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Earth Happenings Archive
December, 1996
New studies cast doubt on Martian life theory (CNN 12/22/96)
"Independent tests have cast doubt over earlier studies that detected possible signs of past life on a Martian meteorite. A new study indicated that some of the signs taken to indicate possible life could have come from contaminates on the Antarctic ice."
Dams And Rivers: Scientists Take A New Look Downstream (Science Daily 12/20/96)
" Dams provide many benefits -- reducing flood hazards, providing reliable water supplies, producing hydroelectric power, and providing places for flatwater boating -- but with those benefits come environmental consequences -- eroding river banks, changes in waterfowl habitat, concerns for safe recreational use, and the loss of river sand bars, according to a new report by the U.S. Geological Survey."
A tale of two beaches (CNN 12/18/96)
"Two beach communities north of Miami are battling each other -- and the Army Corps of Engineers -- over a plan to dredge sand from the ocean bottom and use it to restore huge hunks of Sunny Isles beach eroded by relentless winds and waves. But residents of neighboring Golden Beach say the project will destroy coral reefs off their own shore -- and that those reefs protect Golden Beach from erosion."
Microquakes May Hint at the Big Ones (Science Now 12/18/96)
"Swarms of barely perceptible tremors could provide the best glimpse yet into deformations in the Earth's deep crust--the root cause of earthquakes--two seismologists announced this week. They have found that these microearthquakes sometimes travel in waves and suggest that the waves could eventually provide a warning signal of larger quakes to come."
Jupiter moon might have lots of oxygen (CNN 12/17/96)
"Two scientists who detected hydrogen coming off Jupiter's frozen moon Ganymede think there could be a great deal of oxygen hovering over its surface or locked in its ice -- perhaps as much as is on Earth."
Arctic Tundra Leaking Greenhouse Gases (Science Now 12/19/96)
Arctic tundra exacerbating global warning through carbon leaks (Nando Times 12/17/96)
"Carbon gases that contribute to global warming are leaking out of the arctic tundra and into the Earth's atmosphere more than ever before. The increase in carbon gases leaving the tundra could exacerbate global warming because, as global temperatures increase, more of the carbon now frozen in the tundra will leak into the atmosphere."
Earth's core is a planet within the planet (Nando Times 12/17/96)
"A recent breakthrough is that the inner core appears to be virtually a planet within a planet, turning more quickly than the outer Earth. Now, scientists are extending that discovery to suggest even faster rates of inner rotation and to zero in on what drives the independent spin." (Articles 1 and 2 in Science Magazine.)
Meteorite blasts 165-foot-wide crater in Honduras (CNN 12/16/96)
"A meteorite slammed into a sparsely populated area of Honduras last month, terrifying residents and leaving a 165-foot-wide crater, scientists confirmed Sunday."
Nation's first state-run quake insurance program launched in California (Nando Times 12/16/96)
"The insurance companies that fled the state after quakes damaged San Francisco in 1989 and Los Angeles in 1994 are taking tentative steps back, agreeing to participate in the California Earthquake Authority, a government-run pool that spreads the risk among all who participate."
King of Dinosaur Skulls (Science Now 12/13/96)
"Paleontologists have unearthed in Madagascar one of the most complete dinosaur skulls ever found. The discovery sheds new light on a little-known dinosaur called Majungasaurus, which lived on the island off Africa's southeast coast about 75 million years ago."
It looks like a planet, it sounds like a planet... (CNN 12/13/96)
"Scientists played audio recordings of electromagnetic activity as the Galileo spacecraft twice passed through a region of charged particles surrounding Ganymede. The soaring whistle and hissing static provide further evidence that Ganymede -- the largest moon in the solar system -- has its own planet-like, magnetic cocoon called a magnetosphere. "
Early Human Species May Have Coexisted With Our Own (Science Now 12/12/96)
Primitive and modern humans may have been neighbors (CNN 12/12/96)
"A report in tomorrow's issue of Science suggests that Homo erectus, a relative of modern humans, was still alive in Java, Indonesia, at least 250,000 years after it was thought to have gone extinct in Asia. If so, this remnant population of H. erectus, a species that first appeared in the fossil record about 2 million years ago, would have been alive when modern humans and Neandertals roamed the Earth."
