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You are browsing the archive for Geophysical Research Letters Archives - GeoSpace.

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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30 May 2018

Seismometer readings could offer debris flow early warning

Instruments designed to record earthquakes revealed information about debris-flow speed, the width of the flow and the size of boulders carried by the January 2017 mudslide in Montecito, California, and the location of the event, suggesting that the current generation of seismometers in the field could be used to provide an early warning of an incoming debris flow to residents in mudslide-prone areas.

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Increasing heat drives off clouds that dampen California wildfires

Increasing summer temperatures brought on by a combination of intensifying urbanization and warming climate are driving off once common low-lying morning clouds that shade many southern coastal areas of California, leading to increased risk of wildfires.

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29 May 2018

The case of the relativistic particles solved

Encircling Earth are two enormous rings — called the Van Allen radiation belts — of highly energized ions and electrons. Various processes can accelerate these particles to relativistic speeds, which endanger spacecraft unlucky enough to enter these giant bands of damaging radiation. Scientists had previously identified certain factors that might cause particles in the belts to become highly energized, but they had not known which cause dominates. Now, with new research from NASA’s Van Allen Probes and Time History of Events and Macroscale Interactions during Substorms — THEMIS — missions, published in Geophysical Research Letters, a journal of the American Geophysical Union, the verdict is in.

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24 May 2018

Subglacial valleys and mountain ranges discovered near South Pole

Extensive ice-penetrating radar data reveal three vast valleys under glaciers in West Antarctica. These valleys could be important in the future as they help to channel the flow of ice from the center of the continent towards the coast.

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17 May 2018

Explaining the history of Australia’s vegetation

New research explores how plants using the more complex C4 photosynthetic pathway to create sugar from sunlight expanded to dominate the Australian continent, and how climate change is likely to affect these critically important native plants.

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15 May 2018

Antarctic seals can help predict ice sheet melt

Two species of seal found in Antarctic seas are helping scientists collect data about the temperature and salinity of waters around vulnerable ice sheets in West Antarctica.

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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

Meltwater lakes not only summer phenomenon: Warm wind melts snow in Antarctica in winter as well

Even though the sun does not shine in Antarctica in winter, in some places snow on the glaciers can melt. The cause: warm wind.

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