Posts

April 11, 2015

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6:11 PM | We win!
Good race, too, at least for the first half. Oxford up a few seats off an untidy Cambridge start, then they pull back, and I thought we’d lose it round the bend but no. Got very tense, boats close together. And then suddenly just after Hammersmith: whoompf and they’re through, and Cambridge can eat our…
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5:12 PM | Core flow continues
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2:39 PM | Duffy Creek
Duffy Creek is on the southeast side of Badger Mountain east of Wenatchee. The sign and the setting is classic BLM land - scrub steppe range land. A common site in the intermountain regions of the western U.S., but not so common in Washington State where the BLM footprint is a relatively small (washington-vs-oregon-and-blm-lands). A tract of land that was never claimed via the Homestead Act or railroad land give-a-ways or other schemes of privatizing land. Perhaps a bit too harsh […]
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2:00 PM | J is for Jug
J is for Jug Finding a brewing-related word starting with the letter J was a bit of a challenge… until I came up with jug. Jug is actually a great word, because it illustrates one of the great things about … Continue reading →
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8:39 AM | 2015 SkS Weekly News Roundup #15B
California's new era of heat destroys all previous records If we dig out all our fossil fuels, here’s how hot we can expect it to get New paper shows how sensitive the ocean biosystem is to climate change Obama adviser during Recession is given new challenge: climate change Oceans facing carbon rates which spurred mass die-off 250 million years ago Rapid global warming may be coming sooner than you think The pope as messenger: making climate change a moral issue The power and limits […]
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6:59 AM | Solar Pillar from the Foothills of the Sierra Nevada
We were headed home after a brief excursion into the Sierra Nevada foothills, and as we enjoyed the colorful sunset we noticed a solar pillar (or sun pillar). The pillar is caused by light reflecting off of ice crystals in the upper troposphere (the part of the atmosphere that we live in and where most weather occurs). It's maybe not the most vivid ever seen, but they always catch my attention. Now, if we could just get the auroras down south into California tonight!
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5:15 AM | The interior West’s disappearing snowpack
Checked in this evening on the snowpack map, which I haven’t been watching closely. Yow, what I missed! On the left is percent of average for March 1, on the right is this morning’s percent of average: Here’s what that looks like summed up across the Colorado River Basin above Lake Powell:
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12:37 AM | Curiosity update, sols 896-949: Telegraph Peak, Garden City, and concern about the drill
Since I last wrote about Curiosity drilling at Pink Cliffs, the rover has visited and studied two major sites, drilling at one of them. It has also suffered a short in the drill percussion mechanism that presents serious enough risk to warrant a moratorium on drill use until engineers develop a plan to continue to operate it safely.

