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A study of over 40,000 written entries in Irish Annals and ice core measurements shows a strong correlation between the occurrence of volcanic eruptions and extreme cold weather in Ireland over a 1200 year period. Data analyzed in this study cover the period from 431 to 1649, during which time up to 48 volcanic eruptions are identified in Greenland ice core records through deposition of volcanic sulfate in annual layers of ice.

The EF-5 tornado that hit El Reno, Oklahoma on May 31st was the widest ever recorded in the US, according to the National Weather Service in Norman Oklahoma. The tornado, which remained on the ground for 40 minutes and reached 2.6 miles across (4.2 km), took the lives of 18 people including storm chasers Tim Samaras, Paul Samaras and Carl Young. For more information on the tornado, visit http://ow.ly/i/2hfDG.

During the week of May 13th, the CO2 level at the Mauna Loa Observatory in Hawaii topped 400 ppm repeatedly. Daily levels of CO2 can vary due to weather, and there are seasonal trends as well. The level of atmospheric greenhouse gases continues to increase, now over 120 ppm since the Industrial Revolution began. For more on the Keeling Curve, see http://keelingcurve.ucsd.edu/. Find out more about greenhouse gases and warming.

The week of May 19 brings dozens of tornadoes to Tornado Alley in the states of Oklahoma, Kansas, Iowa, Illinois and Missouri. On May 20th, a massive tornado struck Moore, Oklahoma, devastating communities - destroying over 100 homes and hitting two elementary schools and a hospital - with many casualties and deaths. Our thoughts are with our friends and colleagues suffering from these storms. For more on the May 20th storms, see the NOAA Storm Prediction Center Storm Report.

On May 9, the daily mean concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere of Mauna Loa, Hawaii, surpassed 400 parts per million (ppm) for the first time since measurements began in 1958. To read the rest of this story click here.

A bill has been introduced in the Kansas legislature this week that would prohibit the promotion of sustainability.
Here is a link to the one-page bill:
http://www.kslegislature.org/li/b2013_14/measures/documents/hb2366_00_0000.pdf.
See report on Bloomberg News.

Sea surface temperatures in the Northeast Shelf Large Marine Ecosystem during 2012 were the highest recorded in 150 years, according to the latest Ecosystem Advisory issued by NOAA's Northeast Fisheries Science Center (NEFSC). These high sea surface temperatures (SSTs) are the latest in a trend of above average temperature seen during the spring and summer seasons, and part of a pattern of elevated temperatures occurring in the Northwest Atlantic, but not seen elsewhere in the ocean basin over the past century.

Scientists have long believed that lava erupted from certain oceanic volcanoes contains materials from the early Earth’s crust. But decisive evidence for this phenomenon has proven elusive. New research from a team including Carnegie’s Erik Hauri demonstrates that oceanic volcanic rocks contain samples of recycled crust dating back to the Archean era 2.5 billion years ago. Their work is published in Nature.

Scientists have determined the temperature near the Earth’s center to be 6000 degrees Celsius, 1000 degrees hotter than in a previous experiment run 20 years ago. These measurements confirm geophysical models that the temperature difference between the solid core and the mantle above, must be at least 1500 degrees to explain why the Earth has a magnetic field.

For more information about this study, see the press release from the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility.

Scientists have discovered a layer of liquified molten rock in Earth's mantle that may be responsible for the sliding motions of the planet's massive tectonic plates.

The finding may carry far-reaching implications, from understanding basic geologic functions of the planet to new insights into volcanism and earthquakes.

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Earth and Space Science Today


Now you can easily access information on topics that highlight our active Earth. Learn all about the latest earthquakes, volcanoes, hurricanes, severe weather, wildfires, tides and currents, droughts, a calendar of solar and lunar eclipses, and daily streamflow information.