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Earth Happenings Archive
June, 1998
Researcher tells Isthmus of Panama story (CNN/ENN 6/30)
"After researching roughly 23 million years of the evolution of marine animals in the Caribbean, a Louisiana State University researcher has concluded that the formation of the Isthmus of Panama around 3.5 million years ago dramatically changed the shape of marine animals for years to come."
International Research Team Announces Discovery Of Two Species Of Feathered Dinosaurs (Science Daily 6/30)
Scientists Link Birds, Dinosaurs (Washington Post/AP 6/24)
"A team of scientists announced last week (June 23) in Nature the discovery in northeastern China of two 120-million-year-old dinosaur species, both of which show unequivocal evidence of true feathers. Both remarkable new creatures provide further support for the theory that birds evolved from small, meat-eating, ground-dwelling dinosaurs and give new insights into the origin of birds."
Whoa, don't declare El Niño dead, yet (CNN/ENN 6/29)
"'It may be too soon to say 'good-bye' El Niño and 'hello' La Niña, because the effects of El Niño will remain in the climate system for a long time,' said Dr. Bill Patzert, a research oceanographer at JPL. 'However, if the Pacific is transitioning to a La Niña, we'd expect to see clear, strong indication of it by late summer or early fall -- in approximately August or September -- just like we did last year with El Niño.'"
T. rex named Sue taking shape in Chicago (CNN 6/29)
"In a new, state-of-the-art glass laboratory at Chicago's Field Museum of Natural History, a Tyrannosaurus rex known as 'Sue' is beginning to take shape. Again."
Space engineers lose contact with sun-watching satellite (CNN/AP 6/29)
"European and American space controllers have lost contact with a $1 billion sun-observing satellite, and officials said they weren't sure the problem can be corrected." (Also see the Nasa Press Release.)
Water History. Rock Composition Among Latest Findings a Year after Mars Pathfinder (NASA 6/29)
"A year after the landing of Mars Pathfinder, mission scientists say that data from the spacecraft paint two strikingly different pictures of the role of water on the red planet, and yield surprising conclusions about the composition of rocks at the landing site."
King coprolite (Nature Science Updates 6/25)
"This particular coprolite comes from Late Cretaceous rocks in Saskatchewan, Canada, dating from between 65 and 74 million years ago. It measures 44 centimetres long by 13 cm wide and 16 cm deep, and has a volume of more than two litres: and that's only a dry measure. When fresh and wet, it could have been even bigger. The coprolite is full of small, crushed bone fragments, strong evidence that the animal that produced it was a carnivore."
Hubble Space Telescope helps find evidence that Neptune's largest moon is warming up (NASA 6/24)
"Observations obtained by NASA's Hubble Space Telescope and ground-based instruments reveal that Neptune's largest moon, Triton, seems to have heated up significantly since the Voyager spacecraft visited it in 1989."
New Window To The Deeps Found In Antarctica (Science Daily 6/23)
"Scientists have discovered a new Œwindow¹ to the deep sea - a source of dense, oxygen-rich Antarctic Bottom Water which breathes life into the world¹s oceans."
Overfarming adding to world's desert wastelands (CNN 6/21)
"Each year, the world loses valuable arable land because of the steady expansion of deserts. That loss, experts are warning, may eventually prove disastrous for some nations since they could one day find themselves without the possibility of growing their own food."
China faces downside to economic boom: a garbage glut (CNN 6/21)
"While China has experienced massive economic growth in the past few years, the authorities increasingly are faced with a rather unpleasant, but often pressing side-effect: garbage."
Chemical In Oyster Shells May Help Clean Oil Spills (Science Daily 6/19)
"An absorbent chemical in oyster shells could help clean up oil spills or even keep diapers dryer, according to a study by Clemson University scientists."
N. America Diamond Mine Takes Shape (Washington Post/AP 6/18)
"In October, the continent's first world-class diamond mine is scheduled to begin production on a tract of tundra and lakes in the remote heartland of Canada's Northwest Territories."
Fossilized dinosaur dung may shed light on T. rex eating habits (CNN/AP 6/17)
"Scientists have found a piece of dinosaur dung as big as a jumbo loaf of bread, and it contains what may be the first direct evidence that Tyrannosaurus rex chomped the bones of its prey to pieces instead of gulping them down in big chunks."
600 Chinese Miners Die in 2 Months (Washington Post/AP 6/17)
"Accidents in China's ill-managed mines killed 634 miners in April and May, the official Legal Daily reported Wednesday. The mining industry last year recorded 7,266 accidents that killed a total of 11,265 miners, according to official statistics."
Arctic Crater Expedition To Seek Mars Science Insights And Test Future Exploration Technologies (Science Daily 6/17)
"NASA scientists soon will explore a barren Arctic meteorite impact crater to attempt to learn more about Mars and its early history, while testing technologies useful for future robotic and human exploration of the planet."
