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Earth Happenings Archive
July, 2001
Scientists Claim Evidence of Life in Outer Space
( 7/31)
A team of international researchers said on Tuesday they have found what could be the first proof of life beyond our planet -- clumps of extraterrestrial bacteria in the Earth's upper atmosphere.

Lab-Raised, Algae-Eating Sea Urchins May Reverse Coral Reef Decline
( 7/30)
One of the first attempts at restoring the health of Atlantic coral reefs gets underway as early as Friday, July 27, when the first ever laboratory-raised sea urchins will be released on an experimental site at Little Grecian Reef in a Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary. The sea urchins are critical to coral reef renewal because they eat coral-smothering algae.

Etna Roars Back in Fury, Ski Station Destroyed
( 7/26)
Mount Etna, which had given scientists a respite for two days, roared back in fury on Thursday as new explosions and fast-moving lava ate up ski-lift pylons and destroyed a lift station.

Arctic Ecosystems Being Nibbled Away
( 7/25)
The Arctic's fragile ecosystems are threatened by disturbances from petroleum development to ecotourism. New research shows that even small disturbances may permanently damage tundra: for instance, the single pass of a heavy tank- like tracked vehicle can drain an Arctic meadow.

Scientists: Meteors Common, Mass Sightings Rare
( 7/24)
The fiery meteor that streaked across the northeastern United States on Monday, stunning eyewitnesses from Canada to Virginia, was likely one of the small stony space objects that routinely enter Earth's atmosphere every few weeks, scientists said on Tuesday.

Tiny Crystals Predict A Huge Volcano In Western United States
( 7/23)
Reading the geochemical fine print found in tiny crystals of the minerals zircon and quartz, scientists are forming a new picture of the life history - and a geologic timetable - of a type of volcano in the western United States capable of dramatically altering climate sometime within the next 100,000 years.

Cyprus Fire Under Control, 'Ecological Disaster'
( 7/18)
A large forest fire raging in Cyprus was almost under control on Thursday but high winds were fanning flames in the blaze described by a government minister as an "ecological disaster."

Earthquakes Reveal Diamonds' Origins
( 7/18)
The seismic rumblings could provide key clues about where miners should look for diamonds, according to recent research. Matt Fouch, assistant professor of geological sciences at ASU, studies vibrations caused by earthquakes to visualize the earth at depths of hundreds of kilometers, where diamonds are formed. His maps of the earth below South Africa provide new information about Earth1s structure in regions where many diamonds are found.

Environmental impact of ethanol fuels debate
( 7/16)
Supporters of ethanol like to describe it as a cleaner-burning fuel additive that helps keep the air clearer, but critics say its environmental drawbacks may outweigh some of the benefits.

Earliest Human Ancestors Discovered In Ethiopia; Discovery Of Bones And Teeth Date Fossils Back More Than 5.2 Million Years
( 7/12)
Anthropologists have discovered the remains of the earliest known human ancestor in Ethiopia, dating to between 5.2 and 5.8 million years ago and which predate the previously oldest-known fossils by almost a million years. The previous discovery of the 4.4-million-year-old Ardipithecus ramidus was up to this point the oldest known hominid, the primate zoological family that includes all species on the human side of the evolutionary split with chimpanzees.

Scientists Say Developing Countries Will Be Hit Hard by Water Scarcity in the 21st Century
( 7/12)
The entire water cycle of the globe has been changed by human activities and even more dramatic changes lie ahead, said a group of experts at an international conference in Amsterdam on global change this week.

New Technique Dates Faults Near Earth's Surface
( 7/12)
A new approach developed by scientists at the University of Michigan and ExxonMobil Upstream Research Company allows direct dating of faults---surfaces along which rocks break and move---near Earth's surface. A report on the work appears in the July 12 issue of the journal Nature.

Arctic Oscillation causes climate change
( 7/10)
Climate change linked to the emission of heat-trapping greenhouse gases may not be the only cause of recent warmer winters in the Northern hemisphere. A little known climate pattern called the Arctic Oscillation has been linked to warming winters by new research conducted at Colorado State University.

How Fast Does The World Turn? New Quantum Gyro May Tell Us
( 7/6)
A discovery that may someday help measure how clouds and earthquakes change Earth1s rotation has come from an experiment that made friction-free helium whistle.

All Earthquake Fault Lines Not Equal
( 7/3)
While most scientists assume that both sides of a geologic fault move equal distances during an earthquake, National Science Foundation (NSF)-funded researchers at Pennsylvania State University and the University of Miami have discovered that not all strike slip faults act that way.

Satellites Measure Bulging Earth To Map Water Resources
( 7/2)
Just as a sponge expands when absorbing water, so too does the Earth bulge slightly where aquifers, underground areas of permeable materials, absorb unusually large amounts of water from stream runoff or heavy rains. Scientists using satellite data have been able to measure these bulges on the land surface and believe they can use the technique to study the location and size of aquifers in remote regions.

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