• Hidden river once flowed beneath Antarctic ice

    Antarctic researchers from Rice University have discovered one of nature’s supreme ironies: On Earth’s driest, coldest continent, where surface water rarely exists, flowing liquid water below the ice appears to play a pivotal role in determining the fate of Antarctic ice streams.

    The finding, which appears online this week in Nature Geoscience, follows a two-year analysis of sediment cores and precise seafloor maps covering 2,700 square miles of the western Ross Sea. As recently as 15,000 years ago, the area was covered by thick ice that later retreated hundreds of miles inland to its current location. The maps, which were created from state-of-the-art sonar data collected by the National Science Foundation research vessel Nathaniel B. Palmer, revealed how the ice retreated during a period of global warming after Earth’s last ice age. In several places, the maps show ancient water courses — not just a river system, but also the subglacial lakes that fed it.

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  • NASA Gets a Final Look at Hurricane Gert's Rainfall

    Before Hurricane Gert became a post-tropical cyclone, NASA got a look at the rainfall occurring within the storm. After Gert became post-tropical NOAA’s GOES-East satellite captured an image as Gert was merging with another system.

    The Global Precipitation Measurement mission or GPM core observatory satellite provided rainfall information on Hurricane Gert on August 16, 2017 at 5:37 p.m. EDT (2137 UTC). At that time, Gert was a strong category two hurricane with maximum sustained winds of about 93.5 mph (85 knots).

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  • Climate Change and Habitat Conversion Combine to Homogenize Nature

    Climate change and habitat conversion to agriculture are working together to homogenize nature, indicates a study in the journal Global Change Biology led by the University of California, Davis.

    In other words, the more things change, the more they are the same.

    While the individual impacts of climate change and habitat conversion on wildlife are well-recognized, little is known about how species respond to both stressors at once.

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  • Right kind of collaboration is key to solving environmental problems

    The coming decade may determine whether humanity will set a course toward a more socially and ecologically sustainable society. A crucial part of this goal is to develop a better understanding of how cooperation can be improved and become more effective, both within and among private stakeholders and public institutions.

    “Collaborative governance is often highlighted as a solution to different environmental problems. For example, when small-scale fishermen agree to avoid overfishing or when states agree to reduce greenhouse gases. But we don’t know so much about how cooperation around environmental issues works in a complex world. Different actors want different things, different environmental problems are related to each other, and different groups have differing amounts of influence. Does cooperation actually lead to a better environment?” says Örjan Bodin, lecturer at the Stockholm Resilience Centre who conducts interdisciplinary research on better ways to handle diverse environmental problems.

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  • NOAA scientists get rare chance to study the effects of an eclipse on weather

    It’s the most fundamental principle of meteorology - energy from the sun drives Earth’s weather.

    So what happens when the sun’s rays are blocked by an eclipse? And can modern forecasting tools accurately predict changes in the weather when the sun’s rays are partially or totally blocked?

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  • Mosses used to evaluate atmospheric conditions in urban areas

    Researchers have developed a method to evaluate atmospheric conditions using mosses (bryophytes) in urban areas, a development that could facilitate broader evaluations of atmospheric environments.

    Many urban areas face atmospheric problems such as pollution and the heat island effect. With the need to evaluate atmospheric conditions, bioindicators—organisms whose response to environmental changes indicates the health of an ecosystem—have attracted considerable attention. Their merits include being able to evaluate an environment over a wide area at a low cost; detect environmental changes over an extended period; and assess these changes’ effects on the ecosystem. Bryophytes are one such group of plants known to be sensitive to environmental changes, in particular to atmospheric conditions.

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  • New study validates East Antarctic ice sheet should remain stable even if western ice sheet melts

    A new study from Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis validates that the central core of the East Antarctic ice sheet should remain stable even if the West Antarctic ice sheet melts.

    The study's findings are significant, given that some predict the West Antarctic ice sheet could melt quickly due to global warming.

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  • NASA Sees Potential Tropical Depression 9 Form East of Lesser Antilles

    NOAA's GOES-East Satellite spotted potential Tropical Depression 9 organizing east of the Lesser Antilles.

    At 10:45 a.m. EDT (1445 UTC) on Aug. 13 NOAA's GOES-East satellite captured a visible image of potential Tropical Depression 9. The satellite imagery showed the circulation of the low pressure area was becoming better defined and that a cluster of strong convection has formed west of the center.

    NOAA manages the GOES series of satellites, and NASA uses the satellite data to create images and animations. The image was created by the NASA/NOAA GOES Project at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland.

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  • Satellites Show Hurricane Gert Being Affected by Wind Shear

    NASA’s Aqua satellite and NOAA's GOES-East satellite provided an infrared and visible look at Atlantic Hurricane Gert. Both images showed the storm was being affected by wind shear and had become elongated.  

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  • How future volcanic eruptions will impact Earth's ozone layer

    CFCs, greenhouse gases, and naturally occurring emissions of halogens will shape how volcanoes impact the ozone layer into the next century 

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