A Hidden Ocean on One of Jupiter's Moons? (Science Now 12/12/96)
"Images from Jupiter's moon Europa released at a NASA press conference here today are wowing planetary scientists, who believe they are seeing yet more signs that beneath Europa's icy surface lies an ocean. An ocean--plus the hot, chemical-laden volcanic vents envisioned on any ocean's floor--could have produced life deep within Europa. (Galileo Home page)"
As Earth warms, dengue epidemics may become more common (Nando Times 12/12/96)
"Global warming may be helping to cause epidemics of dengue fever, a mosquito-borne disease seen most often after flooding in tropical zones. An analysis of dengue outbreaks compared to the El Nino Southern Oscillation, a pattern of currents and weather that affects much of the world's climate, showed a clear link."
Another dustbowl may be in the offing for the U.S. (Nando Times 12/12/96)
"Severe droughts like the one that created the "dustbowl" of Oklahoma may be rare in North America, but global warming could change that, Canadian climatologists warned on Wednesday."
Jupiter moon has Earth-like attributes -with Quicktime Movie (CNN 12/11/96)
Ganymede, Earth: solar soul mates (MSNBC 12/11/96)
"Jupiter's biggest moon, Ganymede, is surprisingly like Earth in some ways, with a magnetic field and probably a molten iron core."
North America's Oldest Creepy-Crawlies (Science Now 12/11/96)
"The discovery in Canada of three arthropod fossils has pushed back the dates of the first fully terrestrial animals in North America by tens of millions of years. A report in tomorrow's issue of Nature proposes that, at nearly 400 million years old, the animals--including a millipede and a scorpion--rival the age of arthropods found in Britain and are among the largest and best preserved land animals from that early date."
Scientists call for study of life's origins in space (Nando Times 12/11/96)
"A panel of elite scientists Wednesday told vice president Al Gore that US space research should be directed toward answering questions about our origins: How the universe, stars, planets and life itself came into being, and whether life may be widespread in the universe."
Studies bolster evidence of coming quake on New Madrid Fault (CNN 12/8/96)
"Scientist give a probability of up to 60 percent for a damaging New Madrid quake, magnitude 6.0 or higher, within 15 years. Over 50 years, that figure climbs to more than 95 percent. "
No Nitrogen Fix for Global Warming (Science Now 12/6/96)
"Fertilizers and other nitrogen sources, like the burning of fossil fuels, help plants to grow. That growth, in turn, sops up carbon dioxide, a major greenhouse gas. But counter to what climate modelers tend to assume, says a Report in today's issue of Science, nitrogen's green thumb may not keep a lid on global warming, because it fosters the growth of plants that store less carbon."
Who Owns them Dino Bones? (The Why Files 12/5/96)
"Fossils of the world's best Tyrannosaurus rex are heading for the auction block. The guesstimated price of $1 million to $5 million means the buyer will likely be a private collector, not a museum. Do private collectors pervert science? Or should science just get used to the idea?"
Pathfinder soars toward Independence Day landing (CNN 12/4/96 -includes 2 Quicktime movies)
"NASA launched a spacecraft to Mars early Wednesday carrying the first-ever interplanetary rover, a six-wheeled cart that will roam the frigid Martian surface in search of rocks. Pathfinder is the second probe NASA has sent to Mars in the past month."
Ice Discovered on the Moon!
Possible ice lake on moon (Nando Times 12/4/96)
Ice 'most likely' the stuff in moon crater (CNN 12/4/96)
Moon Ice Boosts Space Colonization Hopes (Science Now 12/3/96)
Ice on Earth's moon? (CNN 12/2/96)
Original article from Science
"Ice has been discovered in the south pole region of Earth's moon, according to NASA's analysis of data from a U.S. probe sent there in 1994."
A Passion for Color (Earth Magazine 12/96)
"Minerals that derive their color from impurities."


We apologize for the inconvenience of broken links on our pages. Unfortunately some of our sources do not maintain a long term archive of their articles.

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