Press Releases

In 2011, geologists at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, began discovering asbestos where none should be — in granite rocks with a geologic history not previously known to produce asbestos. In 2012, an epidemiologist analyzing cancer data from Clark County found a higher incidence than expected of mesothelioma — a fatal cancer of the lining of the chest cavity that is caused by inhalation of asbestos. In response, geologists have discovered a geologically unexpected deposit of asbestos that might be the source. Disagreements on process between the scientists and the state have prevented the traditional publishing of those findings.
Thursday, January 29, 2015 - 13:21
At times last year, 100 percent of California experienced moderate to exceptional drought conditions; even after massive storms in December, almost 80 percent of the state was still under extreme drought, the second-worst category. The drought has been ongoing for a few years now, and last year, state and local officials created new drought restrictions designed to mitigate the effects. But whether these restrictions will make a dent in California’s water shortage amid the ongoing and historic drought remains to be seen.
Monday, January 26, 2015 - 13:02
In 2003, scientists visited the Stornes Peninsula in Antarctica’s Larsemann Hills to study the rocks — especially those containing boron and phosphorus minerals. What they found set them on a decade-long path to protect the geology, culminating in 2014 with the naming of the site as an Antarctic Specially Protected Area. Stornes Peninsula became only the fifth location in Antarctica with geologic features deemed sufficiently precious to the geologic community to receive this high level of protection.
Wednesday, January 21, 2015 - 11:56
Return periods refer to the amount of time that passes on average between consecutive events of similar magnitude for a given location. But when it comes to communicating potential risk from flooding, return periods give many people a false sense of security, partly because they are often mistaken as absolutes instead of averages.
Monday, January 12, 2015 - 12:35
The American Geosciences Institute (AGI) is pleased to announce that the theme of Earth Science Week 2015 will be “Visualizing Earth Systems.” This year’s event will promote awareness of the many ways scientists monitor and represent information about Earth systems including land, water, air, and living things.
Tuesday, January 6, 2015 - 11:59
Since early 2002, American geoscientists have been working in Afghanistan to help the country develop reliable water supplies. Recent developments have included re-establishing the hydrologic expertise of Afghan scientists and creating local and national groundwater monitoring networks as well as a national climatic network. With the population expected to increase by 80 percent by the year 2050, all factors point to water being one of the most critical national needs.
Monday, January 5, 2015 - 10:27
Doctors and public health officials are concerned about the growing number of antibiotic-resistant superbugs like methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, better known as MRSA, and Clostridium difficile, or C. diff, as well as more common, yet still dangerous, bacteria like E. coli and Staphylococcus epidermidis. Now, doctors and public health officials may have a surprising ally in the fight against these bacteria: natural clays. According to a new study, clays with antibacterial properties found near Crater Lake in Oregon could eventually lead to new agents in the fight against these bacteria.
Monday, December 29, 2014 - 12:04
The vaguely familiar, yet primeval landscape of New Zealand served as the backdrop for the blockbuster film adaptations of the entire “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy and “The Hobbit” trilogy, the third and final installment of which opens widely this week. The geology that created this landscape is front and center in EARTH’s February cover story, “The Geology of Middle-earth.”
Monday, December 15, 2014 - 16:09
To enter the 2015 competition, applications must be postmarked by January 20, 2015. The winner will receive a $2,500 prize and a travel grant of $1,000 to attend the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) Annual Conference in March 2015 in Chicago to accept the award.
Tuesday, December 9, 2014 - 15:39
The discovery of hundreds of methane seeps on the seafloor along the U.S. East Coast suggests that hydrocarbon reservoirs may be more common along passive margins than previously thought. The release of such methane globally may have a significant influence on climate, scientists say.
Monday, December 8, 2014 - 11:53

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