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Nanocrystals could drive explosive volcanic eruptions

The formation of nanometre-sized crystals can even in low concentrations temporarily change the viscosity of magma and lead to violent volcanic eruptions. That is the conclusion of geophysicists in the UK, Germany and France, who say that their research helps to explain how otherwise calm and predictable volcanoes can turn unexpectedly explosive.

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Harvard climate change expert discusses extreme heat

Peter Huybers, a Harvard professor of earth and planetary sciences and environmental science and engineering, has been studying extreme temperatures for years. Recipient of a MacArthur Foundation “genius” grant in 2009, Huybers co-authored recent papers on how climate change can influence yields of crops such as corn and whether higher summer temperatures will be associated with increases in temperature variability in mid-latitude continents. He spoke to the Gazette about what we can expect in the future.

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What it takes to verify the hottest temperatures on Earth

A blistering 130-degree Fahrenheit (54.4 degrees Celsius) temperature reading in Death Valley, California, on August 16th quickly made headlines, but it could take months or even years before the number can officially break world records. If the temperature is verified, it will become the third hottest temperature ever recorded on Earth and the hottest temperature recorded on the planet since 1931.

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