Italy: Earthquakes don’t kill people, buildings do

Italy has once again been struck by a deadly temblor that, to date, caused 290 deaths and thousands of injured. This is the seventh deadly quake in Italy in the last 40 years, with most of the tremors concentrated in central-southern Italy.

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Giant helium reserve found in the East African Rift Valley

Underneath the iconic, East African terrain, lay huge volumes of helium.   Photograph by A. Tibaldi
Huge volumes of helium are trapped underneath the iconic, East African Rift terrain.
Photograph by A. Tibaldi

Reseachers uncovered a mammoth helium gas field, in the Tanzanian East African Rift, which they say could help address the increasingly critical shortage of this vital element.

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Getting rid of excess CO2 once and for all? Iceland tests confirm it is possible

Iceland's basalts have proven to be the key to tackling global warming once and for all. Photo by Federico P. Mariotto
Basaltic rocks, like the ones that were erupted in Iceland, may represent the key to tackling the global warming crisis. Photo by Federico P. Mariotto.

A new, cutting-edge research published by Science in June 2016 gives new hope to mankind: Global warming and climate change, the most devastating environmental problems that Earth is facing these days, might be defeated.

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New insights into the origin of Solar storms

Solar eruptive events caused by magnetic reconnection on the sun can lead to giant ejections of solar material, called coronal mass ejections. This one, as observed by the joint ESA/NASA Solar and Heliospheric Observatory, traveled through space toward Earth in July 2012. Credits: ESA&NASA/SOHO
Solar eruptive events caused by magnetic reconnection on the sun can lead to giant ejections of solar material, called coronal mass ejections. This one, as observed by the joint ESA/NASA Solar and Heliospheric Observatory, traveled through space toward Earth in July 2012.
Credits: ESA&NASA/SOHO

The Magnetospheric Multi Scale or MMS mission celebrates one year in space since it was launched in March 12, 2015. It’s now fully operative “in science mode” and collecting measurements with 4 spacecraft flying in a tetrahedral formation sampling the Earth’s magnetosphere and collecting pressure, velocity and temperature observations of charged particles in space. Continue reading New insights into the origin of Solar storms

A record-breaking catastrophe at Zion Canyon, Utah, 4,800 years ago


Nobody could even imagine what might happen if a landslide as catastrophic as the one that struck Zion Canyon, Utah, 4,800 years ago, were to occur today in the same area, a hikers’ paradise visited every year by millions of tourists. Continue reading A record-breaking catastrophe at Zion Canyon, Utah, 4,800 years ago

Looking into Mercury’s secrets

Mercury globe - Credits: NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Carnegie Institution of Washington
Mercury globe – Credits: NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Carnegie Institution of Washington

Mercury is the planet closest to the Sun and also the smallest in the Solar System. With a high-eccentricity orbit and a gravity which is about 3 times smaller than that on Earth, it takes about 88 days to complete its orbit around our Star. Continue reading Looking into Mercury’s secrets

Feature story: David Johnston and Harry Glicken, friends and scientists who paid with their lives their love for volcanoes

These days the world is watching as Popocatepetl Volcano is awakening, threatening the lives of as many as 9 million people in the Mexican state of Puebla and in the “Distrito Federal”, home of the 4th largest city in the world, Ciudad de Mexico.

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Global Change and unusual weather patterns

The changes in the general atmospheric circulation, induced by Global Warming, besides causing new weather records at a relentless pace, give way to more and more unusual combination of the meteorological elements. Southern Switzerland for example, as well as the most part of the Southern Alpine foothills, in the period November-December 2015 has recorded values of temperature, precipitation and sunshine duration which have never appeared together so far for these two months in the series of systematic meteorological data available since 1864.

The Verzasca Valley in the Southern Swiss Alps shortly before Christmas 2015: sunny weather and no snow.
The Verzasca Valley in the Southern Swiss Alps shortly before Christmas 2015: sunny weather and no snow.

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