Antarctica 2010: Arrival in Christchurch

Antarctica 2010: Arrival in Christchurch

Posted on behalf of Chaz Firestone Greetings from Christchurch, the “garden city” of New Zealand, home to the United States Antarctic Program’s nearest base to the Antarctic ice sheet. Along with six other journalists, I will be escorted around Antarctica from 5-12 January by the US National Science Foundation, to report on the goings-on of the Seventh Continent. After today’s fitting for extreme cold weather gear, the week-long trip will take us to McMurdo Station (Antarctica’s largest community, at about 5,000 2,000 [Editor’s note: see comment below] researchers and staff), the Amundsen-Scott South Pole Research Station, the windswept West Antarctica  … Read more

Antarctica 2010: Dispatches from The Ice

From the editors: Chaz Firestone, a student at Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island, will be in Antarctica in early January 2010 on a media trip sponsored by the US National Science Foundation. Check back regularly here for his dispatches for Nature from The Ice, where he has a jam-packed schedule touring some of the continent’s top US science facilities.  Read more

AGU: Deep-sea volcano caught on tape

Footage of an eruption nearly 1,200 metres under the sea was unveiled this week at the AGU meeting. The 50-plus hours of high-definition film, complete with background sound, represent one of the first times that lava has been caught flowing on the deep sea floor. Read the full story here.  Read more

AGU: Don’t forget to check out Climate Feedback

I’d be remiss in not mentioning that my freelance colleague Harvey Leifert is blogging climate topics from AGU for our sister site Nature Reports Climate Change, here. And don’t miss their coverage of the Copenhagen negotiations; the site’s editor Olive Heffernan is there, as is my Nature colleague Jeff Tollefson.  Read more

AGU: Arctic vegetation changes amplify warming

Chalk up another piece of dire news for the Arctic in a globally warmed future. Researchers have identified a previously unknown climate feedback effect suggesting that, as vegetation creeps northward, it will accelerate warming trends already in place.  Read more

AGU: California droughtin’

AGU: California droughtin'

The GRACE gravity-hunting satellites have nailed another significant observation: Groundwater levels in California’s agriculturally rich Central Valley have dropped dramatically since 2003. GRACE is a pair of satellites that zoom constantly around Earth, the distance between them varying a tiny bit as underlying gravity – say, a big mountain range – tugs the leading satellite ahead ever so slightly. The mission, a joint effort of NASA and the German Aerospace Center, has made fundamental discoveries about how quickly the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets are losing mass, and about groundwater depletion in regions such as India. At the AGU meeting  … Read more