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Earth Happenings Archive
September, 2001
Scientists: Future Atlantic Hurricane Picture Is Highly Complex
( 9/21)
In a highly publicized article in the journal Science this summer, a team of meteorologists predicted that the current resurgence in North Atlantic hurricane activity will continue for at least the next 10 to 40 years.

Rare drought in tropical Sri Lanka causes hunger, fear
( 9/21)
HAMBANTOTA, Sri Lanka - The children's hair and nails are no longer growing. People live on rice and salt. Farmers watch their crops wither and their cattle die. For the first time in 50 years, parts of Sri Lanka, a tropical country of 18.6 million people off the southern tip of India, are experiencing drought.

Wind-Borne Pollutants May Travel Thousands Of Miles
( 9/21)
Air pollution is not just a local problem. In fact, research by geoscientists at Texas A&M; University find that pollutants can travel thousands of miles, so the air you breathe may contain pollutants brought by the wind.

El Niño, La Niña Rearrange South Pole Sea Ice
( 9/20)
Scientists have been mystified by observations that when sea ice on one side of the South Pole recedes, it advances farther out on the other side. New findings from NASA's Office of Polar Programs suggest for the first time that this is the result of El Niños and La Niñas driving changes in the subtropical jet stream, which then alter the path of storms that move sea ice around the South Pole.

Tropical storm Nari lingers over Taiwan, dumps deadly amounts of rain
( 9/20)
TAIPEI, Taiwan ‹ Tropical storm Nari dumped more rain on areas prone to deadly landslides on Tuesday, forcing people to evacuate their homes by wading through waist-deep water. Nari's death toll rose to 48.

Vietnam floods claim 122, including 108 children
(Reuters, via 9/20)
The death toll from floods in Vietnam's Mekong Delta in the past month has risen to 122 people, 108 of them children, and waters are forecast to rise further in coming days, a disaster report said Wednesday.

Life's Origins In Supernovae: Oak Ridge National Laboratory Heads Department Of Energy Project That Looks To The Stars
( 9/20)
Through a newly funded Department of Energy project, astrophysicists at Oak Ridge National Laboratory and around the United States hope to gain a better understanding of what happens when stars die in spectacular explosions called core collapse supernovae.

New Fossils Suggest Whales And Hippos Are Close Kin
( 9/20)
Partial skeletons of ancient whales found in Pakistan last year resolve a longstanding controversy over the origin of whales, confirming that the giant sea creatures evolved from early ancestors of sheep, deer and hippopotami and suggesting that hippos may be the closest living relatives of whales. The new finds, reported in the Sept. 21 issue of the journal Science, are the first and only specimens known that combine sheep-like ankle bones and archaic whale skull bones in the very same skeletons.

Science Study Pinpoints Active Fault Tied To Central Europe's Worst Earthquake And Predicts Seismic Pattern
( 9/17)
BASEL, SWITZERLAND -- Beneath the suburban neighborhoods and forests immediately south of this cultural mecca, an active fault continues to tremble, some 645 years after it caused the worst earthquake in central European history, the journal Science reports.

Pre-Neandertal Humans Developed Social Skills Earlier Than Thought
( 9/14)
If your image of a Neandertal is of a crude, uncaring, brute, think again. Teeth and jaw fossils found last year in southeastern France not only reinforce perceptions about how our Neandertal ancestors developed physically, but also suggest that their social and technological development was much more advanced than previously documented.

UCLA Earthquake Network Sensors Will Improve Building Safety
( 9/11)
In an effort to improve the design of structures so they can better withstand earthquakes, researchers at UCLA are developing testing and monitoring equipment that will serve as the ³eyes and ears² of a nationwide earthquake engineering research network.

Revealing Earth's Deepest Secrets
( 9/7)
In work that promises to advance understanding about the origin and dynamics of Earth's iron-rich inner core and the generation of the planet's magnetic field, a team that includes University of Michigan researchers has found that the elastic properties of iron are quite different at extremely high temperatures than at low temperatures.

Secret To Earth's "Big Chill" Found In Underground Water
( 9/6)
Scientists studying the oceans depend on data from rivers to estimate how much fresh water and natural elements the continents are dumping into the oceans. But a new study in the Aug. 24 issue of Science finds that water quietly trickling along underground may double the amount of debris making its way into the seas. This study changes the equation for everything from global climate to understanding the ocean's basic chemistry.

Earth Is Becoming A Greener Greenhouse
( 9/5)
Over the past 21 years, parts of the northern hemisphere have become much greener than they used to be. Researchers using satellite data have confirmed that plant life above 40 degrees north latitude (New York, Madrid, Ankara, Beijing) has been growing more vigorously since 1981 due to rising temperatures and buildup of greenhouse gases, and Eurasia seems to be greening more than North America, as existing vegetation is more lush for longer periods of time.

Mega-Tsunami Threatens To Devastate U.S. Coastline
( 9/3)
A tsunami wave higher than any in recorded history threatens to ravage the US coastline in the aftermath of a volcanic eruption in the Canary Islands, UK and US scientists reported. Locations on both African and European Atlantic coastlines - including Britain - are also thought to be at risk.

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