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Latest Nature Geoscience Stories

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2010-11-30 09:43:22

First such levels measured outside polar regions In Hebrew, the Dead Sea is called Yam ha-Melah, the "sea of salt." Now measurements show that the sea's salt has profound effects on the chemistry of the air above its surface. The atmosphere over the Dead Sea, researchers have found, is laden with oxidized mercury. Some of the highest levels of oxidized mercury ever observed outside the polar regions exist there. The results appear in a paper published on-line November 28th in the journal...

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2010-11-22 08:20:00

Global carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions "“ the main contributor to global warming "“ show no sign of abating and may reach record levels in 2010, according to a study led by the University of Exeter (UK). The study, which also involved the University of East Anglia (UK) and other global institutions, is part of the annual carbon budget update by the Global Carbon Project. In a paper published November 21 in Nature Geoscience, the authors found that despite the major financial crisis...

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2010-11-16 09:44:21

The Earth is constantly manufacturing new crust, spewing molten magma up along undersea ridges at the boundaries of tectonic plates. The process is critical to the planet's metabolism, including the cycle of underwater life and the delicate balance of carbon in the ocean and atmosphere. Now, scientists at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) have observed ocean crust forming in an entirely unexpected way"”one that may influence those cycles of life and carbon and, in turn,...

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2010-11-08 09:08:38

Scientists have long known that atmospheric convection in the form of hurricanes and tropical ocean thunderstorms tends to occur when sea surface temperature rises above a threshold. The critical question is, how do rising ocean temperatures with global warming affect this threshold? If the threshold does not rise, it could mean more frequent hurricanes. According to a new study by researchers at the International Pacific Research Center (IPRC) of the University of Hawaii at Manoa (UHM), this...

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2010-11-01 06:15:00

Light-colored mounds of a mineral deposited on a volcanic cone more than three billion years ago may preserve evidence of one of the most recent habitable microenvironments on Mars. Observations by NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter enabled researchers to identify the mineral as hydrated silica and to see its volcanic context. The mounds' composition and their location on the flanks of a volcanic cone provide the best evidence yet found on Mars for an intact deposit from a hydrothermal...

2010-10-26 02:47:46

New University of Florida research puts to rest the mystery of where old carbon was stored during the last glacial period. It turns out it ended up in the icy waters of the Southern Ocean near Antarctica. The findings have implications for modern-day global warming, said Ellen Martin, a UF geological sciences professor and an author of the paper, which is published in this week's journal Nature Geoscience. "It helps us understand how the carbon cycle works, which is important for...

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2010-10-25 06:15:00

The deadly Haiti earthquake that killed upwards of 300,000 people in January may have been caused by a previously unknown fault and pressure could be building for another seismic catastrophe, Reuters reported on Sunday. Two reports were published in the journal Nature Geoscience that follow different paths but ultimately conclude the fault that was originally blamed for the earthquake was not the real source, and it is still a real threat. "As the Enriquillo-Plantain Garden fault did not...

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2010-10-18 08:20:41

While it's still hotly debated among scientists whether climate change causes a shift from the traditional form of El Nino to one known as El Nino Modoki, online in the journal Nature Geoscience, scientists now say that El Nino Modoki affects long-term changes in currents in the North Pacific Ocean. El Nino is a periodic warming in the eastern tropical Pacific that occurs along the coast of South America. Recently, scientists have noticed that El Nino warming is stronger in the Central...

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2010-10-16 09:39:57

The magnitude 7.0 earthquake that caused more than 200,000 casualties and devastated Haiti's economy in January resulted not from the Enriquillo fault, as previously believed, but from slip on multiple faults -- primarily a previously unknown, subsurface fault -- according to a study published online this week in Nature Geoscience.In addition, because the earthquake did not involve slip near Earth's surface, the study suggests that it did not release all of the strain that has built up on...

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2010-10-12 07:57:39

Geologists studying the Jan. 12 Haiti earthquake say the risk of destructive tsunamis is higher than expected in places such as Kingston, Istanbul, and Los Angeles. Like Haiti's capital, these cities all lie near the coast and near an active geologic feature called a strike-slip fault where two tectonic plates slide past each other like two hands rubbing against each other. Until now, geologists did not consider the tsunami risk to be very high in these places because when these faults...


Word of the Day
siliqua
  • A Roman unit of weight, 1⁄1728 of a pound.
  • A weight of four grains used in weighing gold and precious stones; a carat.
  • In anatomy, a formation suggesting a husk or pod.
  • The lowest unit in the Roman coinage, the twenty-fourth part of a solidus.
  • A coin of base silver of the Gothic and Lombard kings of Italy.
'Siliqua' comes from a Latin word meaning 'a pod.'
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