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Category Archives: Earth sciences

Diamonds and other treasures found in Sutter’s Mill meteorite

By Kat Kerlin Researchers digging deeper into the origins of the Sutter’s Mill meteorite, which exploded over California’s Gold Country in 2012, have found diamonds and other “treasures” that provide important new insight into the early days of our solar …
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Icelandic volcano sits on massive magma hot spot

By Kat Kerlin Spectacular eruptions at Bárðarbunga volcano in central Iceland have been spewing lava continuously since Aug. 31. Massive amounts of erupting lava are connected to the destruction of supercontinents and dramatic changes in climate and ecosystems. New research …
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Making oxygen before life

About one-fifth of the Earth’s atmosphere is oxygen, pumped out by green plants as a result of photosynthesis and used by most living things on the planet to keep our metabolisms running. But before the first photosynthesizing organisms appeared about …
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Reproducing deep-Earth chemistry

A new pressure cell invented by UC Davis researchers makes it possible to simulate chemical reactions deep in the Earth’s crust. The cell allows researchers to perform nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) measurements on as little as 10 microliters of liquid …
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Rising carbon dioxide, less nutritious food?

This week’s report that the Antarctic ice sheets are in irreversible retreat grabbed headlines, but another report last week warned that rising carbon dioxide levels threaten the quality of the world’s food supply, as well. Increased malnutrition and loss of …
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Policy makers, scientists agree: Water to dominate natural resource issues

A survey of scientists and policy makers identifies water supply as the most pressing environmental issue facing the U.S.. The results, published Feb. 5 in the journal BioScience, come as California suffers its worst drought in nearly half a century. …
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Chemistry Nobel for molecular dynamics

Completing this year’s science Nobels, the prize for chemistry goes to Martin Karplus, University of Strasbourg and Harvard University; Michael Levitt, Stanford University; and Arieh Warshel, University of Southern California, “for the development of multiscale models for complex chemical systems.” …
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Rover’s first sample of Martian soil comes up wet

Contributed by Kat Kerlin The Mars Rover Curiosity is all grown up and eating solids. The first solid sample ingested and analyzed by the rover revealed a high percentage of water in the soil. Water molecules bound to fine-grained soil …
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Center to clear the air on aerosols’ climate change impact

In some ways, aerosols are the new CO2. Carbon dioxide has earned enormous attention from scientists and the general public regarding its role in climate change. But aerosols – those tiny particles found in clouds, haze, dust, smog, smoke and …
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Act now to avoid irreversible climate tipping point, scientists urge

By Kat Kerlin Five UC Davis faculty members joined more than 500 top global change scientists in signing a statement that outlines the key environmental issues – from climate change to pollution and population growth — policymakers must address to …
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