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Volcano’s screams may explain eruption’s awesome power

Posted on 14 Jul 2013 in Earth Science, Environment, Featured, Journalism

Several volcanoes erupted in 2009 – but only one screamed in the process. Its unique guttural howls provide an unrivalled glimpse into the heart of a volcanic eruption, and may hold clues to the driving forces that cause volcanoes to blow their tops. Image: DCSL

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Erosion helps keep mountains standing tall

Posted on 26 Jun 2013 in Earth Science, Featured, Journalism, Physics

What goes up must come down. So why are many mountain ranges, such as the Appalachians, still standing tall long after rivers should have eaten them down? Paradoxically, the erosive forces that should wear them away might instead carve them into a stable shape. Image: gato-gato-gato

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Will new tectonic fault system kill the Atlantic?

Posted on 17 Jun 2013 in Earth Science, Featured, Journalism

Even oceans can catch lethal infections. The dying Mediterranean Sea may have contaminated the Atlantic with a subduction zone, just south of the Iberian peninsula. One day, it could help destroy the vast ocean. Image: Fragile Oasis

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Dawn of the water eaters: How Earth got its oxygen

Posted on 5 Jun 2013 in Earth Science, Evolution, Featured, Journalism, Life

In Earth’s youth, photosynthetic life forms thrived for a billion years without producing so much as a whiff of oxygen. Why did some cells then start pumping out the gas that paved the way for animal life, and why did it take so long for this form of the reaction to evolve? Image: …-Wink-…

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Your body’s insights into life and cosmos

Posted on 2 Jan 2013 in Reviews

In The Universe Within, evolutionary biologist Neil Shubin shares the findings of some of the great scientific specialists. But he also explains how a generalist’s appreciation of their work is still possible, simply by looking inside the human body. Within each of us is a multitude of memory aids that, when read correctly, help to tell the stories of our species, planet and universe. Image: Trodel

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