed for survival.

Young Walruses Trampled By Stampedes in Warming Arctic

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: December 26, 2007   View Article

Add the Pacific walrus to the growing list of species imperiled by fast-melting Arctic sea ice.

Several thousand young walruses were trampled to death this past summer and fall when giant herds of stranded animals got spooked and stampeded into the water, scientists report.

Ancient Warming Caused Huge Spike in Temps, Study Says

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: December 19, 2007   View Article

What started out as a moderate global warm-up about 55 million years ago triggered a massive injection of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere that sent temperatures skyrocketing, a new study says.

The finding suggests that today’s temperature rise may just be priming the planet for a carbon belch of epic proportions.

Sea Lice From Fish Farms May Wipe Out Wild Salmon

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: December 13, 2007   View Article

Four years from now wild pink salmon may vanish from Canada’s Broughton Archipelago, a new study warns.

The killers, according to the research, are sea lice from fish farms.

Human Evolution Speeding Up, Study Says

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: December 11, 2007   View Article

Explosive population growth is driving human evolution to speed up around the world, according to a new study.

The pace of change accelerated about 40,000 years ago and then picked up even more with the advent of agriculture about 10,000 years ago, the study says.

Life Began Between the Sheets … of Mica, Expert Says

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: December 10, 2007   View Article

Hot action between the sheets has given many human lives their start. Now a scientist says chemical comings and goings between sheets of the mineral mica may have gotten all life on Earth going.

The layered, flaky mineral could have provided support, shelter, and an energy source to jump-start formation of the first complex organic molecules, according to the new theory.

Epic Flood Triggered Ancient “Big Chill,” Study Says

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: December 6, 2007   View Article

An epic gush of fresh water into the North Atlantic slowed a deep ocean current and triggered a century-long chill in Europe and North America some 8,200 years ago, according to a new study.

The finding confirms scenarios suggested by previous models of the ancient climate and should raise confidence in predictions made about how the oceans will respond to Greenland’s rapidly melting glaciers, an outside expert said.

© 2008-2010 Collected Writings By John Roach