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24 October 2017

Scientists use seismic waves to measure tornado intensity

Seismic waves generated by tornadoes when they touch down could be used to measure a twister’s intensity, according to a new study that examined the May 2011 Joplin tornado. The findings could open the door to devising more accurate methods to study tornadoes from the ground.


16 October 2017

The missing mass — what is causing a geoid low in the Indian Ocean?

In a recent study, scientists explored the reasons behind the existence of the Indian Ocean Geoid Low, a point of low gravity found just south of the Indian peninsula.


16 November 2016

Global warming could reduce volcanic cooling effects on climate

New research finds that as the climate warms, Earth’s atmosphere could trap more volcanic and plumes in the troposphere, the lower part of the atmosphere where weather happens. Volcanic aerosols that stay in the troposphere get washed out by precipitation in days or weeks.


3 November 2016

Rare molecule on Venus could shed light on planet’s weather

Scientists’ keen detective work may have solved one of Venus’s oldest secrets: why the planet’s atmosphere absorbs ultraviolet light of a specific frequency. The new findings could help scientists better understand Venus’s thick atmosphere and its heat-trapping clouds, according to the study’s authors.


8 June 2016

Antarctic lakes provide glimpse of ancient forest fires, modern human impacts

The perpetually ice-covered lakes in Antarctica’s McMurdo Dry Valleys preserve the dissolved remnants of black carbon from thousand-year-old wildfires as well as modern day fossil fuel use, according to a new study.


19 May 2016

Van Allen Probes reveal long-term behavior of Earth’s ring current

New findings based on a year’s worth of observations from NASA’s Van Allen Probes have revealed that the ring current — an electrical current carried by energetic ions that encircles our planet — behaves in a much different way than previously understood.


10 May 2016

Scientists search the seas for soot

Earth system scientists from the University of California, Irvine have taken water samples from the north Pacific, north and south Atlantic, and Arctic oceans in search of repositories of black carbon, soot from burning biomass and diesel engines, among other sources. They’ve found considerably less of the material than expected, and they’ve discovered that it exists in at least two varieties, a younger pool closer to the ocean’s surface that is absorbed into the environment in a roughly 100-year cycle and an ancient reserve that remains stable for millennia.


26 April 2016

Idling diesel engines may produce dangerous pollutant

New research finds exhaust from idling diesel engines produces a significant amount of isocyanic acid when photons from sunlight help it react with other compounds in the atmosphere. The amount of this secondary photochemical isocyanic acid produced by non-road, idling diesel engines, like those in tractors, loaders, and other heavy construction and farm equipment, was 50 to 230 milligrams per kilogram of diesel burned.


14 April 2016

AGU journal cover features work of Icelandic mouth painter

The AGU journal Geophysical Research Letters recently featured the work of mouth painter Brandur Bjarnason Karlsson on its cover. The image depicts the eruption at the Holuhraun lava field in Iceland, where magma originating from the Bárðarbunga volcano spewed out of eruptive fissures from August 2014 to February 2015. The spectacular eruption is the subject of a new study in GRL co-authored by Brandur’s mother, Bryndis Brandsdottir, a senior researcher at the Institute of Earth Science at the University of Iceland.


4 April 2014

Cutting back on refrigerants could drop greenhouse gas emissions

By Alexandra Branscombe Originally posted on AGU GeoSpace WASHINGTON, DC – Phasing down powerful climate-damaging greenhouse gases used in refrigerators and air conditioners could prevent the equivalent of up to three years of worldwide carbon dioxide emissions from being released into the atmosphere, according to a new study. Research accepted for publication in Geophysical Research Letters, a journal of the American Geophysical Union, calculates the environmental impact of phasing down …