As A 'Carbon Sponge,' Iron-Poor Coastal Waters Can't Always Do The Job (Science Daily 6/16)
"Like a sponge, the Earth's oceans store the greenhouse gas, carbon dioxide--but certain coastal waters can't perform this trick because they lack iron, a University of Delaware researcher reports in the June 11 issue of the journal Nature."
China braces for annual flood season (Yahoo/UPI 6/15)
"Farmers in rural China are bracing for the annual summer flood season, expected to be worse than average this year due to El Nino-fueled rains."
Western States Prepare for Tsunamis (Washington Post/AP 6/14)
"The next time you visit a Pacific Ocean beach, you may find a new addition to the signs that warn of dangerous undertows and rip tides. The blue-and-white signs show a person running from a giant wave. The message: `Tsunami hazard zone. In case of earthquake, go to high ground or inland.'"
Earthquakes Report (New Scientist 6/13)
"New Scientist Planet Science's special earthquake report brings you an in-depth look at the science of earthquakes and earthquake prediction, major quake regions, and more."
Life is... (New Scientist 6/13)
"NASA wants to find it on other worlds. Biologists want to create it in a test tube. Bob Holmes just wants to know what it is LIFE IS..."
An eye for colour (New Scientist 6/13)
"Brightly coloured animals may have emerged 150 million years earlier than previously suspected--during the Cambrian era, when sight is believed to have developed."
Ghana's Volta lake rise gives dam power hopes (CNN/Reuters 6/13)
"Ghana, languishing from months of hydroelectric power shortages and rationing, has recorded a water level rise at the vast Lake Volta Akosombo dam for the first time since November, a dam official said on Friday."
Clinton extends moratorium on offshore oil drilling (CNN 6/12)
"President Clinton signed an order Friday extending a ban on most offshore oil drilling for 10 years and permanently protecting national marine sanctuaries from oil and gas drilling."
Tunnel will quench Big Apple's thirst (CNN 6/12)
"New York City flushes, washes, drinks and douses 1.5 billion gallons of water every day. But two tunnels that deliver it to Manhattan,Brooklyn, Queens, Staten Island and the Bronx are leaking and can't be repaired without shutting off the water supply."
1601 and all that (Nature Science Updates 6/11)
"England is famous for its miserable summer weather, but by all accounts, the summer of 1601 was probably the worst in 500 years. But it wasn't just England: 1601 was even worse in Scandinavia, and even in northern Italy, the big freeze lasted until July."
Climate Research Goes Nuclear In Indian Ocean (Science Daily 6/10)
"International concern for nuclear proliferation in the Indian Ocean has provided a beneficial spin-off for the researching of climate change and global warming in the region. The Indian Ocean Climate Initiative project (IOCI) climate project will use the nuclear detection system to measure the speed at which sound signals pass through the ocean - the speed relates directly to the water temperature, increasing as the temperature rises."
Yale Scientists Recreate Molecular "Fossils," Now Extinct, That May Have Existed At The Beginning Of Life (Science Daily 6/10)
"In the May 26 issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the Yale biologists report the creation of one of these "fossils," an unusual hybrid molecule made up of a scaffold from deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) with chemical "scissors" attached to it."
Scientists Study Georgia Salt Marsh To Understand Global Warming (Science Daily 6/10)
"An interdisciplinary team of scientists has found a surprisingly high rate of carbon and nutrient turnover by microbes in one of Georgia's coastal salt marshes, a highly productive ecosystem."
Australia Has Its Ups And Downs (Science Daily 6/9)
"The Australian continent is flexing like a giant wobble board, moving hundreds of metres up and down in response to the vast churning of the earth's internal heat engine."
Global Warming -- Real Or Perceived -- Could Strain Water Resources (Science Daily 6/8)
"Midwest water resources could face substantial pressures if projected global warming and rainfall fluctuation occur, say University of Illinois civil engineers who are studying possible agricultural responses, particularly irrigation, to climate change."
Engineers begin straightening Mexico City's sagging cathedral (CNN/AP 6/6)
"After centuries of sinking into moist clay, Mexico City's cathedral is finally being set straight by experts who are trying to save the largest church in the Americas."
Scientists in Japan may have discovered secret to the universe's 'missing mass' (CNN 6/5)
Weighing the neutrino (Nature Science Updates 6/11)
"An international team of scientists working from a revamped mineshaft in central Japan said Friday they may have unlocked one of the biggest mysteries of physics -- evidence that an infinitesimally small subatomic particle called the neutrino has mass."
California study challenges NASA's finding of life on Mars (CNN/AP 6/5)
"A California research team says that a telltale chemical signature suggests strongly that minerals inside a rock from Mars are not evidence of life on the Red Planet."
Map Of Western Hemisphere Indicates Location Of Potential Earthquake Damage (Science Daily 6/2)
"A new ground shaking hazard map of the Western Hemisphere will show regions of potential earthquake damage, providing a useful global seismic hazard tool for government, industry and the general public."

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