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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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Science
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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Alaska's Columbia glacier has melted away, leaving a pool of water in its wake. NASA

Trump Wants to Eliminate NASA’s Climate Research Programs: These Pictures Show What a Loss That Would Be

By Jeremy Deaton

President Trump's proposed 2019 budget would slash funding for NASA's Earth Science Division, and while his budget hasn't gained traction in Congress, it is an important statement of the administration's priorities. In a nod to his allies in the fossil fuel industry, Trump is calling for the elimination of vital programs that monitor carbon pollution and climate change.

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Climate

It's Official: 2017 Was the Hottest Year Without an El Niño

The United Nations announced Thursday that 2017 was the hottest year on record without an El Niño event kicking up global annual temperatures.

Last year's average surface temperatures—driven by carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gas emissions—was 1.1 degree Celsius above pre-industrial times, putting the world on course to breach the internationally agreed "1.5°C" temperature barrier to avoid dangerous climate change set by the 2015 Paris climate agreement.

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Animation showing percent of acres burning worldwide. NASA / GSFC / SVS

New NASA Study Solves Climate Mystery, Confirms Methane Spike Tied to Oil and Gas

By Sharon Kelly

Over the past few years, natural gas has become the primary fuel that America uses to generate electricity, displacing the long-time king of fossil fuels, coal. In 2019, more than a third of America's electrical supply will come from natural gas, with coal falling to a second-ranked 28 percent, the Energy Information Administration predicted this month, marking the growing ascendency of gas in the American power market.

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Climate
The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer on NASA's Terra satellite captured this natural-color image in the afternoon on Dec. 5, 2017. NASA

Stunning NASA Image Shows Three Wildfires Burning in Southern California

NASA's Terra satellite captured an image that shows the billowing smoke from three wildfires raging in Southern California on Tuesday.

The stunning photo shows the Thomas fire in Ventura County, the largest of the ongoing blazes, as well as the smaller Creek and Rye fires in Los Angeles County.

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