Increasing speed of Greenland glaciers gives new insight for rising sea level

ScienceDaily: Earth Science News


Lightning signature could help reveal the solar system’s origins

Posted: 03 May 2012 04:42 PM PDT

Every second, lightning flashes some 50 times on Earth. Together these discharges coalesce and get stronger, creating electromagnetic waves circling around Earth, to create a beating pulse between the ground and the lower ionosphere, about 60 miles up in the atmosphere. This electromagnetic signature, known as Schumann Resonance, had only been observed from Earth’s surface until, in 2011, scientists discovered they could also detect it using NASA’s Vector Electric Field Instrument (VEFI) aboard the U.S. Air Force’s Communications/Navigation Outage Forecast System (C/NOFS) satellite. In a new paper, researchers describe how this new technique could be used to study other planets in the solar system as well, and even shed light on how the solar system formed.

Rapid Sierra Nevada uplift tracked by scientists

Posted: 03 May 2012 01:20 PM PDT

From the highest peak in the continental United States, Mt. Whitney at 14,000 feet in elevation, to the 10,000-foot-peaks near Lake Tahoe, scientific evidence shows the entire Sierra Nevada mountain range is rising at the relatively fast rate of 1 to 2 millimeters every year.

Early North Americans lived with extinct giant beasts, study shows

Posted: 03 May 2012 12:39 PM PDT

A new study that determined the age of skeletal remains provides evidence humans reached the Western Hemisphere during the last ice age and lived alongside giant extinct mammals. The study addresses the century-long debate among scientists about whether human and mammal remains found at Vero Beach in the early 1900s date to the same time period. Using rare earth element analysis to measure the concentration of naturally occurring metals absorbed during fossilization, researchers show modern humans in North America co-existed with large extinct mammals about 13,000 years ago, including mammoths, mastodons and giant ground sloths.

Scientists core into California’s Clear Lake to explore past climate change

Posted: 03 May 2012 11:27 AM PDT

One of the oldest lakes in the world, Clear Lake in northern California has deep sediments that contain a record of the climate and local plants and animals going back perhaps 500,000 years. Scientists are drilling cores from the sediments to explore 130,000 years of this history and fine-tune models for predicting the fate of today’s flora and fauna in the face of global warming and pressure from a growing human population.

Stalagmite research suggests Earth has two modes of responding to change

Posted: 03 May 2012 11:26 AM PDT

By analyzing stalagmites, a team of researchers has determined that the climate signature in the tropics through four glacial cycles looks different in some ways and similar in others when compared to the climate signature at high latitudes. The results suggest that Earth’s climate system might have two modes of responding to significant changes.

Increasing speed of Greenland glaciers gives new insight for rising sea level

Posted: 03 May 2012 11:24 AM PDT

Changes in the speed that ice travels in more than 200 outlet glaciers indicates that Greenland’s contribution to rising sea level in the 21st century might be significantly less than the upper limits some scientists thought possible, a new study shows.
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