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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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5 March 2018

2017 North American wildfire pollution comparable to moderate volcanic eruption

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.

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8 February 2018

Urban heating punches city-shaped holes in fog over India

Scientists have observed discrete holes in widespread fog directly above cities in India, other regions of Asia and Europe. The fog holes increase in size as city populations increase, and the researchers suspect the urban heat island effect is likely to blame for the striking phenomenon.

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6 February 2018

Fossilized feature records Moon’s slow retreat from Earth

New research provides insight into the Moon’s excessive equatorial bulge, a feature that solidified in place over four billion years ago as the Moon gradually distanced itself from the Earth. A new study sets parameters on how quickly the Moon could have receded from the Earth and suggests the nascent planet’s hydrosphere was either non-existent or still frozen at the time, indirectly supporting the theory of a fainter, weaker Sun that at the time radiated around 30 percent less energy than it does today.

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29 January 2018

Researchers find way to give advanced notice for hailstorms

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.

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24 January 2018

Rise in severity of hottest days outpaces global average temperature increase

While Earth’s average annual temperature has increased at a steady pace in recent decades, there has been an alarming jump in the severity of the hottest days of the year during that same period, with the most lethal effects in the world’s largest cities, a new study finds.

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Stored heat released from ocean largely responsible for recent streak of record hot years

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.

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22 January 2018

American lobsters feeling the heat in the northwest Atlantic

Rising temperatures along the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean will force American lobsters farther offshore and into more northern waters, a new study finds. Climate models project that ocean bottom temperatures in the Atlantic along the U.S. East Coast may rise by up to 4.3 degrees Celsius (7.7 degrees Fahrenehit) by the end of the century. The new study’s results show these rising temperatures will likely make conditions in the American lobster’s southernmost range—less hospitable in the future for juveniles, pushing them farther north and into habitats farther offshore.

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