Posts

August 17, 2014

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2:56 PM | I'd be happier if I didn't write this stuff!
Thus happiness depends, as Nature shows,Less on exterior things than most suppose.                   --William CowperFor years my father--who is a really great guy--has been telling me that I'd be a happier person if I didn't write about all the converging threats bearing down on the human race. Turns out he's right!Here's what a new study said on the matter:Recent evidence suggests that a state of good […]
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9:37 AM | Invertebrate of the Week #7 – Sally Lightfoot Crab (Grapsus grapsus)
This week we are showcasing a dashing little crustacean known colloquially as the Sally Lightfoot Crab (Grapsus grapsus).  Sally Lightfoot’s can grow to a maximum carapace size of ~8cm and are […]
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8:27 AM | Weekly Wallpaper #1 – Cheetah vs Leopard in Botswana
Photographer Jamie Hopf managed to get a fantastic shot of a face-off between a male cheetah and female leopard in Botswana. According to the photographer, the leopard moved in to […]
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8:19 AM | Exfoliation in action in Twain Harte
Okay, so this is different. I've never seen exfoliation actually happen. I've seen distant rockfalls that might have been initiated by exfoliation, but this is pretty wild. Twain Harte is the Sierra Nevada village where there were dam failure worries a few weeks ago, probably related to exfoliation. It was posted by Dotysan on YouTube. Good job!
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7:05 AM | 2014 SkS Weekly News Roundup #33C
As Earth warms, relationship between science and religion thaws Climate change: the elephant in the room Climate change will widen the social and health gap Communicating climate change – without the scary monsters Corporate Australia in denial over climate change El Nino’s delay spurs memories of 2012 when it never came Is climate change key to the spread of Ebola? Many Republicans privately support action on climate Snowpack atop Arctic sea ice has dwindled since […]
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2:24 AM | Northern Convergence: Victoria, Finding Geology and a Rare Ecosystem in a Beautiful City
We start our blog journey through Canada with a view of alpine peaks, forests and birds. If the picture seems a little fuzzy, it's because it is a highly cropped view down one of the main avenues in the city of Victoria on Vancouver Island (below). And truth be told, the peaks are actually in the United States. They are the Olympic Mountains, across the Strait of Juan de Fuca. We had not gone far into Canada yet! Victoria is a pretty little city (population around 80,000, with a suburban […]
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2:11 AM | Short update on Bárðarbunga volcano at 02:12 UTC
This is a short update on Bárðarbunga volcano activity. Earthquake activity continues in Bárðarbunga volcano and shows no signs of slowing down. Two swarms have appeared in Bárðarbunga volcano system. One is at location called Kistufell, while the … Continue reading →
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1:57 AM | Tales of the Finger, Introduction
One of the “highlights” of my field season this year was when I had a wee accident and wound up with 5 stitches on the index finger of my right hand. In truth, this put a damper on the whole … Continue reading →
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1:54 AM | Hold The Thought: The Next 3.5 Years
Gozan no Okuribi (五山送り火), aka Daimonji (大文字), Kyoto, Japan, image cc via Vincent Follézou The O-Bon festival is currently underway in Japan and concludes tonight, August 16th, with the Gozan no Okuribi (“five mountain send-off fire”). Five giant images are set ablaze on the mountains surrounding Kyoto—a boat, a shinto shrine gate, and three kanji (Chinese characters used in […]

August 16, 2014

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5:53 PM | Short update Bárðarbunga volcano at 17:52 UTC
This is a short update on current status on Bárðarbunga volcano. Uncertainty level has been declared on Bárðarbunga volcano and it status has been raised to yellow. There are fluxuation in earthquake activity, this is normal since earthquake … Continue reading →
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4:57 PM | AAS/DPS Astronomy Ambassadors Outreach Workshop
Graduate students, postdocs, and early-career faculty and research scientists are invited to apply for an upcoming workshop providing training and resources for effective outreach to K-12 teachers and students, families, and the public. The workshop, based on the popular and successful AAS Astronomy Ambassadors program, will be offered all day Sunday, 9 November, at the 46th […]
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3:22 PM | The beauty of our monsoon clouds
Driving back from southern New Mexico yesterday afternoon, I saw a lot of this:   Video courtesy of Todd Shoemake at the National Weather Service’s Albuquerque office, where they enjoy the monsoon as much as anyone. Maybe more.
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12:46 PM | Unconfirmed eruption in Bárðarbunga volcano
This information is going to get outdated quickly as more information is collected on this activity. During all last week (Week 33) there has been a minor earthquake swarm in Bárðarbunga volcano. No other activity followed this minor … Continue reading →
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9:31 AM | 2014 SkS Weekly News Roundup #33B
Adaptation gaps mean African farmers fork out more money for reduced harvests Antarctica may lift sea level faster in threat to megacities Charles Mann and The Atlantic miss the mark in a confused climate change piece Dismantling Australian climate policy: a case study in disagreement Heavy rain and floods: The 'new normal' with climate change? Montana: Big Sky country, big climate problems Recent glacial melt mostly caused by man-made greenhouse gas emissions Recent urban floods: A simple […]
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4:38 AM | Geek Blog 2: Why boninites matter....
So, why is it "news" that we drilled into boninite, aside from the Cruise Prospectus indicating it as a target? read more
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1:40 AM | Natural History Through the Eyes of Charley Harper
In my experience, natural history illustration has always glorified the photorealistic.  As a discipline grounded in scientific inquiry, there has obviously been a persistent a desire to portray the wonders of […]

