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17 December 2018

Leafcutter ant colonies may be an overlooked source of carbon dioxide emissions, new study finds

Factories mass produce goods for society and many emit greenhouse gases in the process, but not all are run by humans. Some factories lie underground and are operated around the clock by tireless six-legged workers. A new study in the Journal of Geophysical Research: Biogeosciences, a journal of the American Geophysical Union, shows leafcutter ant nests can emit carbon dioxide at a rate thousands of times higher than regular soil.

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11 December 2018

Penguins! From space

Today at 2 pm EST, AGU is holding a press conference titled “Penguins! From space” at Fall Meeting 2018. New research will be discussed about how studying satellite images of penguin poop, or guano, in west Antarctica can give scientists an idea of how penguin diets changed over decades or centuries. To help you get a picture of the penguin research, check out this beautiful comic, created by JoAnna Wendel.

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6 December 2018

Wintertime Arctic Sea Ice Growth Slows Long-term Decline: NASA

New NASA research has found that increases in the rate at which Arctic sea ice grows in the winter may have partially slowed down the decline of the Arctic sea ice cover. As temperatures in the Arctic have warmed at double the pace of the rest of the planet, the expanse of frozen seawater that blankets the Arctic Ocean and neighboring seas has shrunk and thinned over the past three decades. The end-of-summer Arctic sea ice extent has almost halved since the early 1980s. A recent NASA study found that since 1958, the Arctic sea ice cover has lost on average around two-thirds of its thickness and now 70 percent of the sea ice cap is made of seasonal ice, or ice that forms and melts within a single year. But at the same time that sea ice is vanishing quicker than it has ever been observed in the satellite record, it is also thickening at a faster rate during winter.

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28 November 2018

New automated volcano warning system forecasts imminent eruptions

Scientists have developed an automated early warning system for volcanic eruptions, according to a new study. The new system helped government officials warn the public of impending eruptions in Italy and could potentially do the same around the globe, according to the study’s authors. The new research details the new system that monitors volcanic noises and automatically alerts officials if an eruption is imminent. The study’s authors tested this system over a period of eight years on Mount Etna, a volcano on the island of Sicily. Using the new system, the Italian government activated an emergency plan about one hour prior to an eruption for the first time in late 2015.

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12 November 2018

Powerful solar storm likely detonated mines during Vietnam War

A strong solar storm in 1972 caused widespread disturbances to satellites and spacecraft, and may have led to the detonation of mines during the Vietnam War, according to new research showing the event may have been a more devastating solar storm than previously thought. In a new study, researchers pieced together data and historical records related to the solar activity of 1972 to better understand the nature of the solar storm. In the process, they uncovered an incident where sea mines off the coast of Vietnam were detonated by the solar event.

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26 October 2018

Study finds unexpected levels of bromine in power plant exhaust

Some coal-fired power plants in the United States emit gases that may produce harmful compounds in drinking water and can have significant effects on the atmosphere, according to new research. A new study published in the Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres, a journal of the American Geophysical Union, finds unexpectedly high levels of reactive bromine-containing chemicals in plumes emitted by coal-fired power plants not using a particular type of exhaust-cleaning technology.

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24 October 2018

Researchers describe likely origin of perfect lines on Saturn’s moon

Strange features on Saturn’s moon Dione resembling lines of latitude on a map could be the result of space dust crashing onto Dione’s surface, according to a new study. The streaks have puzzled scientists because of their orientation and straightness, but a new study finds these features, deemed linear virgae, likely originated from low-velocity impacts of space debris from within the Saturn system or beyond.

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18 October 2018

Sounds of a Solar Storm

High school students listening to audio tracks of NOAA satellite data have identified the sounds of solar storms buffeting Earth’s magnetic field. The results of a UK-led citizen science project suggest that the approach of converting physical data into sound signals could help NOAA and other scientists make sense of massive amounts of data from satellites and other instruments.

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11 October 2018

Changes in Polar Jet Circulation Bring More Saharan Dust to the Arctic

Researchers at NYU Abu Dhabi, along with other global scientists, have identified a new mechanism by which warm dust travels from the Sahara Desert to the Arctic Circle, which has been proven to affect rising temperatures and ice melt in Greenland. Their findings highlight the role that the polar jet and associated atmospheric circulation plays in the transport of mineral dust from the Sahara Desert to the Arctic across the eastern side of the North Atlantic Ocean.

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