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US methane “hotspot” is snapshot of local pollution

A giant methane cloud caught by satellite in 2014 looming over the U.S. Southwest wasn’t a persistent hotspot, as first thought when it made national news. Instead, the methane cloud was the nightly build-up of polluted air that trapped emissions of the potent greenhouse gas near the ground, according to a new CIRES- and NOAA-led study with INSTAAR participants.

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New research illuminates how glaciers have responded to past climate changes

Current and former INSTAARs Darren Larsen, Sarah Crump, and Aria Blumm analyzed sediment from a glacial lake to learn about glacier fluctuations and climate shifts over the last 10,000 years.

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How trees can track history of supernovas

A 9News interview with Bob Brakenridge, author of a new paper suggesting that supernovas have impacted Earth's atmosphere and climate, leaving traces that can be seen in tree rings.

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Tree rings may hold clues to earthly impacts of distant supernovas

Massive explosions of energy happening thousands of light-years from Earth may have left traces in our planet’s biology and geology, according to new research by CU Boulder geoscientist Robert Brakenridge. The study, published this month in the International Journal of Astrobiology, probes the impacts of supernovas, some of the most violent events in the known universe. To study those possible impacts, Brakenridge searched through the planet’s tree ring records for the fingerprints of these distant, cosmic explosions. While not conclusive, his findings suggest that relatively close supernovas could theoretically have triggered at least four disruptions to Earth’s climate over the last 40,000 years.

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After a nuclear war, the world’s emergency food supply could be seafood—if overfishing stops now

Scientists working with Nikki Lovenduski write in The Conversation: "As scientists who study the global marine fishery, we are particularly interested in the future supply of seafood. So when some colleagues approached us with the idea of studying the response of the global fishery to nuclear war, we thought it would be a fascinating, though grim topic. As expected, our research showed that nuclear war would have a negative impact on marine fish, although not as bad as we had initially thought. Surprisingly, we also found that marine fish could serve as a crucial global emergency food supply in times of crisis if marine ecosystems were in a healthy state to start with."

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Scientists explore how to protect fisheries, food supply in event of nuclear war

A new study reveals the damage that a nuclear war might take on wild-caught seafood around the world, from salmon to tuna and even shellfish. The aftermath of such a conflict could put a major strain on global food security, an international team of scientists reports. The group estimates that a nuclear war might cut the amount of seafood that fishing boats are capable of bringing in worldwide by as much as 30%. In short span of time, in other words, those impacts could rival the toll that climate change is taking on fisheries across the globe, said study coauthor Nicole Lovenduski.

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