A series of power outages across the continent that occurred on April 21 may have been caused by a geomagnetic storm. Coordinated cyberattacks were initially blamed for the events, although a fire caused by an overloaded circuit breaker in one of the major outages ruled out that theory. However, it is possible that a geomagnetic storm may have caused the near-simultaneous outages, as there had been an ongoing solar storm at the time.
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The results of two new studies regarding Antarctic glaciers have been released, and the results of each shocked the researchers conducting them, including the first on-site survey of the Totten Ice Shelf, and the first large-scale survey of the Antarctic continent as a whole. Additionally, the results of the two studies do not paint an optimistic picture for the stability of our southern continent’s glaciers.
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According to data released by the U.S. Department of Energy, carbon emissions from power generating plants in the United States fell by five percent last year, in addition to a five percent drop seen earlier in 2015. This decrease is the first one experienced in the more than forty years since record-keeping on CO2 emissions began, and in 2016 overall carbon emissions in the U.S. dropped by 1.7 percent, with emissions from vehicles now outpacing electrical generation.
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Scientists have announced that a river in northern Canada has been dramatically re-routed due to the effects of global warming. Meltwater from the Yukon territory’s Kaskawulsh glacier, formerly flowing north into the Yukon River via the Slims River, now flows south into the Alsek River, emptying into the Pacific Ocean. The event underscores how rapidly potential changes can happen when systems that are affected by climate change reach their tipping points.
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