90 news posts related to Geophysical Sciences

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A promising target in the quest for a 1-million-year-old Antarctic ice core

Laura Kehrl on a hike near McMurdo Station while waiting for a flight to the Allan Hills area.

Ice cores offer a window into the history of Earth’s climate. Layers of ice reveal past temperatures, and gases trapped in bubbles reveal past atmospheric composition. The oldest continuous ice core so far comes from Dome C in East Antarctica and extends back 800,000 years. But a tantalizing clue recently offered the possibility to go back even further. A collaborative study between the University of Washington and the University of Maine now pinpoints a location where an entire million years of undisturbed ice might be preserved intact. 

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Q&A with UW Environment volcano and magma expert George Bergantz

Atmospheric Sciences' George Bergantz

The University of Washington’s College of the Environment and its faculty members are no strangers to ground-breaking and important research on volcanoes and magma—from a land-sea experiment tracking earthquakes and volcanoes along the Alaska Peninsula to publishing an atlas of seafloor volcanoes and deep-ocean life. George Bergantz, a professor in the College’s Department of Earth and Space Sciences, is a geologist who studies the physics of magma. 

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Earth and Space Sciences' Tyler Valentine honored by Goldwater Foundation

Earth and Space Sciences' Tyler Valentine

Three University of Washington undergraduates—including Tyler Valentine, a junior in the College of the Environment’s Department of Earth and Space Sciences—are among 211 students nationwide named as 2018 Goldwater Scholars. One UW student received honorable mention. Barry M. Goldwater Scholarships are awarded to students who have “outstanding potential” and plan to pursue research careers in mathematics, natural sciences or engineering. The awards cover tuition, room and board, fees and books up to $7,500 annually for one or two years. 

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Glaciers in Mongolia's Gobi Desert actually shrank during the last ice age

The Gobi-Altai mountain range in western Mongolia is in a very dry region but ice can accumulate on mountaintops, such as Sutai Mountain, the tallest peak in the range. In the picture, friends of Jigjidsurengiin Batbaatar descend this mountain after helping to install a weather station.

The simple story says that during the last ice age, temperatures were colder and ice sheets expanded around the planet. That may hold true for most of Europe and North America, but new research from scientists in the Department of Earth and Space Sciences at the UW tells a different story in the high-altitude, desert climates of Mongolia. The recent paper in Quaternary Science Reviews is the first to date ancient glaciers in the high mountains of Mongolia’s Gobi Desert. 

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A new 'atmospheric disequilibrium' could help detect life on other planets

The coast of the Pacific Northwest from space

As NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope and other new giant telescopes come online they will need novel strategies to look for evidence of life on other planets. A University of Washington study has found a simple approach to look for life that might be more promising than just looking for oxygen. The paper, published Jan. 24 in Science Advances, offers a new recipe for providing evidence that a distant planet harbors life. 

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