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Scientists report on Arctic's worsening conditions

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The Arctic broke records for summertime ice and spring snow cover this year, and the Arctic continues to get warmer and greener, according to a report released Wednesday.

Over 140 scientists contributed to the report, which the American Geophysical Union released in San Francisco .

The summertime ice pack was the smallest ever seen, according to the report. The amount of snow in the Northern Hemisphere in June was the lowest ever recorded, and permafrost temperatures topped previous highs.

The reduction of snow and ice has darkened the Arctic, according to the report. The warm rays of the sun get absorbed by the dark ground and open ocean, which continues the cycle of warming.

Though the Arctic saw significant retreats in snow and ice, arctic temperatures were not unusually high this year, according to the report.

Gophers win NCAA record 22nd straight

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The Gophers women's hockey team won its 22nd consecutive game Saturday, defeating Minnesota State Mankato 9-1, the Star Tribune and Pioneer Press reported.

The Gophers, who moved to 14-0 this season, haven't lost since Feb. 18, according to the Star Tribune. Minnesota won the final eight games of last season, including the national championship.

The Gophers scored four goals in the second period and four in the third. The team out-shot MSU Mankato 48-11, according to both reports.

Junior Amanda Kessel scored two goals and tallied three assists and junior Kelly Terry added four assists. Senior Megan Bozek also scored twice.

The top-ranked Gophers travel to New Hampshire next weekend.

Gophers defeat Illinois, reach bowl-eligibility

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Running back Donnell Kirkwood ran for 152 yards and two touchdowns as the Gophers defeated Illinois 17-3 Saturday, the Star Tribune and Pioneer Press reported.

With the win, the Gophers will likely earn a bowl appearance for the first time since 2009. The Star Tribune projects that the team will play in the Meineke Car Care of Houston Bowl on Dec. 29.

The Gophers' defense set the tone throughout the game, holding the Illini to a field goal after it marched 89 yards on its first offensive possession. The Gophers tied the game at three with a field goal late in the second quarter, and Kirkwood gave the Gophers the lead in the third quarter, capping an 11-play, 51-yard drive with a three-yard touchdown run.

Illinois turned the ball over late in the fourth quarter, and Kirkwood added a second touchdown to seal the victory.

The Gophers have won four straight games at Illinois, according to the Star Tribune. The victory was Coach Jerry Kill's first Big Ten road victory in his two seasons at Minnesota.

New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced Friday that the 2012 New York City Marathon is canceled, according to the Wall Street Journal and New York Times.

Organizers canceled the event as New York City continues to deal with the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, according to the New York Times. Many runners, residents and politicians felt that it was in poor taste to run through five storm-damaged boroughs.

The marathon has taken place every year since 1970, according to the New York Times.

Mayor Bloomberg said as recently as early Friday that the race would go on as scheduled Saturday morning, according to the Wall Street Journal. However, many worried that the race would get in the way of the recovery effort.

The hurricane killed 41 people in New York City alone, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Gophers lose to Wisconsin 38-13

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The Wisconsin offense pounded the Gophers defense on the ground Saturday. And then they pounded some more. And some more.

When it was all done, Wisconsin had ran for over 300 rushing yards, scored 24 second-half points and defeated the Gophers 38-13 at Camp Randall Stadium.

The Badgers claimed the rivalry trophy, Paul Bunyan's Axe, for the ninth year in a row, according to the Star Tribune.

The Gophers started the quarterback Saturday who they hope will help them end their losing streak against the Badgers. True freshman Phillip Nelson stared his first game, throwing for 149 yards and two touchdowns while also leading the team in rushing yards.

Though he threw two interceptions, Nelson led two touchdown drives, and coach Jerry Kill said he thought "his play was encouraging," according to the Star Tribune.

According to the Pioneer Press, the Gophers coaching staff loves Nelson. Coach Kill told Nelson that he is probably going to start for the rest of the season, according to the Star Tribune.

Kill said he thinks that giving Nelson some experience now will help him in the long run, according to the Star Tribune.

Senior MarQueis Gray played wide receiver, the position he played the majority of his freshman and sophomore seasons, according to the Star Tribune. The unquestioned starter at quarterback to begin the season, Gray will likely remain at wide receiver.

Skydiver makes 24-mile supersonic jump

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"Fearless Felix" leaped from a balloon 24 miles above earth's surface before safely landing in the New Mexico desert Sunday afternoon, breaking the mark for the highest-ever skydive.

Fourty-three-year-old Austrailian Felix Baumgartner jumped from 128,000 feet above the earth's surface around 12 p.m. MT and safely landed 20 minutes later, according to Scientific American.

With the jump, Baumgartner became the first man to reach supersonic speed without traveling in a jet or spacecraft, the Star Tribune reported. Baumgartner shattered the supersonic barrier- which is 690 mph- reaching a maximum speed of 833.9 mph, according to the Star Tribune.

While the journey lasted 20 minutes, Baumgartner spent only 4 minutes and 20 seconds in free fall, before his parachute deployed, according to Scientific American.

Baumgartner's mission- known as Red Bull Stratos- coincentally came on the 65th anniversary of the day that U.S. test pilot Chuck Yager became the first man to break the sound barrier in a jet, according to the Star Tribune.

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