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Earth Sciences



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Earth Sciences - Environment - 27.04.2018
How landscapes and landforms ’remember’ or ’forget’ their initial formations
The answer to the question 'What's in a shape?' hinges on this memory property. Megan Davies Wykes Crescent dunes and meandering rivers can 'forget' their initial shapes as they are carved and reshaped by wind and water while other landforms keep a memory of their past shape, suggests new research. "Asking how these natural sculptures come to be is more than mere curiosity because locked in their shapes are clues to the history of an environment," said Leif Ristroph from New York University and the senior author of the paper , which is published in the journal Physical Review Fluids .

Earth Sciences - 27.04.2018
South Korean earthquake linked to nearby fracking
An earthquake in South Korea which injured close to 100 people and caused tens of millions of pounds of damage was plausibly the result of nearby hydraulic fracturing works, scientists say. In a new paper published today (Thursday 26 April) , researchers from the University of Glasgow, ETH-Zurich in Switzerland, and GFZ-Potsdam in Germany report on detailed seismological analysis of the magnitude 5.5 earthquake which occurred near the city of Pohang in November 2017.

Earth Sciences - Environment - 16.04.2018
Dinosaurs ended - and originated - with a bang!
Dinosaurs ended - and originated - with a bang!
It is commonly understood that the dinosaurs disappeared with a bang - wiped out by a great meteorite impact on the Earth 66 million years ago. But their origins have been less understood. In a new study, scientists from MUSE - Museum of Science, Trento, Italy, Universities of Ferrara and Padova, Italy and the University of Bristol show that the key expansion of dinosaurs was also triggered by a crisis - a mass extinction that happened 232 million years ago.

Environment - Earth Sciences - 12.04.2018
Atlantic circulation that helps warm UK is at its weakest for over 1500 years
Atlantic circulation that helps warm UK is at its weakest for over 1500 years
 North Atlantic circulation is weaker today than it has been for over a thousand years, and leading climate change models could be overestimating its stability, according to a team of scientists led by UCL and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, US. In the first comprehensive study of ocean-based records scientists have observed a marked weakening of Atlantic circulation over the past 150 years.

Environment - Earth Sciences - 10.04.2018
Actual fossil fuel emissions checked with new technique
Researchers have measured CO2 emissions from fossil fuel use in California and compared them to reported emissions. This is the first time fossil fuel emissions have been independently checked for such a large area. Carbon dioxide (CO2) from fossil fuel combustion is the primary driver of climate change, and many governments, companies and citizens are making efforts to curb their emissions.

Earth Sciences - 04.04.2018
Glassy beads hint at site of mysterious missing crater
Imperial experts have found a 'breadcrumb trail' of debris from an 800,000 year old meteor impact Around 800,000 years ago, a 20 kilometre meteor collided with the earth, producing a zone of debris in Australasia which covers a tenth of the Earth's surface. However, despite the impact's relatively young age in geological terms, and the meteor's size, the resulting crater's location eludes us.

Earth Sciences - 04.04.2018
Tiny glassy beads hint at finding mysterious missing craters
Imperial experts have found a 'breadcrumb trail' of debris from an 800,000 year old meteor impact Around 800,000 years ago, a 20 kilometre meteor collided with the earth, producing a zone of debris in Australasia which covers a tenth of the Earth's surface. However, despite the impact's relatively young age in geological terms, and the meteor's size, the resulting crater's location eludes us.

Earth Sciences - 28.03.2018
Landslide computer modelling helps earthquake first responders
Landslide computer modelling helps earthquake first responders
Just hours after the 7.8 magnitude Kaikoura earthquake hit New Zealand in 2016 research by Dr Tom Robinson , Department of Geography , was helping to inform the work of first responders in the area. At the time of the earthquake Dr Robinson was collaborating with colleagues from the universities of Canterbury and Otago in New Zealand, to test a computer modelling approach to predict earthquake-related landslides.

Earth Sciences - History / Archeology - 19.03.2018
Volcanic eruption influenced Iceland's conversion to Christianity
Volcanic eruption influenced Iceland’s conversion to Christianity
Memories of the largest lava flood in the history of Iceland, recorded in an apocalyptic medieval poem, were used to drive the island's conversion to Christianity, new research suggests.  With a firm date for the eruption, many entries in medieval chronicles snap into place as likely consequences. Clive Oppenheimer A team of scientists and medieval historians, led by the University of Cambridge, has used information contained within ice cores and tree rings to accurately date a massive volcanic eruption, which took place soon after the island was first settled.

Earth Sciences - Innovation / Technology - 14.03.2018
Underwater volcano behaviour captured by timely scientific expedition
Researchers got a rare opportunity to study an underwater volcano in the Caribbean when it erupted while they were surveying the area. The research, published today in the journal Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems , provides new insight into the little-studied world of underwater volcanoes. It investigated a volcano named Kick-‘em-Jenny (KeJ), which is thought to be named after the turbulent waters nearby.

