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Science Bulletin

Urban Sprawl: Phoenix

Most people think of urban sprawl as the construction of roads and buildings at a rate that exceeds population growth. Phoenix, Arizona, however, offers a contrasting model of sprawl. Its metropolitan area has grown more than 300 percent in recent decades, but its population has grown even faster. Since the mid-1980's, the city's population density has increased as people continue to move to the region even as the urban area's boundaries have grown more slowly. This trend is by necessity, since the water supply cannot feed an ever-expanding metropolitan area.

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Essay: Stars in Exquisite Accuracy

There’s only one star that astronomers have a firm grasp on: the Sun. Fundamental facts about other stars remain elusive. Find out how a powerful interferometer atop Mount Wilson in Southern California hopes to change that.

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Article

The Enigma of High Energy Cosmic Rays

In 1912, Viktor Hess took to the sky in a hot-air balloon and discovered a radioactive energy now called “cosmic rays.” Travel to Argentina to see how scientists now hope to discover at long last where the highest-energy cosmic rays are coming from.

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Article: GRACE Watches Earth's Water

Earth's water is in constant motion. It cycles through the planet's atmosphere, surface, and depths. This water cycle is fundamental to Earth’s climate — and is being dramatically affected by global warming.

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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: 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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Article

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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Article

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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