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The seven rocky planets of TRAPPIST-1 seem to have very similar compositions
A new international study led by astrophysicist Eric Agol from the University of Washington has measured the densities of the seven planets of the exoplanetary system TRAPPIST-1 with extreme precision, the values obtained indicating very similar compositions for all the planets. This fact makes the system even more remarkable and helps to better understand the nature of these fascinating worlds. This study has just been published in the Planetary Science Journal. (2021-01-22)

Climate and carbon cycle trends of the past 50 million years reconciled
In a study published today in Science Advances, University of Hawai'i at Mānoa oceanographers fully reconciled climate and carbon cycle trends of the past 50 million years--solving a controversy debated in the scientific literature for decades. (2021-01-22)

COVID-19, influenza and suicide fuel increase in deaths among ICE detainees
Thirty-five people have died in the custody of US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) since April 2018, with a seven-fold increase in deaths even as the average daily population decreased by nearly a third between 2019 and 2020, a new USC study shows. (2021-01-21)

Antarctica: the ocean cools at the surface but warms up at depth
Scientists from the CNRS, CNES, IRD, Sorbonne Université, l'Université Toulouse III - Paul Sabatier and their Australian colleagues, with the support of the IPEV, have concluded that the slight cooling observed at the surface of the Southern Ocean hides a rapid and marked warming of the waters, to a depth of up to 800 metres. These results were obtained thanks to unique data acquired over the past 25 years. (2021-01-21)

Search for axions from nearby star Betelgeuse comes up empty
An MIT-led search for axions from nearby star Betelgeuse has come up empty, significantly narrowing the search for hypothetical dark matter particle. (2021-01-21)

Testing the waters: Analyzing different solid states of water on other planets and moons
Aside from regular ice, water can exist in the form of peculiar solids called clathrate hydrates, which trap small gaseous molecules. They play a large role in the evolution of atmospheres, but predicting their presence in cryogenic temperatures is difficult. In a recent study, scientists from Okayama University developed statistical mechanics theory to determine their presence in Pluto and some of Jupiter's and Saturn's satellites, providing valuable information to revise existing interpretations. (2021-01-19)

Mystery of Martian glaciers revealed
On Earth, glaciers covered wide swaths of the planet during the last Ice Age, which reached its peak about 20,000 years ago, before receding to the poles and leaving behind the rocks they pushed behind. On Mars, however, the glaciers never left, remaining frozen on the Red Planet's cold surface for more than 300 million years, covered in debris. (2021-01-19)

Greenland melting likely increased by bacteria in sediment
Bacteria are likely triggering greater melting on the Greenland ice sheet, possibly increasing the island's contribution to sea-level rise, according to Rutgers scientists. That's because the microbes cause sunlight-absorbing sediment to clump together and accumulate in the meltwater streams, according to a Rutgers-led study - the first of its kind - in the journal Geophysical Research Letters. The findings can be incorporated in climate models, leading to more accurate predictions of melting, scientists say. (2021-01-14)

Ancient DNA reveals secrets of Game of Thrones wolves
Extinct dire wolves split off from other wolves nearly six million years ago and were only a distant relative of today's wolves, according to new research published in Nature. (2021-01-13)

Red and green snow algae increase snowmelt in the Antarctic Peninsula
Red and green algae that grow on snow in the Antarctic Peninsula cause significant extra snowmelt on par with melt from dust on snow in the Rocky Mountains, according to a first-of-its-kind scientific research study. This could have serious impacts on regional climate, snow and ice melt, freshwater availability and ecosystems, yet is not accounted for in current global climate models. (2021-01-13)

Melting icebergs key to sequence of an ice age, scientists find
Scientists claim to have found the 'missing link' in the process that leads to an ice age on Earth. (2021-01-13)

Northern lakes at risk of losing ice cover permanently, impacting drinking water
Close to 5,700 lakes in the Northern Hemisphere may permanently lose ice cover this century, 179 of them in the next decade, at current greenhouse gas emissions, despite a possible polar vortex this year, researchers at York University have found. Those lakes include large bays in some of the deepest of the Great Lakes, such as Lake Superior and Lake Michigan, which could permanently become ice free by 2055. (2021-01-13)

Researchers speed up analysis of Arctic ice and snow data through AI
Professors at University of Maryland, Baltimore County have developed an artificial intelligence technique to quickly analyze newly collected data based on Arctic ice and snow thickness. Researchers previously analyzed these data manually; this AI will assist them by automating how they detect and analyze patterns in the thickness of the ice. Climate change necessitates a rapid understanding of new developments in the Arctic ice, and this tool provides a faster solution. (2021-01-12)

