30 September 2014

Scientists use fiber-optic cables to measure ice loss in Antarctic

Scientists use fiber-optic cables to measure ice loss in Antarctic

Fiber-optic cables like the ones that bring television and Internet into millions of homes are now being used to measure how fast ice shelves in Antarctica are melting, according to new research. Researchers installed moorings containing fiber-optic cables hundreds of meters down into the McMurdo Ice Shelf in West Antarctica to collect temperature information about the base of the ice shelf, where the thick platform of floating ice meets the ocean. The sensors were able to measure mere millimeters of ice loss at the interface, demonstrating that the new fiber-optic method could be used to remotely monitor the ice shelves in real-time.

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Up close and personal with a volcanic eruption

Up close and personal with a volcanic eruption

Thorbjorg Agustsdottir, a Ph.D. student studying seismology at the University of Cambridge, had the rare opportunity to witness a volcanic eruption up close when Iceland’s Bardarbunda volcano erupted while she and fellow researchers were servicing seismometer stations around the volcano.

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29 September 2014

As expedition ends, scientists crack like deep-sea rocks

As expedition ends, scientists crack like deep-sea rocks

Amy West is the science writer and outreach and education officer for the JOIDES Resolution, a drill ship operated by the International Ocean Discovery Program (IODP) that is on a two-month expedition studying the Izu-Bonin-Mariana Arc in the region where the Pacific Plate is descending under the Philippine Plate to form the Mariana Trench and the deepest point in the ocean–the Challenger Deep.

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19 September 2014

Pulling secrets from deep-sea, drillbit-eating rocks

Pulling secrets from deep-sea, drillbit-eating rocks

Amy West is the science writer and outreach and education officer for the JOIDES Resolution, a drill ship operated by the International Ocean Discovery Program (IODP) that is on a two-month expedition studying the Izu-Bonin-Mariana Arc in the region where the Pacific Plate is descending under the Philippine Plate to form the Mariana Trench and the deepest point in the ocean–the Challenger Deep.

This is her latest blog post about the expedition.

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Going on a rock cruise

Going on a rock cruise

A trio of two-month expeditions in 2014 will be in the region where the Pacific Plate is descending under the Philippine Plate to form the Mariana Trench and the deepest point in the ocean–the Challenger Deep. Scientists will get under the skin of the Izu-Bonin-Mariana Arc, which stretches nearly the distance from Los Angeles to Chicago

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18 September 2014

Planetary atmospheres and climate: An interview with Dr. Jonathan Mitchell

Planetary atmospheres and climate: An interview with Dr. Jonathan Mitchell

Dr. Jonathan Mitchell is Assistant Professor in the Department of Earth & Space Sciences and the Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences at UCLA. Dr. Mitchell’s research interests include surface-atmosphere interactions on Titan, superrotating atmospheres, tidal interactions of synchronous satellites, and Earth’s paleoclimate.

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16 September 2014

First results from Rosetta landing expected to be unveiled at AGU Fall Meeting

First results from Rosetta landing expected to be unveiled at AGU Fall Meeting

Scientists expect to present preliminary results from the first spacecraft to land on a comet at the American Geophysical Union’s Fall Meeting in December. That’s assuming, of course, that they first succeed at dropping a lander from thousands of meters away onto a tiny comet – a feat never tried before.

The Rosetta mission is the first designed to orbit and land on a comet, according to the European Space Agency. The mission’s Philae lander will touch down at candidate site “J” at the head of comet 67/P Churyumov-Gerasimenko on 11 November, the ESA announced Monday morning after weeks of deliberation.

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11 September 2014

Seismic gap may be filled by an earthquake near Istanbul

Seismic gap may be filled by an earthquake near Istanbul

When a segment of a major fault line goes quiet, it can mean one of two things: The “seismic gap” may simply be inactive — the result of two tectonic plates placidly gliding past each other — or the segment may be a source of potential earthquakes, quietly building tension over decades until an inevitable seismic release.

A new study published in Geophysical Research Letters, a journal of the American Geophysical Union, has found evidence for both types of behavior on different segments of the North Anatolian Fault — one of the most energetic earthquake zones in the world.

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9 September 2014

Global food trade may not meet all future demand, new study indicates

Global food trade may not meet all future demand, new study indicates

As the world population continues to grow, by about 1 billion people every 12 to 14 years since the 1960s, the global food supply may not meet escalating demand – particularly for agriculturally poor countries in arid to semi-arid regions, such as Africa’s Sahel, that already depend on imports for much of their food supply.

A new study, published online in the American Geophysical Union journal, Earth’s Future, examines global food security and the patterns of food trade that – until this analysis – have been minimally studied.

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26 August 2014

Heating up the fishbowl: Climate change threatens endangered Devils Hole pupfish

Heating up the fishbowl: Climate change threatens endangered Devils Hole pupfish

Climate change is hurting reproduction of the critically endangered Devils Hole pupfish, threatening the survival of the already small population, new research shows.

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