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Glacier-mapping drone soars to nearly 5000 meters, setting a record

High in the Peruvian Andes, Oliver Wigmore has helped open a new scientific frontier. The earth scientist has flown a data-collecting drone to nearly 5000 meters, the highest such flight ever reported in the scientific literature, he and colleague Bryan Mark report this week in The Cyrosphere.

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As ice retreats, frozen mosses emerge to tell climate change tale

Some mosses in the eastern Canadian Arctic, long entombed in ice, are now emerging into the sunlight. And the radiocarbon ages of those plants suggest that summertime temperatures in the region are the warmest they’ve been in at least 45,000 years--possibly 115,000 years. Paleoclimatologist Gifford Miller reported the finding October 22 at the Geological Society of America’s annual meeting.

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Khumbu then, and now: Alton Byers shows how the land of the Sherpa people has changed in 70 years

The Nepali Times reviews Alton Byers' new book, Khumbu Since 1950, which documents the visual story of how much the Khumbu has changed in response to climate change and mountaineering tourism.

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CU Boulder No. 2 in geosciences, No. 44 overall in the world, say global rankings

For the fourth year in a row, CU Boulder has maintained its no. 2 ranking in geosciences among the world’s universities, according to U.S. News & World Report, which last week released its fourth annual global standings for 2018. Geosciences, in which CU Boulder trails only the California Institute of Technology, include geology, geophysics, geochemistry, climatology, oceanography and petroleum geology. CU Boulder ranks no. 44 in biology and biochemistry, 24 in environment/ecology, 32 in physics, and 51 in space science. These subject-specific rankings—which are not of academic majors, departments or specific schools at universities—are based on academic research performance in those subjects.

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Digging in the Arctic mud for answers to climate change

Known as the world's “climate change barometer," the Arctic, which includes Baffin Island, is classroom and laboratory for Sarah Crump, a PhD student in geological studies and a researcher with INSTAAR. With a focus on paleoclimate in the Arctic, she studies past climate change and how it affected glaciers and ecosystems on Baffin Island. Chemical traces in the sediment cores provide a continuous record of activity that occurred around the lakes over thousands of years. By sequencing plant DNA directly from the sediment, Crump can determine what types of vegetation grew there through time. The information helps researchers understand how plant communities responded to previous climate change. The fact that the DNA is in the mud itself is what is so novel about the new technique.

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Scientists mapping Greenland have produced some surprising–and worrying–results

Washington Post story on two new studies of Greenland that have used sophisticated technologies to map the full measure of Greenland's rapidly changing ice, sediment, topography, and potential contribution to sea level rise.

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