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18 October 2018

A clearer path to clean air in China

China has invested billions of dollars to clean up its deadly air pollution, focusing intensely on reducing emissions of sulfur dioxide from coal-burning power plants. A new study shows reducing formaldehyde emissions may be the key to clearing winter air.

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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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16 October 2018

Scientists find missing piece in glacier melt predictions

A new method for observing water within ice has revealed stored meltwater that may explain the complex flow behavior of some Greenland glaciers, an important component for predicting sea-level rise in a changing climate.

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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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10 October 2018

Smoke from wildfires has cooling effect on water temperatures

Smoke generated by wildfires can cool river and stream water temperatures by reducing solar radiation and cooling air temperatures, according to a new study in California’s Klamath River Basin. A new study published in Water Resources Research, a journal of the American Geophysical Union, suggests smoke-induced cooling has the potential to benefit aquatic species that require cool water to survive because high summer water temperatures are a major factor contributing to population declines, and wildfires are more likely to occur during the warmest and driest time of year.  

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2 October 2018

Tracking exploding ice cracks on Himalayan glaciers

In 2017, Evgeny Podolskiy spent more than a week trekking through the Nepalese Himalayas to test the seismic activity of the Trakarding-Trambau Glacier system. In October, the research team and a group of sherpas and porters traveled to an open, debris-free glacier about five kilometers (3.1 miles) above sea level, in full view of Mount Everest.

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1 October 2018

High CO2 levels thicken plant leaves, which could worsen climate change effects

Plant scientists have observed that when levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere rise, most plants do something unusual: They thicken their leaves. And since human activity is raising atmospheric carbon dioxide levels, thick-leafed plants appear to be in our future.

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Half-degree of warming could have big impact on water availability

Approximately 117 million more people could face water shortages if global temperatures increase 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels compared to a 1.5-degree Celsius increase in temperatures, a new study suggests. The world’s water cycle, including evaporation and precipitation, is expected to intensify with global warming, according to the study. This could affect the distribution of freshwater and constrain the global water supply, which poses risks to national food security, economic prosperity and societal well-being.

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28 September 2018

Ice age discovery may reveal early migration route of first Americans

Researchers discovered the retreat of an ancient ice sheet from the western coast of Canada occurred earlier than previously thought. Christopher Darvill and his co-authors studied the Cordilleran Ice Sheet in North America – which once covered an area the size of the Greenland Ice Sheet – to improve our understanding of past climate and ancient human migration.

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18 September 2018

Mercury and its depressions

One of the most surprising discoveries of the NASA’s Messenger mission was the presence of unusual, bright, irregular and rimless flat-floored depressions on the surface of Mercury. These depressions, called hollows, are usually found on crater walls, rims, floors and central peaks. Since the hollows appear fresh, they may be actively forming today through a mechanism that could involve the loss of volatile compounds, but understanding how the hollows formed is still a major challenge for scientists.

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