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With her research interests and enthusiasm flowing forth like a raging river when she speaks, it’s no surprise that Kevan Moffett studies the dynamic role of water in the earth sciences. As she begins her career at the Jackson School of Geosciences, Moffett will focus on the fields of hydrogeology and ecohydrology, exploring the relationships…

Scientists have discovered the cause for an observed slowdown in the Walker Circulation (WC) over the past 60 years, and in the process boosted their confidence in atmospheric models. The WC is a wind pattern in the tropical Pacific that, as it changes from year to year, spawns floods and droughts in North America and…

Linking Hurricane Sandy and Climate Change

Hurricane Sandy was dubbed a “Super storm” for its unusual formation. Kerry Cook, a climate scientist at the Jackson School, calls it a hybrid that was “drawing energy from the warm tropical Atlantic, but also from strong temperature gradients associated with the jet stream and the cold front.” Cook cautions against making any direct connection…

Perhaps the only positive thing about the 2011 drought in Texas, the state’s worst single-year drought in history, is that it ended up being the mother of all teaching moments. The lessons learned are not pleasant, but addressing them will give the state a fighting chance when the next major drought comes around.

Fracturing of the Antarctic Ice Sheet

Academic Minute (WAMC in Albany, NY), July 18, 2012 Featuring: Joe MacGregor

The National Science Foundation (NSF) has awarded The University of Texas at Austin and six other universities $3 million to establish the Delta Dynamics Collaboratory (DDC), a network of researchers working to build a comprehensive set of computer models that can reliably predict the physical and ecological evolution of river deltas. Deltas, which host highly…

Scientists from the U.S., U.K. and Australia have used ice-penetrating radar to create the first high- resolution topographic map of one of the last uncharted regions of Earth, the Aurora Subglacial Basin, an immense ice-buried lowland in East Antarctica larger than Texas. The map reveals some of the largest fjords or ice cut channels on…

A report from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and The University of Texas at Austin urges the U.S. to accelerate efforts to pursue carbon capture and storage (CCS) in combination with enhanced oil recovery (EOR), a practice that could increase domestic oil production while significantly curbing emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2). For decades the oil…

Mammals first evolved their characteristic large brains to enable a stronger sense of smell, according to a new study published this week in the journal Science by paleontologists from The University of Texas at Austin, Carnegie Museum of Natural History and St. Mary’s University in San Antonio. This latest study is the first to use CT…

Traces in Time

When Peter Flaig returned home from Antarctica, he found it pretty amusing that the city of Austin was shut down by an inch of snow, a little bit of ice, and low temperatures in the 20s. The university was closed, as were public schools and many businesses and government agencies. But in what can be…

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