Posts

August 07, 2014

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2:00 PM | A Simple Mineral Has Geochemical Power That Helps Spark Life
New work shows that the simple mineral sphalerite has geochemical powers suitable for helping life to arise from precursors in the mineral kingdom.
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1:27 PM | New Method Improves Performance of SiC Power Devices
Scientists at the University of Tokyo have developed a novel dielectric film growth technique which improves the performance of SiC power devices.
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1:00 PM | Do landscape corridors help invasive species?
Landscape corridors are a popular way to expand wildlife habitat. But since these connectors allow native animals and plants to travel between habitat patches, it stands to reason that they might also help exotic species invade new territory. “[T]he same principles that support corridor establishment for threatened species… suggest that corridors could simultaneously jeopardize entire
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1:00 PM | El Niño Fizzle: No Relief Likely for California Drought
Odds of a strong pattern of warm Pacific waters forming in time to bring winter rains are diminishing.
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12:21 PM | GeoPoll #3 – What got you interested in geology?
After a bit of an opinion hiatus I am back with the third geopoll. Every day I go to work at a university department filled with geologists. All of us are tackling different questions, but in the beginning we all started at the same place. Namely, not knowing anything about geoscience. In my conversations with colleagues over […]
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10:49 AM | High-speed rail’s slow progress
Ron Nixon, reporting for the New York Times: Still, even if the California, Florida and Texas projects all succeed, transportation experts say it is unlikely that the United States will ever have the same kind of high-speed rail systems as China or Europe. C. William Ibbs, a professor of civil engineering at the University of […]∞
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10:23 AM | #3: Try, Try Again
We were unable to survey yesterday because of rain and fog. But, we are giving it a shot today despite a somewhat foggy forecast. Here we go!
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12:45 AM | Iselle Now a Hurricane Threat to Hawaii; Julio is Following — and a New Disturbance Has Just Formed
Yesterday, I posted a satellite image showing double cyclonic trouble headed for Hawaii. Today the threat became even more troubling. At 5:15 p.m. EDT today, the National Weather Service issued a hurricane warning for the Big Island of Hawaii, as Iselle is now expected to lash the island with hurricane-strength winds on Thursday. Maui and […]The post Iselle Now a Hurricane Threat to Hawaii; Julio is Following — and a New Disturbance Has Just Formed appeared first on ImaGeo.

