EARTH: Managing the Seismic Risk Posed by Wastewater Disposal

The debate over hydraulic fracturing has recently focused on the rise in seismicity throughout the primarily stable interior of the United States. These intraplate regions, though not unfamiliar with earthquakes, have been experiencing an increased amount of seismic activity in the last decade. This unusual increase is likely to be caused in part by wastewater disposal practices related to natural gas production. With such a sensitive issue it is important to keep the facts in perspective.

EARTH: U.S. Navy Navigates a Sea Change in the Arctic

The idea that the Arctic is changing is not breaking news. Sea-ice extent has been declining by 12 percent per decade since 1979, and the ice is thinning too. Because of this, new shipping routes are becoming accessible during the summer months, and the Arctic is beginning to attract parties interested in resource exploration, scientific research and tourism. Therefore, a more accessible Arctic not only means environmental changes, but also changes in our economy and our national security.

EARTH: Foretelling Next Month's Tornadoes

Tornadoes are notoriously difficult to forecast, with often deadly results: In 2011, tornadoes in the U.S. killed more than 550 people, a higher death toll than in the past 10 years combined. Now a new study on short-term climate trends offers a fresh approach to tornado forecasting that may give people in tornado-prone regions more warning that twisters may soon be descending.

EARTH Magazine Now Provides Digital Access for Institutional Subscribers

The American Geosciences Institute (AGI) is pleased to announce that, effective immediately, institutional subscribers to EARTH Magazine can now register for IP-based access for their users to view the full content of EARTH Magazine digitally. This option allows for seamless IP-based access for library users to PDF copies of all issues of EARTH. Print copies of the magazine will continue to be provided to all institutional subscribers unless they specify that they no longer wish to receive print copies. Perpetual access all subscribed issues of EARTH is provided with this feature.

EARTH: La Nina Could Set the Stage for Flu Pandemics

What do changes in weather and stressed-out birds have to do with your health? In a study in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Jeffry Shaman of Columbia University and Marc Lipsitch of Harvard University are beginning to see a new link between La Nina conditions and outbreaks of the flu that could help governments and public health officials determine when the next pandemic will strike.

EARTH: Danger in Paradise - the hidden hazards of volcano geotourism

Beautiful views and exotic thrills draw millions of tourists to volcanic sites each year. Previously frequented by smaller numbers of experienced hikers and trained tour guides, today's volcanic sites are plagued by throngs of novice hikers, who are often ill-prepared and uneducated about the risks of volcano geotourism. These groups of vacation-goers often display a lackadaisical attitude about safety that can put their lives at risk.

EARTH: Undressing Vesta

Since last July, NASA's Dawn spacecraft has been orbiting the asteroid Vesta, and capturing images and other data that are providing surprising results to the delight and amazement of researchers. Dawn's mission is to help reveal the processes and conditions that marked the first few million years - the dawn - of the solar system; and the information the spacecraft has collected about Vesta is changing the way scientists think about the formation of our early universe.

EARTH: Listening for Gas Bubbles

What if we could cheaply and efficiently detect a potent new energy source, while also monitoring for environmental safety? Olivier Carriere, a physicist in the Marine Physical Laboratory at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, and other researchers are using the symphony of sound produced in the ocean to do just that.


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