Earth Sciences

Earth Sciences (also referred to as Geosciences), which deals with basic issues surrounding our planet, plays a vital role in the area of energy and raw materials supply.

Earth Sciences comprises subjects such as geology, geography, geological informatics, paleontology, mineralogy, petrography, crystallography, geophysics, geodesy, glaciology, cartography, photogrammetry, meteorology and seismology, early-warning systems, earthquake research and polar research.

Magnetic ’slinky effect’ may power aurora

The spectacular aurora borealis displays that light up the northern nights could be powered by a gigantic “slinky” effect in Earth’s magnetic field lines, according to research performed at the University of Minnesota. Earth’s magnetic field resemble a slinky in that when “wiggled,” it undulates in waves that travel down the field lines at speeds up to 25 million miles per hour. These waves can pass energy to electrons, accelerating them along the magnetic field lines toward Earth. When the

Scientists explain formation of stone circles and other strange patterns in northern regions

Mysterious patterns arise through simple feedback mechanisms and self-organization

Perfect circles of stones cover the ground in parts of Alaska and the Norwegian islands of Spitsbergen. Elsewhere in the far north, stones form other striking patterns on the ground: polygons, stripes, islands, and labyrinths. No, pranksters are not at work in these remote areas, nor are aliens, elves, or any other outside forces moving the stones around. According to scientists who have studied the phe

NASA scientists take first ’full-body scan’ of evolving thunderstorm

A doctor gets a better view inside a patient by probing the body with CAT and MRI scanning equipment. Now, NASA meteorologists have done a kind of “full-body scan” of an evolving thunderstorm in the tropics, using advanced radar equipment to provide a remarkable picture of the storm’s anatomy. The observations are expected to help double-check satellite rainfall measurements, improve computer models of storms, and make the skies safer for airplanes to navigate.

David Atlas of NASA’s Goddar

Lightning really does strike more than twice

NASA-funded scientists have recently learned that cloud-to-ground lightning frequently strikes the ground in two or more places and that the chances of being struck are about 45 percent higher than what people commonly assume.

Recently, William C. Valine and E. Philip Krider in the Institute of Atmospheric Physics at the University of Arizona, co-authors of the study, took to the field using video and other technology to study lightning, which is one of the biggest weather-related killers i

UMass study reconsiders formation of Antarctic ice sheet

Findings detailed in Jan. 16 issue of Nature; greenhouse gases implicated

A study by University of Massachusetts Amherst geoscientist Robert DeConto posits an alternative theory regarding why Antarctica suddenly became glaciated 34 million years ago. The study challenges previous thinking about why the ice sheet formed and holds ramifications for the next several hundred years as greenhouse gases continue to rise. DeConto, who collaborated with David Pollard of Pennsylvania State Univ

Giant elephant tusk found in desert: find thought to be eight million years old

Two University of York graduates have found and preserved the giant tusk of the largest elephant fossil of its type ever to be found in the Middle East.

The tusk, two-and-a-half metres long and thought to be between six and eight million years old, was discovered by Dr Mark Beech, who finished his PhD at York recently and is now senior resident archaeologist for the Abu Dhabi Islands Archaeological Survey (ADIAS).

Mark discovered the tusk in Abu Dhabi’s Western Region last October

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