August 15, 2014

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11:22 PM | sample packaging 1
Sample packaging for shipment is an aspect of the environmental biz that may seem minor, but different field folks/organizations have strongly-held and conflicting opinions on The Correct Method.For this post, I'll focus on shipping fragile samples (glass bottleware) to a commercial lab. The basics are that you need to keep everything intact and cold, and prevent leakage. In practice, each unit (department, office, etc) has its own standard procedures. These generally started out based on the […]
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11:04 PM | Interstellar Dust Grains Found by Stardust@home
Seven possible interstellar dust grains have been found by Stardust@home, a citizen scientist project that The Planetary Society helped out early on. The dust grains would be the first ever examples of contemporary interstellar dust.
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10:04 PM | Continuing landslide turmoil in Nepal
Heavy rainfall is bringing continued landslide problems in Nepal and northern India, compounding the difficulties facing the Nepal Army at the Sunkoshi site
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8:40 PM | Open Letter to the AAAS about Science Advances
Dear  AAAS, This is an open letter concerning the recent launch of the new open access journal, Science Advances. In addition to the welcome diversification in journal choices for authors looking for open access venues, there are many positive aspects of Science Advances: its broad STEM scope, its interest in cross-disciplinary research, and the offering […]
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8:33 PM | Internship Opportunities with the Earth Institute Director’s Office
The Office of the Director of the Earth Institute is offering two internship opportunities: the Administration, Communications, and Research, Director’s Office (DO) internship; and the Communications, Research, Writing and Event-Planning Internship. Both will work with the Office of the Director. Send your resume and cover letter to Aditi Shah at ashah@ei.columbia.edu by Sept. 11, 2014. See below for more [...]
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8:17 PM | Geo 730: August 14, Day 591: A Slick Close-Up
This is typically what slickensides look like in the field. Though this is somewhat weathered, and heavily colonized by lichen (light spots) and moss (dark green spots), the scratches, aka striations, are clearly evident. At the very least, these striations are so-called "bidirectional indicators," meaning that their orientation gives the observer two possible directions for offset. In this case that would be to the left and down about 20 degrees, or to the right and up about 20 degrees. In […]
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7:45 PM | Reframing the Conversation on Industrial Energy Efficiency
A graduate student team from Columbia University including Mark Wolf of the M.S. in Sustainability Management program was tasked by the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) to research more effective ways of increasing the scope of energy efficiency improvements in the U.S. industrial sector. Their aim: to significantly capitalize on the $180 billion opportunity and reduce associated greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from a business-as-usual approach.
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6:45 PM | Geo 730: August 13, Day 590: Feelin' Groovy
Interzone's WiFi has been acting pretty rotten for several days now, and I had to run some errands yesterday, so things have become a bit backed up here at OTI. I'll try to get caught up today. Above, we can see some of the larger-scale gouging of the slickensided cliff up Quartzville road. Groovy, man!Photo unaltered. July 9, 2012. FlashEarth Location.
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6:27 PM | The OCO-2 First Light Spectra
Dr. David Crisp explains how NASA's Orbiting Carbon Observatory (OCO-2) works, and what its first light spectra tells his team about the spacecraft’s performance.
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5:45 PM | Tibet's Glaciers Warmer Than in the Past 2,000 Years
The glaciers on the Tibetan plateau -- which provide freshwater for 2 billion people -- are warmer than in the past two millennia.
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5:30 PM | Finding my way around comet Churyumov-Gerasimenko
Rosetta has nearly completed its first funky three-cornered orbit in front of the comet. Each day we're getting views of the nucleus from more directions. I step you through Churyumov-Gerasimenko's geography.
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4:00 PM | Will de Blasio and Cuomo Make Sustainability a Higher Priority?
The Earth Institute's Executive Director Steve Cohen discusses the future of sustainability in New York City and the New York state under the administrations of de Blasio and Cuomo.
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2:28 PM | Bottom Feeders
Graduate students, microbe goo … What is it that links the two? It seems that both life forms are found Where electron donors (food) abound!
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2:12 PM | Method of a fanatic order and perseverance – sandstone arches
In his classic and wonderful book Desert Solitaire, the original eco-warrior, Edward Abbey, described the landscapes of Utah’s Arches National Monument: … here all is exposed and naked, dominated by the monolithic formations of sandstone which stand above the ground...
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