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Grades 9-12

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Shaping a Continent: Version 1.0

Discover how scientists are now marrying traditional fieldwork with cutting-edge computer modeling to produce the first animated, theoretical picture of the Basin and Range Province's geological evolution.

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Article: Zircons Recast Earth's Earliest Era

Rocks older than 4 billion years are not available to study, making the first 500 million years of Earth's history particularly mysterious. But cutting-edge techniques are now allowing geologists to study survivors of Earth's early era.

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Article: Follow the Magma

In 1669, the fastest and largest lava flow documented for Mount Etna on the island of Sicily killed most of Catania's 20,000 residents and destroyed much of the city. Why are scientists now watching Etna more than any other volcano in Europe? Find out.

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The Ice Plant Cometh

During a July 2004 project to drill an ice core from the top of Peru's Andes Mountain, the lead researcher took a detour… and made a discovery with profound implications. Learn more.

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Expedition for an Ice Core

By analyzing the relics glaciers hold — compacted snow and trapped air from ancient atmospheres, ash from long-quiet volcanoes, dust, insects, and pollen — scientists can reconstruct hundreds of thousands of years of Earth’s climate.

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The Coming and Going of an Ice Age

In the past two million years alone, Earth has experienced around 20 ice ages — cycles of advance and retreat of large continental ice sheets. When is the next one due? And will global warming change that due date?

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Rapid Change in a Warming World

Climate change isn’t always slow, small, and imperceptible in a human lifetime. Ice core analysis has found a single decade in which temperatures over Greenland shot up about 15 degrees Celsius.

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The Climate Jump Heard 'Round The World

Scientists know that the unusual and rapid temperature jump of the Younger Dryas was felt over half the globe. But they're only now beginning to understand why.

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Interactive: Watch a Glacier Melt

Qori Kalis is the largest outlet glacier of Peru's Quelccaya ice cap. See firsthand how it (like all tropical glacier ice) is melting because of global warming.

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In a Future Ocean, It Takes a Thick Skin

The next time you pry a clamshell or crack a lobster claw for dinner, pay a small homage. For many ocean creatures with hard shells, growing that armor is taking more effort than ever. Find out why.

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