NASA found materials on an asteroid like those that may have “triggered the origin of life” on Earth

When on Tuesday scientists lifted the lid off of OSIRIS-REx — a spacecraft that recently visited Bennu, an asteroid which might collide with Earth in the year 2182 — the researchers found something so overwhelming, they literally “gasped” at the “scientific treasure box” just discovered inside.

Those quotes were taken from a post on X (formerly Twitter) by NASA’s Astromaterials Research and Exploration Science (ARES) division, which is located at NASA’s Johnson Space Center....

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What an orphan owl taught an ecologist about bird intelligence

Owls are associated with intelligence, which isn’t surprising, because these birds have incredible smarts and even distinct personalities, as ecologist Carl Safina learned firsthand. After he and his wife Patricia rescued a baby screech owl that couldn’t be returned to the wild, they learned a lot about what owls are really like, as it grew up and raised its own baby owls....

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If we can’t fix this “frightening” problem, then we have “no hope” of addressing the climate crisis

One of the world’s most prominent advocates for taking action to halt human-caused climate change is Dr. Michael E. Mann, a professor of earth and environmental science at the University of Pennsylvania. The climatologist and geophysicist’s latest book is “Our Fragile Moment: How Lessons from Earth’s Past Can Help Us Survive the Climate Crisis.”...

Originally posted on salon.com

Japanese study detects microplastics in clouds, potentially altering the climate

No one wants to imagine giant cloud filled with plastic raining crud water all over them. Unfortunately, that is increasingly becoming reality, according to a recent study published in the journal Environmental Chemistry Letters. A team of Japanese scientists analyzed cloud water sampled at Mount Fuij and other Japanese mountains summits from 1300 to 3776 meters in altitude to search for microplastics....

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The landscape in New York City is sinking, accelerating risk of sea level rise and flooding: study

As humans continue to dump greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, the resulting climate change causes sea levels to rise. Given that New York City is on average less than three yards above sea level, America’s largest metropolis is vulnerable to sea level rise, which will cause widespread flooding. Yet this process will be worsened by the vertical motion of the land itself, according to a recent study published in the peer reviewed journal Science Advances....

Originally posted on salon.com