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Deep Impact & Dead Birds

During the first hour, reporter and editor for Earthfiles.com(1), Linda Moulton Howe, gave an update on the Deep Impact spectra results presented at the 9th International Asteroids, Comets and Meteors Conference in Brazil.
Linda said data from the Deep Impactor collision showed that 50% of Comet Tempel I is water ice. The Deep Impact spectra also showed every major rock forming element (except for iron), polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), as well as hydrogen cyanide and methyl cyanide, which Linda explained are precursors of the amino part of amino acids. Such findings could mean comets played a vital role in seeding life on Earth, Linda speculated. Read more at Earthfiles.com(2).
Linda also discussed how warming Pacific coast waters are contributing to thousands of bird deaths. According to Linda, temperatures off the coast of Oregon are 8 to 11 degrees F warmer than usual, which has caused a decline in phytoplankton. Many species dependent on this food web have died off, including as many as 100,000 adult birds, Linda reported. Read more at Earthfiles.com(3).

1. http://www.earthfiles.com/
2. http://www.earthfiles.com/news/news.cfm?ID=960&category=Science
3. http://www.earthfiles.com/news/news.cfm?ID=956&category=Environment

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