August 06, 2014

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10:46 PM | Rosetta Has Arrived, and the View is Astounding
It took five loops around the Sun, three gravity-assist fly-bys of Earth and one of Mars, and a journey of 3.97 billion miles lasting 10 years, five months and four days. After all that, the Rosetta spacecraft finally reached it destination today — and made history. Rosetta is the first spacecraft ever to rendezvous with […]The post Rosetta Has Arrived, and the View is Astounding appeared first on ImaGeo.
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8:15 PM | Researchers to Use Camelina for Biodiesel Production
Camelina sativa, a flowering plant native to Europe and to Central Asia, can be a valuable biofuel crop because it can grow on poorer quality farmland and needs little irrigation and fertilizer.
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8:02 PM | Lost on the Lake
By Rocky Kistner Tourists flock to the Dominican Republic to savor its crystal white beaches, lush tropical reefs, and meticulously manicured golf courses. But they may not realize that further inland, a climate disaster is growing: an enormous lake is expanding by three feet a year, swallowing whole towns and leaving a farming society with no land left to cultivate. In this short documentary, host Vikram Ghandi takes us on a tour of the devastation caused […]
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7:00 PM | New Tool Advances Genetic Engineering of Fuel Crops
A powerful new tool that can help advance the genetic engineering of “fuel” crops for clean, green and renewable bioenergy, has been developed by researchers with the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE)’s Joint BioEnergy Institute (JBEI), a multi-institutional partnership led by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab).
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5:24 PM | Ocean Pasture Plankton Blooms Scrub Mercury From The Surface Ocean
The crisis of high and rising mercury in the world’s oceans is growing worse. Article published here March 11, 2014 revised August 2014 Fish such... The post Ocean Pasture Plankton Blooms Scrub Mercury From The Surface Ocean appeared first on Russ George.
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5:08 PM | Greetings from Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko! Wish you were here…
It may be a mouthful to say, but Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko made history today as the first comet to encounter a human-made spacecraft that will eventually land on its surface, and follow it over the next several years. Known as Rosetta, this international mission is a cornerstone of the European Space Agency’s Science Program. Today, it made […]
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4:07 PM | Annals of Bone-Headed Science Communication
A liberal publication (which I like and read) has a message for vaccine-hesitant parents. Vaccinate your kids, you ignorant whack jobs http://t.co/ngmTIZWAxp pic.twitter.com/TiBXz99Vxi — Mother Jones (@MotherJones) August 6, 2014 Alas, this is an incredibly ignorant and counterproductive thing to say. Whoever is running MoJo’s social media operation needs to get familiar with the latest […]The post Annals of Bone-Headed Science Communication appeared first on Collide-a-Scape.
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4:07 PM | Oil and Gas Exploration Operations Can Use Brackish Groundwater
According to a new report released by Texas A&M University, oil and gas exploration operations can switch from fresh groundwater of brackish groundwater.
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4:00 PM | The Need to Develop Flora and Fauna Biometric Tools for Urban Planning
Collectively, researchers over the past 60 years (or more) have collected a good deal of data on urban biodiversity and impacts on urban plants and animals. From urban gradient studies to patch dynamic studies, we have a plethora of empirical … Continue reading →
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3:57 PM | Big birds as bushmeat
Historically, the hunting of wildlife species in tropical regions of Asia, Africa and South American has mainly been for subsistence consumption and local trade. Over centuries people relied on harvested wildlife products as a source of food and income. However, recently both local communities and foreign commercial interests are focusing on bushmeat and other products not only for food but also the development of medicinal products, both traditional and modern which led to massive overhunting […]
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3:56 PM | Algae: Friend or Foe?
By Brian Palmer Algae have a lot to offer. They feed the world’s marine life, thicken ice cream, and may provide the key to solving the world’s energy crisis. Algae hold your California roll together. But there’s an algal underworld, too, inhabited by murderous cyanobacteria and backstabbing Prymnesium. Many of these cloak-and-dagger species lurk in our streams and along our shorelines—as 500,000 Ohioans learned the hard way over the […]
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2:49 PM | The Arctic's Volcano of Garbage Erupts (and Keeps Burning)
By Jason Bittel A landfill in the Canadian town of Iqaluit has been smoldering since at least January “when thermal imaging revealed the then-four-story pile of trash had been burning deep inside like a dragon with indigestion.” Dubbed “Dumpcano,” the landfill has garnered international attention, inspired t-shirts, and of course, spawned its own snarky Twitter account. Dumpcano finally “erupted” on May 20 and has been […]
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2:36 PM | Costliest human-made disasters
Institute of Hazard, Risk and Resilience Blog - Making a difference to how we live with hazard and risk. Enough cannot be said about the number of disasters (including climate change) that are caused by human societies. Many of them are technological in nature or involve technology, especially when extracting resources such as oil as in the case of the [...] The post Costliest human-made disasters appeared first on Institute of Hazard, Risk and Resilience Blog.
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2:28 PM | Method Efficiently Converts Lignocellulosic Biomass Into Biofuel
Scientists at the University of California, Riverside have developed a new method to efficiently convert lignocellulosic biomass into biofuels and chemicals.
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1:00 PM | Air Sensors Citizen Science Toolbox
By Amanda Kaufman There is a growing interest by citizens to learn more about what’s going on in their community: What’s in the air I breathe? What does it mean for my health and the health of my family? How can I learn more about these things and even be involved in the process? Is […]
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12:10 PM | Vaquita Porpoise about to Go Extinct, Only 97 Remain
Millions of dollars and two decades of conservation efforts have failed to protect the Gulf of Mexico’s critically endangered vaquita porpoise (Phocoena sinus). Two years ago this species’s... -- Read more on ScientificAmerican.com
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12:00 PM | How safe is it to eat lionfish?
Ciguatera fish poisoning (CFP) is one of the most common marine poisons in the world. There are more than fifty thousand cases reported each year, though the true number of poisonings has been estimated to be closer to five hundred thousand. Seventy percent of those who live in the Pacific islands may have been poisoned
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6:21 AM | Giant Fire Clouds Over California
On Sunday, I posted satellite images of massive fire clouds billowing from wildfires raging along the California-Oregon border. On Tuesday, NASA’s Earth Observatory weighed in with more details, as well as spectacular photographs taken on the evening of July 31 by James Haseltine from an Oregon Air National Guard F-15C fighter jet — including the one above. And […]The post Giant Fire Clouds Over California appeared first on ImaGeo.
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4:54 AM | The Mt Polley mine disaster
At two am on the morning of 4 August, 2014, a tailings pond at Imperial Metals’ Mount Polley gold and copper mine broke through an earthen dam, sending 10 million cubic metres of tailings water and 4.5 cubic meters of tailings sediment pouring into Polley Lake and from there through Hazeltine Creek into Quesnel Lake.…
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2:02 AM | Quesnel Lake Toxic Spill Science Primer
It’s Begun, Dueling Boffin Banjos. Global News in Canada has rounded up a university boffin to profess on whether the 15 million cubic meter, 40... The post Quesnel Lake Toxic Spill Science Primer appeared first on Russ George.
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12:15 AM | #2: The Gang's All Here
It seems that everyone is migrating as they should. The research station is buzzing with activity- eight of us have been cleaning the office and house, organizing disentanglement gear, unpacking and testing research equipment, setting up computers and networks, and making sure the boat is fueled and ready to go. Monica takes inventory of our whale disentanglement kit, which accompanies us

August 05, 2014

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7:14 PM | July, 2014: This Month in Energy
Unconventional oil and natural gas extraction techniques are driving a revolution in the traditional energy sector, while solar and wind energy continue to gain market share. One report finds European countries to be the world’s most innovative and another report shows that California leads the U.S. in clean tech for the fifth consecutive year. We have collected all these stories and more of the most important energy news of the past month conveniently in one place for you to read.
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