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Tuesday, January 10th, 2017

UK Space Agency Bolsters Partnership Program, Forests 2020 Project

  As part of the UK Space Agency’s recently launched International Partnership Programme (IPP) and its related Forests 2020 project, the agency awarded a contract worth more than £14 million to sustainability software and data company Ecometrica. The Forests 2020 project is expected to help countries improve management and protection across 300 million hectares of

Thursday, January 5th, 2017

Space Laser Reveals Cycle of Polar Phytoplankton

A new study using a NASA satellite instrument orbiting Earth found that small, environmental changes in polar food webs significantly influence the boom-and-bust cycles of phytoplankton. These findings, recently published in Nature Geoscience, will supply important data for ecosystem management, commercial fisheries and understanding of the interactions among Earth’s climate and key ocean ecosystems. “It’s

Tuesday, December 20th, 2016

Seized Underwater Drone Raises Tension between U.S., China

The Chinese seizure of a U.S. underwater drone in waters near The Philippines is raising international concern as well as highlighting the growing strategic and tactical significance of unmanned underwater vehicles (UUVs). According to a statement from Pentagon spokesman Peter Cook, “Using appropriate government-to-government channels, the Department of Defense has called upon China to immediately

Monday, December 19th, 2016

Warmer Ocean Waters Seen to Spur Drought in Africa

Monitoring drought vital to success of humanitarian relief “Really?” and “Strange, but true” might be popular reactions to the idea that periodic El Niño events in the Pacific Ocean could have a long distance influence on drought conditions in Africa, almost half-a-world away. Unlikely as it may seem, these connections are widely accepted by climate

Tuesday, December 13th, 2016

USGS Report Cites Fluid Injection as Cause for Increased Earthquakes

The central United States has undergone a dramatic increase in seismicity during the last six years. From 1973-2008, there was an average of 24 earthquakes of magnitude 3 and larger per year. From 2009-2014, the rate steadily increased, averaging 193 per year and peaking in 2014 with 688 earthquakes. So far in 2015, there have

Wednesday, December 7th, 2016

Two Glaciers Collapse In Western Tibet

A glacier near Lake Aru in western Tibet collapsed on 17 July 2016. Now the Journal of Glaciology publishes the first scientific account of this cryospheric disaster in which nine local yak herders were killed. Eyewitnesses reported that the episode lasted only four to five minutes. More than 70 million cubic metres of ice tumbled

Tuesday, December 6th, 2016

Arctic Sea Ice at Record Lows

Every northern fall and winter, cooling ocean and air temperatures cause the floating cap of Arctic sea ice to grow from its annual minimum extent toward a maximum between February and April. So far in 2016, however, the Arctic Ocean and neighboring seas have been slow to freeze, setting both daily and monthly record lows.

Tuesday, November 29th, 2016

RapidScat Mission to Monitor Ocean Winds Ends

On Sept. 21, 2014, NASA scientists and engineers launched RapidScat toward the orbiting International Space Station, 250 miles above Earth’s surface, with a few objectives in mind: improve weather forecasting on Earth, provide cross-calibration for all international satellites that monitor ocean winds, and improve estimates of how ocean winds change throughout the day. Following the

Monday, November 14th, 2016

Geospatial Science Identifies High-Risk Flooding Areas in Egypt

Researchers from UT Dallas and other universities developed geospatial science methods to help the Egyptian government determine how to avoid flooding in a coastal mountain region. The government wants to develop the area for tourism, but flash flooding and associated hazards have hampered efforts, according to Dr. May Yuan, Ashbel Smith professor of GIS. “We

Tuesday, November 8th, 2016

CubeSats Need Powerful Antennas in Small Packages

Scientists at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, Calif., have been working on the tricky problem of CubeSat transmission antennas, which must be small enough for these diminutive devices yet still transmit data through the huge expanses of space. “It’s like pulling a rabbit out of a hat,” said Nacer Chahat, a specialist in

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