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  • Start of 2012, March shatter US heat records
    Monday, April 9, 2012

    It has been so warm in the United States this year, especially in March, that national records were not just broken, they were deep-fried.

    Temperatures in the lower 48 states were 8.6 degrees (4.8 degrees Celsius) above normal for March and 6 degrees (3.3 degrees Celsius) higher than average for the first three months of the year, according to calculations by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. That far exceeds the old records.

    The magnitude of how unusual the...

  • Fire danger may be less this year, say forecasters
    Monday, April 9, 2012

    Fire danger is high this spring, as it is every year of the continuing Southwest drought, but there are some hopeful signs that this year will not repeat last year's record burns in New Mexico and Arizona, according to U.S. Forest Service meteorologists.

    "I have high confidence that we will not see prolonged critical fire conditions like 2011," said Chuck Maxwell, head of predictive services for the Southwest Coordination Center, which manages interagency response to...

  • Elephant on Mars Sculpted by Lava Flow
    Monday, April 9, 2012

    The dried flood of lava over the surface of Mars has created the spitting image of the eye and trunk of an elephant.

    The curve of the animal's forehead and the dent of an ear also appear in a new photo taken by the ...

  • Photo Slideshow: The Magnificent Beauty of Minerals
    Monday, April 9, 2012

    Watch video.

  • High UA praise for Tucson High teacher
    Sunday, April 8, 2012

    Margaret Wilch put down the phone and started to cry.

    The Tucson High School teacher had just received a some surprising news from Joaquin Ruiz , the dean of the UA College of Science: Wilch will receive one of two honorary doctorates awarded this May by the college.

    The other honoree is University of Arizona graduate Brian Schmidt, the 2011 winner of the Nobel Prize for physics.

    Ruiz said Wilch is the first high school teacher to receive an honorary doctorate from the...

  • Tucson showing how to get ready for warmer times
    Saturday, April 7, 2012

    With the Southwest already known as ground zero for climate change, an international environmental group says Tucson also sits on the front lines of places trying to prepare for and fight it.

    That, says the World Wildlife Fund, made Tucson the centerpiece of its annual global Earth Hour ceremony last Saturday. In the event, observed in nearly 7,000 cities and towns and 150 countries, people turn out their lights for an hour to raise awareness of climate change. In Tucson, the fund and...

  • Colorado River flow expected to be down
    Thursday, April 5, 2012

    The Colorado River, volatile as ever, is expected to run far below normal this year in Arizona following a near-record high 2011 runoff, authorities said Wednesday.

    This year's forecast of 49 percent of normal April-July flows into Lake Powell stems in part from very warm weather in March that prematurely melted an already less than spectacular snowpack in the river's Upper Basin. That's the source of most of the river water flowing into the Lower Basin states of Arizona,...

  • Ice age data show link between greenhouse gas, warming
    Thursday, April 5, 2012

    WASHINGTON - The dramatic temperature increases that thawed the last ice age followed spikes in carbon dioxide levels in the air, a new study finds. Researchers say that further strengthens the scientific case explaining current man-made global warming.

    In the new study, scientists show the atmospheric concentration of that heat-trapping greenhouse gas jumped more than 40 percent. Then global temperatures went up about 6 degrees Fahrenheit. What is remarkable is that when the two are...

  • AZ Senate OKs bill to let firms do own enviro audits secretly
    Wednesday, April 4, 2012

    The state Senate easily approved a bill Tuesday that would allow companies to keep secret environmental audits they conduct of their operations.

    Approved on a 20-9 vote, the bill worries environmentalists. The Sierra Club dubs it the "polluter protection act."

    Supporters in the mining, utility and other industries say the audits will encourage businesses to search for pollution, particularly historical problems. They say it will particularly encourage smaller...

  • Photo Slideshow: Meteorites, a Pictorial History of Our Solar System
    Wednesday, April 4, 2012

    Watch video.