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Africa's ups and downs

08 August 2013

The East African Rift is an area where two tectonic plates are moving apart, making it a region of high geological activity, home to a number of volcanoes.

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Earth is breathing deeper

08 August 2013

Levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere rise and fall annually as plants take up the gas in spring and summer and release it in fall and winter through photosynthesis and respiration. Now the range of that cycle is growing as more CO2 is emitted from the burning of fossil fuels and other human activities, according to a study published in Science by Scripps Institution of Oceanography, UC San Diego, with CIRES and NOAA co-authors.

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NASA's Firestation on way to the International Space Station

05 August 2013

An experiment to study the effects of lightning flashes on Earth's atmosphere hitched a ride to the International Space Station on 3 August 2013. The Firestation experiment launched aboard a Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency's transfer vehicle called Kounotori-4. Firestation will be installed robotically to the outside of the space station, a process that will take about three weeks.

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Aerial pictures reveal climate change

01 August 2013

As a result of climate change, certain undesirable aquatic plants are starting to invade German water bodies. Even popular recreation areas like Lake Starnberg have been affected, leading to a growing need to monitor the spread of these plants. Up to now, regular monitoring has proven to be a costly process. But in a new approach, researchers at Technische Universitat Munchen (TUM) have developed a quicker and less expensive method.

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Using satellite observations of clouds to improve weather forecasts

30 July 2013

Clouds play a crucial role in regulating the Earth's weather and climate. They adjust the amount of solar radiation that reaches the Earth's surface and affect the surface temperature and moisture. The processes involved in cloud formation also influence large-scale atmospheric circulation and can lead to rapid storm intensification. To accurately forecast the evolving state of the atmosphere, it is important that meteorologists are able to realistically simulate cloud information in weather prediction models.

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An unrecognisable Arctic

25 July 2013

In early May 2013, sensors atop a research facility perched on Hawaiian volcano Mauna Loa recorded a sobering statistic. The average daily level of carbon dioxide in the air had reached a concentration above 400 parts per million-a level that hasn't been seen since around 3 to 5 million years ago, well before humans roamed the Earth.

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