Tag: EAPS

Study: Global deforestation leads to more mercury pollution

About 10 percent of human-made mercury emissions into the atmosphere each year are the result of global deforestation, according to a new MIT study. The world’s vegetation, from the Amazon rainforest to the savannahs of sub-Saharan Africa, acts as a sink that removes the toxic pollutant from the air. However, if the current rate of […]

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Susan Solomon wins VinFuture Award for Female Innovators

Lee and Geraldine Martin Professor of Environmental Studies Susan Solomon has been awarded the 2023 VinFuture Award for Female Innovators. Solomon was picked out of almost 1,400 international nominations across four categories for “The discovery of the ozone depletion mechanism in Antarctica, contributing to the establishment of the Montreal Protocol.” The award, which comes with […]

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Unlocking history with geology and genetics

Fatima Husain grew up in the heart of the Midwest, surrounded by agriculture. “Every time you left your home, you saw fields of corn and soybeans. And it was really quite beautiful,” she says. During elementary school, she developed her own love of gardening and cultivated a small plot in her family’s backyard. “Having the […]

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Q&A: What sets the recent Japan earthquake apart from others?

On Jan. 1, a magnitude 7.6 earthquake struck the western side of Japan on the Noto Peninsula, killing over 200 people. Japan is prone to earthquakes, including a magnitude 9.1 earthquake in 2011 that triggered a tsunami and killed almost 20,000 people. William Frank, the Victor P. Starr Career Development Professor in the Department of […]

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New tool predicts flood risk from hurricanes in a warming climate

Coastal cities and communities will face more frequent major hurricanes with climate change in the coming years. To help prepare coastal cities against future storms, MIT scientists have developed a method to predict how much flooding a coastal community is likely to experience as hurricanes evolve over the next decades. When hurricanes make landfall, strong […]

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Three honored with 2023 School of Science teaching prizes

The MIT School of Science has announced the winners of its 2023 Teaching Prizes for Graduate and Undergraduate Education. The prizes are awarded to School of Science faculty members who demonstrate excellence in teaching. Winners are chosen from nominations by their students or colleagues. Roger Levy, a professor in the Department of Brain and Cognitive […]

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Co-creating climate futures with real-time data and spatial storytelling

Virtual story worlds and game engines aren’t just for video games anymore. They are now tools for scientists and storytellers to digitally twin existing physical spaces and then turn them into vessels to dream up speculative climate stories and build collective designs of the future. That’s the theory and practice behind the MIT WORLDING initiative. […]

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A carbon-lite atmosphere could be a sign of water and life on other terrestrial planets, MIT study finds

Scientists at MIT, the University of Birmingham, and elsewhere say that astronomers’ best chance of finding liquid water, and even life on other planets, is to look for the absence, rather than the presence, of a chemical feature in their atmospheres. The researchers propose that if a terrestrial planet has substantially less carbon dioxide in […]

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The science and art of complex systems

As a high school student, Gosha Geogdzhayev attended Saturday science classes at Columbia University, including one called The Physics of Climate Change. “They showed us a satellite image of the Earth’s atmosphere, and I thought, ‘Wow, this is so beautiful,’” he recalls. Since then, climate science has been one of his driving interests. With the […]

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Accelerated climate action needed to sharply reduce current risks to life and life-support systems

Hottest day on record. Hottest month on record. Extreme marine heatwaves. Record-low Antarctic sea-ice. While El Niño is a short-term factor in this year’s record-breaking heat, human-caused climate change is the long-term driver. And as global warming edges closer to 1.5 degrees Celsius — the aspirational upper limit set in the Paris Agreement in 2015 […]

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A mineral produced by plate tectonics has a global cooling effect, study finds

MIT geologists have found that a clay mineral on the seafloor, called smectite, has a surprisingly powerful ability to sequester carbon over millions of years. Under a microscope, a single grain of the clay resembles the folds of an accordion. These folds are known to be effective traps for organic carbon. Now, the MIT team […]

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Rewarding excellence in open data

The second annual MIT Prize for Open Data, which included a $2,500 cash prize, was recently awarded to 10 individual and group research projects. Presented jointly by the School of Science and the MIT Libraries, the prize highlights the value of open data — research data that is openly accessible and reusable — at the Institute. The […]

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Robert van der Hilst to step down as head of the Department of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences

Robert van der Hilst, the Schlumberger Professor of Earth and Planetary Sciences, has announced his decision to step down as the head of the Department of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences at the end of this academic year.  A search committee will convene later this spring to recommend candidates for Van der Hilst’s successor. “Rob […]

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Forging climate connections across the Institute

Climate change is the ultimate cross-cutting issue: Not limited to any one discipline, it ranges across science, technology, policy, culture, human behavior, and well beyond. The response to it likewise requires an all-of-MIT effort. Now, to strengthen such an effort, a new grant program spearheaded by the Climate Nucleus, the faculty committee charged with the […]

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With Psyche, a journey to an ancient asteroid is set to begin

If all goes well, on Thursday morning a NASA mission with extensive connections to MIT will be headed to a metal world. Psyche, a van-sized spacecraft with winglike solar panels, is scheduled to blast off aboard a SpaceX Falcon Heavy rocket tomorrow at 10:16 a.m. Eastern Time. Psyche’s destination is a potato-shaped asteroid by the […]

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Boom, crackle, pop: Sounds of Earth’s crust

If you could sink through the Earth’s crust, you might hear, with a carefully tuned ear, a cacophany of booms and crackles along the way. The fissures, pores, and defects running through rocks are like strings that resonate when pressed and stressed. And as a team of MIT geologists has found, the rhythm and pace […]

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Improving US air quality, equitably

Decarbonization of national economies will be key to achieving global net-zero emissions by 2050, a major stepping stone to the Paris Agreement’s long-term goal of keeping global warming well below 2 degrees Celsius (and ideally 1.5 C), and thereby averting the worst consequences of climate change. Toward that end, the United States has pledged to […]

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3 Questions: A new PhD program from the Center for Computational Science and Engineering

This fall, the Center for Computational Science and Engineering (CCSE), an academic unit in the MIT Schwarzman College of Computing, is introducing a new standalone PhD degree program that will enable students to pursue research in cross-cutting methodological aspects of computational science and engineering. The launch follows approval of the center’s degree program proposal at […]

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School of Science welcomes new faculty in 2023

Last spring, the School of Science welcomed seven new faculty members. Erin Chen PhD ’11 studies the communication between microbes that reside on the surface of the human body and the immune system. She focuses on the largest organ: the skin. Chen will dissect the molecular signals of diverse skin microbes and their effects on […]

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3 Questions: The first asteroid sample returned to Earth

On Sunday morning, a capsule the size of a mini-fridge dropped from the skies over western Utah, carrying a first-of-its-kind package: about 250 grams of dirt and dust plucked from the surface of an asteroid. As a candy-striped parachute billowed open to slow its freefall, the capsule plummeted down to the sand, slightly ahead of […]

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Ancient Amazonians intentionally created fertile “dark earth”

The Amazon river basin is known for its immense and lush tropical forests, so one might assume that the Amazon’s land is equally rich. In fact, the soils underlying the forested vegetation, particularly in the hilly uplands, are surprisingly infertile. Much of the Amazon’s soil is acidic and low in nutrients, making it notoriously difficult […]

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