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18 September 2018
The Sahara and Arabian deserts did not cool as much as the rest of the Northern Hemisphere during the Little Ice Age, but in fact were drier 200 years ago than they are today, according to a new study. The Little Ice Age was a cool period from around 1450 to 1850. During this time, Europe was very cool and even experienced a “year without a summer” in 1816 due to the 1815 eruption of Mount Tambora, a volcano in Indonesia. Scientists knew Europe experienced significant cooling during the Little Ice Age because of historical data but were unsure how other parts of the world were affected, such as the Sahara and Arabian deserts.
6 September 2018
The mystery behind lunar swirls, one of the solar system’s most beautiful optical anomalies, may finally be solved thanks to a joint Rutgers University and University of California Berkeley study. The solution hints at the dynamism of the moon’s ancient past as a place with volcanic activity and an internally generated magnetic field. It also challenges our picture of the moon’s existing geology.
14 August 2018
More than 100 oceanic floats are now diving and drifting in the Southern Ocean around Antarctica during the peak of winter. These instruments are gathering data from a place and season that remains very poorly studied, despite its important role in regulating the global climate.
25 July 2018
Two years after a research team discovered a previously unknown class of waves rippling continuously through the upper Antarctic atmosphere, they’ve uncovered tantalizing clues to the waves’ origins. The interdisciplinary science team’s work to understand the formation of “persistent gravity waves” promises to help researchers better understand connections between the layers of Earth’s atmosphere—helping form a more complete understanding of air circulation around the world.
23 July 2018
Clouds are an inspiration to most of us, but a nightmare for climate scientists. Clouds are exceptionally complex creatures, and that complexity makes it difficult to predict how and where they’ll form – which is unfortunate, since those predictions are essential to understanding precipitation patterns and how our climate will change in the future.
10 July 2018
Scientists have discovered hundreds of crescent-shaped pits on Mars where sand dunes stood billions of years ago. The curves of these ancient dune impressions record the direction of prevailing winds on the Red Planet, providing potential clues to Mars’s past climate, and may hold evidence of ancient life.
17 May 2018
A new study in the Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres observes rare terrestrial gamma ray flashes produced by lightning strikes.
5 March 2018
A new study finds the fires that spread throughout North America last summer burned so powerfully their smoke pushed all the way into the stratosphere, circled the globe in roughly two weeks and remained in the stratosphere at measurable levels for several months.
29 January 2018
A new study identifies a method for predicting the likelihood of damaging hailstorms in the United States—up to three weeks in advance. Hail is the most economically destructive hazard posed by severe thunderstorms, producing on average billions of dollars in U.S. losses each year, including damage to roofs, homes and especially crops.
24 January 2018
Global temperatures spiked during the record warm years of 2014 to 2016 largely because El Niño released an unusually large amount of heat generated by greenhouse gas emissions and stored in the Pacific Ocean, a new study finds.