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23 December 2019

Monitoring conflict and climate could help stop famines before they happen

Oxfam delivers food aid to Turkana, Kenya during an ongoing food crisis fueled by drought. This year, below-average rains caused crop production to fall nearly 50 percent. Credit: Irina Fuhrmann/Oxfam under Creative Commons 2.0

Deaths due to famine have fallen precipitously in recent decades, but undernutrition, which affects one in five children worldwide, remains rampant. Now, researchers are using satellite imagery and social media to detect food-scarce regions before they become full-blown crises.

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19 December 2019

Survey reveals low awareness of volcanic hazards in Australia

Whakaari/White Island, New Zealand. On December 9, 2019, several Australians were among the dozens of tourists who were killed, injured, or went missing when the volcano erupted. Credit: Rfleming/public domain.

On December 9, several Australians were among the dozens of tourists who were killed, injured, or went missing after a deadly eruption on Whakaari/White Island in New Zealand. Whakaari/White Island has seen more volcanic activity in the past 10 years than neighboring Australia has seen for 5,000, but according to volcanologists, the country is not free from the risks of a potential eruption. And according to a new survey, Australian citizens are mostly unaware of their country’s potential volcanic hazards.

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18 December 2019

Climate change driving expansion of Lyme disease in the US

Tick on a blade of grass. Credit: National Parks Service.

A new study finds increasing average winter temperatures are driving up reported Lyme disease cases in the Northeast and Midwest, especially near the outer limits of tick habitats where warmer winters boost tick survival rates and ability to find hosts. Public health officials are even seeing the disease spread to parts of Canada, in areas where it has never been seen before.

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17 December 2019

Wildfire residue may contribute to climate change

Wildfires leave behind large swathes of blackened earth when they raze a landscape. That charred material contains a host of molecules that could continue to release carbon dioxide into the atmosphere days and weeks after the fire has gone out, according to new research.

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12 December 2019

One of Europe’s worst famines likely caused by devastating floods

Europe’s Great Famine of 1315–1317 is considered one of the worst population collapses in the continent’s history. Historical records tell of unrelenting rain accompanied by mass crop failure…Now, new research using tree ring records confirms the historical data, showing the years of the Great Famine were some of Europe’s wettest.

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Newfound Martian Aurora Actually the Most Common; Sheds Light on Mars’ Changing Climate

A type of Martian aurora first identified by NASA’s MAVEN spacecraft in 2016 is actually the most common form of aurora occurring on the Red Planet, according to new results from the mission. The aurora is known as a proton aurora and can help scientists track water loss from Mars’ atmosphere.

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11 December 2019

Scientists use night vision to help save bats’ lives

High-resolution radar and night vision cameras may help scientists protect bats from untimely deaths at wind farms, according to new research. Researchers are using these technologies to provide more specific details about the number of bats killed by wind turbines in Iowa.

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10 December 2019

Property values plummeted and stayed down after Hurricane Ike

Texas homes that took the biggest hit in value after 2008’s Hurricane Ike were, surprisingly, not those within historic flood zones, new research finds. Instead, they were homes just outside these zones, where damage affected whole neighborhoods, driving property value down for years, according to a team of researchers from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill who presented the findings this week at AGU’s Fall Meeting 2019 in San Francisco.

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NASA’s treasure map for water ice on Mars

Water ice marked on Mars globe

NASA has big plans for returning astronauts to the Moon in 2024, a stepping stone on the path to sending humans to Mars. But where should the first people on the Red Planet land? A new paper published in the AGU journal Geophysical Research Letters will help by providing a map of water ice believed to be as little as one inch (2.5 centimeters) below the surface.

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6 December 2019

Peatlands release more methane when disturbed by roads

Roads built through acidic wetlands may make greenhouse gas emissions from the wetlands spike by damming natural water flow, according to a new study in AGU’s Journal of Geophysical Research: Biogeosciences.

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