Institutes

NASA mission involving CU-Boulder discovers particle accelerator in heart of Van Allen radiation belts

Using data from a NASA satellite, a team of scientists led by the Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico and involving the University of Colorado Boulder have discovered a massive particle accelerator in the heart of one of the harshest regions of near-Earth space, a region of super-energetic, charged particles surrounding the globe known as the Van Allen radiation belts.

CU-Boulder prof to lead NASA campaign to study North American air quality

A University of Colorado Boulder professor is leading a major NASA airborne science campaign this summer that will probe weather patterns and air pollution over a vast expanse of North America that have potential global climate consequences.

Northern hemisphere losing last dry snow region, says CU study

Last July, something unprecedented in the 34-year satellite record happened: 98 percent of the Greenland Ice Sheet’s surface melted, compared to roughly 50 percent during an average summer. Snow that usually stays frozen and dry turned wet with melt water. Research led by the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences now shows last summer’s extreme melt could soon be the new normal.

Climate zones will shift faster as climate warms, new study finds

As the planet warms, Earth’s climate zones are shifting at an accelerating pace, says a new study led by a scientist at the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences, a joint venture between the University of Colorado Boulder and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

The bacterial bunch: Parents, kids and dogs trade microbes

As much as dog owners love their children, they tend to share more of themselves, at least in terms of bacteria, with their canine cohorts rather than their kids.

Ancient asteroid may have triggered global firestorm on Earth

A new look at conditions after a Manhattan-sized asteroid slammed into a region of Mexico in the dinosaur days indicates the event could have triggered a global firestorm that would have burned every twig, bush and tree on Earth and led to the extinction of 80 percent of all Earth’s species, says a new University of Colorado Boulder study.

Erupting volcanoes offset recent Earth warming

A team led by the University of Colorado Boulder looking for clues about why Earth did not warm as much as scientists expected between 2000 and 2010 now thinks the culprits are hiding in plain sight -- dozens of volcanoes spewing sulfur dioxide.

Mystery radiation ring around the Earth catches scientists by surprise

With the flip of a switch, a pair of instruments designed and built by the University of Colorado Boulder and flying onboard twin NASA space probes have forced the revision of a 50-year-old theory about the structure of the radiation belts that wrap around the Earth just a few thousand miles above our heads.

Deep ice cores show past Greenland warm period may be ‘road map’ for continued warming of planet

A new study by an international team of scientists analyzing ice cores from the Greenland ice sheet going back in time more than 100,000 years indicates the last interglacial period may be a good analog for where the planet is headed in terms of increasing greenhouse gases and rising temperatures.

Ice-capped Antarctic lake harbors life

A frigid brine, isolated from the outside world for about three millennia underneath a thick layer of ice in an Antarctic lake, harbors life, according to a research team that includes scientists from the University of Colorado Boulder.
 
The finding, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, offers a hint to how life might be able to thrive in extreme, icy conditions elsewhere in our solar system, such as those found on Saturn’s moon Enceladus, Jupiter’s moon Europa or on Mars.
 

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