Science in the News
From Listen Current, 04/06/2016 -- The severe drought in California resulted in a state-wide mandate of 25% reduction in water use last year. This affects many residents, especially those who make a living in farming and agriculture. The snowpack in the Sierra Nevada mountains feeds water into the state’s reservoirs, which supplies about 30% of the state’s water needs. Last year the snowpack was 5% of average. This year, it’s about 95%. Even though it’s just below average, this is a great improvement.
From EARTH Magazine, 03/31/2016 -- Iceland is located in the North Atlantic straddling a mid-ocean ridge and possibly riding over a Hawaiian-style hot spot. This makes it is a prime geological environment for volcanoes: Iceland has more than 100 volcanoes, 33 of which are active. Iceland is also home to examples of every type of volcano on Earth, each with its own eruptive pattern. Thus, the island nation presents a special challenge to volcanologists as well as serving as an ideal natural laboratory for studying how volcanic processes evolve.
From EARTH Magazine, 03/24/2016 -- In 2013, researchers uncovered the graves of two infants laid to rest about 11,500 years ago outside of what is now Fairbanks, Alaska. Researchers understood that these graves represented some of the earliest human migrants to North America, but were they more closely related to their Asian ancestors, or the modern-day residents of North and South America? Using mitochondrial DNA analysis of the infants, what could we learn about our own human history?
From Listen Current, 03/10/2016 -- After living in space for almost a year, NASA astronaut Scott Kelly returned safely to Earth. Kelly stayed aboard the International Space Station, conducting experiments and taking photographs of Earth. Throughout the year, he was able to communicate with people at NASA and update them on his activities and status. Researchers at NASA have also tracked Kelly’s physical and mental health after one of the longest missions in space. Listen to the story to hear more about this astronaut’s admirable and historic journey.
From EARTH Magazine, 03/18/2016 -- We're most accustomed to flooding causing levees to fail, like they did in New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina. So although the El Nino-induced floods are making the most news in California right now, it's not actually the floods that are threatening some California levees the most. Instead it's the severe drought over the last four years that has taken its toll on thousands of kilometers of century-old earthen levees.
From EARTH Magazine, 03/08/2016 -- A magnitude-7.1 earthquake struck Chile on Jan. 2, 2011, or so scientists thought. Now, with increasing sensor sensitivity and advances in the quantitative analysis of earthquakes, scientists have revealed that this quake was actually a doublet. This meant that instead of just one massive quake, two similarly large earthquakes struck very near to one another within seconds.