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A second, slightly less rectangular iceberg was seen during an Operation IceBridge flight over the northern Antarctic Peninsula on Oct. 16, 2018. NASA / Jeremy Harbeck

NASA Flew Over Not One But Two Rectangular Icebergs

Last week, NASA tweeted a photo of a perfectly natural and rectangular iceberg spotted during a flyover of the northern Antarctic Peninsula.

The unusual image blew up online and now NASA is back with more photos of weirdly angular icebergs from the same Operation IceBridge trip.

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Climate
Last month's temperatures across land and sea tied with 2017 as the fourth highest for September in the 1880-2018 record. NOAA

2018 Likely to Rank as Fourth-Hottest Year on Record

After a summer of record-breaking heatwaves and devastating wildfires, 2018 is shaping up to be one of the planet's hottest years in recorded history.

From January through September, the average global temperature was 1.39°F above the 20th century average of 57.5°F, making it the fourth warmest year-to-date on record, and only 0.43°F lower than the record-high set in 2016 for the same period, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration ( NOAA) announced Wednesday. NOAA's global temperature dataset record dates back to 1880.

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The ICESat-2 will point lasers at Earth's ice sheets. NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center Conceptual Image Lab

NASA's New Space Laser to Measure Earth's Changing Ice

NASA will soon activate the "most advanced laser instrument of its kind" to study Earth's changing polar ice.

The incredibly precise Advanced Topographic Laser Altimeter System (ATLAS) is the main feature of the Ice, Cloud and land Elevation Satellite-2 (ICESat-2) that successfully launched into space from the Vandenberg Air Force Base in California on Sept. 15.

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Climate

NASA Climate Scientist Warned Us About Warming 30 Years Ago

Climate science marks a troubling anniversary this week: in June of 1988, NASA scientist James Hansen told Congress that global warming had already begun to affect the world and would only get worse.

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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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Trump Kills NASA Carbon Monitoring Program as CO2 Levels Soar Past 'Troubling' 410 ppm Threshold

By Jessica Corbett

As the Trump administration charges forward with its war on science by canceling a "crucial" carbon monitoring system at NASA, scientists and climate experts are sounding alarms over atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide (CO2) that just surpassed a "troubling" threshold for the first time in human history.

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Goddard Media Studios / NASA

Slow Motion Ocean: Why Are North Atlantic Currents Weakening?

By Alex Kirby

The Gulf Stream is slowing, the North Atlantic is cooling. An international scientific study has found new and harder evidence that one of the planet's key heat pumps, the currents which exchange warmth between the tropics and the Arctic, are weaker today than at any time in the last thousand years.

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Imagined view from Kepler-10b, a planet that orbits one of the 150,000 stars that the Kepler spacecraft is monitoring. NASA / Kepler Mission / Dana Berry

Goodbye Kepler, Hello TESS: Passing the Baton in Search of Distant Planets

For centuries, human beings have wondered about the possibility of other Earths orbiting distant stars. Perhaps some of these alien worlds would harbor strange forms of life or have unique and telling histories or futures. But it was only in 1995 that astronomers spotted the first planets orbiting sunlike stars outside of our solar system.

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Climate
Dust storms in the Gulf of Alaska, captured by NASA's Aqua satellite. NASA

Half of Earth’s Satellites Restrict Use of Climate Data

By Mariel Borowitz

Scientists and policymakers need satellite data to understand and address climate change. Yet data from more than half of unclassified Earth-observing satellites is restricted in some way, rather than shared openly.

When governments restrict who can access data, or limit how people can use or redistribute it, that slows the progress of science. Now, as U.S. climate funding is under threat, it's more important than ever to ensure that researchers and others make the most of the collected data.

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