SCIENCE

Herschel Telescope Detects Water Vapor on Dwarf Planet

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Scientists using the Herschel space observatory have made the first definitive detection of water vapor on the largest and roundest object in the asteroid belt on a dwarf planet, a body in the solar system bigger than an asteroid but smaller than a planet, called Ceres. Plumes of water vapor are thought to shoot up…

NASA Confirms Sustained Long-Term Climate Warming Trend

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By Glynn Wilson – Scientists now say 2013 tied with 2009 and 2006 for the seventh warmest year since 1880, continuing a long-term trend of rising global temperatures, according to a new report out from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). With the exception of 1998, the 10 warmest years in the 134-year record…

NASA Spacecraft Spots Its First New Asteroid Near Earth

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By Glynn Wilson – A reactivated NASA spacecraft designed to identify the population of potentially threatening near-Earth objects has spotted a new asteroid about 27 million miles (43 million kilometers) from Earth. Based on its infrared brightness, scientists estimate it to be roughly 0.4 miles (650 meters) in diameter and extremely dark, like a piece…

Planet Likely to Warm by Four Degrees Celsius by the Year 2100

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A new climate model shows a warming planet means less cloud formation, which in turn contributes to increased temperatures – By Damian Carrington – Temperature rises resulting from unchecked climate change will be at the severe end of those projected, according to a new scientific study. The scientist leading the research said that unless emissions of greenhouse gases were…

Hubble Space Telescope Sees Water Plumes on Jupiter’s Moon, Europa

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Space Telescope Sees Water Plumes on Jupiter’s Moon, Europa (via Environment News Service) SAN FRANCISCO, California, December 12, 2013 (ENS) – The Hubble Space Telescope has discovered water vapor erupting in plumes from the frigid surface of Jupiter’s moon Europa near its south pole. Europa is already thought to harbor a liquid ocean…

NASA’s Cassini Spacecraft Gets High Resolution Views of Saturn Hexagon

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NASA’s Cassini spacecraft has obtained the highest-resolution movie yet of a unique six-sided jet stream, known as the hexagon, around Saturn’s north pole. This is the first hexagon movie of its kind, using color filters, and the first to show a complete view of the top of Saturn down to about 70 degrees latitude. Spanning…

NASA’s Hubble Photographs Asteroid Spouting Six Comet-Like Tails

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Astronomers viewing the solar system’s asteroid belt with NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope have seen for the first time an asteroid with six comet-like tails of dust radiating from it like spokes on a wheel. Unlike all other known asteroids, which appear simply as tiny points of light, this, designated P/2013 P5, resembles a rotating lawn…

New Study Documents Consequences of Climate Change on North American Forests

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By Glynn Wilson – Climate change due to human induced global warming from the burning of fossil fuels makes North American forests more vulnerable to insects and disease, according to a new study published by a team of researchers from Dartmouth University in the journal Ecological Monographs. After reviewing about 500 scientific studies dating back…

New Report Concludes Human Influence on Global Climate is ‘Clear’

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Global Warming is UnequivocalBy Glynn Wilson – As if there was still any doubt in the scientific community, we now know that “human influence on the climate system is clear,” according to a new report just out from the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. “It is extremely likely that human influence has been…

Autumn Leaf Color Season Approaches

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By Glynn Wilson – The autumn season is upon us, since the fall equinox occurred on September 22, and it is about to be a busy time of year for travelers who like to get outdoors and chase the changing leaf colors in the most beautiful of seasons in North America. According to officials in…

NASA Study Reveals Industrial Soot’s Role in Glacier Retreat

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A NASA-led team of scientists has uncovered strong evidence that soot from a rapidly industrializing Europe caused the abrupt retreat of mountain glaciers in the European Alps that began in the 1860s, a period often thought of as the end of the Little Ice Age, according to a new peer reviewed study published Sept. 3…

Study Shows Fracking Fluids Killed Threatened Fish in Kentucky Creek

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Hydraulic fracturing fluids that leaked from natural gas well sites are believed to be the cause of the widespread death and distress of aquatic species in Kentucky’s Acorn Fork, according to the findings of a joint study by the U.S. Geological Survey and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The Acorn Fork, designated by Kentucky…

Tropical Ecosystems Boost Carbon Dioxide as Temperatures Rise

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By Glynn Wilson – NASA scientists and an international team of researchers have found tropical ecosystems can generate significant carbon dioxide when temperatures rise, unlike ecosystems in other parts of the world, further exacerbating global warming and climate change, according to a new study. The researchers discovered a temperature increase of just 1 degree Celsius…