Posts

August 22, 2014

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10:16 PM | Radio Problems Scrub LightSail's Day-in-the-Life Test
A pesky radio problem that has occasionally stymied LightSail has returned, scrubbing the mission's day-in-the-life test.
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9:24 PM | Curiosity update, sols 697-726: Mars thwarts driving and drilling
The Mars gremlins really had it in for Curiosity this month. A computer glitch and slippery sand conspired to delay the rover's progress toward Mount Sharp. And shifting rocks proved unsafe for drilling. The rover will continue driving toward Mount Sharp, departing Bonanza King without drilling, skirting Hidden Valley along a plateau to its north.
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9:12 PM | Bárðarbunga volcano update at 21:11 UTC
This is a short update. I am still a little sick (sigh) so it’s a bit hard for me to work properly. Information here is going to get outdated quickly and without warning. Few short points on current … Continue reading →
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8:48 PM | Oklahoma Has 20 earthquakes in One Day
The Sooner State was rattled by 20 earthquakes on Aug. 19. It's the latest in a significant increase in seismic activity, which scientists believe is being caused by fracking oil and gas wells. Continue reading →
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7:01 PM | Philae landing site selection process under way as Rosetta closes to within 60 kilometers of the comet
Rosetta spent the week transitioning to a lower orbit from which it continues to observe the comet. This weekend, the mission will select about five landing sites for more detailed study. They have also now estimated the mass of the comet.
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4:15 PM | Sickly Coral Reefs Fail the Smell Test
When looking for a place to settle down, young corals and fish use chemical cues to sniff out bad neighborhoods littered with seaweed.
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4:07 PM | Friday Headlines: 8-22-14
Friday Headlines, August 22, 2014 THE LATEST IN THE GEOSCIENCES It’s been a couple of months… but I’m back!   Today’s round-up: A thigh bone on Mars? NO. Drought causing uplift Pouring lava – Cool video of the day  No, … Continue reading →
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2:31 PM | Faint Young Sun
Through an ancient looking-glass, Perhaps you'd see more H2 gas, And if with denser gas collided, Greater greenhouse warmth provided.
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2:09 PM | Colorado River Basin forecast for the winter of 2014-15: “meh”
Even with the fizzling El Niño forecast, the winter outlook for the United States released by the Climate Prediction Center yesterday looks awfully El Niño-like, with odds favoring wetter weather across the southern tier of states. But for the bulk of the Colorado River Basin’s water-producing region, which is in the central Rockies, the forecast looks ...Continue reading ‘Colorado River Basin forecast for the winter of 2014-15: “meh”’ »
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1:27 PM | In the eye of the beholder
Christina’s first posts at “Updates” – ACD Fossil preservation is a tricky mistress. And a particularly deceptive one when it comes to invertebrate fossils. As the paleontology technician at VMNH, I am responsible for digitizing the fossils insects in our … Continue reading →
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1:25 PM | Has Earth's Missing Heat Been Found?
A new study suggests a natural climate cycle in the North Atlantic Ocean gobbled Earth's extra heat.
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12:48 PM | Reflections of a Changing North
No one ever leaves the field the same way they entered it. Yes there is a new layer of mud on equipment, the expected wear and tear on your personal gear and your physical being, but that is not what I am referring to. I am acknowledging the intangible shift in perspective from a deepened understanding and a broadened vision that has been provided by the experience, and beyond that the questions that drive the next field campaign.
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11:30 AM | GeoTalk: Meet Anna Rabitti, winner of I’m a Geoscientist, Get me out of here!
Earlier this year we ran the first ever I’m a Geoscientist, Get me out of here! event, an online chat-based game show in which school kids vote for their favourite geoscience communicators. In this week’s GeoTalk, Sara Mynott  talks to Anna Rabitti, an oceanography PhD student and winner of this year’s I’m a Geoscientist…   […]
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8:22 AM | From Firey Flow to Cool Art
Humans have a long tradition of taking rocks and making pretty things with them. Usually, when you think of sculpture, you think of marble, right? I mean, of course, marble – marble’s a... -- Read more on ScientificAmerican.com
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7:20 AM | How many?
"Sand people always ride single file, to hide their numbers."
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3:47 AM | Friday melts, weird weather and whales (it’s been a long time…)
It’s been a long time since my last post: apologies for that. You may blame a bad cold, an urgent need for root canal work, the peak of the truffle season (and truffle tours for culinary heroes1 ), the start of pruning and political distractions for the drop off in activity here. Normal service should […]
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3:06 AM | To Catch a Bullet, or a Woolly Rhino – Tales of the Finger
The second morning that we dropped into the cave, we found that some poor rodent had fallen to his death the night before. We were surprized when a few days later, an even littler mouse had fallen in, and survived. … Continue reading →
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2:50 AM | 10% of Iceland Closed as Concern Over Volcano Grows
Concern is increasing tonight that the Bararbunga (BOWR-Thar Boon-Ka) volcano may be getting ready to erupt. Earthquakes continue, and these type of quakes indicate that magma (Lava with high pressure gases) is moving beneath the volcano, which is much larger than the one that caused serious air travel disruptions a few years ago. Late today, Icelandic officials declared about 10% of Iceland off-limits, and is evacuating residents, hikers and campers …
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1:05 AM | Outline of A Scientist’s (me...) Day on Shift
• Up at 9 PM (!!), in a pitch-black room (no windows in the JR cabins, so a headlamp for camping or caving is very useful in the morning….) read more

