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Improving Forecasts for Rain-on-Snow Flooding

Many of the worst West Coast winter floods involve heavy rains and melting snow, and UW hydrology experts are using the physics of these events to better predict the risks.

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The Dust Devil and the Details: Spinning Up a Storm on Mars

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Spinning up a dust devil in the thin air of Mars requires a stronger updraft than is needed to create a similar vortex on Earth, according to research at The University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH). Early results from this research in UAH’s Atmospheric Science Department are scheduled for presentation today at the American Geophysical Union’s fall meeting in San Francisco. “To start a dust devil on Mars you need convection, a strong updraft,” said Bryce Williams, an atmospheric science graduate student at UAH. “We looked at the ratio between convection and surface turbulence to find the sweet spot where there is enough updraft to overcome the low level wind and turbulence. And on Mars, where we think the process that creates a vortex is more easily disrupted by frictional dissipation – turbulence and wind at the surface – you need twice as much convective updraft as you do on Earth.” Williams and UAH’s Dr. Udaysankar Nair looked for the dust devil sweet spot by combining dat

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Great Lakes Pollution No Longer Driven by Airborne Sources; Land, Rivers Now Bigger Factors

A URI researcher who measured organic pollutants in the air and water around Lake Erie and Lake Ontario has found that airborne emissions are no longer the primary cause of the lakes’ contamination. Instead, most of the lakes’ chemical pollutants come from sources on land or in rivers.

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Study Hints That Ancient Earth Made Its Own Water—Geologically

In a finding that meshes well with recent discoveries from the Rosetta mission, Ohio State University researchers have discovered a geochemical pathway by which Earth makes it own water through plate tectonics. This finding extends the planet's water cycle to billions of years—and suggests that enough water is buried in the deep earth right now to fill the Pacific Ocean.

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Top Weather Conditions that Amplify Lake Erie Algal Blooms Revealed

Of the many weather-related phenomena that can promote harmful algal blooms, a new study has revealed that one—the wind—is the most important. The finding suggests that environmental agencies will have to incorporate the threat of extreme weather events caused by climate change into efforts to prevent algal blooms.

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Media Tip Sheet: URI Research to Be Presented at International Earth Science Meeting, Dec. 15-19

Research on underwater volcanoes, Great Lakes pollution, subseafloor life and much more will be among the 40 projects that will be presented by scientists from the University of Rhode Island’s Graduate School of Oceanography at the American Geophysical Union’s fall meeting in San Francisco from Dec. 15 to 19.

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Air Pollution Down Thanks to California’s Regulation of Diesel Trucks

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Ever wonder what’s in the black cloud that emits from some semi trucks that you pass on the freeway? Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) scientist Thomas Kirchstetter knows very precisely what’s in there, having conducted detailed measurements of thousands of heavy-duty trucks over months at a time at two San Francisco Bay Area locations.

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Twitter Posts May Shine a Fresh Light on Mental Illness Trends

Computers scientists are tracking tweets to gather important information about common mental illnesses.

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Physicist Presents New Observational Solar Weather Model

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Scientists now have an observational framework to help predict solar weather, says physicist Dr. S.T. Wu, distinguished professor emeritus of The University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH) Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering.

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An Unholy Alliance—Colon Cancer Cells in situ Co-Opt Fibroblasts in Surrounding Tissue to Break Out

In work to be presented at the ASCB/IFCB meeting in Philadelphia, researchers from the Institut Curie in Paris report that they have evidence of a coordinated attack on the basement membrane of human colon cells by cancer cells in situ and CAF cells in the extracellular matrix that begins long before the actual translocation of cancer cells.

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