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12 June 2018

South Napa Earthquake linked to summer groundwater dip

A summertime expansion in the Earth’s crust caused by changes in groundwater may have triggered the magnitude-6.0 earthquake in California’s wine country in 2014, according to a new study.

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6 June 2018

Scientists solve lunar mystery with aid of missing Moon tapes

After eight years spent recovering lost Moon data from the Apollo missions, scientists report in a new study they’ve solved a decades-old mystery of why the Moon’s subsurface warmed slightly during the 1970s. Scientists have wondered about the cause of the warming since soon after the Apollo missions started, when astronauts deployed probes on the Moon to measure the heat coming from its interior. The lost data tapes recovered by the scientists filled in a record gap during the 1970s and helped the researchers pinpoint the source of the warming as the Apollo astronauts themselves.

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5 June 2018

Ocean warming, ‘junk-food’ prey cause of massive seabird die-off, study finds

In the fall of 2014, West Coast residents witnessed a strange, unprecedented ecological event. Tens of thousands of small seabird carcasses washed ashore on beaches from California to British Columbia, in what would become one of the largest bird die-offs ever recorded. A recent study provides the first definitive answer to what killed the seabirds: starvation brought on by shifts in ocean conditions linked to a changing climate.

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31 May 2018

Which Mars rocks are most likely to harbor signs of life?

Iron-rich rocks near ancient lake sites on Mars could hold vital clues that show life once existed there, research suggests. These rocks – which formed in lake beds – are the best place to seek fossil evidence of life from billions of years ago, according to the researchers.

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10 May 2018

Sounds of melting glaciers could reveal how fast they shrink

Scientists could potentially use the racket made by melting glaciers to estimate how fast they are disappearing, according to new study of audio recordings captured in the waters of an Arctic fjord. New underwater recordings taken from Hornsund fjord in Svalbard, Norway, show melting icebergs make more noise the faster they melt. The recordings also distinguish melting sounds from grounded glaciers and floating icebergs.

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7 May 2018

Powerful hurricanes strengthen faster now than 30 years ago

Hurricanes that intensify rapidly – a characteristic of almost all powerful hurricanes – do so more strongly and quickly now than they did 30 years ago, according to a new study. Many factors are at play, but the chief driver of more rapid hurricane intensification is a natural climate cycle known as the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation (AMO) that affects water temperatures in the Atlantic Ocean where hurricanes form, according to the study’s authors.

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3 May 2018

Breathing lunar dust could pose health risk to future astronauts

Future astronauts spending long periods of time on the Moon could suffer bronchitis and other health problems by inhaling tiny particles of dust from its surface, according to new research. A new study finds simulated lunar soil is toxic to human lung and mouse brain cells. Up to 90 percent of human lung cells and mouse neurons died when exposed to dust particles that mimic soils found on the Moon’s surface.

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13 March 2018

How much snow accumulates in North America each year? More than scientists thought

There’s a lot more snow piling up in the mountains of North America than anyone knew, according to a first-of-its-kind study. Scientists have revised an estimate of snow volume for the entire continent, and they’ve discovered that snow accumulation in a typical year is 50 percent higher than previously thought.

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12 March 2018

Mexico’s 2017 earthquake emerged from a growing risk zone

Under Mexico, where the Cocos Plate from the Pacific Ocean slides under the North American Plate, a bending line of hills, created when the seafloor first formed, sits atop a flattened area of subduction. That newly recognized combination has created a fault that likely explains last September’s Puebla earthquake, scientists report in a new study.

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6 March 2018

Ice-age echoes affect present-day sea level

A new study has, for the first time, cut a clear path through a nettlesome problem: accurately measuring a powerful effect on global sea level that lingers from the last ice age. Just how quickly Earth’s deep, rocky mantle is rebounding from the heavy burden of ancient ice sheets and oceans remains somewhat uncertain. But this rebound effect, known as glacial isostatic adjustment (GIA), is critical to properly understanding the causes of sea level change.

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