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You are browsing the archive for 2011 Fall Meeting Archives - GeoSpace.

10 December 2011

Exoplanets with plate tectonics, better odds for life like Earth’s

Our Earth is a Goldilocks planet. It’s neither too cold nor too hot but right in the habitable zone. Add another parameter that’s needed to be just right to incubate life on our world: plate tectonics. A team of geophysicists is modeling conditions that favor cruising plates on planets outside of our solar system, known as exoplanets, which might clue scientists into which of those worlds harbor complex life. “We …

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9 December 2011

Storing carbon dioxide underground impacts microbial communities

The threat of ballooning carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere puts us between a rock and a hard place, which is exactly where some people propose the gas should go.

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Warmer weather makes some flowers late bloomers

Warmer temperatures have caused some flowers to bloom earlier — but the response isn’t universal. Several species have confounded scientists by showing their colors later in warmer spring weather. One possible explanation: Flowers that bloom later than expected are remembering warm winter weather, according to research presented Thursday afternoon at the American Geophysical Union’s Fall Meeting.

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Stealthy but slipping: Researchers reveal slow-moving landslides in southern Italy

Disaster didn’t strike overnight in the town Motta Montecorvino, Italy. Rather, a slow-moving landslide is tearing the hilltop community apart a few painful centimeters a year. Leaning telephone poles and ominous cracks in walls tell the tale of a town sliding away.

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Really cool but depressing science

The Arctic permafrost is a landscape of geometric wonder. Honeycombs of polygonal depressions are common in these far northern regions of Earth, echoing some observed on Mars. Scientists want to know what clues these depressions could provide about our own planet and how similar features could have formed on Mars.

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Spacecraft detects lightning on Venus

The goddess Venus radiates beauty; the planet Venus radiates electromagnetic waves. These waves were picked up the Venus Express, a European satellite orbiting Earth’s nearby twin, and provide evidence of lightning in its atmosphere.

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Photographing lava helps measure its flow from afar – safely

Some volcanoes erupt in violent explosions – think Mount St. Helens or Vesuvius – while others ooze more gradually, spewing out lava for weeks or months at a time. The lava has the potential to engulf homes and farm fields in its path, so scientists are interested in measuring the direction, speed and distance of flows.

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Divining water using gravity

Researchers are using technology a tad more sophisticated and scientific than dowsing rods to detect underground water from afar: sensors that measure minuscule changes in gravity.

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Surviving an acidic tide

Francisco Chavez has been studying a single bay in northern California for over half his scientific career. But his work isn’t isolated; his measurements are helping tell the story of Pacific Ocean acidification.

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Singing whales take center stage in seismic study

One man’s noise is another man’s data — which is why seismologists are giving marine biologists an unexpected boost these days.

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