Posts

July 14, 2014

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6:41 PM | Global climate models fail to simulate key dust characteristics
Climate models that simulate the airborne African dust that influences Atlantic Ocean hurricanes are not up to the task of accurately representing the characteristics of that dust. In a new study, researchers led by Amato Evan, a climate scientist at Scripps Institution of Oceanography, UC San Diego, examined the performance of 23 state-of-the-art global climate models used in the Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. The researchers found that none of […]
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6:13 PM | Jason Box interviewed by Mill Maher
Glaciologist Jason Box was recently a guest on Bill Maher’s show. Worth watching.
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6:10 PM | Costa Concordia Refloating: Step by Step
Watch step by step photos of the refloating of the wrecked Costa Concordia cruise liner.
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6:08 PM | "Supervolcano" Causes Road to Melt! Hmm, About That...
"Parts of Yellowstone National Park closed after Massive Supervolcano beneath it melts road!" screams the headline in a typical treatment of a modest story out of one of our nation's premier national parks. Let's take the fact that there was a modest sized earthquake a few months ago, and add a video of bison running away from (actually trotting towards) Yellowstone, and you have the makings of a huge non-story. The world is going to end because the "supervolcano" is going to explode and kill […]
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5:53 PM | Field Work Travelog – Day 2, Rain, Camelot, and the purging of fluids
We camped last night, to save costs. We chose a Yogi Bear Jellystone Resort, which wound up being a noisy disaster. Revenge was ours, however, when thunderstorms put an end to the squealing of children at 3 am.  Sadly for … Continue reading →
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4:32 PM | Geology in Pop Culture - Candy (Part 3)
And we have another Geology in Pop Culture with Candy. This time we go to the more mainstream "geological candy" when people thing of geological candies (if/when they ever do). Rock Candy. This candy is from the FAO Schweetz line.Rock Candy is one of the oldest and purest forms of candy. In the 1800s, it was used as a home remedy for all kinds of illnesses. Because it is a very difficult process, Rock Candy making has almost become a lost art. Rock Candy crystals grow in a concentrated solution […]
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3:00 PM | Costa Concordia Floats Again
It's been more than 2 and a half years since the cruiseliner ran aground off Italy's Giglio Island. Now the wreck floats again.
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2:00 PM | Road Melts from Yellowstone Volcano's Heat
Yellowstone National Park closed a popular road after geothermal heat cooked the asphalt.
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12:01 PM | The Changing Upernavik Waterfront
Project Background: Changing conditions in Greenland’s northwest glaciers over the last decade have led to a range of questions about water temperature and circulation patterns in the fjords where ocean water meets the glacial fronts.
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11:00 AM | Imaggeo on Mondays: The most powerful waterfall in Europe
On the menu this Monday is the opportunity to indulge in some incredible Icelandic geology. Take a look at a tremendous waterfall and the beautiful basalt it cuts through… Iceland is famous for its striking landscapes, from fiery volcanoes and fields of basalt to violent geysers and pools of the most fantastic blue. One of […]
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9:03 AM | Jobs and Conferences
A few jobs, internships and events that have caught our interest… **International Conference: Analysis and Management of Changing Risks for Natural Hazards 18-19 November 2014, Padua, Italy The conference provides an opportunity to discuss multi-hazard risks and multi-disciplinary research results on the effects of changing of hydro-meteorological risks and their effects on planning strategies. The […]
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8:00 AM | Science Snap (#29): African Fairy Circles
  If you’re wandering among the arid desert that stretches from Angola to South Africa, you may notice the ground pot-marked by millions of circular barren patches. These striking features are known as “Fairy circles”, and can grow up to 15 meters in diameter. Tall grasses often surround these circles, further accentuating these miniature crop circles. How these […]
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5:40 AM | Rupert Murdoch doesn't understand climate change basics, and that's a problem
Rupert Murdoch has a vast media empire. In the UK, his News Corp assets include The Times and The Sun. In the USA, he has Fox News, The New York Post, and The Wall Street Journal. In Australia, he's got The Australian and a multitude of local newspapers. Many of Murdoch's news outlets are also among the worst when it comes to getting climate science wrong and disseminating climate myths and misinformation. Inaccurate media coverage is in turn the primary reason why the public is so misinformed […]