August 21, 2014

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10:27 PM | Hiroshima: disastrous landslides with further rainfall warnings in effect
Catastrophic landslides in Hiroshima, Japan on Wednesday have killed 39 poeple, with many more reported missing. Further heavy rainfall is forecast for the area.
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10:12 PM | environ. consulting career paths
A long time ago, I mentioned that field personnel in environmental consulting can be broken into 3 broad categories, which are about evenly represented: geologists, engineers, and environmental scientists.Everyone starts out doing environmental sampling, because those samples are the foundation of everything else we do. And the cheap, entry-level folks get to do the grunt work. Field folks have a relatively clear pathway to management: first, start running small field events, then more complex […]
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9:24 PM | Geology Sonnet 4
Enough with carbon, climate variation Let’s look at rocks from a far older time, Which lacked much copper min’ralization, And when anorthosites were at their prime. Earth’s middle age- boring for a reason? Tectonics were remarkably unchanged. Ice and iron were both out of season. A billion years of uniform exchange Of isotopes, strontium, and S The active margins ringed the continent.
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9:03 PM | AESS Webinar : UN Sustainable Development Goals Setting Agenda for Sustainability
The webinar UN Sustainable Development Goals Setting Agenda for Sustainability is part of the Association for Environmental Studies and Educators (AESS) Webinar Series Visit Eventbrite to Register here The AESS webinar takes place on September 8, 2014 from 12:00pm to 2:00pm EST The live webinar presented by Magdalena A K Muir, Adjunct Associate Researcher with Columbia Climate [...]
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7:26 PM | Authors of Clean Air Act to Teach New Law Class
In the 1970s, Congress enacted a series of environmental laws that defined the direction and character of environmental policy. This fall, the writers of that legislation will teach a new class at Columbia dedicated to the process that led to these seminal laws.
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7:26 PM | Geo 730: August 21, Day 598: Spotting Our Quarry
Another view of the back wall of the Quartzville Road quarry, showing the horizontal columns that allow us to infer a dike cutting through. And my presumption, which is quite tentative, is that the lighter areas are less weathered and stained, suggesting that the dike is rhyolitic in composition. And it's the altered rhyolite that shows the most interesting minerals. I'm not sure I have a decent photo of it, but you can also find very fine black tourmaline crystals here, which suggests a high […]
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7:08 PM | Administrative Internships Offered by the Office of Academic and Research Programs
The Office of Academic and Research Programs, The Earth Institute, is please to offer a variety of administrative internships for Columbia and Barnard students for Fall 2014.
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6:00 PM | US West Rising Due to Severe Drought
The U.S. West is recoiling like a spring due to water loss from a severe drought, reports a new study.
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4:01 PM | Bárðarbunga caldera possibly lowering
This is a short no-picture update on the status in Bárðarbunga volcano. This information is going to get outdated quickly. There are now clues that Bárðarbunga volcano caldera is getting lower. While there are no signs of imminent … Continue reading →
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3:55 PM | On The Consequences Of A One To One Scale Map
 My Book Shelf # 30I have just started reading A History Of The World In Twelve Maps by Jerry Brotton, an exploration of influential maps through our history that shaped the way we viewed the world and in turn how our cultural habits, religious beliefs and political power equations of the day shaped decisions of how and what to represent. Each period in our history argues Jerry Brotton gets the map it deserves. It promises to be a really interesting read.Early in the introduction I came […]
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3:19 PM | Comet Flyby Missions for Mars Rovers
On October 19, the Mars rovers — like their orbiting cousins — will become comet flyby missions. Comet C/2013 A1 (Siding Spring) will pass within 140,000 km of Mars.
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