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20 November 2015

Sunday: Day of rest for fires, study suggests

Fires are more prevalent on a Tuesday and less likely on a Sunday, according to a new study, which highlights the dramatic effect humans, religion and culture have on the global climate.

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27 October 2015

Reading revealing reversals (or charting magnetic patterns to map history)

This is the latest in a series of dispatches from scientists and education officers aboard the Schmidt Ocean Institute’s R/V Falkor. The crew is on 36-day research trip to study Tamu Massif, a massive underwater volcano, located 1,500 kilometers (930 miles) east of Japan in the Shatsky Rise. Read more posts here.

Observations of Maggie’s data
Our magnetometer has been playfully named “Maggie,” but what she accomplishes is pure work, not recreation. Maggie records how much the Earth’s magnetic field is perturbed by crustal magnetism. With these data sets, a pattern of geomagnetic reversals along the ocean bottom is shown. These reversal patterns can be used in assessing age distribution of the ocean floor.

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26 October 2015

Crossing and cleaning while tossing and turning

This is the latest in a series of dispatches from scientists and education officers aboard the Schmidt Ocean Institute’s R/V Falkor. The crew is on 36-day research trip to study Tamu Massif, a massive underwater volcano, located 1,500 kilometers (930 miles) east of Japan in the Shatsky Rise. Read more posts here.

Toronto Ridge
Our eight survey lines were completed around midnight today, and now we are headed west to avoid the bad weather. This last survey line crossed over and mapped Toronto Ridge, the shallowest point on Tamu Massif, which is approximately 1900 meters (1.2 miles) below the ocean surface. According to chief scientist William Sager, this large and shallow ridge appearing on Tamu’s summit is even younger than the main shield volcano.

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13 October 2015

New research identifies areas of global ocean most vulnerable to ocean acidification

New research maps the distribution of aragonite saturation state in both surface and subsurface waters of the global ocean and provides further evidence that ocean acidification is happening on a global scale. The study identifies the Arctic and Antarctic oceans, and the upwelling ocean waters off the west coasts of North America, South America and Africa as regions that are especially vulnerable to ocean acidification.

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12 October 2015

Flowing water on Mars: What that means for ‘The Martian’

Faced with a sudden and urgent need for food, Mark Watney did what any astronaut stranded on Mars would do: he filled his living quarters with Martian soil, fertilized it with his own waste, built a contraption to chemically create water, and grew some potatoes.

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10 September 2015

Asteroids have “fractured and pulverized” the moon’s subsurface

Large asteroids that crash into the moon cause fractures to the lunar crust that extend up to 25 kilometers (16 miles) below the moon’s surface, finds a new study. These cracks could contain a record of asteroid impacts that bombarded the inner planets billions of years ago, possibly shedding new light on the formation of our solar system and the origin of life on Earth, according to researchers.

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9 September 2015

Mercury’s movements give scientists peek inside the planet

The first measurements of Mercury’s movements from a spacecraft orbiting the planet reveal new insights about the makeup of the solar system’s innermost world and its interactions with other planetary bodies.

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27 August 2015

3-D maps illustrate formation of the Hangai Dome in central Mongolia

Researchers at Rice University, the University of Toronto, and Princeton University generated 3-D maps of the Earth under the Hangai Dome in central Mongolia from seismic data. The 3-D image below shows the earth under the dome. Colored yellow, warm rock rises up from the deep mantle toward the Earth’s surface. The pressure on the rock drops as it rises. When the rock reaches 150 kilometers (93 miles) below the surface, it starts to melt and form magma, illustrated in red. Heat released by the magma modifies the rigid outer layer of the Earth that becomes lighter and rises up, creating the Hangai Dome.

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26 August 2015

Terraced craters: Windows into Mars’ icy past

Scientists studied terraced craters on Mars and found an underground chunk of ice the size of California and Texas combined.

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13 August 2015

Scientists track air pollution by meal times

Cars and trucks shouldn’t take all of the blame for air pollution in Hong Kong. Smoke from cooking adds more of a specific type of pollution – organic aerosols – to the city’s air than traffic emissions, a new study finds.

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