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AI could be used to analyze water resources

Scientists from across disciplines, including Scott Peckham of INSTAAR and CSDMS, came together to discuss the future of water resource management using artificial intelligence during a seminar on Saturday at this year’s American Association for the Advancement of Science meeting.

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North American ice sheet decay decreased climate variability in the Southern Hemisphere

New research led by CU Boulder shows that the changing topography of ice sheets in the Northern Hemisphere during the last Ice Age forced changes in the climate of Antarctica, a previously undocumented inter-polar climate change mechanism. The new study, published today in the journal Nature, suggests that substantial reduction of the Laurentide Ice Sheet that covered much of present-day North America approximately 16,000 years ago resulted in significant climate variations in the tropical Pacific and in West Antarctica.

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North American ice sheet decay changed Antarctic climate

New research led by CU Boulder shows that the changing topography of ice sheets in the Northern Hemisphere during the last Ice Age forced changes in the climate of Antarctica, a previously undocumented inter-polar climate change mechanism. The new study—published today in the journal Nature and co-authored by researchers at the University of Bristol, University of Washington and UC Berkeley—suggests that substantial reduction of the Laurentide Ice Sheet that covered much of present-day North America approximately 16,000 years ago resulted in significant climate variations in the tropical Pacific and in West Antarctica.

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Ocean waters prevent release of ancient methane

Trapped in ocean sediments near continents lie ancient reservoirs of methane called methane hydrates. These ice-like water and methane structures encapsulate so much methane that many researchers view them as both a potential energy resource and an agent for environmental change. In response to warming ocean waters, hydrates can degrade, releasing the methane gas. Scientists have warned that release of even part of the giant reservoir could significantly exacerbate ongoing climate change. A team of scientists set out to fingerprint the origin of methane in the Arctic Ocean and found that much of the released methane never makes it to the atmosphere.

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Ancient beasts of Australia

When Australia’s earliest human immigrants arrived more than 50,000 years ago, they found a wild menagerie of huge animals and birds collectively known as megafauna. But just a few thousand years after the arrival of humans—the blink of an eye in geologic time and, for that matter, the history of life—most of the wondrous beasts were gone forever. A scientific debate has raged for decades as to what, or who, did in Australia’s ancient megafauna. CU scientist Gifford Miller believes he now knows the answer: Homo sapiens.

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The scientists who track climate change in the field

While the consequences of climate change—fierce storms, fragmenting glaciers, blazing fires—can be dramatic, the scientific research supporting its existence is anything but. It’s precise, rigorous and routine work, and though it takes place every day all over the world, it largely goes unnoticed. Over the past decade, Lucas Foglia’s photographic exploration of the relationship between people and nature has given him a glimpse of the effects of a changing climate from Texas to Sweden. But his interest in climate science started in 2012, after Hurricane Sandy wreaked havoc on his family’s farm on Long Island, N.Y. For Mr. Foglia, the urge to better understand the forces that contributed to that destruction meant seeking out the unsung individuals who track those forces every day. They finally get their moment in the spotlight in his book, “Human Nature.” Includes photo essay.

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