Environmental Updates: 3/15/2020

Earth, the water planet. Image via NASA.

  • “Geologists have studied exposed, 3.2-billion-year-old ocean crust in Australia and used that rock data to build a quantitative, inverse model of ancient seawater. The model indicates the early Earth could have been a ‘water world’ with submerged continents.” -ScienceDaily
  • “The ExoMars “Rosalind Franklin” vehicle was due to launch to the Red Planet in July/August but engineers aren’t able to get the vehicle ready in time. Because an Earth-Mars journey is only attempted when the planets are favorably aligned, the robot’s next opportunity won’t occur until 2022.” – BBC
  • A new study has found that when underwater mountains — also known as seamounts — are pulled into subduction zones, not only do they set the stage for these powerful quakes, but also create conditions that end up dampening them.” – ScienceDaily
  • “A Washington State University research team has found that nanoscale particles of the most commonly used plastics tend to move through the water supply, especially in fresh water, or settle out in wastewater treatment plants, where they end up as sludge, in landfills, and often as fertilizer.” -Environmental News Network
  • “Wearing clothes can release even greater quantities of microfibres to the environment than washing them, new research shows.” -ScienceDaily
  • “Excess electrons could help break the strong chemical bonds in products that contaminate water supplies….Engineers at UC Riverside have now shown in modeling experiments that using excess electrons shatters the carbon-fluorine bond of PFAS in water, leaving by-products that might even accelerate the process. The paper is published in Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics.” -Environmental News Network
  • “Earth turned faster at the end of the time of the dinosaurs than it does today, rotating 372 times a year, compared to the current 365, according to a new study of fossil mollusk shells from the late Cretaceous. This means a day lasted only 23 and a half hours, according to the new study in AGU’s journal Paleoceanography and Paleoclimatology.” -Environmental News Network
  • ‘Gardens and graveyards’ of coral discovered in hidden canyons off Australia’s coast. Scientists are interested in these submarine crannies because they sit on the front lines of oceanic climate change.” -NBC News
  • “East Africa’s huge locust outbreak spreads to Congo. U.N. agencies are warning of a “major hunger threat” from the flying pests.” -NBC News










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