Archaeology: sharing leftover meat may have contributed to early dog domestication
Humans feeding leftover lean meat to wolves during harsh winters may have had a role in the early domestication of dogs, towards the end of the last ice age (14,000 to 29,000 years ago), according to a study published in Scientific Reports. (2021-01-07)

The new face of the Antarctic
In the future, the Antarctic could become a greener place and be colonised by new species. At the same time, some species will likely disappear. (2021-01-06)

Will global warming bring a change in the winds? Dust from the deep sea provides a clue
In a new paper published in Nature, climate researchers from Columbia University's Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory describe a new method of tracking the ancient history of the westerly winds--a proxy for what we may experience in a future warming world. (2021-01-06)

Advanced materials in a snap
A research team at Sandia National Laboratories has successfully used machine learning -- computer algorithms that improve themselves by learning patterns in data -- to complete cumbersome materials science calculations more than 40,000 times faster than normal. (2021-01-05)

Researchers discover a new tool for reconstructing ancient sea ice to study climate change
A previously problematic molecule turns out to be a reliable proxy for reconstructing sea ice, a new study by Brown University researchers shows. (2021-01-04)

Scientists find the error source of a sea-ice model varies with the season
Scientists evaluated the sea-ice simulations of the Arctic regional ocean-ice coupling configuration of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology general circulation model (MITgcm) and found there were disagreements between the simulations and observations in both March and September. (2020-12-30)

Order and disorder in crystalline ice explained
Unlike most other materials, ice at very low temperature is not as ordered as it could be. A new study explains the reasons why this happens and how some of the missing order can be recovered. The scientists have described a relatively obscure and yet fundamental property of very low temperature ice, ferroelectricity. The results, published in PNAS, are likely to extend to ice surfaces and thus be relevant to the agglomeration of ice particles in interstellar space. (2020-12-29)

Caspian crisis: Sinking sea levels threaten biodiversity, economy and regional stability
Coastal nations are rightly worried about a sea level rise, but in the countries around the Caspian Sea over a hundred million people are facing the opposite problem: an enormous drop in sea level. Since the '90s, the water level has been dropping a few centimeters every year. This drop will accelerate during the upcoming decades, scientists from the German universities of Gießen and Bremen calculated, together with Dutch geologist Frank Wesselingh. (2020-12-23)

Chemists describe a new form of ice
Scientists from the United States, China, and Russia have described the structure and properties of a novel hydrogen clathrate hydrate that forms at room temperature and relatively low pressure. Hydrogen hydrates are a potential solution for hydrogen storage and transportation, the most environmentally friendly fuel. (2020-12-22)

Ice sheet uncertainties could mean sea level will rise more than predicted
Sea level could rise higher than current estimates by 2100 if climate change is unchallenged, according to a new assessment. (2020-12-18)

NASA finds what a glacier's slope reveals about Greenland Ice Sheet thinning
As glaciers flow outward from the Greenland Ice Sheet, what lies beneath them offers clues to their role in future ice thinning and sea-level rise contribution. (2020-12-18)

Greenland 'knickpoints' could stall spread of glacial thinning
The jagged terrain of Greenland's mountains is protecting some of the island's outlet glaciers from warm coastal waters, according to a team of researchers that included scientists from The University of Texas at Austin and NASA. However, in regions where the flat bedrock offers no such protection, runaway thinning can reach far into the ice sheet and eat away at previously unaffected ice and contribute to sea level rise. (2020-12-17)

Geology: Alpine summits may have been ice-free during life of Tyrolean Iceman
Alpine summits at 3,000 to 4,000 m may have been ice free until about 5,900 years ago, just before the lifetime of the Tyrolean Iceman (Oetzi), when new glaciers started to form, according to a study published in Scientific Reports. (2020-12-17)

Weddell sea: Whale song reveals behavioral patterns
Experts from the Alfred Wegener Institute, Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research (AWI) have now used permanently installed underwater microphones, which have been recording for the past nine years, to successfully gather and analyse whale observation data from the Weddell Sea. (2020-12-17)

Combined observations of neutron stars constrain their equation of state and the Hubble constant
Combining signals from multiple observations of neutron stars has allowed researchers to better understand the properties of ultra-dense matter and constrain the Hubble constant, which describes how fast the Universe is expanding, according to a new study. (2020-12-17)

