Science in the News

Listen Current: Tainted Water

Listen Current

From Listen Current, 01/25/2016  --  For more than a year, Flint Michigan’s tap water has been unsafe to drink. The problem started in 2014 when the city decided to switch the drinking water supply to the Flint River to save money. This water damaged the pipes and lead seeped into the drinking water. But the state ignored complaints about the smell and taste of the water. It wasn’t until January 2015 that the governor of Michigan declared a state of emergency because of the high lead levels in the water.

Teachable Moment from IRIS - Magnitude 7.1 Southern Alaska

IRIS

01/24/2016  --  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 magnitude 7.1 earthquake that knocked items off shelves and walls in Alaska early Sunday. The earthquake was widely felt because it was close to Alaska’s population centers. There were no reports of injuries, but four homes were lost to natural gas explosions or fire following the earthquake.

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.

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