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History / Archeology - Earth Sciences - 09.12.2020
New evidence: Neandertals buried their dead
New evidence: Neandertals buried their dead
Was burial of the dead practiced by Neandertals or is it an innovation specific to our species? There are indications in favour of the first hypothesis but some scientists remain sceptical. For the first time in Europe, however, a multi-disciplinary team led by researchers at the CNRS and the Muséum national d'histoire naturelle (France) and the University of the Basque Country (Spain) 1 has demonstrated, using a variety of criteria, that a Neandertal child was buried, probably around 41,000 years ago, at the Ferrassie site (Dordogne).

Environment - Earth Sciences - 07.12.2020
Getting to the bottom of Arctic landslides
Getting to the bottom of Arctic landslides
Erosion of the frozen soil of Arctic regions, known as permafrost, is creating large areas of subsidence, which has catastrophic impact in these regions sensitive to climate change. As the mechanisms behind these geological events are poorly understood, researchers from the Géosciences Paris Sud (GEOPS) laboratory (CNRS / Université Paris-Saclay), in cooperation with the Melnikov Permafrost Institute in Yakutsk, Russia, conducted a cold room 1 simulation of landslides, or slumps, caused by accelerated breakdown of the permafrost.

Earth Sciences - 23.10.2020
Deep magma facilitates the movement of tectonic plates
A small amount of molten rock located under tectonic plates encourages them to move. This is what scientists from the Laboratoire de géologie de Lyon: Terre, planètes et environnement (CNRS/ENS de Lyon/Université Claude Bernard Lyon 1) have recently discovered. Their new model takes into account not only the velocity of seismic waves but also the way in which they are attenuated by the medium they pass through.

Environment - Earth Sciences - 08.10.2020
Double jeopardy for ecologically rare birds and terrestrial mammals
Double jeopardy for ecologically rare birds and terrestrial mammals
Common assumptions notwithstanding, rare species can play unique and essential ecological roles.  After studying two databases that together cover all known terrestrial mammals and birds worldwide, scientists from the CNRS, the Foundation for Biodiversity Research (FRB), Université Grenoble Alpes, and the University of Montpellier 1 have demonstrated that, though these species are found on all continents, they are more threatened by human pressures than ecologically common species and will also be more impacted by future climate change.

Earth Sciences - 23.07.2020
Reduction in human-induced seismic noise during the pandemic lockdown
Reduction in human-induced seismic noise during the pandemic lockdown
A team of 76 seismologists, including several French scientists from the CNRS, the Paris Institute of Earth Physics (IPGP), Université de Paris, Université de Strasbourg and the French National Research Institute for Sustainable Development (IRD) 1 discovered that the lockdown measures used in the fight against the spread of COVID-19 have led to a 50% reduction in seismic noise due to human activity across the globe between January-June 2020.

Earth Sciences - Astronomy / Space Science - 18.05.2020
Mars: where mud flows like lava
Mars: where mud flows like lava
The surface of the planet Mars bears probable traces of -sedimentary volcanism-, a geological phenomenon that leads to the eruption of mud from underground. But how does a mixture of sediment and water behave in the open air on the Red Planet? Conditions there are extremely different from those on Earth - atmospheric pressure is 150 times lower and temperatures are generally negative.

Earth Sciences - 15.04.2020
A new tool to predict volcanic eruptions
A new tool to predict volcanic eruptions
Earth's atmosphere is made up of 78% nitrogen and 21% oxygen, a mixture that is unique in the Solar System 1 . The oxygen was produced by some of the first living organisms. But where did the nitrogen come from? Did it escape from Earth's mantle through volcanic activity? To try to answer these questions, Jabrane Labidi, a CNRS researcher at the Institut de Physique du Globe de Paris (CNRS/IPGP/IGN) 2 and his colleagues collected samples of gas from several volcanic sites on our planet.