Noelle Swan

Science news

Courtesy of Poul Christoffersen

Courtesy of Poul Christoffersen

Will Greenland’s ice sheet slide into the sea?

September 30, 2014 – New models developed by researchers at the University of Cambridge suggests that portions of Greenland’s ice sheet that sit atop soft ground could be more susceptible to global warming than areas atop hard rock.

Courtesy of Daniel S. Adler

Courtesy of Daniel S. Adler

Precision toolmaking arrived independently in Eurasia and Africa, say scientists

September 26, 2014 – Artifacts uncovered at a 325,000-year-old archeological site in Armenia suggest that, contrary to what scientists previously thought, Homo sapiens were not the first to develop precision tools.



So what is a supermassive black hole anyway?

September 19, 2014 – Astronomers say they have discovered a supermassive black hole within one of the smallest known dwarf galaxies.

Why are chimps violent? Is it our fault?

September 18, 2014 – A analysis of five decades of research on chimpanzees and their apparently more peaceful cousins, bonobos, finds that habitat destruction by humans is not to blame for chimp violence.

What will NASA’s $6.8 billion space taxi contracts really buy?

September 17, 2014 – The Boeing Company and Space Exploration Technologies Corp. will soon be ferrying NASA astronauts to the International Space Station. The private contractors will lend the space agency much more than a lift.

Hawaii, which rarely gets hurricanes, now faces two back-to-back (+video)

August 6, 2014 – Hawaii is bracing for hurricanes Iselle and Julio, which could hit within two days of each other – a potentially unprecedented event for a state that doesn’t get many hurricanes.

Natural Trap Cave: prehistoric lions, dire wolves, and bears, oh my!

July 24, 2014 – Renewed excavation of Wyoming’s Natural Trap Cave promises to be a boon for scientists, armed with a capability for ancient DNA sequencing not available in 1984, the last time the cave was open to exploration.

Earthquake map: 42 states stand ‘reasonable chance’ of temblors (+video)

July 18, 2014 – US Geological Survey updates its earthquake risk map, which heightens the risk for one-third of the US and lowers it for about one-tenth. The surprise is how pervasive relative risk is throughout the United States.

How to boost food production but not emissions? Researchers identify key ways.

July 18, 2014 – The international agricultural system already produces a hefty share of the world’s greenhouse gases, making expansion of food production a delicate balancing act. But it might not be as hard as it seems, researchers say.

Google’s latest project: mapping small gas leaks in US cities

July 16, 2014 – In a joint project, Google Street View cars sniffed out minor gas leaks in Boston, Staten Island, and Indianapolis. While the leaks don’t represent a safety threat, they add up to a large volume of greenhouse gas emissions.

Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370: US Navy deploys deep sea drone to aid search

March 29, 2014 – The US Navy is deploying advanced deep-sea search technology, including anti-submarine aircraft, floating black box locators, and a robot submarine, to look for the missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370.

The Web’s new viral star

March 4, 2014 – Millions of viewers are tuning in for science-related YouTube videos like one that gives a tour of the Large Hadron Super Collider and clips of little-seen giant sea creatures.

Not just honeybees: Affliction may be spreading to bumblebees, scientists say

February 20, 2014 – The mysterious ailment that is decimating the world honeybee population seems to be transferring to bumblebees, which also play an important role in pollinating crops.

Earthquakes: Why ground under Los Angeles could make big one even bigger

January 23, 2014 – Using a new technique to monitor a ‘virtual earthquake,’ seismologists tracked ambient noise traveling through the ground and found that the sediment under Los Angeles would amplify the shock waves.


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