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Trending Stories Report for 24 April 2015

Trending news releases with the most views in a single day. Topics include: exercise and obesity, Focused Ultrasound to treat uterine fibroids, neurology, diet supplements and cancer (day 4 in top 10), genetics, geology, skin cancer, sleep and Alzheimer's, and water conservation.

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Thawing Permafrost Feeds Climate Change

Assistant Professor of Oceanography Robert Spencer writes in Geophysical Research Letters that single-cell organisms called microbes are rapidly devouring the ancient carbon being released from thawing permafrost soil and ultimately releasing it back into the atmosphere as carbon dioxide. Increased carbon dioxide levels, of course, cause the Earth to warm and accelerate thawing.

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Arctic Beetles May Be Ideal Marker of Climate Change

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Researchers need to find ways to measure how the changes in climate are affecting biodiversity. One of the best places to look may be down at our feet, at beetles. That`s because, as a McGill research team discovered after doing the first large-scale survey of Arctic beetles, these six-legged critters are not only abundant in number but also diverse in feeding habits and what they eat is closely linked to the latitude in which they are found.

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Examining How Radiative Fluxes Are Affected by Cloud and Particle Characteristics

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Climate models calculate a changing mix of clouds and emissions that interact with solar energy. To narrow the broad range of possible answers from a climate model, researchers analyzed the effect of several proven numerical stand-ins for atmospheric processes on the energy flux at the top of the atmosphere. They found that the flux is the main driver of surface temperature change.

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Comparing Climate Models to Real World Shows Differences in Precipitation Intensity

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Precipitation is difficult to represent in global climate models. Although most single-column models can reproduce the observed average precipitation reasonably well, there are significant differences in their details. Scientists evaluated several single-column models, providing insights on how to improve models’ representation of convection, which is integral to storm cloud formation.

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University of Oklahoma to Host Society of Environmental Journalists Annual Conference in Norman, Oklahoma, October 2015

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The University of Oklahoma will host Environmental Journalism 2016, the 25th Annual Conference of the Society of Environmental Journalists (SEJ). SEJ’s meeting will bring 600 journalists and news-makers to Norman, Oklahoma October 7-11, 2015 for a comprehensive agenda of tours and sessions. See http://www.sej.org/initiatives/sej-annual-conferences/AC2015-agenda for details, and information on exhibitor opportunities.

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Increased Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide Limits Soil Storage

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Soil carbon may not be as stable as previously thought. Also, soil microbes exert more direct control on carbon buildup than global climate models represent.

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Asian Air Pollution Affecting World’s Weather

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New Method Relates Greenland Ice Sheet Changes to Sea-Level Rise

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Early schemes to model the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets and their impact on sea levels failed to accurately account for changes caused by snowfall and snow melt. These changes depend on ice sheet elevation and region. Researchers developed a new method that includes the effects of elevation and region.

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Beyond California, Other Water Crises Loom, Says @MissouriSandT Expert