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22 May 2018

New study details geological process behind Titan’s dunes

Titan’s windswept dunes may sprawl millions of more kilometers than previously thought and were likely formed by geological processes similar to those on Earth, according to a new study. The new findings could help scientists look for life or its molecular precursors on Saturn’s largest moon.

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17 May 2018

A bolt of insight

A new study in the Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres observes rare terrestrial gamma ray flashes produced by lightning strikes.

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Explaining the history of Australia’s vegetation

New research explores how plants using the more complex C4 photosynthetic pathway to create sugar from sunlight expanded to dominate the Australian continent, and how climate change is likely to affect these critically important native plants.

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15 May 2018

Antarctic seals can help predict ice sheet melt

Two species of seal found in Antarctic seas are helping scientists collect data about the temperature and salinity of waters around vulnerable ice sheets in West Antarctica.

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10 May 2018

Sounds of melting glaciers could reveal how fast they shrink

Scientists could potentially use the racket made by melting glaciers to estimate how fast they are disappearing, according to new study of audio recordings captured in the waters of an Arctic fjord. New underwater recordings taken from Hornsund fjord in Svalbard, Norway, show melting icebergs make more noise the faster they melt. The recordings also distinguish melting sounds from grounded glaciers and floating icebergs.

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7 May 2018

Powerful hurricanes strengthen faster now than 30 years ago

Hurricanes that intensify rapidly – a characteristic of almost all powerful hurricanes – do so more strongly and quickly now than they did 30 years ago, according to a new study. Many factors are at play, but the chief driver of more rapid hurricane intensification is a natural climate cycle known as the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation (AMO) that affects water temperatures in the Atlantic Ocean where hurricanes form, according to the study’s authors.

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3 May 2018

Breathing lunar dust could pose health risk to future astronauts

Future astronauts spending long periods of time on the Moon could suffer bronchitis and other health problems by inhaling tiny particles of dust from its surface, according to new research. A new study finds simulated lunar soil is toxic to human lung and mouse brain cells. Up to 90 percent of human lung cells and mouse neurons died when exposed to dust particles that mimic soils found on the Moon’s surface.

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Meltwater lakes not only summer phenomenon: Warm wind melts snow in Antarctica in winter as well

Even though the sun does not shine in Antarctica in winter, in some places snow on the glaciers can melt. The cause: warm wind.

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1 May 2018

Old data, new tricks: Fresh results from NASA’s Galileo spacecraft 20 years on

Far across the solar system, from where Earth appears merely as a pale blue dot, NASA’s Galileo spacecraft spent eight years orbiting Jupiter. During that time, the hearty spacecraft — slightly larger than a full-grown giraffe — sent back spates of discoveries on the gas giant’s moons, including the observation of a magnetic environment around Ganymede that was distinct from Jupiter’s own magnetic field. The mission ended in 2003, but newly resurrected data from Galileo’s first flyby of Ganymede is yielding new insights about the moon’s environment — which is unlike any other in the solar system.

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27 April 2018

Growing ‘dead zone’ confirmed by underwater robots in the Gulf of Oman

New research has confirmed a dramatic decrease in oxygen in the Gulf of Oman part of the Arabian Sea.

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