US rivers go to doctor for check-up

The EPA recently released an overview of water quality in streams and rivers across the country. There’s some good news, but some bad news, too. Check out the story I wrote about it here.

Has global warming slowed? That depends on whether you ask the ocean.

This recent study showed that the amount of energy accumulating in the deep ocean has increased over the last couple decades, which is likely the reason that atmospheric temperatures haven’t risen as sharply as they did in the 1990s.

NOVA – see Earth history as told by Australia’s rocks

There’s a great series playing on PBS NOVA right now (and for the next three weeks yet) that tells the story of Earth history using the geology of Australia. It’s called “Australia’s First 4 Billion years“. There’s plenty of way cool dino stuff in it, so you should check it out! I wrote a review of the series, if you want to learn a little more about it.

Dead dinos

You all know the story- a meteor killed off the dinosaurs. But there have been some questions about the specifics of that timeline. Here’s a story about figuring out some of those details- it involves the radiometric dating we just discussed.

More on acidification

Since we were just discussing ocean acidification, here’s an interesting study I covered that showed some plankton that are already feeling the effects today. There are some interesting images that let you see how their shells are dissolving.

Can CO2 affect the paths of satellites?

Since it’s so relevant to our current section in class, I recently covered an interesting study about one of the non-intuitive consequences of burning fossil fuels: it’s actually changing the structure of the upper atmosphere. Most notably, some of the satellites that orbit close to the Earth are affected, because the air is “thinner”, meaning they experience less drag. Read it here.