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    Up to 220 million people globally may be at risk of arsenic-contaminated water

    As many as 220 million people around the world may be at risk of drinking arsenic-contaminated groundwater, a new study finds. Combining climate, environmental and geologic data with machine learning, researchers made a global map, described in the May 22 Science, that predicts where groundwater arsenic concentrations are likeliest to exceed 10 micrograms per liter, […] More

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    Greenland and Antarctica are gaining ice inland, but still losing it overall

    In the tug-of-war between coastal melting and inland ice buildup, the meltdown is winning in both Greenland and Antarctica. Initial observations from NASA’s ICESat-2 satellite in 2018 and 2019 reveal how the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets have changed since the original ICESat mission collected data from 2003 to 2008. Both missions measured the height […] More

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    Did heavy rain trigger Kilauea’s eruption? It’s complicated

    When it rains heavily in Hawaii, lava pours from the volcano Kilauea, according to a new study facing strong scrutiny by some volcanologists. Starting in May 2018, the volcano dramatically ramped up its 35-year-long eruption, opening 24 new fissures and shooting fountains of lava 80 meters into the air. Within three months, the volcano had […] More

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    Forecasters predict a very active 2020 Atlantic hurricane season

    The Atlantic hurricane season is likely to be very active, fueled by very warm ocean temperatures in the tropics, according to several forecasts including a report released April 16 by The Weather Channel. A total of 18 named storms — nine of them hurricanes — are predicted in the season starting June 1, according to […] More

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    Roughly 90 million years ago, a rainforest grew near the South Pole

    Once upon a time, there was a swampy rainforest near the bottom of the world. Buried sediment extracted from the seafloor off West Antarctica contains ancient pollen, fossilized roots and other chemical evidence of a diverse forest that flourished millions of years ago, less than a thousand kilometers from the South Pole. The sediment offers […] More

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    Flooding Earth’s atmosphere with oxygen may not have needed a triggering event

    SAN FRANCISCO — Maybe the trigger for the rise of oxygen on Earth was nothing special. Maybe that oxidation didn’t need large tectonic shifts or the evolution of land plants. Instead, the circulation of carbon dioxide, oxygen and phosphorus between Earth’s atmosphere, oceans, rocks and the simplest of photosynthesizing life forms is sufficient to produce […] More