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Friday, September 18, 2020
With no place to conceal from increasing seas, Boston gets ready for a wetter future

With no place to conceal from increasing seas, Boston gets ready...

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Boston dodged a disaster in 2012. After Hurricane Sandy devastated parts of New Jersey and New York, the superstorm hit Boston near low tide, causing minimal damage. If Sandy had arrived four hours earlier, many Bostonians would have been ankle to hip deep in seawater. Across the globe, sea levels are rising, delivering bigger storm…
A brand-new map is the very best view yet of how quick Antarctica is shedding ice

A brand-new map is the very best view yet of how...

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Decades of satellite observations have now provided the most detailed view yet of how Antarctica continually sheds ice accumulated from snowfall into the ocean. The new map is based on an ice-tracking technique that is 10 times as precise as methods used for previous Antarctic surveys, researchers report online July 29 in Geophysical Research Letters.…
Years of discarding acid recommend acid rain might make trees thirstier

Years of discarding acid recommend acid rain might make trees thirstier

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A forest watered by acid rain may be less able to slake its thirst. That’s one finding from a decades-long experiment in the Appalachian Mountains, where the U.S. Forest Service since 1989 has been dousing a 34-hectare patch of forest with an acidifying ammonium sulfate fertilizer three times a year. The chemical served as a…
The Arctic is burning and Greenland is melting, thanks to tape heat

The Arctic is burning and Greenland is melting, thanks to tape...

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The Arctic is on fire. Record-breaking temperatures and strong winds are fueling an unprecedented number of wildfires across the region this summer. In Siberia alone, hundreds of wildfires captured by satellite images July 28 spanned about 3 million hectares of land. Across Alaska, as many as 400 wildfires were burning as of mid-July. And the…
U.S. wells are pumping up groundwater from increasing depths

U.S. wells are pumping up groundwater from increasing depths

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Residential, agricultural and industrial wells are being dug deeper and deeper in search of freshwater, according to the first nationwide assessment of U.S. groundwater wells. But scientists warn that the practice is not a sustainable way to address the country’s future water supply needs. In the United States, groundwater is a source of drinking water…
Night-shining ‘noctilucent’ clouds have actually sneaked south this summer season

Night-shining ‘noctilucent’ clouds have actually sneaked south this summer season

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High in the sky, sunlit wisps remain aglow even after sundown. This summer, a surprising number of such noctilucent, or “night-shining,” clouds have been spotted in the Northern Hemisphere — and, unusually, as far south as Oklahoma and New Mexico, scientists report. These clouds typically float in the mesosphere about 80 kilometers above Earth’s surface,…
3 concerns seismologists are asking after the California earthquakes

3 concerns seismologists are asking after the California earthquakes

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A week after two large earthquakes rattled southern California, scientists are scrambling to understand the sequence of events that led to the temblors and what it might tell us about future quakes. A magnitude 6.4 quake struck July 4 near Ridgecrest — about 194 kilometers northeast of Los Angeles — followed by a magnitude 7.1…
Is a long-dormant Russian volcano getting up? It’s made complex

Is a long-dormant Russian volcano getting up? It’s made complex

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Seismic rumbles beneath a long-dormant volcano on Russia’s Kamchatka Peninsula could herald an imminent eruption, a team of scientists says. But other researchers say that the observed seismic activity could be related to already erupting volcanoes in the region. Fewer than 10,500 people live within 100 kilometers of the volcano, called Bolshaya Udina, making a…
Soil deteriorated by glaciers might have kick-started plate tectonics

Soil deteriorated by glaciers might have kick-started plate tectonics

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Vast amounts of sediment eroded from Earth’s continents were necessary to lubricate the wheel of plate tectonics, scientists propose. The idea offers a new angle on long-standing riddles about the origin and evolution of the planet’s global surface recycling system, one that is unique in the solar system. Earth’s interior holds a lot of heat,…
Dry sand can bubble and swirl like a fluid

Dry sand can bubble and swirl like a fluid

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Under the right conditions, sand can flow. When heavier grains are placed atop lighter grains in a container, the less dense grains can burble upward like the blobs of a lava lamp, a study finds. The research is the first to show how the mixing of sand grains can mimic how fluids flow. But even…

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