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Posts

April 15, 2014

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8:41 PM | Highlights from the Keystone Symposium on Stem Cells & Reprogramming
I recently attended the joint Keystone Symposium “Stem Cells & Reprogramming” and “Engineering Cell Fate & Function” at the beautiful Resort at Squaw Creek. In addition to gorgeous weather, there was an amazing lineup of talks demonstrating the power and promise of stem cells and cell/tissue engineering. Here are just a few of the highlights from the meetings:  … Read more
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8:38 PM | 2014 SkS News Bulletin #3: IPCC Report (WG III)
Averting catastrophe is eminently affordable Climate experts sound the alarm Climate protection a 'task that can be solved' Climate report finds UN emissions target not out of reach IPCC report summary censored by governments around the world 'Modest hope' to slow warming, but no 'free lunch,' U.N. warns Nations’ handling of new IPCC report presages divisions in treaty effort Reactions to the final installment of the IPCC analysis The top 10 ways to avert a climate catastrophe UN […]
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6:30 PM | Wells Spew Greenhouse Gas During Pre-Fracking Drilling
The potent greenhouse gas methane is spewing from Pennsylvanian natural gas wells during the drilling that precedes fracking.
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4:59 PM | Boulder blitz
Last week I got to spend a couple of days in lovely Boulder, CO for a meeting (fortunately right before Sunday’s snow). The meeting (which was for the Thriving Earth Exchange’s Advisory Board – keep an eye out for updates!) kept us inside a lot, but the NCAR facility that hosted us has some fantastic views of Colorado’s Front Range and the famous Flatirons. The boulders in the foreground and …
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4:46 PM | When will we reach 2°C?
A change in global surface temperature to 2°C above pre-industrial climate is often used as a threshold for ‘dangerous climate change’. Although impacts will tend to get worse as temperatures increase, there is no clear evidence yet of such a … Continue reading →
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4:07 PM | Geo 730: April 15, Day 471: Trolling Depoe Bay
Under the Highway 101 bridge, at the southern end of the Depoe Bay metropolitan area, one can see the narrow neck of the channel into the eponymous bay. I can't tell, at the resolution of the photos I have, what form the basalt is taking here. I suspect it's predominantly breccia, perhaps with some isolated pillows, based on the patchy white spots. The latter are almost certainly composed of zeolites and/or calcite, which are signature accessory/secondary minerals with mafic to intermediate […]
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3:30 PM | Revisiting the Ansel Adams Wilderness: Photos
A new book pays tribute to Ansel Adams and the wilderness area in California that is named for him.
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3:10 PM | Video Competition finalists – time to get voting!
This year we’re running the first ever EGU Communicate Your Science Video Competition – the aim being for young scientists to communicate their research in a short, sweet and public-friendly video. Our judges have now selected 4 fantastic finalists from the excellent entries we received this year and it’s time to find the best geoscience […]
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3:00 PM | Metazoan Embryos From Terminal Neo-Proterozoic Early Cambrian Himalayas
In Current Science Sabhyasachi Shome et al  and in Journal of Geological Society of India V.K Mathur et al report fossilized cellular remains in phosphatic chert sediments from the Krol Group (Terminal Neo-Proterozoic ~ 590 -543 mya) and Tal Group (Early Cambian ~ 540 mya) from the Lesser Himalayan sequences exposed in the Kamlidhar syncline north west of Mussorie. These they interpret as metazoan (multicellular animals) eggs and embryos. The findings are significant because they are some […]
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2:00 PM | Lunar Eclipse
A few nights ago I noticed the moon was very red. Knowing that this was sometimes a precursor to a lunar eclipse I did some research and found out that there are 4 full lunar eclipses in 2014/15, the first was tonight, the second will be on October 8th and two more next year. They are all either fully or partly visible in and around the Pacific and the Americas, but not visible in Europe. read more
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2:00 PM | Geologic Wonder: See Grand Canyon from Space
In a new image taken from orbit, the Grand Canyon is visible slicing through the Kaibab Plateau.
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1:58 PM | Soil colors – what more could you want?
Nuno Simões University of Algarve, Portugal E-mail: nuno_simoes58@hotmail.com We can easily see that soil color varies from one site to another, with depth, with topographic position and composition. Even color may be light brown in one side of the road and dark brown in the other. Whether for scientific purposes, or just curious, you study the colorimetric […]
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1:35 PM | How to Look at a Rock
I try to put up basic information here, but even so I'm way ahead of most people. Fortunately they keep writing me and visiting the Forum with pictures of rocks, and that tells me they need information that's even more basic. They say, "I've looked all over and can't find a picture that looks like this." That's not how to do things. Don't look at pictures, look at your rock. Look closely at it. Study it and take notes. Start here with Rocks 101: How to Look at a Rock. That said, I've added some […]
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1:16 PM | Mulroy joining Brookings
To Colorado Basin water nerds’ favorite question – What’s Pat up to? – we have an answer. According to the Las Vegas Sun, former Las Vegas water czar Pat Mulroy is joining the Brookings Mountain West project: Robert Lang, director of Brookings Mountain West, said the shrinking Colorado River is one of the most critical ...Continue reading ‘Mulroy joining Brookings’ » Related posts:Mulroy Calls For Vegas Water Vote Pat Mulroy on How Vegas Plans to Do […]
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12:04 PM | Bloomsburg Formation exposed near Elizabeth Furnace
As noted previously, I live in a regional scale fold: the differential erosion of the Massanutten Synclinorium has produced the ridge of Massanutten Mountain, which separates the Fort Valley from the Shenandoah and Page valleys on either side. The Fort is “fort” like because the strata which underlie it are relatively friable, soluble, or otherwise erode-able. The ridge-forming layer is the Massanutten Sandstone, a Silurian-aged quartz arenite. Here’s a boulder …
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12:00 PM | “M” is for Mercury
“M” is for the Univex Mercury CC, a fantastic little 35mm camera that took half-frame shots (that is, it got 48 exposures on a typical 24-exposure roll of film). The Mercury has got to be my favorite camera. Ever. It … Continue reading →
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11:17 AM | California 'Big One' May Not Be So Big After All
New simulations show up to 70 percent less ground shaking in a major Southern California earthquake than previously thought. Continue reading →
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10:28 AM | OpenSciLogs – A Glimpse of the Future of Science Blogging
Guest blog post by Paige Brown, SciLogs.com blogging manager and Ph.D. student in the Manship School of Mass Communication, Louisiana State University.  Read more
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8:41 AM | Horrible sauropod skulls of the Yale Peabody Museum, part 2: Brontosaurus; and no, I do not mean Apatosaurus
How can it be? All credit to the Yale Peabody Museum for having the courage to display this historically important object in their public gallery instead of hiding it in a basement. It’s the skull from the original mount of the Brontosaurus (= Apatosaurus) excelsus holotype YPM 1980. Needless to say, it bears no resemblance […]
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8:02 AM | Meanwhile, in the Skies Tonight...
Lunar eclipses are always interesting, and they can be shared by most of a planet, unlike solar eclipses that follow a narrow strip of land across the globe. I was a little frustrated tonight because high cloudiness affected the view of the unfolding eclipse, but I did what I could.I was reminded of one of the greatest teaching moments I've ever had, among them having an earthquake take place while teaching about earthquakes. During one of those moments, I was watching the students intently […]
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4:27 AM | Perspective on Rain and Oso/Hazel Landslide
Rain gets a bum wrap when it comes to landslides. Heavy rain caused the landslide is a common statement. Record breaking rain caused landslide or landslides. Yes, there is a correlation of when landslides happen and rain events, but you can not blame the rain for making steep mountain slopes, steep shoreline bluffs or steep river valley bluffs. The blame the rain gets added to by forestry types as well. Any suggestion that a landslide was caused by logging leads to […]
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4:00 AM | Alvarado Dr., Holbrook, Ariz.
This isn’t just old west ruin porn. There’s actually a water policy question here. This is in Holbrook, Ariz. There’s a big, expensive new levee protecting this neighborhood from the Little Colorado River. These properties back onto the levee. How do they decide whose property warrants protection? Related posts:Don’t Think About Water Crossing the divide Water in the desert, Kingman, Ariz., edition
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2:21 AM | A weird dry stretch
Here’s a statistical oddity. Through April 14, we’ve measured 0.4 inches (10 mm) of precipitation at the National Weather Service’s Albuquerque gauge in 2014, about 23 percent of the long term mean. This is the seventh straight year that Albuquerque has been below average through April 14. 2007 is the last calendar year in Albuquerque ...Continue reading ‘A weird dry stretch’ » Related posts:Another dry month at my house Running the table: dry at all […]
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12:19 AM | Events
Grab your calendar, plan ahead — biotech events through June, including the annual BIO Convention.  Read more

