Scientists trying to detect volcanic activity need to listen for tiny earthquakes that may portend an eruption. The trouble is, the noise these earthquakes — so small that humans can’t feel them and they don’t register on the Richter scale — can be matched or overwhelmed by the tiny earthquakes that come from shifting glaciers. ESS‘ Kate Allstadt and Steve Malone share their research challenges; read more here!
For decades, a source of powerful earthquakes and volcanic activity on the Pacific Rim was shrouded in secrecy, as the Soviet government kept outsiders away from what is now referred to as the Russian Far East. But research in the last 20 years has shown that the Kamchatka Peninsula and Kuril Islands are a seismic and volcanic hotbed, with a potential to trigger tsunamis that pose a risk to the rest of the Pacific Basin. Read some of the details about this issue here.
Getting a handle on what the ice sheets of the world are doing is a difficult challenge: they are widely dispersed, very big, three-dimensional, and hard to monitor. In this week’s Science, 47 researchers — including Ben Smith from APL, and Ian Joughin from APL and ESS — published a study providing a consensus on how continental sea ice has been affected over the past 2 decades (hint– it has decreased). How did they do this? Check out the UW News story, or Climate Central’s coverage, or the news story in Science itself. Ian also published an accompanying review. And, you can check out the paper too!
Recent studies have confirmed that microbes exist in the stratosphere, the atmospheric region between about 18 and 50 kilometers in altitude, a zone biologists have long thought uninhabitable. UW’s David Smith leads this search, along with researchers from ATMO and ESS. Read more about this exciting finding!
In a two-day symposium in Anchorage in late October, scientists pondered as potential research priorities studies ranging from stock assessments to climate change, with a goal of strengthening low Chinook salmon runs around the state. This article explores the under-discussed but crucial issue of habitat degradation; ESS‘ David Montgomery is quoted.
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