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Earth Happenings Archive
February, 1998
Recovery From Mass Extinction Is Unexpectedly Diverse (Nature Science Updates 2/27)
"A study by University of Chicago paleontologist David Jablonski shows that recoveries from mass extinctions differ widely from one geographical region to another, even though the extinction intensities and patterns are more or less the same everywhere. "
Catastrophic collapse of antarctic ice shelves (Nature Science Updates 2/26)
"A substantial Antarctic 'ice shelf' could disappear before the end of the century, according to a report in the 18 February 1998 edition of Nature. Crucially, its collapse could happen almost without warning and take a matter of weeks or even days. "
Experts race to save oldest known footprints (CNN/AP 2/25)
" They survived more than 100,000 years unharmed, but now the oldest known human footprints are under threat from modern man. "
Prairies Will Be Hit Harder By Global Warming (Science Daily 2/23)
Global warming to hit prairies hard (CNN/Environmental News Network 2/27)
"Prairie ecosystems in North America will be hit harder than many areas on this continent by the effects of global warming and the damage will become apparent within the next few decades, suggests a University of Toronto researcher."
Clinton announces clean water action plan (CNN 2/20)
"President Clinton announced a plan Thursday to fulfill the promise of the 25-year-old Clean Water Act that includes millions of dollars in new resources to ensure clean, healthy water for all Americans."
New California Volcano To Erupt Within 400,000 Years, Geologists Predict (Science Daily 2/19)
"Research led by Rice University geologists estimates that within 400,000 years a new volcano could erupt in northern California, relatively soon in geologic terms. The findings suggest that magma located in chambers about 20 kilometers, or 12 miles, into the earth's crust could rise to the surface in the Lake Pillsbury area, about 120 miles north of San Francisco."
Why Is Antarctica So Cold? Scientists Pursue History Of Antarctic Ice Sheet (Science Daily 2/18)
"Departing Punta Arenas, Chile, in mid-February, 26 scientists representing 10 countries will sail aboard the ocean drilling ship JOIDES Resolution to collect core samples from the continental rise and shelf of the Antarctic Peninsula. The international Ocean Drilling Program is conducting a two-month expedition near the edge of the Antarctic continent, the first of a series to probe the historical development of the Antarctic ice sheet and its consequences for earth's climate."
Arsenic, River And Road Salt Under Examination (Science Daily 2/17)
"To most people, winter road salt is not one of Toronto's bragging rights. But to U of T researchers, road salt in Toronto -- specifically in the Don River -- is the key to a better understanding of arsenic and its mobility and toxicity in the environment."
Voyager 1 now most distant man-made object in space (CNN 2/17)
"Launched more than two decadesago, Voyager 1 is now 6.5 billion miles (10.4 billion kilometers) away from the sun and is traveling at 39,000 miles per hour. It entered the record books at about 5 p.m. EST. "
Computer models were right about El Nino (CNN 2/13)
"Massive storms along the coast of California devastated some parts of the state last week. Weather forecasters say they also served as proof that sophisticated computer forecasting systems were accurate this time around, predicting El Niņo's punch months in advance and giving the state valuable lead time to prepare for the worst."
Embryos from the depths of time (Nature Science Updates 2/12)
"The discovery of animal embryos in cell-by-cell detail, together with the perfectly preserved tissues of advanced seaweeds, in 570-million-year-old rocks in China, will re-write the book of our understanding of the truly ancient past. These remarkable, exquisite fossils are reported in the 5 February 1998 issue of Nature."
New Dinosaur Finds In Antarctica Paint Fuller Picture Of Past Ecosystem (Science Daily 2/9)
"A team of Argentinean and U.S. scientists has found fossils of a duck-billed dinosaur, along with remains of Antarctica's most ancient bird and an array of giant marine reptiles, on Vega Island off the eastern side of the Antarctic Peninsula. "
NEAR Again (Scientific American 2/2)
"Since the Near Earth Asteroid Rendezvous (NEAR) spacecraft set out in February 1996 for a January 1999 date with an asteroid called 433 Eros, its circuitous path has taken it far beyond the orbit of Mars, where it flirted briefly with another chunk of space rock named Mathilde."
Photo shows river once ran across Mars (CNN 2/2)
"NASA officials unveiled a photograph Monday that proves for the first time that there was once a flowing river meandering across the planet. A second photo also unveiled Monday revealed evidence of horizontal layers on the surface of Mars."
American Museum Of Natural History Researchers Announce Discovery Of Oldest Known Fossil Ants (Science Daily 2/3)
"The extremely rare 92-million-year-old ants are preserved in amber from a location in New Jersey that has produced some of the world's most important amber-encased fossils. The new specimens are 50 million years older than the most ancient fossils that were clearly recognized as ants; the find thus proves unequivocally the existence of ants back into the Age of the Dinosaurs."

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