Earth

Asphalt roads are silently hurting the environment and public health

Asphalt roads are silently hurting the environment and public health

A new study from Yale University reveals that asphalt -- the material used to construct roads and parking lots around the world -- is a silent contributor to the air pollution that is harming both the environment and the people who live in it. The effect is at its worst on hot, sunny days, the study found, with the intense heat increasing the number of harmful particles the asphalt emits into the air.

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Scientists drilled Antarctica’s largest ice shelf to get key climate data

Scientists drilled Antarctica’s largest ice shelf to get key climate data

As the climate warms, sea levels rise. This increase in water levels is caused by melting sea ice, something that includes melt that typically happens on the underside exposed to the ocean, at least when it comes to ice shelves. A new study has leveraged modern technologies to get new measurements from the center of the underside of Antarctica's biggest ice shelf, shedding new light on the processes driving the melting.

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NASA’s new Saharan dust blanket images reveal its massive size

NASA’s new Saharan dust blanket images reveal its massive size

NASA has published images that reveal the blanket of dust from the Saharan dust storm as it moves across the ocean toward the Americas. This isn't a new phenomenon -- the dust has gravitated this way before many times. However, NASA notes that this particular dust storm's resulting blanket has been 'quite expansive.' Using the NASA-NOAA Suomi NPP satellite, the space agency is able to give the public a detailed look at this event.

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Rocket Lab prepares to launch a Canon camera microsatellite into orbit

Rocket Lab prepares to launch a Canon camera microsatellite into orbit

You're probably familiar with Canon's consumer camera products -- its fixed-lens models and DSLRs, for example -- but lesser-known is the company's work on micro-satellites. Back in 2017, Canon tapped India to launch one of its own small satellites, something that paved the way for two more satellite launches that will happen in 2020. The first launch, which involves Canon's CE-SAT-IB satellite, will take place in early July.

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Nodosaur’s ‘exquisitely’ preserved stomach contents reveal last meal

Nodosaur’s ‘exquisitely’ preserved stomach contents reveal last meal

The armored dinosaur known as the Borealopelta markmitchelli -- a nodosaur -- was the subject of a study recently published in Royal Society Open Science. The researchers focused on the best-preserved nodosaur specimen, finding preserved stomach contents that reveal what this particular dinosaur ate. The stomach contents had around the same mass as a soccer ball and are described as "exquisitely-preserved."

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Rare ancient skeleton discovery helps solve big food mystery

Rare ancient skeleton discovery helps solve big food mystery

Researchers with the University of Exeter have announced the discovery of ancient skeletons that help solve a big food mystery: when did humans in Central America start eating maize as a staple food? The discovery is described as 'unparalleled' because the skeletons were 'remarkably well-preserved' in the rock shelters where they were found.

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Hurricanes are getting stronger and climate change may be to blame

Hurricanes are getting stronger and climate change may be to blame

Hurricanes are getting stronger, according to a new study, and climate change may be the cause. The findings come from scientists with the University of Wisconsin-Madison and NOAA's National Center for Environmental Information. Around four decades of hurricane satellite images went into the research, according to the University, building upon previous research that found similar storm intensification.

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Researchers find microplastics in Antarctic sea ice for the first time

Researchers find microplastics in Antarctic sea ice for the first time

A new study reveals that microplastics have been discovered in Antarctic sea ice for the first time, raising additional concerns over this type of pollution. The team behind the discovery was led by the Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies (IMAS); they found dozens of bits of microplastics in a core of ice plucked from East Antarctica back in 2009.

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Study warns climate change is fueling a new US megadrought

Study warns climate change is fueling a new US megadrought

A new study out of Columbia University warns that North America -- primarily the western US and northern Mexico -- is cruising toward a new potentially record-breaking megadrought fueled by climate change. The findings come amid a long series of drought years in these regions, building upon a body of evidence that North America may face an extreme long-term drought akin to those of the prehistoric period.

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Some Arctic summers will likely be ice-free even with reduced CO2

Some Arctic summers will likely be ice-free even with reduced CO2

A new study has warned that the Arctic is likely to be ice-free during the summer months due to climate change, something that would only be partially prevented if humanity rapidly reduces the amount of CO2 emissions. The loss of ice during the summer months would be, according to the team behind the study, devasting for the local ecosystem, including animals like seals and polar bears.

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Chernobyl wildfire continues as NASA shares must-see satellite images

Chernobyl wildfire continues as NASA shares must-see satellite images

On Saturday, April 4, a wildfire appeared within the 1,000-square mile exclusion zone near the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant. On Monday, NASA shared an initial satellite image showing the fire, which is still taking place as of Friday. Updated satellite images on the fire were captured on Thursday, April 9, showing more smoke spread across the landscape.

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NASA wants the public to help map coral reefs using a video game

NASA wants the public to help map coral reefs using a video game

NASA needs the public's help to identify and categorize the world's coral reefs. The space agency announced its new citizen scientist project on Thursday, explaining that while it is able to use its technology to get 3D imagery of the ocean's coral reefs, actually identifying them and categorizing them requires a bit of human effort and something as simple as a tablet.

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