Earth Sciences - Life Sciences - 13.03.2018
Fossils found of giant flying creatures wiped out with the dinosaurs
Fossils found of giant flying creatures wiped out with the dinosaurs
Fossils of six new species of pterosaurs, giant flying reptiles that flew over the heads of the dinosaurs, have been discovered by a team of researchers led by the Milner Centre for Evolution at the University of Bath. Pterosaurs, prehistoric reptiles popularly known as pterodactyls, were flying cousins of the dinosaurs.

Earth Sciences - Environment - 28.02.2018
Man-made earthquake risk reduced if fracking is 895m from faults
Man-made earthquake risk reduced if fracking is 895m from faults
The risk of man-made earthquakes due to fracking is greatly reduced if high-pressure fluid injection used to crack underground rocks is 895m away from faults in the Earth's crust, according to new research. The recommendation, from the ReFINE (Researching Fracking) consortium, is based on published microseismic data from 109 fracking operations carried out predominantly in the USA.

Earth Sciences - Health - 23.02.2018
Sipping hot fruit teas can lead to tooth erosion
An investigation by scientists at King's College London into why some people suffer tooth erosion while others don't has found that it's not just what they eat and drink, but how they eat and drink, that increases their chances of developing the condition. The research, reviewed in the British Dental Journal, identifies the risk factors and damaging habits associated with the consumption of acidic foods that result in the loss of tooth enamel and dentine, known as erosive tooth wear.

Earth Sciences - Life Sciences - 15.02.2018
Scientists shed light on Burgess Shale preservation for first time
The fossil Waptia from the Burgess Shale, Canada. New Oxford University research suggests that the mineralogy of the surrounding earth is key to conserving soft parts of organisms, and finding more exceptional fossils like the Waptia. Image credit: Yale University Fossils that preserve entire organisms (including both hard and soft body parts) are critical to our understanding of evolution and ancient life on Earth.

Environment - Earth Sciences - 06.02.2018
Decay of the North American ice sheet since the last ice age decreased climate variability in the Southern Hemisphere
Decay of the North American ice sheet since the last ice age decreased climate variability in the Southern Hemisphere
A scientist from the University of Bristol is part of an international team that has shown that the changing topography of ice sheets in the Northern Hemisphere during the last Ice Age forced changes in the climate of Antarctica, a previously undocumented inter-polar climate change mechanism. The new research co-authored by Dr William Roberts from Bristol's School of Geographical Sciences and led by the University of Colorado Boulder has been published in the journal Nature .

Chemistry - Earth Sciences - 06.02.2018
Ozone at lower latitudes is not recovering, despite Antarctic ozone hole healing
Ozone at lower latitudes is not recovering, despite Antarctic ozone hole healing
The ozone layer is recovering at the poles, but unexpected decreases in part of the atmosphere may be preventing recovery at lower latitudes. Global ozone has been declining since the 1970s owing to certain man-made chemicals. Since these were banned, parts of the layer have been recovering, particularly at the poles.

Earth Sciences - 01.02.2018
Oklahoma's earthquakes strongly linked to wastewater injection depth
Oklahoma’s earthquakes strongly linked to wastewater injection depth
Man-made earthquakes in Oklahoma, USA, are strongly linked to the depth at which wastewater from the oil and gas industry are injected into the ground, according to a new study led by the University of Bristol. Oklahoma has been a seismic hotspot for the past decade, with the number of damaging earthquakes — including the magnitude 5.8 Pawnee earthquake in 2016 — regularly impacting on the lives of residents, leading to litigation against well operators.

History / Archeology - Earth Sciences - 24.01.2018
Frozen in time: glacial archaeology on the roof of Norway
Frozen in time: glacial archaeology on the roof of Norway
Artefacts revealed by melting ice patches in the high mountains of Oppland shed new light on ancient high-altitude hunting.  Town-dwellers needed mountain products such as antlers for artefact manufacture and probably also furs James Barrett Climate change is one of the most important issues facing people today and year on year the melting of glacial ice patches in Scandinavia, the Alps and North America reveals and then destroys vital archaeological records of past human activity.

Environment - Earth Sciences - 09.01.2018
Why did the elephant cross the road? In Malaysia they are trying to find the answer
The body of an elephant calf lies on the side of a remote highway in the north of Peninsular Malaysia - the East-West Highway is flanked by two wildlife refuges, Royal Belum State Park and the Temengor Forest Reserve. It is stories like this in the Malaysian media that are of increasing concern to wildlife experts.

Astronomy / Space Science - Earth Sciences - 20.12.2017
Mars: Not as dry as it seems
Image shows modern Mars (left) dry and barren, compared with the same scene over 3.5 billion years ago covered in water (right). The rocks of the surface were slowly reacting with the water, sequestering it into the Martian mantle leading to the dry, inhospitable scene shown on the left. Image credit: Jon Wade When searching for life, scientists first look for an element key to sustaining it: fresh water.