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AGU Research Spotlight (Jul 16-Jul 20, 2016)

2016-07-22 10:53:24

I. Atmospheric Sciences

1.Scientists Find Dead Lightning Branches That Come Back to Life

The detached bursts of brilliance might explain why the lowest point of a lightning bolt will sometimes suddenly brighten by up to 50% and double its speed as it hurtles to Earth.

2.Evaluating the Impact of Maryland's Healthy Air Act

Reducing emissions of short-lived gaseous sulfur pollutants from power plants had an immediate, local benefit, but controlling longer-lasting harmful particulate matter will require regional action.

II. Geology & Geophysics

1. Chaupi Orko Glaciers, Bolivia Extensive Recession

Chaupi Orko is a 6044 m Andean peak in the Cordillera Apolobamba on the Peru-Bolivia border with glaciers radiating from it summit. Here we examine a pair of glaciers on the southern side of the mountain that drain into Laguna Suches, which is split by the Bolivia-Peru border. Laguna Suches is most known for placer gold mining. Glaciers in Bolivia have been experiencing substantial retreat during the last 40 years, such as at Nevada Cololo. The glaciers of the Apolobamba have lost 48% of their area from 1975-2006 (Hoffmann, 2012). Hoffmann and Weggenmann (2012) observed both the extensive retreat, new lake formation, and the potential problem of glacier lake outbursts in this region, which is part of the Apolobamba Integrated Natural Management Area. In a continuation of these studies an excellent study in review by Cook et al (2016) indicates a 43% decline in glacier area in the Cordillera Apolobamba from1986 to 2014. They identified a total of 25 lakes with some risk of GLOF, though historic occurrences to date in the area are few. They further found an decrease in proglacial lakes in contact with glaciers during this period. The glaciers here are summer accumulation type with the ablation occurring during the dry season from May-October.

2. Surveying Alaskan Minerals from Afar

By using hyperspectral imaging, researchers test their ability to find copper in remote areas.

III. Ocean Sciences

1. Midlatitude Marine Heatwaves: Forcing and Impacts

Persistent, midlatitude marine heatwaves (MHWs), such as the 2013-2014 extreme warming of the Northeastern Pacific (aka “the Blob”), can have dramatic and widespread impacts on ecosystems, fisheries and weather. MHWs have been observed in both hemispheres (e.g., the Ningaloo Ni?o in Western Australia), including in semi-enclosed basins such as the Mediterranean Sea. MHWs can be caused by a combination of atmospheric and oceanographic processes. It is also expected that they will become more frequent and intense under anthropogenic climate change. This Special Collection welcomes papers investigating the causes, evolution, and impacts of persistent midlatitude MHWs.

2. Global Risks and Research Priorities for Coastal Subsidence

Some of the world's largest cities are sinking faster than the oceans are rising. Humans are part of the problem, but we can also be part of the solution through monitoring and modeling.

3. The Dance of Surface Waves and Ocean Circulation

One mathematical model best describes the complex interplay between an ocean's surface waves and its underlying circulation.

IV. Climate Change

1. Climate Warming May Have Helped Kill the Dinosaurs

New evidence indicates ancient warming spells that coincided with prodigious volcanism and a powerful meteorite impact, both seen as possible causes of mass extinctions about 66 million years ago.

V. Planetary Sciences

1. New-Found Dwarf Planet Points to Solar System's Chaotic Past

Astronomers have discovered an icy ball in the dark and frigid regions of the outer solar system, which they suspect harbors secrets to the solar system's formation and evolution.

VI.Earth and Space Science

1. Large-scale reforestation could lead to slight reduction in global warming

Planting new forests could contribute more to the mitigation of climate change than previously thought, according to a new study inGeophysical Research Letters, a journal of the American Geophysical Union.

2. Characterizing Climate Fluctuations over Wide-Scale Ranges

The atmosphere is highly variable—more than 20 orders of magnitude in time and 10 in space: billions of years to milliseconds and tens of thousands of kilometers to millimeters.

3. Drought caused the Amazon to stop storing carbon

The most extensive land-based study of the effect of drought on Amazonian rainforests to date has shown that a recent drought completely shut down the Amazon Basin’s carbon sink.

VII. Geophysical Research Letters

1. Charting Ice Sheet Contributions to Global Sea Level Rise

An international team produced an integrated assessment of polar ice mass losses in 2012. Now efforts to provide an up-to-date assessment are under way, with an open invitation for participation.

VIII.AUG Newsroom

1. Submit your abstracts now to give a 5-minute pop-up talk

Pop-up sessions are exciting sessions organized entirely by students and early career scientists. The goal is for students and early career scientists to give a five-minute “pop-up” talk about how their research impacts society, their vision of the future of geophysics, or their experience as a student of a particular continent, country, race, gender, etc. Learn about the sessions and submit your abstract below.

Pop-Up Abstracts Submission Open: 15 June 2016

Pop-Up Abstracts Submission Deadline: 3 August 2016


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