April 14, 2014

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11:53 PM | Bad news, good news, bad news.
So, the bad news is that it is looking increasingly likely that the world will experience a very strong El Nino event this 2014-2015 winter (winter in the N. hemisphere, summer down under).  There is even talk of a super-El Nino, one to rival 1998′s phenomenal event.  Lots of good information on that here at…
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9:04 PM | Geo 730: April 14, Day 470: Depoe Bay Geology
Not much "geology" to be seen in this photo, aside from a knob of basalt in the lower left. But make no mistake, there's a lot of geology going on here. I had long assumed (due to pillow basalts I'll show in coming days) that in this area, it was Siletz River Volcanics, the basement rock of the Coast Range. However, given the proximity of this area to Otter Rock and the ring dikes there, it should come as no surprise that this is actually Columbia River Basalt, of Miocene rather than Eocene […]
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8:05 PM | Chinese Pollution Changing N. American Weather
The brutal weather in the U.S. Midwest this winter has, in part, coal-burning power plants in China, a new study finds.
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4:39 PM | Renewed earthquake activity in Hekla volcano
Today (14-April-2014) an earthquake swarm took place in south part of Hekla volcano. The earthquake swarm took place close to Vatnafjöll mountains. This area is made up of crater rows from earlier eruptions. The largest earthquake in this … Continue reading →
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3:38 PM | Pretty picture: Sunset over Gale crater
Imagine yourself on a windswept landscape of rocks and red dust with mountains all around you. The temperature -- never warm on this planet -- suddenly plunges, as the small Sun sets behind the western range of mountains.
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3:14 PM | Can openness make us better? Help us find out!
Last year's Unsolved Problems Unsession (above) identified two openness issues — Less secrecy, more sharing and Free the data — as the greatest unsolved problems in our community. This year, we'll dig into that problem. Here's the blurb: At the Unsolved Problems Unsession last year, this community established that Too much secrecy is one of the top unsolved problems in our industry. This year, we will dig into this problem, and ask what kind of […]
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