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Cross section cartoon of the West Antarctic Ice SheetAustin American-Statesman, July 14, 2013
Featuring: Dusty Schroeder, Don Blankenship, Duncan Young, UTIG

A team of University of Texas researchers recently discovered a swamplike system of water under an Antarctic glacier the size of New Mexico — a finding that might hold the key to how quickly the polar ice will melt and the seas will rise. From a nondescript office at the J.J. Pickle Research Campus, sweltering in the midsummer heat like the rest of Central Texas, this research team has become renowned for its study of some of the coldest places on Earth — not to mention Jupiter’s icy moon, Europa.

Los Angeles Times, July 13, 2013
Featuring: Ian Dalziel

Ancient volcanoes discovered deep in the ocean off Antarctica may explain a climate mystery critical to predicting Earth’s fate as humans pump more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. University of Texas geologists dredging thousands of feet below the surface of the central Scotia Sea off the southeastern tip of South America hauled up volcanic rock after their sonar mapping showed formations that looked uncannily like a sunken island chain.

Jack SharpFox 7 Austin, July 10, 2013
Featuring: Jack Sharp

A road crew has discovered a large cave just a few feet below the surface along Highway 620, just west of Round Rock, Texas. Jack Sharp responds to a proposal that the highway department fill in the cave.

Cross section cartoon of the West Antarctic Ice SheetLiveScience, July 10, 2013
Featuring: Dusty Schroeder, Don Blankenship

A sprawling network of low-lying canals, similar to a swamp, hides under Antarctica’s Thwaites Glacier, a new study finds. The fast-flowing Thwaites Glacier is one of the largest ice streams in West Antarctica. Scientists think Thwaites could significantly retreat in the next 20 years, adding to global sea level rise. Knowing the extent of the waterways underneath Thwaites will help researchers model the glacier’s ebb and flow, because the water lubricates the ice.

Spicewood, TexasUSA Today, July 9, 2013
Featuring: J.P. Nicot

Texas’ current drought is caused by changes in ocean circulation patterns such as La Nina, anthropogenic climate change, and other factors. One thing intensifying the drought’s impact is hydraulic fracturing. Water consumption for fracking in the state jumped 125% in three years and will continue to increase before leveling off in the 2020s, according to a University of Texas at Austin study this year by research scientist Jean-Phillippe Nicot. The UT study says oil and gas drilling accounts for less than 1% of water use statewide, and one-fifth of water used in fracking is recycled or brackish. But a similar 2011 study, also by Nicot, found it accounts for at least 20% of water in some counties where fracking is big business.

Pete Rose, Jackson School alumnus, will receive the Petroleum Group Silver Medal from the Geological Society of London Thursday at the group’s annual dinner. He is the first American ever to receive the award, said Jonathan Craig, chairman of the society’s petroleum group.
Austin American-Statesman, June 12, 2013
Featuring: Pete Rose

The Aletsch glacier in SwitzerlandWall Street Journal, June 2, 2013
Featuring: Clark Wilson

Accelerated melting of polar ice sheets and mountain glaciers was the driving factor behind a rise in the global sea level of 16.8 millimeters, or about two-thirds of an inch, between 2005 and 2011, according to a study published Sunday in Nature Geoscience. The study resolves long-standing discrepancies that arose from different methods of measuring sea levels. ”There was an increase in the melting rate in Greenland starting in 2005 and that is probably the underlying story why” a larger quantity of melt water has poured into the oceans in recent years, said Clark R. Wilson, geophysicist at the University of Texas at Austin and co-author of the study.

El Palito refinery, near Moron, VenezuelaAssociated Press, May 4, 2013
Featuring: Jorge Pinon

Venezuela has the world’s largest oil reserves, but PDVSA’s production, earnings and income all appear to be on a downward slide and its debts to suppliers rose 35 percent. “The government of Venezuela today uses PDVSA as its petty cash box to lead populist social programs,” said Jorge R. Pinon, associate director of the Latin America and Caribbean Program at the University of Texas, Austin. “Whatever capital is left in PDVSA is being mismanaged, mismanaged because they’re just not focused on running the company. … They’re focused on building hospitals and schools.”

Robert DullAmerican paleoecologist Dr. Robert Dull believes he’s pretty much solved the mystery behind a catastrophic global climate change event from the sixth century. As the new History series “Perfect Storms” shows, Dull has found solid circumstantial evidence that an eruption at El Salvador’s Lake Ilopango volcano was the cause of the so-called Dust Veil of AD 536, when a thick dust and ash cloud over the Northern Hemisphere cooled parts of the Earth and led to millions of deaths.
The Canadian Press, April 5, 2013
Featuring: Robert Dull

Workers on a natural gas drilling rigBloomberg, April 3, 2013
Featuring: Michelle Foss

Canada is pulling ahead of the U.S. in a contest to be the first exporter of liquefied natural gas from the North American shale bonanza to Asia’s $150 billion LNG market. “The smart money is going to Canada” to export LNG, said Michelle Foss, chief energy economist at the Center for Energy Economics at the University of Texas’ Bureau of Economic Geology. “They don’t have any objections to exporting gas and it’s closer to Asia, which cuts down on shipping costs.”

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