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Scientists ringing alarm bells about the melting of Antarctica have focused most of their attention, so far, on the smaller West Antarctic ice sheet, which is grounded deep below sea level and highly exposed to the influence of warming seas. But new research published in the journal Nature Wednesday reaffirms that there’s a possibly even bigger — if slower moving — threat in…

When did it become wrong to challenge science? There is a recent move to publicly bully, disparage and shame those who challenge a purported scientific consensus. It may feel satisfying in the short term to deal with the “deniers” via public belittling or even legal action, but in the long run, this tactic will erode…

Energy Bankers Get a Hot Meal

In merging, Range Resources and Memorial Resource Development have thrown each other a lifeline and starving energy bankers a bone. I wrote here about how Range’s takeover of Memorial, structured as an all-stock deal, was like a disguised equity issuance to bolster the balance sheet. At $4.4 billion, it is also the largest deal between…

A new study in the April 22 Edition of Science reveals that volcanic activity associated with plate-tectonic movement of continents may be responsible for climactic shifts from hot to cold over tens and hundreds of millions of years throughout much of Earth’s history. The study, led by researchers at The University of Texas at Austin…

Oil and gas activity may have triggered a 4.8 magnitude earthquake that shook East Texas in 2012, new research says. In a peer-reviewed study made public Wednesday, University of Texas at Austin researchers call it “plausible” that underground injections of oil and gas waste triggered a series of temblors — including one of the strongest…

AUSTIN (KXAN) — Texans and Cubans have more in common than you might believe. President Barack Obama’s visit to the island nation is sparking discussion about what the future relationship may hold for Texas. “I think it’s bittersweet, but I think it’s something that needed to happen. It’s an historic moment,” said Dr. Jorge R….

Geophysicists are returning to Earth’s most famous cosmic bullseye. Around 7 April, from a drill-ship off the coast of Yucatán, Mexico, they will start to penetrate the 200-kilometre-wide Chicxulub crater, which formed 66 million years ago when an enormous asteroid smashed into the planet. The aftermath of the impact obliterated most life on Earth, including…

Rising from the floor of Gale Crater on Mars, a stack of sedimentary rock called Mount Sharp towers 5.5 kilometers above the ground. The mountain is only a little shorter than North America’s tallest peak, Alaska’s Mount Denali (nearly 6.2 kilometers high). Monstrous mountains on Earth are usually created by colliding  plates of the planet’s…

What can erosion tell us about climate change? Sean Gulick, a geophysicist at the Jackson School of Geosciences at The University of Texas at Austin, explains how climate can grind mountains faster than they can be rebuilt. Sean Gulick is a research scientist and professor at the Institute for Geophysics at The University of Texas…

Drilling for Earthquakes

To Cathy Wallace, the earthquakes that have been rattling her tidy suburban home in Dallas feel like underground thunderstorms. First comes a distant roar, then a boom and a jolt. Her house shakes, and the windows shudder. Framed prints on the walls clatter and tilt. A heavy glass vase tips over with a crash. The…

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