Archive by category | American Geophysical Union

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

AGU: Geoengineering costs

How much would it cost to dim the sun a little with a dusty layer of aerosol particles in the stratosphere? The service comes for free if you can find an obliging volcano, like Mount Pinatubo, but they can hardly be relied on in the long term. Some schemes for doing it to order, though, could be pretty cheap, according to an analysis by Alan Robock and colleagues at Rutgers.  Read more