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Earth Sciences - Environment - 16:37
Earth's oldest known impact might have ended 'snowball Earth' ice age
Earth’s oldest known impact might have ended ’snowball Earth’ ice age
New evidence has confirmed Australia's Yarrabubba crater as the world's oldest preserved impact structure - but did it thaw Earth and end an ice age? The crater is regarded as one of Earth's oldest, but until now has lacked a precise age. Now, a new study has used geological dating to pin the impact to 2.229 billion years ago - a time that coincided with Earth's recovery from an ice age known as ‘ Snowball Earth ', where most of Earth's surface was covered with ice sheets between two and five kilometres thick.

Life Sciences - Earth Sciences - 20.01.2020
A chronicle of giant straight-tusked elephants
A chronicle of giant straight-tusked elephants
About 800,000 years ago, the giant straight-tusked elephant Palaeoloxodon migrated out of Africa and became widespread across Europe and Asia. It divided into many species, with distinct types in Japan, Central Asia and Europe — even some dwarf forms as large as a small donkey on some Mediterranean islands.

Environment - Earth Sciences - 20.01.2020
Local water availability is permanently reduced after planting forests
Local water availability is permanently reduced after planting forests
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Earth Sciences - Palaeontology - 17.01.2020
Dinosaurs died because of an asteroid impact
Dinosaurs died because of an asteroid impact
Researchers disprove theory of volcanic eruption as reason for mass deaths / Mineralogists and planetologists of the University of Münster participating in worldwide study in "Science' Was it volcanic eruptions in western India or an asteroid impact that caused the death of dinosaurs and many other animal species 66 million years ago? Researchers have been discussing this since the 1980s.

Earth Sciences - Palaeontology - 16.01.2020
In death of dinosaurs, it was all about the asteroid - not volcanoes
Volcanic activity did not play a direct role in the mass extinction event that killed the dinosaurs, according to an international, Yale-led team of researchers. It was all about the asteroid.

Environment - Earth Sciences - 16.01.2020
Predicting hydraulic fracture propagation more accurately
Predicting hydraulic fracture propagation more accurately
Researchers at EPFL have developed a new model to calculate hydraulic fracture propagation. Acclaimed for its accuracy by experts, the model better predicts fracture geometry and the energy cost of hydraulic fracturing - a widely used technique in areas such as CO2 storage, hydrocarbon extraction, dams and volcano hazard monitoring.

Earth Sciences - Environment - 16.01.2020
Asteroid impact, not volcanic eruptions, killed the dinosaurs
Volcanic activity did not play a direct role in the mass extinction event that killed the dinosaurs and about 75 per cent of Earth's species 66 million years ago, according to a team involving UCL and University of Southampton researchers.

Earth Sciences - Environment - 15.01.2020
Davy Jones’ locker opened: how metals stay on top of the seafloor
Understanding how deep-ocean metals remain uncovered on the open sea floor could help geoscientists provide advice to the mining industry. Lumps of rare metallic elements on the deep-ocean floor strangely remain uncovered despite the shifting sands and sediment many leagues under the sea. Scientists now think they know why - and it could have important implications for mining these metals while preserving the strange fauna at the bottom of the ocean.

Earth Sciences - 14.01.2020
No need to dig too deep to find gold!
No need to dig too deep to find gold!
A UNIGE researcher has discovered the particularities of porphyry copper and gold deposits, providing mining companies with a new tool to maximise the extraction of these two metals. Why are some porphyry deposits - formed by magmatic fluids in volcanic arcs - rich in copper while others primarily contain gold? In an attempt to answer this question, a researcher from the University of Geneva investigated how the metals are accumulated over the time duration of a mineralizing event, looking for a correlation between the amounts of copper and gold extracted from the deposits.

Environment - Earth Sciences - 09.01.2020
Scientists use ancient marine fossils to unravel long-standing climate puzzle
Scientists use ancient marine fossils to unravel long-standing climate puzzle
During this period, known as the middle Miocene Climate Optimum, global temperatures were as much as 3 to 4 degrees warmer than today's average temperatures, similar to estimates for 2100. The position of the continents were similar to today and the seas were flourishing with life. This period, which occurred between 15 and 17 million years ago, has puzzled geologists for decades as they have tried to explain the initial cause of the global warming and the environmental conditions that existed on Earth afterwards.

Environment - Earth Sciences - 09.01.2020
Improved Functioning of Diverse Landscape Mosaics
Improved Functioning of Diverse Landscape Mosaics
It is well-established that biodiverse ecosystems generally function better than monocultures. Ecologists at the University of Zurich have now shown that the same is true on a larger scale: Having a mix of different land-covers including grassland, forest, urban areas and water bodies improves the functioning and stability of a landscape - irrespective of the plant species diversity, region and climate.

