Earth Science

Earth Science News

NSF: Researchers find that Earth may be home to 1 trillion species

National Science Foundation

From NSF, May 2, 2016  --  Largest analysis of microbial data reveals that 99.999 percent of all species remain undiscovered

Earth could contain nearly 1 trillion species, with only one-thousandth of 1 percent now identified, according to the results of a new study.

The estimate, based on universal scaling laws applied to large datasets, appears today in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The report's authors are Jay Lennon and Kenneth Locey of Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana.

EARTH Magazine: Lake Sediments Suggest Mild Volcanic Winter After Massive Toba Eruption

EARTH Magazine

From EARTH Magazine, 01/15/2016  -- Toba volcano erupted 74,000 years ago, and is thought to have been the largest eruption in the last 2.5 million years. Some scientists have thought the fallout from the eruption caused a volcanic winter so catastrophic it almost drove humans to extinction. A new high-resolution study of lake sediments from East Africa disputes that idea, however, suggesting that the early humans in the area probably experienced little or no cooling following the massive eruption.

EARTH Magazine: The Snowmastodon Project - Mammoths and Mastodons Lived the High Life in Colorado

EARTH Magazine

From EARTH Magazine  --  While expanding a reservoir in Snowmass Village, Colorado, workers stumbled upon a big bone. And then another, and another, and another. Realizing they found something special, the workers called in the experts at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science (DMNS), who drove several hours to examine the site. Scientists quickly realized that this was no ordinary boneyard. Work on the reservoir halted, as DMNS scientists called in dozens of volunteers and experts from around the country to help excavate the site before construction continued.

EARTH Magazine: The Question of Mantle Plumes

EARTH Magazine

From EARTH Magazine, 12/22/2015  --  Do mantle plumes exist? EARTH Magazine explores one of the most hotly debated topics within the geoscience community. From the origin of plate tectonic theory to the results of the most recent experiments using techniques like isotope geochemistry and seismic tomography,  the results of mantle studies are often contradictory, giving rise to the longstanding debate. 

Listen Current: Oklahoma Earthquakes

Listen Current

From Listen Current, 12/09/2015  --  Oklahoma has experienced more than 5,000 earthquakes this year. Some scientists tie these earthquakes to fracking, the extraction of oil and gas from deep within the earth. Fracking uses water to extract the oil and gas and is then injected into underground wells for storage. This can put pressure on faults and cause them to slip and trigger an earthquake. After inspections were ordered, state regulators shut down the water disposal wells, which slowed the earthquakes. But once the wells came back online the earthquakes started again.

EARTH Magazine: Narratives from Nepal: Relief and Rebuilding after the Gorkha Earthquake

EARTH Magazine

From EARTH Magazine, 12/11/2015  --  Next week at the American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting, geoscientists will be meeting to discuss findings from the April 2015 Gorkha Earthquake, which devastated Nepal and killed approximately 8,900 people. EARTH Magazine brings you a special feature that describes how initial data informed relief efforts and a community ranging from mountaineers to geophysicists to engineers is helping Nepal rebuild.

Teachable Moment from IRIS - Magnitude 7.2 Tajikistan

IRIS

12/07/2015  --  IRIS does an excellent job collecting and preparing resources we can use in our classrooms on recent, significant earthquakes. Check out their PowerPoint, visualizations and animations on a 7.2-magnitude earthquake that has occurred in Tajikistan in a sparsely populated area approximately 349km (217mi) E of the capital Dushanbe.  This earthquake shook buildings in cities in Afghanistan, Pakistan and India.

IRIS page: http://www.iris.edu/hq/retm/3880

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