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   Hidden Beach, Marieta Islands, Mexico
  A few miles off of the Mexican Coast of Puerto Vallarta lie the uninhabited Marieta Islands, It looks like something out of a fantasy novel: a wide, sandy cavern with the blue waters of the Pacific rushing in. The islands are an archipelago, a chain of land formations formed many thousands of years ago by underwater volcano eruptions. The interior limestone layer of the rock eroded over time, due to acids in rainwater from the surface seeping into fractures and dissolving it. This created a smal.....[More]
   New species of sauropod dinosaur discovered in Tanzania
  Paleontologists have identified a new species of titanosaurian dinosaur. The research is reported in a paper published this week in the Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology and is funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF). The new species is a member of the gigantic, long-necked sauropods. Its fossil remains were recovered from Cretaceous Period (70-100 million years ago) rocks in southwestern Tanzania. Titanosaur skeletons have been found worldwide, but are best known from South America. .....[More]
   Loss of Reflectivity in the Arctic Doubles Estimate of Climate Models
  NGDIR News Section-- A new analysis of the Northern Hemisphere's "albedo feedback" over a 30-year period concludes that the region's loss of reflectivity due to snow and sea ice decline is more than double what state-of-the-art climate models estimate. The findings are important, researchers say, because they suggest that Arctic warming amplified by the loss of reflectivity could be even more significant than previously thought. The study was published online this week in Nature Geoscience.....[More]
   WISE Beholds a Pair of Dancing Galaxies
  NGDIR News Section--WISE Beholds a Pair of Dancing Galaxies-- This image from NASA's Wide-Field Infrared Survey Explorer, or WISE, features two stunning galaxies engaged in an intergalactic dance. The galaxies, Messier 81 and Messier 82, swept by each other a few hundred million years ago, and will likely continue to twirl around each other multiple times before eventually merging into a single galaxy. The relatively recent encounter triggered a spectacular burst of star formation visible in bot.....[More]
   Russians Will Be First To Explore Untouched Antarctic Lake Vostok, In Hunt For Weird Life Forms
  NGDIR News Section-- An oxygen-rich lake, unreachable for the past 14 million years and buried beneath a thick sheet of ice, is about to be penetrated by a drill bit from a faraway place. It's possible that special life forms have adapted to live in this extreme environment, and scientists hope to learn more once they can analyze water samples. No, sorry, it's not on Europa - it's in Antarctica. But the environment of Lake Vostok, which Russian scientists are about to drill open, is very simi.....[More]
   Shell Chief Executive Says''Clock is Ticking@ to Mitigate Climate Change
  NGDIR News Section--.Royal Dutch Shell Plc's chief said the implementation of climate change agreements made at Cancun last month"won't happen overnight", and policymakers must take action now "because the clock is ticking." "In the short term, we should focus on areas where we can get the cheapest and quickest carbon dioxide reductions," Chief Executive Officer Peter Voser said at a renewable energy conference in Abu Dhabi today. "It will take a while for international standards to be imple.....[More]
   How Do Diamonds Form?
  NGDIR News Section-- Accoring to ScienceDaily, Contrary to what many people believe, most diamonds do not form from coal. Methods of Diamond Formation Many people believe that diamonds are formed from the metamorphism of coal. That idea continues to be the "how diamonds form" story in many science classrooms. Coal has rarely played a role in the formation of diamonds. In fact, most diamonds that have been dated are much older than Earth's first land plants - the source material of coa.....[More]
   Drought May Threaten Much of Globe Within Decades
  NGDIR News Section-- The United States and many other heavily populated countries face a growing threat of severe and prolonged drought in coming decades, according to results of a new study by National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) scientist Aiguo Dai. The detailed analysis concludes that warming temperatures associated with climate change will likely create increasingly dry conditions across much of the globe in the next 30 years. The drought may reach a scale in some regions by.....[More]
   Quake Finds Tsunami Forecasts Still Limited
  NGDIR News Section--A wider network of buoys and better computer models gave forecasters in Hawaii on Saturday a much better picture of the approaching tsunami than they would have had in the past, but they admit that their models were not refined enough to declare whether a full-scale evacuation was really needed. When a magnitude 8.8 earthquake buckled the ocean floor off Chile on Saturday, there were concerns of a repeat of the 2004 disaster in which a giant earthquake off Indonesia generat.....[More]
   How Do GPS Satellites Know Their Location?
  NGDIR News Section--Many of us have been rescued from unfamiliar territory by directions from a Global Positioning System (GPS) navigator. GPS satellites send signals to a receiver in your GPS navigator, which calculates your position based on the location of the satellites and your distance from them. The distance is determined by how long it took the signals from various satellites to reach your receiver. Where Are the Satellites? The system works well, and millions rely on it every day.....[More]
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