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Latest and Breaking Earth Science News

New study identifies organic compounds of potential concern in fracking fluids
(University of Colorado at Boulder) A new University of Colorado Boulder framework used to screen hundreds of organic chemical compounds used in hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, shows that 15 may be of concern as groundwater contaminants based on their toxicity, mobility, persistence and frequency of use.

NASA collaborates with DRS Technologies to create mid-infrared detector
(NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center) NASA scientist Xiaoli Sun and his industry partner have created the world's first photon-counting detector sensitive to the mid-infrared wavelength bands -- a spectral sweet spot for a number of remote-sensing applications, including the detection of greenhouse gases on Earth, Mars and other planetary bodies, as well as ice and frost on comets, asteroids and the moon.

Major Midwest flood risk underestimated by as much as 5 feet, study finds
(Washington University in St. Louis) As floodwaters surge along major rivers in the midwestern United States, a new study from Washington University in St. Louis suggests federal agencies are underestimating historic 100-year flood levels on these rivers by as much as five feet, a miscalculation that has serious implications for future flood risks, flood insurance and business development in an expanding floodplain.

Suomi-NPP satellite sees formation of Tropical Depression Chan-Hom
(NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center) NASA-NOAA's Suomi NPP Satellite passed over the newborn ninth tropical depression of the Northwestern Pacific Ocean typhoon season on June 30.

NASA sees new depression forms near Solomon Islands
(NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center) The Southern Pacific Ocean Tropical Cyclone Season just got an extension with the birth of a new tropical depression near the Solomon Islands.

Water: The province of provinces
(Concordia University) In a paper recently published in the International Journal of Water, civil engineering graduate Ryan Calder evaluates claims that more centralized US-style regulation of drinking water would improve outcomes for Canadians. The paper finds limited support for these claims but suggests they reflect deeply held Canadian political and cultural values.

Scientists propose new model of mysterious barrier to fusion known as the 'density limit'
(DOE/Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory) PPPL researchers have developed a detailed model of the source of a puzzling limitation on fusion reactions.

Water used for hydraulic fracturing varies widely across United States
(American Geophysical Union) The amount of water required to hydraulically fracture oil and gas wells varies widely across the country, according to the first national-scale analysis and map of hydraulic fracturing water usage detailed in a new study accepted for publication in Water Resources Research, a journal of the American Geophysical Union.

ERC Advanced Grant: University of Southern Denmark sets out to explore deep ocean trenches
(University of Southern Denmark) A team led by Professor Ronnie N. Glud from University of Southern Denmark has received an ERC Advanced Grant of 3,185,000 E to carry out a series of ambitious explorations of the deepest parts of the oceans. Previous expeditions led by Professor Glud have revealed surprisingly high levels of biological activity at nearly 11 km deep. Now the aim is to investigate how life can exist at these depths and how its activity affects the biogeochemical functioning of the oceans and the Earth.

NYU School of Engineering professor honored for contributions to mechanical vibration
(New York University Polytechnic School of Engineering) The Technical Committee on Vibration and Sound of ASME honored NYU's Maurizio Porfiri for his work in mechanical vibration.By advancing new tools in nonlinear dynamics, experimental fluid dynamics, and computational mechanics, his work contributes to the design of lightweight and resilient ships. He also advanced a new framework for extricating usable energy from small aquatic systems by exploiting vibrations and little eddies to power underwater micro-sensors.

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