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Earth & Environment Discoveries

NSF's public investment in science, engineering, education and technology helps to create knowledge and sustain prosperity. Read here about the Internet, microbursts, Web browsers, extrasolar planets, and more... a panoply of discoveries and innovations that began with NSF support.

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health worker with biohazard gear on Ebola, Dengue fever, Lyme disease: The growing economic cost of infectious diseases
Five new such diseases expected each year; strategies to reduce climate change adaptable to infectious diseases
Released  December 16, 2014
image of numerically simulated three-dimensional and isotropic fluid turbulence. SciServer: Big Data infrastructure for science
Research team from Johns Hopkins extends tools from Sloan Digital Sky Survey to new scientific communities
Released  December 4, 2014
Starfish with sea star wasting disease Virus fingered as top suspect in West Coast sea star wasting disease
Deadly culprit identified as type of parvovirus
Released  November 17, 2014
cherry-sized fruits of a tree species in Thailand Fruits of the forest gone: Overhunting of large animals has catastrophic effects on trees
As the animals go, so go tropical forests
Released  November 12, 2014
The endangered Sierra Nevada yellow-legged frog sitting on a rock "Microbiome" of Sierra Nevada yellow-legged frogs shifts during infectious disease outbreaks
Interaction between microbiome and infectious pathogens may drive disease
Released  November 12, 2014
globe map showing models of orbiting satellites in the thermosphere Confronting models with observations
Team at National Center for Atmospheric Research develops data assimilation tools used throughout science
Released  November 7, 2014
cropping patterns over north Texas Selling and buying water rights
NSF Innovation Corps awardees founded the company Mammoth Trading to provide a neutral, centralized resource
Released  October 29, 2014
health workers in biohazard gear Halting the spread of Ebola: Nigeria a model for quick action, scientists find
Rapid control measures critical to stopping the virus in its tracks
Released  October 16, 2014
sunflowers in a farm field next to houses Ten things to know about the flowers of fall: Sunflowers
Scientists unfurl common flowers' genetic secrets
Released  October 14, 2014
dunes and desert vegetation Sleeping sands of the Kalahari awaken after more than 10,000 years
Overgrazing leaves desert's red dunes blowing in the African wind
Released  October 8, 2014
Crops growing in an Egyptian oasis, with the Pyramids of Giza in the background. Geospatial data project puts major issues on the map
Powerful Web-based system let users worldwide predict damaging floods and potential effects of climate change
Released  October 8, 2014
photo of tropical forest Expensive cup o'joe? Blame coffee farm rust fungus
To find answers, scientists study ecological complexity of Mexican, Central American coffee plantations
Released  September 29, 2014
Blue mussel larvae settled on a rope. How to grow mussels
Researchers optimize growing conditions and practices to improve mussel farming
Released  September 25, 2014
Researchers study plants in a greenhouse. Building the framework for the future of biofuels
Do plant-based fuels offer a realistic reprieve from a fossil-powered future? An ASU engineer examines the full cycle
Released  September 24, 2014
Photo of dried kenaf, a plant similar to bamboo Plant-based building materials may boost energy savings
Insulation for homes of the future may be harvested from fields of kenaf, an alternative to fiberglass
Released  September 23, 2014
People stand in a food bank storage area. Engineering a better food bank
Key nodes in a vast national food distribution system, food banks manage complex logistics that help connect families to farms
Released  September 22, 2014
Stream restoration involving reconnection of an urban waterway near Baltimore with its floodplain. A river runs through it: U.S. cities' waterways show consistent patterns of evolution
Urban waters record salt in our food, cement in our sidewalks
Released  September 10, 2014
Mark Clementz samples teeth from the lower jaw of a manatee Understanding how ancestors of today's mammals responded to climate change
Research provides valuable insights for future environmental challenges
Released  August 18, 2014
Loihi Seamount structures built by iron-oxidizing microbes. Rust villages of the deep: In Pele's shadow, iron oxide, or rust, comes to life
Elaborate Hawaiian seamount structures built by iron-oxidizing microbes
Released  August 7, 2014
fire ants on a plant Border crossing: 10 things to know about invasive fire ants on the march
Are fire ants using habitat corridors to advance the front?
Released  August 1, 2014
French green clays in pots, bottles and soap on a counter New answer to MRSA, other 'superbug' infections: clay minerals?
Researchers discover natural clay deposits with antibacterial properties
Released  July 17, 2014
The NSF/NCAR C-130 aircraft outside a hangar Atmospheric scientists take to the skies to study Colorado Front Range ozone pollution
Results are applicable to metropolitan areas across the country, around the world
Released  July 15, 2014
Berry Farmer John Eiskamp checks soil tension on his farm using his iPad. Strawberries with a thirst
Mathematicians help California drought-weary berry growers address water issues
Released  July 1, 2014
a sample of charged iron in a recipient New, high-energy rechargeable batteries
Researchers develop molten air battery with commercial potential
Released  June 27, 2014
snapshot from the Penn State University real-time hurricane analysis Today's forecast: Better forecasts
Stampede supercomputer helps researchers design and test improved hurricane forecasting system
Released  June 25, 2014
blue crab with the text photo gallery Summer brings crab feasts--and concerns for Chesapeake blue crabs
Infectious diseases play a part in crab population declines
Released  June 17, 2014
Artist's reconstruction of Zanda Fauna from the Pliocene about three to five million years ago. "Out of Tibet" hypothesis: Cradle of evolution for cold-adapted mammals is in Tibet
Extinct Tibetan fox, ancestor of today's arctic fox, used Tibet as training ground for Ice Age climate
Released  June 11, 2014
owl monkeys Father's day special: And the best father in the animal kingdom is...
Award-winning primatologist and conservationist Patricia Wright discusses why owl monkeys and other species of small monkeys are extraordinarily devoted dads
Released  June 11, 2014
tractor in a corn field at the NSF Kellogg Biological Station LTER site. How much fertilizer is too much for Earth's climate?
Helping farmers around the globe combat greenhouse gas emissions and climate change
Released  June 9, 2014
Spray glider in the water World Oceans Day: 12 things to know about El Niño: Is it coming, and when?
How will it affect coastal species--and the fish on our dinner tables?
Released  June 5, 2014
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