Earth Sciences - Environment - 06.01.2020
Reducing human-induced earthquake risk
Reducing human-induced earthquake risk
Researchers at EPFL and the Swiss Federal Office of Energy have devised strategies for reducing the earthquake risk associated with geothermal energy, CO2 storage and other human activities happening deep underground. Although most earthquakes are attributable to natural causes, some are triggered - directly or indirectly - by human activity.

Earth Sciences - 01.01.2020
How long will a volcanic island live?
How long will a volcanic island live?
Plate tectonics and mantle plumes set the lifespan of volcanic islands like Hawaii and the Galapagos. Listen When a hot plume of rock rises through the Earth's mantle to puncture the overlying crust, it can create not only a volcanic ocean island, but also a swell in the ocean floor hundreds to thousands of kilometers long.

Earth Sciences - 20.12.2019
Why is the earth shaking in Ischia?
Why is the earth shaking in Ischia?
Italian and Geneva researchers unveil the cause of the often fatal earthquakes on the volcanic island of Ischia (Italy). Volcanic islands, such as Ischia in Italy, are often the scene of major natural disasters caused by earthquakes. But why is the earth shaking in Ischia? Researchers from the University of Geneva (UNIGE), Switzerland, the University of Roma Tre and the National Institute of Geophysics and Volcanology (INGV; Italy) have highlighted the phenomenon responsible for the periodic earthquakes that have struck the island of Ischia.

Palaeontology - Earth Sciences - 19.12.2019
Modern humans and Homo erectus did not co-exist in Java
Modern humans and Homo erectus did not co-exist in Java
Ninety years after Dutch geologists excavated human fossils in central Java, scientists finally have pinpointed the fossils' age at around 120,000 years. In a study reported today in Nature , The University of Queensland's Associate Professor Michael Westaway and Professor Jian-xin Zhao helped to establish the age and a new chronology for “a critical site for understanding the later stages of human evolution”.

Earth Sciences - Physics - 18.12.2019
Submarine Cables to Offshore Wind Farms Transformed into a Seismic Network
An international team of geoscientists led by Caltech has used fiber optic communications cables stationed at the bottom of the North Sea as a giant seismic network, tracking both earthquakes and ocean waves. The project was, in part, a proof of concept. Oceans cover two-thirds of the earth's surface, but placing permanent seismometers under the sea is prohibitively expensive.

Earth Sciences - 18.12.2019
Submarine cables: billions of potential seismic sensors!
Submarine cables: billions of potential seismic sensors!
Scientists have for the first time shown that it is possible to detect the propagation of seismic waves on the seafloor using submarine telecommunications cables. According to their observations, this existing infrastructure could be used to detect earthquakes, as well as swell and underwater noise. The results are published on December 18, 2019, by researchers from the CNRS, OCA, IRD and Université Côte d'Azur working together in the Géoazur laboratory, in collaboration with the company Fébus Optics and the Centre de Physique des Particules de Marseille (CNRS/Aix-Marseille Université) 1.

Astronomy / Space Science - Earth Sciences - 18.12.2019
Fact or fiction? The science of "Star Wars"
How did those planets form? Could they exist in our universe? Could Star Wars really happen? Stanford Earth experts on planetary formation, processes and habitability discuss the science behind the fictional saga. Space discoveries are in the news on a nearly weekly basis - but they may not leave an impression as impactful as the legend of Star Wars.

Environment - Earth Sciences - 12.12.2019
Ecotoxicological effects of pesticides in stream sediments
Ecotoxicological effects of pesticides in stream sediments
In small watercourses in Swiss agricultural catchments, pesticides pose an ecotoxicological risk. This was demonstrated by studies carried out in 2015 and 2017 under the National Surface Water Quality Monitoring Programme (NAWA SPEZ), where pesticide concentrations exceeded environmental quality standards for most of the study period.

Environment - Earth Sciences - 10.12.2019
Scientific advances needed to track progress of methane levels in the atmosphere
Scientific advances needed to track progress of methane levels in the atmosphere
Understanding what influences the amount of methane in the atmosphere has been identified by the American Geophysical Union to be one of the foremost challenges in the earth sciences in the coming decades because of methane's hugely important role in meeting climate warming targets. Methane is the second most important human-made greenhouse gas and is rising in the atmosphere more rapidly than predicted for reasons that are not well-understood.
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