Earth

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Satellites that were designed to measure sea level over the world's oceans can serve a valuable purpose over land, a new study has found.

Researchers used NASA's TOPEX/Poseidon satellite and the European Space Agency's ENVISAT satellite to measure the height and extent of flooding in North America, South America, and Asia.

Three Alaska volcanoes erupted in midsummer 2008. Cleveland, Okmok and Kasatochi volcanoes, all located in Alaska's Aleutian Chain, made for a hectic 20th anniversary for the Alaska Volcano Observatory.

Scientists from AVO and the Geophysical Institute at the University of Alaska Fairbanks will share details of their research on North Pacific volcanoes, highlighting some of the recent volcanic eruptions in Alaska, at a variety of presentations at the American Geophysical Union's fall meeting in San Francisco, Dec. 15-19, 2008.

Dozens of researchers from the University of Alaska Fairbanks will be among presenters at the 2008 American Geophysical Union fall meeting in San Francisco this week. Following are synopses of several presentations:

On its opening day, the London Millennium Bridge experienced unexpected swaying due to the large number of people crossing it. A new study finally explains the Millennium Bridge 'wobble' by looking at how humans stay balanced while walking.

A map of natural hazard mortality in the United States has been produced. The map, featured in BioMed Central's open access International Journal of Health Geographics, gives a county-level representation of the likelihood of dying as the result of natural events such as floods, earthquakes or extreme weather.

(Washington, DC – December 16, 2008) The overall condition of the nation's coastal waters has improved slightly, based on a recently released environmental assessment. The National Coastal Condition Report III (NCCRIII) is the third in a series of environmental assessments of U.S. coastal and Great Lakes waters.

WASHINGTON -- For the first time, astronomers have clearly seen the effects of "dark energy" on the most massive collapsed objects in the universe using NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory. By tracking how dark energy has stifled the growth of galaxy clusters and combining this with previous studies, scientists have obtained the best clues yet about what dark energy is and what the destiny of the universe could be.

Unparalleled warming over the last few decades has triggered widespread ecosystem changes in many temperate North American and Western European lakes, say researchers at Queen's University and the Ontario Ministry of the Environment.

The team reports that striking changes are now occurring in many temperate lakes similar to those previously observed in the rapidly warming Arctic, although typically many decades later. The Arctic has long been considered a "bellwether" of what will eventually happen with warmer conditions farther south.

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Climate change could provide the warmer weather pests prefer, leading to an increase in populations that feed on corn and other crops, according to a new study.

Warmer growing season temperatures and milder winters could allow some of these insects to expand their territory and produce an extra generation of offspring each year, said Noah Diffenbaugh, the Purdue University associate professor of earth and atmospheric sciences who led the study.

Three major global climate-change projections scaled down to Oregon's Rogue River Basin point to hotter, drier summers with increasing wildfire risk, reduced snowpack and rainier, stormy winters, according to a report coordinated by the University of Oregon's Climate Leadership Initiative and the National Center for Conservation Science & Policy.