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7 December 2012
Erosion takes the “beach” out of beachfront property. And when the sand drifts away, so do the property values. With climate change predictions that include rising sea levels and more intense storms, the beaches won’t get better.
Whirlpools created at the edges of breaking waves can influence how ocean nutrients – and pollution – get mixed about in the ocean.
Scientists have recently developed a technique for sharpening the accuracy of detailed tundra snow-depth maps critical to issues ranging from climate modeling to figuring out where to herd grazing caribou. “Budgets for observing the snow are comparatively small, and the area to observe is comparatively large,” said geophysicist Chris Polashenski with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. “So, efficiency is key.” One innovation in snow-depth measurements has been the …
Two of the strongest knobs on Earth’s thermostat sit in the Arctic: sea ice and permafrost. Both spur feedback loops that can ripple down to lower latitudes and alter global weather patterns. Oliver Frauenfeld, a climatologist at Texas A&M University, thinks he has found another important knob on Earth’s thermostat that has hitherto been overlooked.
6 December 2012
The Laguna del Maule volcanic field in the Chilean Andes Mountains lies in the heart of volcano country. The region is a well-known subduction zone, where the friction of one crustal plate sliding under another heats rock to form magma. But for the last 2,000 years, Laguna del Maule has been a quiet water-filled caldera. Now, scientists are recording rapid deformation of the land around the caldera, suggesting that a magma reservoir is inflating below the surface.
Bacteria dependent on light may have found refuge from encroaching glaciers in inland seas some 600 million years ago, when Earth was a giant ice ball.
When glaciers have rock to cling to, they hold on tight. Luckily for us, a ridge of rock lines the edge of an expansive Antarctic glacier that might otherwise – without the ridge – be rapidly retreating and raising global sea level.
No one knew what happened when a 7-foot wave hit Lake Erie’s shoreline, sweeping holiday weekend beach-goers off of their feet and swamping boats in their harbors on May 27 of this year. News reporters jokingly called it a tsunami, but explained it was just another wave surge in the wake of windy weather coming from the Canadian border. But it was a tsunami.
Tornadoes are being betrayed by their lightning in a way that could help save lives, according to researchers who made an accidental discovery.
5 December 2012
Vulnerable to Earth’s changing climate, people living on small, low-lying islands dread the day when rising seas will swallow up their homes for good. But new findings predict that some islands will become uninhabitable long before they’re submerged. Some island habitats will be destroyed up to 10 times faster than current models project, scientists reported Tuesday at the Fall Meeting of the American Geophysical Union.