Tag Archives: university of hawaii

Ancient crater may be clue to Moon’s mantle

A massive impact on the Moon about 4 billion years ago left a 2,500-mile crater, among the largest known craters in the solar system. Smaller subsequent impacts left craters within that crater. Comparing the spectra of light reflected from the peaks of those craters may yield clues to the composition of the Moon’s lower crust and mantle — and would have implications for models of how the Moon formed.

PROVIDENCE, R.I. [Brown University] — Researchers from Brown University and the University of Hawaii have found some mineralogical surprises in the Moon’s largest impact crater. (more…)

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Mercury levels in Pacific fish likely to rise in coming decades

ANN ARBOR — University of Michigan researchers and their University of Hawaii colleagues say they’ve solved the longstanding mystery of how mercury gets into open-ocean fish, and their findings suggest that levels of the toxin in Pacific Ocean fish will likely rise in coming decades.

Using isotopic measurement techniques developed at U-M, the researchers determined that up to 80 percent of the toxic form of mercury, called methylmercury, found in the tissues of deep-feeding North Pacific Ocean fish is produced deep in the ocean, most likely by bacteria clinging to sinking bits of organic matter. (more…)

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‘Small World Initiative’: Engaging young students in critical research

Twenty-four faculty members from colleges and universities from around the country left the Yale campus on Aug. 1 with a new mission: to inspire their freshman and sophomore students to pursue scientific research, specifically by discovering new antibiotics from soil bacteria. 

In a week-long workshop called “The Small World Initiative” and held at Kline Biology Tower, the teachers developed the tools to engage their students in real-life research projects with such life-saving potential.  (more…)

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Saving Lives Worldwide by Training International Volcano Scientists

VANCOUVER, Wash. – Scientists and technicians who work at volcano observatories in nine countries are visiting Mount St. Helens and the U.S. Geological Survey Volcano Science Center’s Cascades Volcano Observatory this week to learn techniques for monitoring active volcanoes. Organized by the Center for the Study of Active Volcanoes at the University of Hawaiʻi, Hilo, with support from the VSC-managed joint USGS-USAID Volcano Disaster Assistance Program, the annual program has been training foreign scientists for 22 years. This year’s class includes volcano scientists from Ecuador, Colombia, Peru, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Canada, Indonesia, Italy, and Papua New Guinea.

The International Training Program in Volcano Hazards Monitoring is designed to assist other nations in attaining self-sufficiency in monitoring volcanoes and reducing the risks from eruptions. Through in-class instruction at two USGS volcano observatories, and field exercises in Hawaiʻi and at Mount St. Helens, U.S. scientists are providing training on monitoring methods, data analysis and interpretation, and volcanic hazard assessment, and participants are taught about the use and maintenance of volcano monitoring instruments. Additionally, participants learn about focusing on forecasting and rapid response during volcanic crises, and how to work with governing officials and the news media to save lives and property. (more…)

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Scientists Explore Roots of Future Tropical Rainfall

Analysis of the Last Glacial Maximum sheds light on climate models’ ability to simulate tropical climate change

How will rainfall patterns across the tropical Indian and Pacific regions change in a future warming world? Climate models generally suggest that the tropics as a whole will get wetter, but the models don’t always agree on where rainfall patterns will shift in particular regions within the tropics.

A new study, published online May 19 in the journal Nature Geoscience, looks to the past to learn about the future of tropical climate change, and our ability to simulate it with numerical models. (more…)

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Global Warming May Have Severe Consequences for Rare Haleakala Silverswords

HONOLULU — While the iconic Haleakalā silversword plant made a strong recovery from early 20th-century threats, it has now entered a period of substantial climate-related decline. New research published this week warns that global warming may have severe consequences for the silversword in its native habitat.

Known for its striking rosette, the silversword grows for 20-90 years before the single reproductive event at the end of its life, at which time it produces a large (up to six feet tall) inflorescence with as many as 600 flower heads. The plant was in jeopardy in the early 1900s due to animals eating the plants and visitors gathering them. With successful management, including legal protection and the physical exclusion of hoofed animals, the species made a strong recovery, but since the mid-1990s it has entered a period of substantial decline. A strong association of annual population growth rates with patterns of precipitation suggests the plants are undergoing increasingly frequent and lethal water stress. Local climate data confirm trends towards warmer and drier conditions on the mountain, which the researchers warn will create a bleak outlook for the threatened silverswords if climate trends continue. (more…)

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Clam Fields Found at Deep, Low-Temperature Mariana Vents

Scientists have marveled at the unusual life forms thriving at high temperature hydrothermal vents of the deep ocean.

Now the discovery of clam communities near lower temperature vents in the Mariana Trench is providing information about both the biogeography of the clams and the extent of the serpentinite vents that sustain them. (more…)

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