17 February 2015

Earthquake faults identified in surge of Oklahoma quakes

Earthquake faults identified in surge of Oklahoma quakes

New research has revealed the faults associated with more than 3,600 earthquakes that have been recorded in Oklahoma since 2009. The study also finds that recently reactivated ancient faults in the center of the state could generate higher-magnitude and more destructive earthquakes than the region has experienced since earthquake activity picked up there five years ago.

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5 February 2015

Shoving Off

Shoving Off

This is the first in a series of dispatches from Lisa Strong, a video producer and education officer aboard the JOIDES Resolution, a scientific ocean drilling ship currently on a two-month research expedition in the Bay of Bengal.

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2 February 2015

Wind pattern behind California’s drought also struck at ocean food chain

Wind pattern behind California’s drought also struck at ocean food chain

Unusual weather that contributed to the California drought also led to an unprecedented drop in small plant-like organisms in the northeastern Pacific Ocean that form the base of the ocean food chain, potentially affecting fish, birds and marine mammals, according to new research.

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26 January 2015

Distinctive sounds announce iceberg births

Distinctive sounds announce iceberg births

Underwater sounds can be used to detect different ways glaciers lose ice as they flow into the ocean, giving scientists new insight into these poorly understood events, according to new research.

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15 January 2015

New studies give clues where alien life may flourish

New studies give clues where alien life may flourish

Earth-like planets orbiting distant stars, but bigger and older than our home planet, stand out as prime candidates to harbor complex life, according to new research.

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14 January 2015

Mountain monitoring system artificially inflates temperature increases at higher elevations

Mountain monitoring system artificially inflates temperature increases at higher elevations

In a recent study, University of Montana and Montana Climate Office researcher Jared Oyler found that while the western U.S. has warmed, recently observed warming in the mountains of the western U.S. likely is not as large as previously supposed.

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9 January 2015

Not just rain: thunderstorms also pour down ozone

Not just rain: thunderstorms also pour down ozone

A new study in Geophysical Research Letters offers for the first time unequivocal evidence that large storms move significant amounts of ozone from the stratosphere down to the troposphere, the lowest part of the atmosphere.

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8 January 2015

Epic survey finds regional patterns of soot and dirt on North American snow

Epic survey finds regional patterns of soot and dirt on North American snow

University of Washington scientists recently published the first large-scale survey of impurities in North American snow to see whether they might absorb enough sunlight to speed melt rates and influence climate.

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5 January 2015

Measuring the temperature of solar winds

Measuring the temperature of solar winds

The sun spews forth super-heated, charged particles, collectively called plasma, that fly out into the vacuum of space at speeds of 200 to 400 miles per second (300 to 700 kilometers per second). These waves of plasma make up the solar winds that spread across our solar system.

Traveling across freezing space should suck all the heat from the plasma by the time it nears Earth, but the solar waves detected near our planet are still hot. Scientists think something is happening within the plasma to generate heat.

Astrophysicist Anthony Case of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics calculated the temperatures of the solar winds traveling at different supersonic speeds, or speeds greater than the speed of sound.

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22 December 2014

Veteran geophysical tool preps for new horizons at Europa

Veteran geophysical tool preps for new horizons at Europa

Jupiter’s moon Europa has tantalized scientists with its potential for harboring life ever since Galileo first spotted the icy satellite in 1610. If living matter is bubbling anywhere in our solar system, they suspect, it would be below the moon’s icy shell, where a presumed ocean of salty water meets a mineral-rich interior. But because scientists can’t peer beneath the ice, they must rely on data beamed back by passing spacecraft. A proposed NASA mission called Europa Clipper could be sent to the moon in the next decade—and researchers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and NASA want their instrument to be onboard.

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