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Latest Nature Geoscience Stories

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2011-08-02 12:36:27

Site design and location can minimize carbon dioxide, methane emissions An international team of scientists has amassed the largest data set to date on greenhouse gas emissions from hydroelectric reservoirs. Their analysis, published August 1 in the online version of Nature Geoscience, posits that these human-made systems emit about 1/6 of the carbon dioxide and methane previously attributed to them. Prior studies based on more limited data cautioned that hydroelectric reservoirs could be a...

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2011-07-25 08:35:00

Nature of mysterious hot spot revealed by "photogeology" By Diana Lutz, Washington University in St. Louis Analysis of new images of a curious "hot spot" on the far side of the Moon reveal it to be a small volcanic province created by the upwelling of silicic magma. The unusual location of the province and the surprising composition of the lava that formed it offer tantalizing clues to the Moon's thermal history. The hot spot is a concentration of a radioactive element thorium sitting between...

2011-07-11 20:01:13

How deep is the ocean's capacity to buffer against climate change? As one of the planet's largest single carbon absorbers, the ocean takes up roughly one-third of all human carbon emissions, reducing atmospheric carbon dioxide and its associated global changes. But whether the ocean can continue mopping up human-produced carbon at the same rate is still up in the air. Previous studies on the topic have yielded conflicting results, says University of Wisconsin-Madison assistant professor Galen...

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2011-06-28 07:25:33

Study finds that faults beneath the Salton Sea ruptured during Colorado River floods and may have triggered large earthquakes on the southern San Andreas Fault Southern California's Salton Sea, once a large natural lake fed by the Colorado River, may play an important role in the earthquake cycle of the southern San Andreas Fault and may have triggered large earthquakes in the past. Researchers at Scripps Institution of Oceanography, UC San Diego, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and the...

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2011-06-27 09:35:00

A major glacier is undermined from below Stronger ocean currents beneath West Antarctica's Pine Island Glacier Ice Shelf are eroding the ice from below, speeding the melting of the glacier as a whole, according to a new study in Nature Geoscience. A growing cavity beneath the ice shelf has allowed more warm water to melt the ice, the researchers say"”a process that feeds back into the ongoing rise in global sea levels. The glacier is currently sliding into the sea at a clip of four...

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2011-06-20 07:40:00

Afforestation, or the replacing of farmlands or unused open areas with forests is being encouraged under the UN's Kyoto Protocol climate-change treaty under the theory that forests are will soak up carbon dioxide (CO2) from the air through photosynthesis, AFP is reporting. Environmental researchers, in a new probe, said that even massive conversion of land to forestry would have only a slender benefit at best against the increase of greenhouse gasses in the atmosphere. The primary reason is...

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2011-06-08 07:21:03

The present rate of greenhouse carbon dioxide emissions through fossil fuel burning is higher than that associated with an ancient episode of severe global warming, according to new research. The findings are published online this week by the journal Nature Geoscience. Around 55.9 million years ago, the Earth experienced a period of intense global warming known as the Palaeocene"“Eocene Thermal Maximum (PETM), which lasted for around 170,000 years. During its main phase, average annual...

2011-06-06 19:42:47

The rate of release of carbon into the atmosphere today is nearly 10 times as fast as during the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum (PETM), 55.9 million years ago, the best analog we have for current global warming, according to an international team of geologists. Rate matters and this current rapid change may not allow sufficient time for the biological environment to adjust. "We looked at the PETM because it is thought to be the best ancient analog for future climate change caused by fossil...

2011-06-06 15:39:59

Observations major step in improving forecasts of weather extremes such as floods and droughts Moisture and heat fluctuations from the land surface to the atmosphere form a critical nexus between surface hydrology and atmospheric processes, especially those relevant to rainfall. While current theory has suggested that soil moisture has had a positive impact on precipitation, there have been very few large-scale observations of this. A team of researchers from Columbia Engineering, Geophysical...

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2011-05-09 06:25:00

Bolivia may need to prepare for a possible 8.9 magnitude quake that would be 125 times more powerful than previously calculated to be possible in this area, AFP reports. Two million people in the region of the east of the central Andes mountains could be affected in what had been thought, until now, to be a relatively calm area for seismic activity, according to a study published in Nature Geoscience. "No one suspected that the previous estimates were too low," Benjamin Brooks, a...


Word of the Day
omphalos
  • The navel or umbilicus.
  • In Greek archaeology: A central boss, as on a shield, a bowl, etc.
  • A sacred stone in the temple of Apollo at Delphi, believed by the Greeks to mark the 'navel' or exact center-point of the earth.
'Omphalos' comes from the ancient Greek.
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