July 13, 2014

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8:42 PM | SV-POW! showdown: Supersaurus vs Brachiosaurus and Diplodocus
This was inspired by an email Mike sent a couple of days ago: Remind yourself of the awesomeness of Giraffatitan: http://svpow.files.wordpress.com/2008/11/mike-by-jango-elbow.jpeg Now think of this. Its neck is 8.5m long. Knock of one measly meter — for example, by removing one vertebra from the middle of the neck — and you have 7.5 m. Supersaurus’s […]
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5:05 PM | Whatcom County Council Course Correction on River Erosion Site
The Whatcom County Council opted not to fund a river erosion project after initially asking to have the project added to the River and Flood 2014 work plan. I have to admit the title of the Bellingham Herald story covering the project was clever bellinghamherald.com/whatcom-council-changes-course.I previously did a summary of the erosion site (county-tax-dollars-to-protect-private-land). The Council had supported adding the project by a 4-2 vote, but process required an official […]
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3:15 PM | Orwellian Newspeak and the oil industry's fake abundance story
When what you are saying is so obviously at odds with the plain truth, it is useful to choose your words carefully to obscure this fact. This was the strategy of the Ministry of Truth, the propaganda arm of the authoritarian government depicted in George Orwell's novel 1984. The altered language was called Newspeak, a variant of standard English.The oil industry's fake abundance story is so full of verbal legerdemain that it has become a sort of lexicon of Newspeak for oil. The public relations […]
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2:57 PM | Prior appropriation: alive and well at the Colorado River basin scale?
tl;dr The 1922 Colorado River Compact was supposed to sidestep the “doctrine of prior appropriation”, assuring slow-developing Upper Colorado River Basin states that their fast-growing downstream neighbors wouldn’t lock up all the water. But while that may be true on paper, 21st century reality suggest “prior appropriation” is back. longer: Bret Walton’s Circle of Blue ...Continue reading ‘Prior appropriation: alive and well at the Colorado River basin […]
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9:54 AM | Only In It For The Gold: Neither Optimist nor Pessimist, Just Activist
Only In It For The Gold: Neither Optimist nor Pessimist, Just Activist. “We must stop treating the natural world as something to exploit, and start realizing that it is our home. If we do that, we can thrive.“
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7:53 AM | It's a SUPERMOON, But Then Again, the Moon is Always Pretty Cool
The Moon has an elliptical orbit, which means that it is sometimes closer and sometimes farther away from the earth. Today the moon is full and making one of its closer approaches (perigee Moon), at 222,611 miles. At other times it can be as far away as 250,000 miles (an apogee moon), which makes for a difference of about 14% in its apparent size as seen from Earth. It's also about 30% brighter.Such events are not rare, and in fact there will be five of them in 2014, including each of the […]
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7:39 AM | A.Bogus Voyage
After the "Raccophoon"- Pictured is a baby raccoon dog, much less threatening than the storm of its namesake.   read more
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2:23 AM | Field work travelog – Day 1, outrunning the Ohio-geists
Today is the first day of the month-long field season of 2014. Today is also the forest day of the the-day drive to get to the field area. I’m always adamant about getting past Ohio on the first day. Sometimes, … Continue reading →

July 12, 2014

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11:22 PM | Geo 730: July 10, Day 556: Stumped
From an Ore Bin article by Irene Gregory:   Scattered deposits of Tertiary fossil (petrified) woods are to be found throughout most of the Western Cascades adjoining the eastern side of Oregon's Willamette Valley, but those deposits making up the area known as the Sweet Home Petrified Forest in Linn County are among the most abundant and well known.   The abundance of the area's fossil wood is evident even to the casual traveler. It may be seen crushed or as fill in […]
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11:00 PM | Pecten jacobaeus Bivalve Fossil
Here is a picture of a pelecypod fossil housed in a display case at the Geologia building located on the campus of Sapienza University of Rome. The case can be found on the second floor of the building. The fossil is called Pecten jacobaeus and lived during the Pliocene Period. The fossil was found in Roman countryside. The university was founded in 1303 by Pope Boniface VIII. In 1870, it
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9:38 PM | Geo 730: July 9, Day 555: Roll Over
Heading back toward Corvallis, we got off I-5 in the North Eugene-Coburg area to get a better look at an outcrop we'd passed at other times. It's quite visible from the freeway, but there's no good or safe spot to stop and get a better look-see. I took a number of photos here, but I'm not really happy with any of them.Here's an annotated version. I'm not sure if we're actually seeing the right/south margin of the dike here, so that's dotted. Also, now that I have the photo marked up and loaded, […]
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8:43 PM | Lower conductivity detected in glacier rivers from Mýrdalsjökull glacier (Katla volcano)
Today (12-July-2014) it was reported in the news that conductivity in rivers coming from Mýrdalsjökull glacier are showing signs of less conductivity and lower water levels. There is still an uncertainty level in effects around this area, since … Continue reading →
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8:34 PM | Out of the Desert and Back to the Green Hills of Home
Today wraps up the story of a week-long journey through the deserts of the southwest. I've been telling the story as if in real time, so it sounds like I'm just now arriving home, but actually we finished the trip just over a month ago. It's a time warp of sorts. I'm about to leave on another trip, this time to British Columbia and Alberta.Coming home. You can live in a boring place, a place that is the worst in the country even, but coming home is coming home. There is the familiar kitchen, […]
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7:59 PM | Geo 730: July 8, Day 554: Technical Terminology
The technical term for these rocks is "squarshed." (Actually, I think that's more drag folding over a low-angle reverse fault.)Photo unmodified. March 9, 2012. FlashEarth location.
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7:26 PM | But to live outside the law, you must be honest
We didn’t win the Timed Race, alas. But we rowed well enough. In other news: * ATTP bemoans the poor quality of “skeptic” out there. As usual, wise comments from PP who amongst other ideas proposes that Another possibility is that the idea is to learn from the discussion. * If you’d like a fine…
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3:21 PM | Building DC goes to Mexico (or, why is the geologist taking pictures of the doorframe?)
One of the interesting things about inviting a geologist to any sort of historic site is the inevitable moment when they get distracted by the stones that have been used to build whatever fabulous architectural treasure it is that you're admiring. Case in point: When I was invited to go to the New Horizons Symposium in the Chimalistac neighborhood of Mexico city, I spent at least a few minutes each day taking photos of the walls (much to the amusement of my fellow conference-goers).
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3:13 PM | Biggest aftershock yet from Duncan quake - M 4.1
A magnitude 4.1 aftershock last night at 7:48 p.m. local time, is the biggest since the main 5.2 Duncan earthquake struck on June 28.  [Right, southern-most orange circle is the M 4.1 event.  Credit, USGS]There was another M 3.0 aftershock at 12:53 a.m. this morning.  That makes 7 events in a day and half of about magnitude 3 or larger, most of which were felt by local residents and some at least 30 miles away.
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