Archive for March, 2011

Novel technique reveals how glaciers sculpted their valleys

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How do you reconstruct the landscape that a glacier has obliterated? Geologists have developed a new technique to determine the life history of minerals now on the surface but that once were under a kilometer of rock, and thus to reconstruct the landform history of a mountain range. The work can help us understand how glaciers are changing the landscape today....

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Warm water causes extra-cold winters in northeastern North America and northeastern Asia

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Average winter temperatures in northern Europe are at least 10 degrees Fahrenheit warmer than similar latitudes on the northeastern coast of the United States and the eastern coast of Canada. The same phenomenon happens over the Pacific, where winters on the northeastern coast of Asia are colder than in the Pacific Northwest. Researchers have now found a mechanism that helps explain these chillier winters -- and the culprit is warm water off the eastern coasts of these continents....

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Deep-sea volcanoes don’t just produce lava flows, they also explode

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Most deep-sea volcanoes produce effusive lava flows rather than explosive eruptions, both because the levels of magmatic gas tend to be low, and because the volcanoes are under a lot of pressure from the surrounding water. But by using an ion microprobe, researchers have now proved that explosive eruptions can also occur....

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Ocean circulation plays important role in transporting heat to Greenland glaciers

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Warmer air is only part of the story when it comes to Greenland's rapidly melting ice sheet. New research highlights the role ocean circulation plays in transporting heat to glaciers....

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Meet: Rebecca Hoff [People of NOS]

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Meet Rebecca Hoff, Environmental Scientist and Regional Resource Coordinator, NOAA Damage Assessment, Remediation, and Restoration Program....

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Antarctic icebergs play a previously unknown role in global carbon cycle, climate

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In a finding that has global implications for climate research, scientists have discovered that when icebergs cool and dilute the seas through which they pass for days, they also raise chlorophyll levels in the water that may in turn increase carbon dioxide absorption in the Southern Ocean....

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Algae, bacteria hogged oxygen after ancient mass extinction, slowed marine life recovery

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After the biggest mass extinction in Earth's history -- 250 million years ago -- algae and bacteria in the ocean rebounded so fast that they consumed virtually all the oxygen in the sea, slowing the recovery of the rest of marine animals for several million years....

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Federal-State Collaboration [Feature]

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Join us as state Coastal Zone Program and National Estuarine Research Reserve managers share their perspectives on the value of and challenges facing our nation’s coasts in a video series called 'America's Coasts: View from the States.' In this episode, the focus is on the Coastal Zone Management Program, a federal-state collaborative effort....

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Freshwater content of upper Arctic Ocean increased 20 percent since 1990s, large-scale assessment finds

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The freshwater content of the upper Arctic Ocean has increased by about 20 percent since the 1990s, according to a new large-scale assessment. This corresponds to a rise of approximately 8,400 cubic kilometres and has the same magnitude as the volume of freshwater annually exported on average from this marine region in liquid or frozen form....

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Against the tide: Currents keep dolphins apart; Study finds invisible oceanographic factors that keep populations separate

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Conservationists have discovered that groups of dolphins in the western Indian Ocean do not mix freely with one another. In fact, dolphin populations are kept separate by currents and other unseen factors....

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