Student Resource Center
Earth Happenings Archive
December 2002
Mercury In California Rainwater Traced To Industrial Emissions In Asia
( 12/20)
Industrial emissions in Asia are a major source of mercury in rainwater that falls along the California coast, according to a new study by researchers at the University of California, Santa Cruz. The mercury in rainwater is not in itself a health threat, but mercury pollution is a significant problem in San Francisco Bay and other California waters because the toxic element builds up in the food chain.

Scientists find 2,800-year-old frozen microbes in Antarctic lake
( 12/20)
In ice that has sealed a salty Antarctic lake for more than 2,800 years, scientists have found frozen bacteria and algae that returned to life after thawing. The research may help in the search for life on Mars, which is thought to have subsurface lakes of ice.

Record ice loss in Arctic
( 12/9)
According to scientists, surface melt on Greenland was the highest in recorded history - and extended to elevations previously untouched by melt - while the amount of Arctic sea ice also reached a record low.

Deepest Infrared View Of The Universe; VLT Images Progenitors Of Today's Large Galaxies
( 12/12)
An international team of astronomers has made the deepest-ever near-infrared Ks-band image of the sky, using the ISAAC multi-mode instrument on the 8.2-m VLT ANTU telescope.

Farm valley rejects Southern California water deal
( 12/11)
A deal aimed at cutting Southern California's consumption of water from the mighty Colorado River by year's end has been rejected by the last of four water districts that needed to approve it, setting the stage for a showdown with the federal government.

Irrigation May Produce Arsenic-Tainted Rice In Bangladesh
( 12/06)
The arsenic that has contaminated much of Bangladesh's drinking water supply is also getting into its rice, according to a new study. Irrigating rice fields with tainted well water could be jeopardizing the country's staple food, which provides more than 70 percent of the population's daily intake of calories.

Oil Oozes from Wreck of Sunken Prestige
( 12/10)
Thick fuel oil is oozing from holes in the sunken tanker Prestige like toothpaste from a tube, pictures taken by a French submarine revealed on Thursday, showing the wreck off Spain's coast remains an environmental hazard.

Jupiter-Like Planets Formed In Hundreds Not Millions Of Years, Study Shows
( 12/02)
An accepted assumption in astrophysics holds that it takes more than 1 million years for gas giant planets such as Jupiter and Saturn to form from the cosmic debris circling a young star. But new research suggests such planets form in a dramatically shorter period, as little as a few hundred years.

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