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16 February 2017

Ancient cave reveals recent droughts in the Middle East were most severe for over a millennium

Ancient cave reveals recent droughts in the Middle East were most severe for over a millennium

A stalagmite collected from a remote cave in the Middle East has revealed that recent droughts there were more severe than previously thought, and therefore possibly an important contributing factor for the turmoil in Syria. A research team traveled to Iraq to collect the stalagmite and used it to present the first ever detailed climate reconstruction of the Fertile Crescent extending back 2,400 years.

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15 February 2017

Researchers catch extreme waves with higher resolution modeling

Researchers catch extreme waves with higher resolution modeling

Surfers aren’t the only people trying to catch big waves. Using decades of global climate data generated at a spatial resolution of about 25 square kilometers (10 square miles), researchers were able to capture the formation of tropical cyclones and the extreme waves that they generate. Those same models, when run at resolutions of about 100 kilometers (60 miles), missed the tropical cyclones and the big waves up to 30 meters (100 feet) high.

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10 February 2017

Daily disturbance from upper atmosphere leaves its footprints on tropical rainfall

Daily disturbance from upper atmosphere leaves its footprints on tropical rainfall

A team of scientists led by postdoctoral researcher Takatoshi Sakazaki, from the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa’s International Pacific Research Center (IPRC), has analyzed satellite-based observations and computer model simulations of tropical rainfall variation throughout the day in an effort to determine the root cause of the temporal patterns. Their results, accepted for publication in Geophysical Research Letters, a journal of the American Geophysical Union, show that daily tropical rainfall distribution is significantly shaped by heating of the upper atmosphere.

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7 February 2017

Analysis of 1883 at-sea rescue leads to new understanding of wave energy

Analysis of 1883 at-sea rescue leads to new understanding of wave energy

A team of oceanographers has developed a new model for ocean wave energy, using an 1883 account of how a ship’s crew dumped oil into stormy seas and calmed the waves enough to save the crew of a sinking ship.

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6 February 2017

Greener cities could help urban plants endure summer heat

Greener cities could help urban plants endure summer heat

Urban plants offer city dwellers many benefits, such as improved health and decreased crime and pollution. And now we have even more reason to green our cities. A new study from the Water Sustainability and Climate project at the University of Wisconsin-Madison indicates that adding more greenery to the urban landscape could help urban vegetation cope better with the summer heat and a warming climate. In other words, the more plants in a city, the merrier they all are.

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New climate index based on atmospheric pressure produces more accurate predictions of storm wave conditions

New climate index based on atmospheric pressure produces more accurate predictions of storm wave conditions

A method based on the north-south atmospheric pressure gradient along the Atlantic coast of Europe could lead to enhanced forecasting of extreme wave conditions and increased preparedness within coastal communities, a new study suggests.

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24 January 2017

Bursts of methane may have warmed early Mars

Bursts of methane may have warmed early Mars

In a new study, researchers suggest early Mars may have been warmed intermittently by a powerful greenhouse effect. They found interactions between methane, carbon dioxide and hydrogen in the early Martian atmosphere may have created warm periods when the planet could support liquid water on the surface.

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30 December 2016

Gas released from rocks can predict impending breakage

Gas released from rocks can predict impending breakage

Small amounts of helium and argon gas released from rocks under stress could be used to predict rock breakage before it occurs, such as during an earthquake or in an underground mine, according to new research. This kind of early-warning signal could be useful for keeping people safe in situations where rock is under high stress, like mining or construction operations, according to the study’s authors.

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30 November 2016

Permafrost loss dramatically changes Yukon River chemistry

Permafrost loss dramatically changes Yukon River chemistry

Permafrost loss due to a warming Alaska is leading to changes in the chemistry of the Yukon River Basin with potential global climate implications. This is the first time a Yukon River study has been able to use long-term continuous water chemistry data to document hydrological changes over such an enormous geographic area and long time span.

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17 November 2016

Study finds widespread land losses from Gulf oil spill

Study finds widespread land losses from Gulf oil spill

A new study shows dramatic, widespread shoreline loss in Louisiana marshlands most heavily coated with oil during the 2010 BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Following the spill, the length of shoreline that receded more than 13 feet (4 meters) a year quadrupled compared to the year before the spill. The land losses occurred mainly in areas where oil had washed ashore during the spill.

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