Tag Archives: Indiana

Pacific Ocean Temperature Influences Tornado Activity in U.S., MU Study Finds

COLUMBIA, Mo. – Meteorologists often use information about warm and cold fronts to determine whether a tornado will occur in a particular area. Now, a University of Missouri researcher has found that the temperature of the Pacific Ocean could help scientists predict the type and location of tornado activity in the U.S.

Laurel McCoy, an atmospheric science graduate student at the MU School of Natural Resources, and Tony Lupo, professor and chair of atmospheric science in the College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources, surveyed 56,457 tornado-like events from 1950 to 2011. They found that when surface sea temperatures were warmer than average, the U.S. experienced 20.3 percent more tornados that were rated EF-2 to EF-5 on the Enhanced Fuijta (EF) scale. (The EF scale rates the strength of tornados based on the damage they cause. The scale has six category rankings from zero to five.) (more…)

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Ancient Fossilized Sea Creatures Yield Oldest Biomolecules Isolated Directly from a Fossil

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Though scientists have long believed that complex organic molecules couldn’t survive fossilization, some 350-million-year-old remains of aquatic sea creatures uncovered in Ohio, Indiana, and Iowa have challenged that assumption.

The spindly animals with feathery arms—called crinoids, but better known today by the plant-like name “sea lily”—appear to have been buried alive in storms during the Carboniferous Period, when North America was covered with vast inland seas. Buried quickly and isolated from the water above by layers of fine-grained sediment, their porous skeletons gradually filled with minerals, but some of the pores containing organic molecules were sealed intact. (more…)

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Principal Plays Surprising Role in Why New Teachers Quit

EAST LANSING, Mich. — Why do so many beginning teachers quit the profession or change schools? Surprising new research finds it’s not a heavy workload or lack of resources that has the most significant effect, but instead the relationship between teachers and their principal.

Peter Youngs, associate professor of educational policy at Michigan State University and lead investigator on the study, said the findings reinforce the need for principals to serve as strong, supportive leaders in their schools. (more…)

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Estimate: A New Amish Community is Founded Every 3 1/2 Weeks in U.S.

COLUMBUS, Ohio – A new census of the Amish population in the United States estimates that a new Amish community is founded, on average, about every 3 ½ weeks, and shows that more than 60 percent of all existing Amish settlements have been founded since 1990.

This pattern suggests the Amish are growing more rapidly than most other religions in the United States, researchers say. Unlike other religious groups, however, the growth is not driven by converts joining the faith, but instead can be attributed to large families and high rates of baptism.

In all, the census counts almost 251,000 Amish in the United States and Ontario, Canada, dispersed among 456 settlements, the communities in which members live and worship. The 1990 census estimated that there were 179 settlements in the United States. (more…)

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Some Banks Help Keep Mortgage Holders Out of Default, Studies Find

COLUMBUS, Ohio – While the nation’s foreclosure crisis has focused blame on bad loan practices by some lenders, new research shows how some banks may have actually reduced the default risk of their homebuyers.

Researchers found that low-income homeowners who received a mortgage from a local lender were less likely to default on their loans than are those who borrowed from a more distant bank or mortgage company. (more…)

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