Earth & Environment

Supervolcano Forensics: unravelling the mysteries of the Earth’s biggest natural catastrophe

To many, if not most, the word ‘forensics’ invokes images of the very small – DNA, fingerprints, etc., – but for Professor Shanaka de Silva and his colleagues at the College of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Sciences, Oregon State University, ‘forensics’ is being used to investigate something altogether bigger. The team is using a multidisciplinary approach to reveal the secrets […]

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Earth & Environment

The Sun’s crowning glory: observing the corona

How do you observe a faint light next to a very bright one? Put simply, with great difficulty. Our knowledge of the outer atmosphere of the Sun – called its corona – is still fairly limited, due to difficulties observing this part of the Sun. Fortunately, solar eclipses (where the Moon and Sun perfectly overlap ‘in syzygy’) provide scientists, such […]

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Earth & Environment

One ocean, many minds: collaborative science in the Arctic

The Arctic Ocean is undergoing a period of significant change. In collaboration with an international, multidisciplinary team of scientists, Professor Igor Polyakov from the University of Alaska Fairbanks is the lead scientist of an observational programme monitoring climatic changes in the Arctic Ocean. The data he and his team have collected is proving instrumental in understanding the on-going and fundamental […]

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Earth & Environment

Extinct giants, a new wolf and the key to understanding climate change

After its last excavation in the 1970s, a group of palaeontologists, genetics experts and cavers led by vertebrate palaeontologist and mammalian carnivore specialist Dr Julie Meachen of Des Moines University, have re-opened excavations at Natural Trap Cave (NTC) in North America. During this project, Dr Meachen hopes to uncover the secrets of the mass extinction of the last ice age […]

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