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Latest and Breaking Atmospheric Science News

Alaska fish adjust to climate change by following the food
(NOAA Fisheries West Coast Region) Not all species may suffer from climate change. A new analysis shows that Dolly Varden, a species of char common in southeast Alaska, adjust their migrations so they can keep feasting on a key food source -- salmon eggs -- even as shifts in climate altered the timing of salmon spawning.

NASA balloons begin flying in Antarctica for 2014 campaign
(NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center) NASA's 2014-2015 Antarctic Scientific Balloon Campaign took to the skies Wednesday, Dec. 17, with the successful launch of the Antarctic Impulsive Transient Antenna from the Long Duration Balloon facility outside of McMurdo Station, Antarctica.

Yellowstone's thermal springs -- their colors unveiled
(The Optical Society) Researchers at Montana State University and Brandenburg University of Applied Sciences in Germany have created a simple mathematical model based on optical measurements that explains the stunning colors of Yellowstone National Park's hot springs and can visually recreate how they appeared years ago, before decades of tourists contaminated the pools with make-a-wish coins and other detritus. The model, and stunning pictures of the springs, appear today in the journal Applied Optics.

Funding ended for University of California High-Performance AstroComputing Center
(University of California High-Performance AstroComputing Center) Funding has not been renewed for the five-year-old University of California High-Performance AstroComputing Center (UC-HiPACC). UC-HiPACC fostered collaborations of astrophysicists across the UC system and three DOE labs, including attracting students and funding. 'Its loss is devastating,' says director Joel Primack. Alternative funding is now being sought. A No-Cost Extension to the grant through March 31, 2015, will support limited operations: the pioneering AGORA research effort, preparation of a five-year report, and crafting of proposals.

Microplastics in the ocean: Biologists study effects on marine animals
(Alfred Wegener Institute, Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research) Ingestion of microplastic particles does not mechanically affect marine isopods. This was the result of a study by biologists at the North Sea Office of the Alfred Wegener Institute, Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research that was published recently in the journal Environmental Science and Technology. The study marks the launch of a series of investigations aimed at forming a risk matrix on the sensitivity of different marine species to microplastic pollution.

New challenges for ocean acidification research
(Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel (GEOMAR)) To continue its striking development, ocean acidification research needs to bridge between its diverging branches towards an integrated assessment. This is the conclusion drawn by Professor Ulf Riebesell from the Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel and Dr. Jean-Pierre Gattuso from the French Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique and Universite Pierre et Marie Curie. In a commentary in the journal Nature Climate Change, the two internationally renowned experts reflect on the lessons learned from ocean acidification research and highlight future challenges.

AGU talk: Scaling climate change communication for behavior change
(Stanford University) Stanford University researchers have developed two curricula for Girl Scouts to use energy more efficiently: one on energy use at home, and the other in transportation and food. Both courses were effective for girls in the short term, and the home energy course was effective for girls in the long term and for parents in the short term. This AGU talk will describe deployment of the curricula to Girl Scout troop leaders via a massive open online course.

NOAA establishes 'tipping points' for sea level rise related flooding
(NOAA Headquarters) By 2050, a majority of US coastal areas are likely to be threatened by 30 or more days of flooding each year due to dramatically accelerating impacts from sea level rise, according to a new NOAA study, published today in the American Geophysical Union's online peer-reviewed journal Earth's Future.

NASA's IMAGE and Cluster missions reveal origin of theta auroras
(NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center) Auroras are the most visible manifestation of the sun's effect on Earth, but many aspects of these spectacular displays are still poorly understood. Thanks to the joint European Space Agency and NASA's Cluster mission combined with data from a past NASA mission called the Imager for Magnetopause-to-Aurora Global Exploration, or IMAGE, a particular type of very high-latitude aurora has now been explained.

NASA/USGS satellite sees green-up along Colorado River's Delta after experimental flow
(NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center) A pulse of water released down the lower reaches of the Colorado River last spring resulted in more than a 40 percent increase in green vegetation where the water flowed, as seen by the Landsat 8 satellite.

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