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Latest and Breaking Atmospheric Science News

Study offers new insights on hurricane intensity, pollution transport
(University of Miami Rosenstiel School of Marine & Atmospheric Science) As tropical storm Isaac was gaining momentum toward the Mississippi River in August 2012, University of Miami researchers were dropping instruments from the sky above to study the ocean conditions beneath the storm. The newly published study showed how a downwelling of warm waters deepened the storm's fuel tank for a rapid intensification toward hurricane status. The results also revealed how hurricane-generated currents and ocean eddies can transport oil and other pollutants to coastal regions.

Birds, bugs and blanket bogs -- Scientists warn an entire eco-system is under threat
(University of York) Several rare upland bird species are being put at risk together with other ecosystem functions by the effects of climate change on the UK's blanket bogs, ecologists at the University of York have discovered.

Agrarian settlements drive severe tropical deforestation across the Amazon
(University of East Anglia) Resettlement projects in the Amazon are driving severe tropical deforestation -- according to new research from the University of East Anglia. Widely hailed as a socially responsible and 'innocuous' strategy of land redistribution, agrarian reform settlements have been created throughout the Brazilian Amazon since the early 1970s at an unprecedented scale. But a PLOS ONE study reveals that these farmer resettlement projects are far from environmentally friendly or socio-economically beneficial.

Butterflies heat up the field of solar research
(University of Exeter) The humble butterfly could hold the key to unlocking new techniques to make solar energy cheaper and more efficient, pioneering new research has shown.

California 'rain debt' equal to average full year of precipitation
(NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center) A new NASA study has concluded California accumulated a debt of about 20 inches of precipitation between 2012 and 2015 -- the average amount expected to fall in the state in a single year. The deficit was driven primarily by a lack of air currents moving inland from the Pacific Ocean that are rich in water vapor.

Research spotlights a previously unknown microbial 'drama' playing in the Southern Ocean
(National Science Foundation) A team of marine researchers funded by the National Science Foundation has discovered a three-way conflict raging at the microscopic level in the frigid waters off Antarctica over natural resources such as vitamins and iron.

Piecing together the Pangea puzzle
(Geological Society of America) Two hundred and fifty million years ago, all the major continents were joined together, forming a continent called Pangea (which means 'all land' in Greek). The plate thickness of continents can now be measured using seismology, and it is surprisingly variable, from about 90 km beneath places like California or Western Europe, to more than 200 km beneath the older interiors of the US, Eastern Europe, and Russia.

Argonne National Lab finds butanol is good for boats
(DOE/Argonne National Laboratory) Argonne has collaborated with Bombardier Recreational Products and the National Marine Manufacturers Association to demonstrate the effectiveness of a fuel blend with 16 percent butane. This blend would incorporate more biofuels into marine fuel without the issues caused by increasing levels of ethanol, which can cause difficulties in marine engines at high concentrations.

Research explores future energy security of China
(University of East Anglia) China needs to reduce its dependence on coal and improve the range of fuels it uses if it is to have long term energy security, according to new research from the University of East Anglia.

New study narrows the gap between climate models and reality
(University of York) A new study led by a University of York scientist addresses an important question in climate science: how accurate are climate model projections?

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