What is El Niño? Why is this year's record El Niño a disaster?

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What is El Niño? Why is this year's record El Niño a disaster?

Scientists have long observed an event called "El Niño" that happens in the Pacific Ocean every few years.  It involves unusual warming in the Pacific Ocean, and it affects weather all over the world.  This year's El Niño is a record-breaker.  What does that mean for the world?  Check out this article and watch the video at the end to find out!

 

http://www.slate.com/blogs/future_tense/2015/11/18/global_temperatures_hit_new_high_amid_record_el_nino.html

 

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Antarctica is melting...

Last year scientists discovered that the huge ice sheet covering the western part of Antarctica had started to melt so much that there is likely nothing we can do at this point to reverse the melting.

Now, new research shows that the ice of eastern Antarctica is also melting.  Over the next century or two, the disappearance of all this ice, melting and flowing into the sea, could cause more than 20 feet of sea-level rise - enough to cover most of East Boston and Chelsea.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/energy-environment/wp/2015/03/16/the-melting-of-antarctica-was-already-really-bad-it-just-got-worse/

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Hot spot volcano gives clues about Earth's formation

Researchers have been studying a hot spot volcano in Samoa to learn about the composition of Earth's inner layers.  The magma that feeds hot spot volcanoes comes from much deeper in the mantle than the magma that erupts along plate boundaries.  For this reason, analyzing the materials found in the magma helps geologists understand more about what the hot, inaccessible inner parts of Earth are made of.  Getting a better picture of the Earth's mantle and core gives us clues about how the Earth formed, by showing us what elements were present as gravity first pulled chunks of matter together into the molten ball that eventually became our home.

Read the article

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