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All life on Earth survives because of the sun. Plants use a process called photosynthesis to transfer energy from the Sun’s rays into the sugars that build their stems and leaves. Animals either eat the plants directly, or eat other animals that have eaten plants. Countless other organisms, like bacteria, algae, and…

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A new international study casts doubt on the leading theory of what causes ice ages around the world — changes in the way the Earth orbits the sun. The researchers found that glacier movement in the Southern Hemisphere is influenced primarily by sea surface temperature and atmospheric carbon dioxide rather than…

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For more than 250 million years, four-limbed land animals known as tetrapods have repeatedly conquered the Earth’s oceans. These creatures–such as plesiosaurs, penguins and sea turtles–descended from separate groups of terrestrial vertebrates that convergently evolved to thrive in aquatic…

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Surface meltwater regularly travels to the bottom of the Greenland Ice Sheet and lubricates the flow of the ice into the ocean, but new research indicates that future increasing volumes of this meltwater are unlikely to speed the flow of the ice sheet. How is the Greenland Ice Sheet like an oil drill site?  They both…

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Plumes seen reaching high above the surface of Mars are causing a stir among scientists studying the atmosphere on the Red Planet On two separate occasions in March and April 2012, amateur astronomers reported definite plume-like features developing on the planet. The plumes were seen rising to altitudes of over 250 km…

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Disagreements in how we use words can cause major confusion. Sometimes, someone uses the word “far” to mean 50 miles, and other times people use the word far to mean “the tv remote is too far” when it’s a mere 3 ft away. This can lead to lots of issues between people no matter their trade. This happens…

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For several decades scientists have been interested in the ability of psychrophilic (cold- loving) microbial communities to degrade the various components of crude oil, which is a process known as bioremediation. Because temperature has a direct impact on enzyme activity there is a concern that, at very low…

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Human-caused climate change, ocean acidification and species extinctions may eventually threaten the collapse of civilization, according to some scientists, while other people argue that for political or economic reasons we should allow industrial development to continue without restrictions. In a new paper, two…