Science & Technology

Where the Jordan River’s water comes from

Utah’s Jordan River, according to University of Utah professor Jennifer Follstad Shah, is a hard-working river, supporting a growing population of more than 1 million people. But underneath all of the irrigation canals and reclamation discharge, new research shows, are natural water sources that continue to shape the character of the Jordan River. The study […]


Research shows fewer males born in U.S. during periods of stress

It is a common understanding in scientific research that the male species, in general, are frailer and experience higher rates of mortality across their lifespans than females. Now, there is evidence that among humans the frail male also extends in utero. Ryan Schacht, assistant professor of anthropology at East Carolina University, in new research being […]


Successful ‘alien’ bird invasions are location dependent

This release is adapted from material prepared by University College London Whether ‘alien’ bird species thrive in a new habitat depends more on the environmental conditions than the population size or characteristics of the invading bird species, say researchers, including University of Utah ornithologist Çağan Şekercioğlu. A new study published today in Nature shows that […]


How trees affect the weather

Nature, said Ralph Waldo Emerson, is no spendthrift. Unfortunately, he was wrong. New research led by University of Utah biologists William Anderegg, Anna Trugman and David Bowling find that some plants and trees are prolific spendthrifts in drought conditions—“spending” precious soil water to cool themselves and, in the process, making droughts more intense. The findings […]


Melting of Himalayan glaciers has doubled in recent years

A newly comprehensive study shows that melting of Himalayan glaciers caused by rising temperatures has accelerated dramatically since the start of the 21st century. The analysis, spanning 40 years of satellite observations across India, China, Nepal and Bhutan, indicates that glaciers have been losing the equivalent of more than a vertical foot and half of ice each year […]


Past climate change: a warning for the future?

A new study of climate changes and their effects on past societies offers a sobering glimpse of social upheavals that might happen in the future. The prehistoric groups studied lived in the Amazon Basin of South America hundreds of years ago, before European contact, but the disruptions that occurred may carry lessons for our time, […]


100-year-old physics model replicates modern Arctic ice melt

The Arctic is melting faster than we thought it would. In fact, Arctic ice extent is at a record low. When that happens—when a natural system behaves differently than scientists expect—it’s time to take another look at how we understand the system. University of Utah mathematician Ken Golden and atmospheric scientist Court Strong study the […]


Sex, lice and videotape

Access more multimedia files here. A few years ago, Scott Villa of Emory University had a problem. Then a graduate student at the University of Utah, he was stumped with an issue never addressed in school: How does one film lice having sex? Villa and University of Utah biologists had demonstrated real-time adaptation in their […]


A forest “glow” reveals awakening from hibernation

Winters in the northern hemisphere are brutal. The harsh conditions drive some species to hibernate; bears reduce their metabolic state to conserve energy until spring. Forests also endure winter by conserving energy; they shut down photosynthesis, the process by which a green pigment called chlorophyll captures sunlight and carbon dioxide (CO2) to produce the chemical […]


Aftershocks of 1959 earthquake rocked Yellowstone in 2017-18

On Aug. 17, 1959, back when Dwight D. Eisenhower was president, the U.S. had yet to send a human to space and the nation’s flag sported 49 stars, Yellowstone National Park shook violently for about 30 seconds. The shock was strong enough to drop the ground a full 20 feet in some places. It toppled […]