20 September 2017
Wood from trees that fell into Arctic-draining rivers thousands of years ago is giving scientists a detailed look at how Arctic Ocean circulation has changed over the past 12,000 years. In a new study, researchers used nearly 1,000 pieces of driftwood collected from Arctic shorelines since the 1950s to track Arctic sea ice extent and ocean circulation since the start of the Holocene.
19 September 2017
Researchers at the University of Alaska Fairbanks’ Geophysical Institute are exploring the changing chemistry of the Arctic’s atmosphere to help answer the question of what happens as snow and ice begin to melt. The research is concerned with the Arctic’s reactive bromine season, the period of time when bromine is consuming ozone, producing bromine monoxide and oxidizing mercury.
Could the flapping of a butterfly’s wings in Costa Rica set off a hurricane in California? The question has been scrutinized by chaos theorists, stock-market analysts and weather forecasters for decades. For most people, this hypothetical scenario may be difficult to imagine on Earth – particularly when a real disaster strikes.
Researchers have identified three new craters and four small-scale cold traps on Mercury filled with surface ice and suspect the planet may harbor many smaller patches of exposed ice too small to observe directly. The newly observed ice makes a substantial contribution to the amount of exposed ice thought to exist on Mercury’s surface, which the researchers estimate to be approximately 3,400 square kilometers (1,313 square miles), or just smaller than Rhode Island in size.
13 September 2017
Scientists have discovered a new feature on the surface of the Moon: small mounds that grew on its dark plains, likely from volcanic activity.
7 September 2017
A growing number of wildfire-burned areas throughout the western United States are expected to increase soil erosion rates within watersheds, causing more sediment to be present in downstream rivers and reservoirs, according to a new study.
Heatwaves are intensifying in cities due to the double whammy of the urban heat island effect and global warming, according to a new study. By the middle of this century, Belgian cities may experience more than 17 heat wave days per year, on average, with an even greater intensity of 4 degrees Celsius (7.2 degrees Fahrenheit) excess warming.
5 September 2017
The discovery of boron on Mars gives scientists more clues about whether life could have ever existed on the planet, according to a paper published today in Geophysical Research Letters, a journal of the American Geophysical Union.
31 August 2017
While winter sea ice in the Arctic is declining so dramatically that ships can now navigate those waters without any icebreaker escort, the scene in the Southern Hemisphere is very different. Sea ice area around Antarctica has actually increased slightly in winter — that is, until last year. A new study shows the lack of Antarctic sea ice in 2016 was in part due to a unique one-two punch from atmospheric conditions both in the tropical Pacific Ocean and around the South Pole.
A new study shows microphones suspended from helium balloons in the stratosphere can detect low-frequency sounds from ocean waves. The new method shows promise for detecting acoustic signals from natural disasters and nuclear explosions that cannot always be reliably detected by sensors on the ground, according to the study’s authors.