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Earth Sciences - Astronomy / Space Science - 30.06.2022
Powerful Tonga volcano eruption triggered atmospheric gravity waves reaching the edge of space
Powerful Tonga volcano eruption triggered atmospheric gravity waves reaching the edge of space
Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha-apai eruption in January was unique in observed science, creating waves that reverberated around Earth, reaching 100km into the ionosphere. The eruption of the Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha-apai submarine volcano on 15 January 2022 was one of the most explosive volcanic events of the modern era, a new study has confirmed.

Earth Sciences - Astronomy / Space Science - 29.06.2022
University of Oxford throws open its doors to prospective students
University of Oxford throws open its doors to prospective students
The eruption of Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha'apai on 15 January 2022 created waves that reverberated around the earth and reached 100km into the ionosphere. The eruption of the Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha'apai submarine volcano in January 2022 was one of the most explosive volcanic events of the modern era, a new study has confirmed.

Astronomy / Space Science - Earth Sciences - 14.06.2022
No signs (yet) of life on Venus
No signs (yet) of life on Venus
The unusual behaviour of sulphur in Venus- atmosphere cannot be explained by an -aerial- form of extra-terrestrial life, according to a new study. Even if -our- Venus is dead, it-s possible that Venus-like planets in other systems could host life Paul Rimmer Researchers from the University of Cambridge used a combination of biochemistry and atmospheric chemistry to test the -life in the clouds- hypothesis, which astronomers have speculated about for decades, and found that life cannot explain the composition of the Venusian atmosphere.

Earth Sciences - Environment - 13.06.2022
Scientists provide explanation for exceptional Tonga tsunami
Scientists say they have identified the exact mechanism responsible for the exceptional tsunami that spread quickly across the world after the colossal eruption of the Tonga volcano earlier this year. In a new paper , an international team including researchers from Cardiff University say the exceptional event was caused by acoustic-gravity waves (AGWs) triggered by the powerful volcanic blast, which travelled into the atmosphere and across the ocean as the Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha'apai volcano erupted.

Astronomy / Space Science - Earth Sciences - 31.05.2022
Scientists explain why Uranus and Neptune are different colours
Scientists explain why Uranus and Neptune are different colours
Layers of haze particles are responsible for the different blue hues of the ice giants Neptune and Uranus. Neptune and Uranus have much in common - they have similar masses, sizes, and atmospheric compositions - yet Neptune looks distinctly bluer than its planetary neighbour Uranus. New research led by Professor Patrick Irwin, Department of Physics , University of Oxford suggests that a layer of haze that exists on both planets is behind the different hues of blue.

Paleontology - Earth Sciences - 20.05.2022
Discovery of 'ghost' fossils reveals plankton resilience to past global warming events
Discovery of ’ghost’ fossils reveals plankton resilience to past global warming events
An international team of scientists from UCL, the Swedish Museum of Natural History, the University of Florence and Natural History Museum have found a remarkable type of fossilization that has remained almost entirely overlooked until now. The fossils are microscopic imprints, or "ghosts", of single-celled plankton, called coccolithophores, that lived in the seas millions of years ago, and their discovery is changing our understanding of how plankton in the oceans are affected by climate change.

Earth Sciences - 19.05.2022
Scientists 'see' puzzling features deep in Earth's interior
Scientists ’see’ puzzling features deep in Earth’s interior
New research led by the University of Cambridge is the first to obtain a detailed 'image' of an unusual pocket of rock at the boundary layer with Earth's core, some three thousand kilometres beneath the surface. Of all Earth's deep interior features, these are the most fascinating and complex Zhi Li The enigmatic area of rock, which is located almost directly beneath the Hawaiian Islands, is one of several ultra-low velocity zones - so-called because earthquake waves slow to a crawl as they pass through them.

Earth Sciences - Environment - 28.04.2022
Space-based system using GPS satellites could warn of incoming tsunamis
Space-based system using GPS satellites could warn of incoming tsunamis
A new method for detecting tsunamis using existing GPS satellites orbiting Earth could serve as an effective warning system for countries worldwide, according to a new study by an international team led by UCL researchers. Initial tsunami waves are typically a few centimetres high but nonetheless cause a disturbance in the Earth's upper atmosphere by pushing up air and creating an acoustic wave that is amplified as it goes higher.

Earth Sciences - Life Sciences - 13.04.2022
Diverse life forms may have evolved earlier than previously thought
Diverse life forms may have evolved earlier than previously thought
Diverse microbial life existed on Earth at least 3.75 billion years ago, suggests a new study led by UCL researchers that challenges the conventional view of when life began. For the study, published in Science Advances , the research team analysed a fist-sized rock from Quebec, Canada, estimated to be between 3.75 and 4.28 billion years old.

