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Insect Outbreaks Reduce Wildfire Severity

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A surprising new study suggests that major insect outbreaks--contrary to current thinking and forest management guidelines--can reduce forest fire damage.

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Cutting-Edge Telepresence Technology Helped Investigators Find the El Faro "Black Box"

Federal investigators found the “black box’’ that could reveal why the El Faro cargo ship sank off the Bahamas in a hurricane last fall. The University of Rhode Island played a key role in the discovery. URI’s acclaimed Inner Space Center at the Graduate School of Oceanography provided telepresence technology—and its expertise—to assist with the search.

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Forget Fukushima: #Chernobyl still holds record as worst #nuclear accident for #publichealth

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Landslide Risk Remains High a Year After Magnitude-7.8 Nepal Earthquake

With the monsoon fast approaching, the landslide risk in Nepal remains high a year after a magnitude-7.8 earthquake that killed more than 8,000 people, according to a University of Michigan-led research team.

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Bringing the Landslide Laboratory to Remote Regions

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Thanks to millions of years’ accumulation of the wind-deposited, highly-porous sediment from which China’s Loess plateau takes its name, the region has been called the most erosion-prone on Earth. However, despite the prominent geomorphic role gravity erosion plays on the slopes, the process isn’t well understood due to the complexity of soil failure occurrence and behavior, Researchers at Dalian University of Technology present their findings in this week’s Review of Scientific Instruments.

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‘Category 77 Hurricane’ Winds Found Near Supermassive Black Hole

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New research by astrophysicists has revealed the fastest ultraviolet winds ever detected near a supermassive black hole more than 10 billion light-years away.

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Speeding Up Accuracy of Flood Risk Assessment

Research from the University of Adelaide hopes to provide advances in the planning for flood risk, thanks to a new, faster method of assessing the highly complex factors that cause floods in a specific location.

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Wildland Communities Must Learn to Live with Fire

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“If you live in flammable countryside, you’ve got to work with fire. You can’t make it go away,” according to professor Mark Cochrane, a wildfire expert and senior scientist at the Geospatial Sciences Center of Excellence. That means moving from the notion that fires are unnatural and toward a managed approach that involves reintegrating fire as a vital landscape process and building communities that are resilient to fire.

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Sea Level Rise Threatens Larger Number of People Than Earlier Estimated

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More people live close to sea coast than earlier estimated, assess researchers in a new study. These people are the most vulnerable to the rise of the sea level as well as to the increased number of floods and intensified storms. By using recent increased resolution datasets, Aalto University researchers estimate that 1.9 billion inhabitants, or 28% of the world's total population, live closer than 100 km from the coast in areas less than 100 meters above the present sea level.

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Risk of Being Involved in an Avalanche Less for Smaller Groups of Recreationists

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Groups of 2 or single individuals less likely to be caught in an avalanche than larger groups, according to a new report in Wilderness & Environmental Medicine.

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National Agricultural Biosecurity Center Project Aims to Help States Improve Disaster Preparedness

Identifying Corrective Actions from Agricultural Response, or ICAAR, is a new tool being developed by Kansas State University's National Agricultural Biosecurity Center to help with agricultural emergency management.

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Purdue Research Team Investigates Disaster Recovery

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Strong ties to the community and a bond between neighbors can help areas affected by natural disasters recover faster, according to a survey conducted by Purdue University students and faculty.

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Earthquake Research in New Zealand on Damaged Buildings

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University of Auckland researchers test frame components from a 20-story building damaged during the 2010-2011 Canterbury earthquakes to help engineers improve earthquake design and assessment guidelines

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In Emergencies, Should You Trust a Robot?

In emergencies, people may trust robots too much for their own safety, a new study suggests. In a mock building fire, test subjects followed instructions from an “Emergency Guide Robot” even after the machine had proven itself unreliable – and after some participants were told that robot had broken down.

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Study: California Blowout Led to Largest U.S. Methane Release Ever

The Aliso Canyon natural gas well blowout, first reported on Oct. 23, 2015, released over 100,000 tons of the powerful greenhouse gas methane before the well was sealed on Feb. 11, according to the first study of the accident published today in the journal Science. The results confirm that Aliso Canyon is the largest methane leak in U.S. history.

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For Weather Forecasting, Precise Observations Matter More Than Butterflies

Small disturbances, like the flapping of a butterfly’s wings, don’t really matter for weather forecasts. What's more important is getting accurate observations at larger scales.

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Alaska Tsunami Scientist Urges Education and Preparedness

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If you’re enjoying a lovely day on the beach, there’s something you should do if the ground shakes, the water retreats or the ocean make a strange noise. “Run,” said Elena Suleimani, because those are signs that a tsunami is coming. “It’s a matter of minutes. Don’t return for at least twelve hours.”

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