April 10, 2015

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10:58 PM | First day of core flow
We have now been coring sediment in our first site for around 24 hours now and things seem to be mostly going according to plan. We have some nice turbidite sands which appear to be coming from the Indus as expected and we are doing our best to adapt to some of the sometimes cranky software on the drill ship. read more
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10:33 PM | Water in the desert, Wellton-Mohawk edition
The Wellton-Mohawk Valley is one of those places where you can feel the desert pressing in around you, a ribbon of irrigated green no more than 3 miles wide along the Gila River in southwestern Arizona. The last of the winter vegetables are done, and farmers are getting the ground ready for their spring-summer cover ...Continue reading ‘Water in the desert, Wellton-Mohawk edition’ »
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10:04 PM | Geo 1095: April 10, Day 830: Float Your Boat
A final shot, for now, of Clear Lake, this one was taken on the McKenzie hydrology trip with Anne, Chris, and Dana. It was on this trip that Anne showed us some of the wonders that water can pull off in this drainage. In terms of visible water, Clear Lake is where it all begins, but the real story starts across the many, many square miles of recent rubbly lava flows uphill from here. Rain and snowmelt sluices into the fractures, and over a period of years, trickles underground to emerge at this […]
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10:03 PM | San Diego displeased with state water mandate
The San Diego County Water Authority is displeased with the state of California’s decision to set the starting point for its water conservation mandate at 2013, arguing that it rewards communities that ignored the need to conserve until recently, and  penalizes those that have been at the conservation game for a while: For example, water ...Continue reading ‘San Diego displeased with state water mandate’ »
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9:51 PM | Amazing Temperature Change Over The Mid-Atlantic Friday
Here are two maps showing the temperatures at 5 Am and 4 PM. Many areas saw a rise of over 34 degrees in just a few hours today. This rapid change in temperature was made possible by two things. Ocean and elevation. At sunrise a chilly easterly wind off the cold Atlantic (where water temps are only around 42 degrees) had pushed all the way to the Blue Ridge Mountains …
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9:40 PM | Mineral museum transfer bill vetoed
Governor Doug Ducey vetoed SB1200 today, which would have transferred the former Mining & Mineral Museum to the AZGS to be converted into a Mining, Mineral, and Natural Resources Education Museum.    In his letter to Senate President Andy Biggs, Gov. Ducey wrote:"Today I vetoed Senate Bill 1200.  Although I commend the work of the bill's sponsor, we must evaluate the use of state buildings holistically, rather than individually.  At this point, there is not a plan […]
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3:34 PM | Fossil Friday – bite marks on a camel skull
One of the specimens we have on display at the Western Science Center is a cranium and partial vertebral column including the neck of the camel Camelops hesternus. A closer examination of the skull reveals some surprising features.  The parietals … Continue reading →
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3:32 PM | Friday Headlines: 4-10-15
Friday Headlines, April 10, 2015 THE LATEST IN THE GEOSCIENCES   Today’s round-up: Hot Spot in the Four Corners? Brontosaurus is back! Portable carbon dating device??? Solving the Four Corners Mystery: Probes Map Methane ‘Hot Spot’ This makes me chuckle. … Continue reading →
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2:51 PM | Solite Excavation: Day 21 and 22
Our last two trips to Solite have been filled with plants, fish, and the occasional Tanytrachelos. Our crew for the last two trips were VMNH staff and accompanying weather that can’t decide if it wanted to be freezing cold or pleasantly … Continue reading →
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2:41 PM | I is for Irish Moss
I is for Irish Moss Irish Moss is not actually moss, but derived from sea weed. It is added toward the end of brewing to help result in a clear beer. It doesn’t affect the flavor of the beer, only … Continue reading →
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2:30 PM | An Earth Epic
I hear that the Archean Earth Spewed lava and was hot, (While much later, "Snowball Earth," Apparently was not), Some have said that life sprung out of Spreading-ridge-type stew, Photosynthesis seems likely Based on carbon records, too.
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2:13 PM | The surprising strength of ‘rainpower’
Torrential rains inside hurricanes might be acting as a control knob on these giant storms, reducing their intensity by as much as 30 percent, according to a new study.
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2:00 PM | 'Warm Blob' in Pacific to Blame for Wonky US Weather
A blob of warm water in the Pacific Ocean may be to blame for some of the bizarre weather in the United States this year.
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1:56 PM | Sieving the goodness through sediments for IODP expedition 355
As soon as we had the first core on deck early morning today, our biostratigraphy team has been putting their best read more
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1:12 PM | In the Ice
Several days ago we reached our main work areas along the margin of East Antarctica. Our expedition is relatively late in the season and the seas around Antarctica are starting to freeze. While the abundance of sea ice makes it more difficult to get to all of our research areas, the different shapes and forms of [...]
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12:45 PM | Ocean of Acid Blamed for Earth's 'Great Dying'
Death by acid was the fate of the sea monsters that perished in Earth's biggest mass extinction, some 251 million years ago.
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11:00 AM | Where is the EGU General Assembly?
The General Assembly is almost here. Presentations are (hopefully!) complete, posters are printed, bags are packed and all you need to do is get to the conference… The Austria Center Vienna (ACV), the Assembly venue, is not far from the city centre and can easily be reached from the airport and central train station. You can get there via the U1, the red line in the underground map below: The ACV is located next to the Kaisermühlen/Vienna Int. Centre (VIC) U-Bahn […]
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10:32 AM | April 10, 1815: The Eruption that Shook the World
“I had a dream, which was not all a dream. The bright sun was extinguish’d, and the stars Did wander darkling in the eternal space, Rayless, and pathless, and the icy earth Swung blind and blackening in the moonless air;Morn came and went – and came, and brought no day”“Darkness” (1816) by Lord Bryon (1788-1824)In the year 1816 Europe was slowly recovering from the Napoleonic wars, ended just one year earlier. After years of desperation […]
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9:01 AM | To Recover First Stage, Just Read the Instructions
SpaceX is gearing up for a second attempt to land the spent first stage of a Falcon 9 rocket on a ship in the Atlantic Ocean.
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8:26 AM | Do Marine Animal Lineages Evolve Toward Larger Body Size Over Time
aka Cope's Rule-I like these big questions about the history of life and I am fascinated and very impressed when palaeontologists take up such questions. It is incredibly laborious and time consuming work, to go through archival data on fossils and often generate new data from museum specimens and older compilations describing fossil taxa.A recent study in Science Magazine:Cope’s rule in the evolution of marine animals - Noel A. Heim, Matthew L. Knope1, Ellen K. Schaal, Steve C. Wang, […]
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7:25 AM | Sumner road drone footage and two other new landslide videos
There are three interesting new videos on Youtube, one showing rockfall damage on a orad above Sumner in New Zealand, one showing a landslide induced house collapse in India and the other showing a landslide event (and its aftermath) in Greece
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7:00 AM | Sol 952: A Longer Drive and Slippery 10k
  by Ken Herkenhoff MSL drove 18 meters on Sol 951, as planned, putting the rover in position to image the terrain ahead and plan a longer drive on Sol 952.  The total “wheel odometry” for the MSL mission is now over 10 km!  But the total traverse distance is still less than 10 km, because the wheels sometimes slip while driving, and the wheel odometry does not take slippage …
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