Environment - Earth Sciences - 08.03.2022
Core aspects of climate models are sound - the proof's in the plankton
Core aspects of climate models are sound - the proof’s in the plankton
Continents reconfigure, oceans shift, and ice sheets thicken and thaw, but for the past 95 million years Earth's engine for distributing ocean heat has remained remarkably consistent, a new study co-led by UCL has found. The study, published this week in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences , and led by Yale University, offered a novel way of examining plankton shells to better gauge the accuracy of climate models and the Earth's temperature gradients.

Environment - Earth Sciences - 10.02.2022
Biodiversity is facing the repayment of debts and credits
Biodiversity is facing the repayment of debts and credits
A new method suggests that past landscape changes can cast a shadow on future bird biodiversity, leading to avian communities facing impeding species extinctions, as well as the arrival of new colonising species. The study revealed widespread extinction debts and colonisation credits in USA bird biodiversity.

Astronomy / Space Science - Earth Sciences - 09.02.2022
Seismometer technology field-tested in Antarctica before space missions
Seismometer technology field-tested in Antarctica before space missions
Scientists from the University of Oxford are field-testing seismic sensors in the bitter conditions of Antarctica to simulate the solar system's icy moons. The Antarctic deployment is the first in what is hoped to be a series of extreme environment tests for the short-period (SP) sensor - a seismometer that records the high-frequency (high pitched) seismic waves generated by movement in the ice sheets.

Astronomy / Space Science - Earth Sciences - 03.02.2022
New research uncovers ancient Martian meteorite’s shocking history
Planetary scientists from the University of Glasgow have lent their support to an important new study of a Martian meteorite. The research, led by Curtin University in Australia, has found the first physical evidence of high-intensity damage caused by asteroid impact in ancient Martian meteorites, which could help identify when conditions suitable for life may have existed on early Mars.

Earth Sciences - 31.01.2022
Scientists identify geological ’Goldilocks zone’ for the formation of metal ore deposits
Scientists have identified a mechanism through which important metals, crucial to the manufacturing of renewable energy technologies, are passed from the Earth's mantle to the crust. The team, including researchers from Cardiff University, has discovered a 'Goldilocks zone' at the base of the Earth's crust where the temperate is just right at around 1000°C for metals to be transported to shallower levels near the surface, where they can be mined.

Environment - Earth Sciences - 13.01.2022
Damaging microplastic particles stay trapped in rivers
Damaging microplastic particles stay trapped in rivers
Swirling river waters can trap lightweight microplastics that otherwise might be expected to float - depositing them in riverbeds where it can take up to seven years to transport them just a kilometre further towards the ocean, a new study reveals. As rivers are in near-constant motion, researchers had previously assumed that lightweight microplastics were swept rather swiftly towards the ocean and rarely interacted with riverbed sediments.

Earth Sciences - 12.01.2022
SUERC contributes to new study dating earliest human remains in eastern Africa
The age of the oldest fossils in eastern Africa widely recognised as representing our species, Homo sapiens, has long been uncertain. Now, dating of a massive volcanic eruption in Ethiopia reveals they are much older than previously thought. The remains - known as Omo I - were found in Ethiopia in the late 1960s, and scientists have been attempting to date them precisely ever since, by using the chemical fingerprints of volcanic ash layers found above and below the sediments in which the fossils were found.

Environment - Earth Sciences - 23.12.2021
Controlled burning of natural environments could help offset our carbon emissions
Planting trees and suppressing wildfires do not necessarily maximise the carbon storage of natural ecosystems. A new study has found that prescribed burning can actually lock in or increase carbon in the soils of temperate forests, savannahs and grasslands. When managed properly, fire can be good - both for maintaining biodiversity and for carbon storage Adam Pellegrini The finding points to a new method of manipulating the world's natural capacity for carbon capture and storage, which can also help to maintain natural ecosystem processes.

Environment - Earth Sciences - 22.12.2021
Safer carbon capture and storage
Safer carbon capture and storage
Atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) levels have increased significantly over the last 50 years, resulting in higher global temperatures and abrupt changes to Earth's climate. Carbon capture and storage (CCS) is one of the new technologies that scientists hope will play an important role in tackling the climate crisis.

Environment - Earth Sciences - 20.12.2021
Could life be making its own habitable environment in the clouds of Venus?
Scientists have proposed a new theory which suggests that possible lifeforms in the clouds of Venus could be setting off a cascade of chemical reactions that is making the environment much more habitable. This self-sustaining chain of events could also explain many of the strange anomalies present in the planet's upper atmosphere that have been puzzling scientists for decades.

Environment - Earth Sciences - 07.12.2021
Melting glaciers may produce thousands of kilometers of new Pacific salmon habitat
Melting glaciers may produce thousands of kilometers of new Pacific salmon habitat
Retreating glaciers in the Pacific mountains of western North America could produce around 6,150 kilometers of new Pacific salmon habitat by the year 2100, according to a new study. Scientists have 'peeled back the ice' from 46,000 glaciers between southern British Columbia and south-central Alaska to look at how much potential salmon habitat would be created when underlying bedrock is exposed and new streams flow over the landscape.
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