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Politics
Dr. Piers Sellers discussed Earth science with actor and environmental activist Leonardo DiCaprio at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in April 2016. NASA Goddard Space Flight Center / CC BY 2.0

White House Considered Ignoring Climate Science, Internal Memo Reveals

The Trump administration debated whether it should attack or simply ignore federal research on climate change, the Washington Post reported Wednesday.

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Climate
The Aral Sea, seen in a NASA satellite image, in 2000 on the left versus 2017 on the right. Modis / Terra / NASA

NASA Study of Increasingly Dire Global Water Shortages Finds 'Clear Human Fingerprints'

By Julia Conley

With a first-of-its-kind satellite study, NASA scientists have identified more than 30 parts of the globe where the depletion of freshwater has been most dramatic, largely due to human activity and the climate crisis.

Parts of India, the Middle East, Australia, the Arctic, Antarctica, and California were among the places pointed out in the new study, published in Nature on Wednesday, as areas where an overuse of groundwater resources from irrigation, agricultural, and industry projects, as well as the loss of glaciers and ice sheets, have led to water shortages.

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Animals
Weddell seals. U.S. Geological Survey

Antarctic Seals Help Scientists Track Melting Ice Sheet

Scientists studying the warming waters and salinity of the Southern Ocean's Amundsen Sea—which surrounds the Thwaites and Pine Island glaciers, two of the largest and fastest-retreating glaciers in Antarctica—are using a novel method collect data.

They temporarily glued sensors onto the fur of Antarctic seals. Really.

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Adventure
Brent McGregor

Meet the Adventurers Who Brave Glacial Caves in the Name of Science

By Megan Hill

Eddy Cartaya and Brent McGregor have unearthed what might as well be another planet. It exists in the backyard of 6 million people, in areas frequented by scores of national park tourists each year.

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Climate

Satellite Reveals Troubling Retreat of Patagonian Glaciers

Researchers with the European Space Agency (ESA) have mapped in stunning detail the extensive retreat of South America's Patagonian ice fields, where some glaciers are melting at the highest rates on Earth and contribute to global sea level rise.

In a report this week, ESA revealed that between the years 2011 and 2017, Patagonia's ice fields receded at a rate of more than 21 gigatonnes (Gt)—21 billion metric tons—a year, the equivalent to adding 0.06 millimeters to global sea level.

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Study Reveals Dangerous Antarctic Feedback Loop

A new study of the melting patterns of glaciers in Antarctica provides real-world evidence for one of the more troubling model-based climate change predictions, The Washington Post reported Monday.

The study, published April 18 in Science Advances, found that fresh water melting off of glaciers in some regions of Antarctica caused a layer of cold, fresh water to float above warmer, saltier water, both slowing ocean circulation and melting lower parts of the ice sheets.

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Climate
Climber on Mt. Hunter, Alaska. Wikimedia Commons

Alaskan Glaciers Have Not Melted This Fast in at Least Four Centuries

Rising temperatures are causing glaciers in Alaska's Denali National Park to melt faster than at any time in the past 400 years, according to new research.

The study was published in the Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres, a journal of the American Geophysical Union in March. The Earth science organization released details about the research Tuesday.

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Fourpeaked volcano, Alaska, in September 2006 after being thought extinct for more than 10,000 years. Cyrus Read, USGS

Climate Change Could Set Off Volcanoes

We can add volcanic eruptions to the list of potential climate change hazards.

In a presentation at the European Geosciences Union General Assembly held from April 8 to 13, University of Clermont Auvergne Ph.D. student Gioachino Roberti explained research indicating that melting glaciers could trigger eruptions, the Independent reported Wednesday.

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Climate
Wikimedia Commons

Antarctica Lost a London-Sized Area of Underwater Ice in Only 6 Years

Antarctica's ice sheet is retreating due to warm ocean water circulating beneath its floating edge, researchers from the UK Centre for Polar Observation and Modelling at the University of Leeds have found.

The study, published in Nature Geoscience, shows that the Southern Ocean melted 1,463 square kilometers of Antarctica's underwater ice between 2010 and 2016—an area roughly the size of Greater London.

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