Science in Brief

Impact crater spotted beneath ice

A massive impact crater hides beneath Greenland's ice.
A massive impact crater hides beneath Greenland's ice.
Stock illustration.
A meteor impact crater roughly the size of the Washington, D.C., beltway area is hidden under a half-mile of ice in northwest Greenland.

       The crater is approximately 1,000 feet deep and more than 19 miles in diameter. Researchers noticed the circular depression under Hiawatha Glacier at the edge of an ice sheet in northwestern Greenland in 2015, according to NASA. They used radar data from NASA’s Operation IceBridge—an airborne mission to track changes in polar ice in order to map the topography beneath the ice.
     Using the radar data, NASA researchers, along with scientists from the University of Copenhagen’s Centre for GeoGenetics at the Natural History Museum of Denmark, worked three years to verify the discovery, published in the Nov. 14 issue of the journal Science Advances.
     The research is "A large impact crater beneath Hiawatha Glacier in northwest Greenland," by Kurt H. Kjær et al.
NATURAL SOLUTIONS: There’s plenty of reason to worry about global warming. But a recent report by The Nature Conservancy and 21 institutional partners finds that humans can mitigate one-fifth of carbon emissions using natural solutions.
    The organization describes it as turbocharging nature to address climate change. Solutions include “growing taller trees, improving soil health, protecting grasslands and restoring coastal wetlands” to increase carbon storage and reduce greenhouse gas pollution, the conservancy reports. A carbon mapper on the organization's website shows how the country and each of the lower 48 states can mitigate climate change through natural pathways such as fire management, urban reforestation and grassland restoration.   
     An earlier study by the group showed that, worldwide, natural solutions could mitigate more than a third of the emissions needed to hit global targets by 2030.
       The Paris Agreement, signed in 2015 by leaders around the world, attempts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5 degrees Celsius.  


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