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Can cacti ‘escape’ underground in high temperatures?

In the scorching summer heat of the Chihuahuan Desert in southwest Texas, air temperatures can hover around 97°F (36°C) while at the surface of the soil temperatures can exceed 158°F (70°C). Encountering these extreme temperatures, plant...

Family ties bind desert lizards in social groups

SANTA CRUZ, CA-- Researchers at the University of California, Santa Cruz, have found that a species of lizard in the Mojave Desert lives in family groups and shows patterns of social behavior more commonly associated with mammals and birds. Their in...

Pinpointing where volcanic eruptions could strike

A better way to pinpoint where volcanic eruptions are likely to occur has been produced by an international team of geophysicists. Scientists from the...

Sandia researcher: Amateur astronomers open potential lab in outer space for...

ALBUQUERQUE, NM -- Two amateur astronomers who independently observed and videotaped an asteroid striking the giant planet Jupiter on June 3 have opened the possibility, in effect, of a giant research lab in space for planetary scientists. Accor...

Vegetation essential to balancing climate models

Just as vegetables are essential to balancing the human diet, the inclusion of vegetation may be equally essential to balancing Earth's climate models. Scientists at MIT who were trying to create accurate models of climate change in the southern portion of the Sahara desert found that including a realistic component of vegetation growth and decay was absolutely essential. Without including the vegetation as a variable (rather than a fixed parameter), the models were not able to show the region's transformation from a fertile expanse of vegetation 6,000 years ago to an arid stretch of mostly sand and mountains today.

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