UBCO research takes the chill off icy build-up on planes and wind turbines
New UBC Okanagan research is changing the way aircraft and wind turbine operators are addressing the risks related to ice build-up. In a follow-up study from one released previously this year, Assistant Professor Mohammad Zarifi and his team at UBCO's Okanagan MicroElectronics and Gigahertz Applications (OMEGA) Lab, have broadened the scope and functionality of their ice sensors. (2020-12-17)

How water helps the substrate into the enzyme
Researchers from Bochum and Berkeley have investigated why cages can increase the catalytic activity of enclosed molecules. Using terahertz spectroscopy and complex computer simulations, they showed that water encapsulated in a tiny cage has special properties - that are structurally and dynamically distinct from any known phase of water. The water forms a droplet inside the cage that facilitates the encapsulation of a host molecule, i.e. to access the catalytic centre. (2020-12-15)

Delayed Arctic ice advance tracked back to atmospheric conditions near Alaska months prior
Experts in Japan recently discovered that atmospheric conditions near Alaska can affect sea ice conditions in the Arctic Ocean months later. The team used various data, including ship-based data from 2018, to uncover how a single atmospheric event over the northern Pacific Ocean caused significantly delayed sea ice formation in the Pacific Arctic region. (2020-12-15)

The melting of the Greenland ice sheet could lead to a sea level rise of 18 cm in 2100!
A new study, headed by researchers from the Universities of Liège and Oslo, applying the latest climate models, of which the MAR predicts a 60% greater melting of the Greenland ice sheet than previously predicted. Data that will be included in the next IPCC report. This study is published in Nature Communications. (2020-12-15)

Device mimics life's first steps in outer space
A device developed by scientists at the CY Cergy Paris University and Paris Observatory promises insight into how the building blocks of life form in outer space. In Review of Scientific Instruments, the scientists detail how VENUS -- an acronym of the French phrase ''Vers de Nouvelles Syntheses,'' which means ''toward new syntheses'' -- mimics how molecules come together in the freezing darkness of interstellar space. (2020-12-15)

Oceanographers have an explanation for the Arctic's puzzling ocean turbulence
MIT oceanographers have an explanation for the Arctic's puzzling ocean turbulence: Their study suggests waters will become more turbulent as Arctic loses summertime ice. (2020-12-15)

Using water fleas, UTA researchers investigate adaptive evolution
Researchers from The University of Texas at Arlington resurrected the preserved eggs of a shrimp-like crustacean to examine long-standing questions about adaptive evolution, reporting the results in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Science. (2020-12-11)

What caused the ice ages? Tiny ocean fossils offer key evidence
Since the discovery that atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) concentrations were lower during past ice ages, the cause has been a mystery. Now, fossils of ocean algae reveal that a weakening in upwelling in the Antarctic Ocean kept more CO2 in the deep ocean during the ice ages. This brings scientists closer to a complete explanation for the glacial cycle and suggests that upwelling will strengthen under anthropogenic global warming, altering global climate and ocean ecosystems. (2020-12-10)

Southern Hemisphere westerly winds likely to intensify as climate warms
Polar climate scientists have created the most high resolution past record of the Southern Hemisphere westerly winds. The results, published this week (9 December) in the journal Communications Earth and Environment, describe how the winds are likely to intensify and migrate poleward as the climate warms. The study highlights the urgent need for better models to predict the future. (2020-12-09)

Warm oceans helped first human migration from Asia to North America
New research reveals significant changes to the circulation of the North Pacific and its impact on the initial migration of humans from Asia to North America. It provides a new picture of the circulation and climate of the North Pacific at the end of the last ice age, with implications for early human migration. (2020-12-09)

Getting to the bottom of Arctic landslides
Erosion of the frozen soil of Arctic regions, known as permafrost, is creating large areas of subsidence, which has catastrophic impact in these regions sensitive to climate change. As the mechanisms behind these geological events are poorly understood, researchers from the Géosciences Paris Sud laboratory (CNRS / Université Paris-Saclay), in cooperation with the Melnikov Permafrost Institute in Yakutsk, Russia, conducted a cold room simulation of landslides, or slumps, caused by accelerated breakdown of the permafrost. (2020-12-08)

Key building block for organic molecules discovered in meteorites
Scientists from Japan and the USA have confirmed the presence in meteorites of a key organic molecule which may have been used to build other organic molecules, including some used by life. The discovery validates theories of the formation of organic compounds in extraterrestrial environments. (2020-12-07)

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