Archive for March, 2004

Polar Dinosaurs Spotlighted in “Dinosaurs of Darkness” Exhibition

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: March 29, 2004   View Article

If famed Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen trekked across Antarctica a few hundred million years earlier, he may never have returned to reveal the details of the world’s underside. Cryolophosaurus ellioti might have eaten him for dinner.

The 22-foot-long (7-meter-long) carnivore with an unusual crest on its skull was one of several dinosaurs that thrived in the extreme polar regions of the world. Though the climate was warmer then than it is now, the dinosaurs endured months of darkness and temperatures that plunged below freezing.

Prediction Tool Puts Development in Hands of Locals

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: March 24, 2004   View Article

Indonesia’s poorest province, Papua, is a natural-resource trove that is both awaiting exploitation and begging for protection.

Conservationists hope an innovative software program will help residents guide the province to sustainable development. The program essentially allows local people to predict the effects of their civic decisions—whether to sell off local forests, whether to ban women from schools, and so on—on their communities.

Youth Scholarships Raise Awareness of Kyoto Prizes

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: March 23, 2004   View Article

For the past three years, San Diego, California, has played host to an annual symposium to mark the Kyoto Prizes. Somewhat akin to the Nobel Prizes, the awards are presented by the Japan-based Inamori Foundation to honor scientific, cultural, and spiritual achievement.

The annual symposia gather prizewinners, scholars, and the general public to discuss the laureates’ achievements.

On Spring Equinox, Day and Night Equal in Name Only

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: March 18, 2004   View Article

In the Northern Hemisphere spring officially begins today, the vernal equinox, at 1:26 p.m. ET. Soon trees will bud, snows will melt, and for the next six months daylight will tick more minutes off the clock than darkness.

The reverse is true in the Southern Hemisphere. But whether you are entering the season of light or darkness, don’t be fooled into thinking that on the equinox the length of the day is exactly equal to the length of the night. It’s not.

Sudden Ice Age Warming Linked to El Nino

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: March 17, 2004   View Article

During the last ice age, temperatures in the North Atlantic region rose sharply and quickly about every 1,500 years. The result: massive discharges of melted ice into the ocean which disrupted weather patterns around the world.

The trigger behind these abrupt climate cycles—called Dansgaard-Oeschger events—is the subject of a long-running debate that bears on the ability of scientists to predict climate.

New Planetoid Found in Solar System – Most Distant Yet

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: March 15, 2004   View Article

Astronomers announced Monday the discovery of the most distant object ever found orbiting the sun: a shiny, red body of rock and ice about three-quarters the size of Pluto. The plantoid is so far out that it takes 10,000 years to circle the sun.

“There is absolutely nothing else like it known in the solar system,” said Mike Brown. Brown is a planetary astronomer at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena and leader of the research team.

New Theory: Universe Created by Intelligent Being

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: March 11, 2004   View Article

On any given starry night thousands, perhaps millions, of people crane their necks skyward and allow their minds to swirl around two fundamental questions: Are we alone, and why are we here?

According to a lawyer and science enthusiast in Portland, Oregon, not only is the universe full of life, but some of it may be intelligent beyond our wildest imagination. He also says that collectively as intelligent beings we are entwined in our ultimate destiny: to give birth to another universe.

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