Posts

March 20, 2015

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1:58 PM | Deadbeat Dams
Kindra McQuillan at High Country News interviewed Dan Beard, former head of the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, on his provocative new book Deadbeat Dams: Why We Should Abolish the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation and Tear Down Glen Canyon Dam: (Dams) distract us. We’re mesmerized by the construction of new facilities, as if it’s going to solve ...Continue reading ‘Deadbeat Dams’ »
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1:37 PM | Willard Anthony Watts (born 1958)[1] is an American blogger who runs the climate change denialism website Watts Up With That?
More wiki-fun. Or is this Google Truth in action? (Yeah, I know, the pic isn’t quite right but its good). Which is more accurate? Willard Anthony Watts (born 1958)[1] is an American blogger who runs the climate change denialism website Watts Up With That?.[2] A former meteorologist,[3][4] he is president of IntelliWeather Inc.[5] and directs…
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1:00 PM | Why Spring Gets About 30 Seconds Shorter Every Year
Spring arrives today -- and make the most of it since it will be 30 seconds shorter next year.
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12:25 PM | Tapply on steroids – by (climate trends in Scottish seasons)
A while back I wrote a post on using the R tool tapply, which is my most popular post. Tapply allows you to repeat a function over a vector split into groups, e.g.… Continue reading →
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12:00 PM | Friday fold: flexed turbidites
Spring is almost here! As you get ready for the equinox, enjoy this gentle fold on a Friday: These are turbidites (graywacke and shale) of the late Ordovician Martinsburg Formation, seen in Edinburg Gap, western Massanutten Range, greater Shenandoah Valley, Virginia. Bedding is flexed very slightly here, from moderately-dipping to more steep, and then back to moderate again. Slickensides on the top of some exposed layers indicate the beds shifted …
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11:00 AM | Electric Cars Combat Urban Heat
Electric vehicles are a useful tool for fighting sweaty city summers reports a new study.
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10:08 AM | Working in the Bangladeshi countryside
After traveling by boat for two days, including crossing the Sundarban Mangrove Forest, we finally arrived in Khulna. We drove to the site of our compaction meter and separated into teams servicing the instruments, investigating agricultural practices, measuring arsenic in the well water and taking sediment samples for dating. We had finally started our work in rural Bangladesh.
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9:15 AM | DNews: How a California Run Dry Affects the World
California, the world's bread basket, is in the midst of a four-year drought - its worst in a scary-long time. What does it mean for the golden state, and could the same be in store for the rest of the U.S.?
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4:15 AM | The Incredible Dunes of Namibia: Geotripper becomes an Armchair Geologist for a day
Here at Geotripper I usually write about my travels, geological and otherwise. I feel inordinately lucky to have a job that allows me to travel a lot, introducing my students to the incredible world that lies beyond the borders of their town. But there are certainly a great many places I have never visited, and may never have the chance to.I am also lucky to have a cadre of former students who also travel a lot, and some of them get to places I could not reach myself. For instance, one of my […]
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3:23 AM | Postcard from the field - Artillery Mountains
Christy Caudill, Deputy Chief in the AZGS Geoinformatics Section was showcased in the February 2 issue of Eos, the weekly news magazine from the American Geophysical Union, in a full page "postcard from the field."Christy's caption is, "I’m in the Artillery Mountains using a portable X-ray fluorescence analyzer to examine clastic sedimentary rocks - conglomerate and sandstone - or evidence of potassium, sodium, and calcium mobilization by low-temperature diagenetic alteration associated […]
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1:51 AM | Geological Society of America Southeastern section meeting
I’m currently on a trip back east, primarily to give presentations at two different professional conferences. After meeting up with my wife, Brett, we drove to Chicago to attend the National Science Teachers’ Association meeting. While there we conducted a workshop on … Continue reading →

March 19, 2015

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11:51 PM | California farming in drought: a “robust corpse?”
Jeff Michael published some new data today suggesting California agricultural has been more resilient and less damaged by the current drought than I expected. “[T]here is virtually no difference in farm employment between 2014 and 2013 in the 3 counties that are thought to be most devastated by the drought,” Michael wrote. But perhaps I ...Continue reading ‘California farming in drought: a “robust corpse?”’ »
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11:29 PM | LPSC 2015: First results from Dawn at Ceres: provisional place names and possible plumes
Three talks on Tuesday at the Lunar and Planetary Science Conference concerned the first results from Dawn at Ceres. Chris Russell showed a map of "quads" with provisional names on Ceres, Andreas Nathues showed that Ceres' bright spot might be an area of plume-like activity, and Francesca Zambon showed color and temperature variations across the dwarf planet.
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11:29 PM | LPSC 2015: "Bloggers, please do not blog about this talk."
One presenter at the Lunar and Planetary Science Conference asked the audience not to blog about his talk because of the embargo policy of Science and Nature. I show how this results from an incorrect interpretation of those policies. TL;DR: media reports on conference presentations do not violate Science and Nature embargo policies. Let people Tweet!
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10:55 PM | Minor earthquake swarm on the Reykjanes ridge
Today (19-March-2015) at 15:24 UTC a minor earthquake swarm started on the Reykjanes ridge. This earthquake swarm was minor, it however might be clue that more activity might happen soon in this part of the Reykjanes ridge. The … Continue reading →
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9:42 PM | The history of odd/even day watering restrictions
Reading Alex Breitler’s story yesterday about Stockton, for the first time in history, restricting the days of the week residents can water their lawns, I was reminded of this bit of business from Las Vegas: In 1950, the municipality began restricting lawn watering. During the next two years the city employed the alternate day method, ...Continue reading ‘The history of odd/even day watering restrictions’ »
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9:36 PM | Kids' Lab at the University of Basel Explores River Science
Dr. Nikolaus Kuhn and Brigitte Kuhn work with students at the Kid's Lab. Photo by Debora Haller.The University of Basel’s Kids’ Lab illustrates the world of natural science to children between 6 and 12 years of age by engaging them in hands-on exploration.Debora Haller is the head of the Kids' Lab. The Physical Geography and Environmental Change Research Group of the University of Basel supports the lab, including Dr. Nikolaus Kuhn, Dr. Wolfgang Fister and Brigitte Kuhn.The […]
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8:54 PM | Just FYI, I have a birthday coming up
Brian Devine gets how awesome this could be: @jfleck If you could mount it on buoyant outriggers it would make the sweetest Lake Havasu party boat EVER — Brian Devine (@bedevine25) March 19, 2015
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8:25 PM | Zoophycos trace fossils in Mahantango Formation, Fort Valley
A morning's field trip yields an outcrop of excellent Zoophycos trace fossils in southern Fort Valley, Virginia.
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8:00 PM | Hidden Channels Could Cause Big Melt in Antarctica
Two valleys underneath Totten Glacier in East Antarctica may be letting in warm ocean water that is melting the glacier's ice shelf.
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7:37 PM | Launch Pad Animals, Ranked
A semi-authoritative ranking of creatures that co-inhabit rocket launch sites around the world.
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6:01 PM | Creating a ‘Safe Space’ for Iconic Ecosystems
Important global ecosystems like the Amazon rainforest and Great Barrier Reef are in danger of breaking down because of a combination of local pressures and climate change, but better local management could help make these areas more resilient, say the authors of a paper published by Science this week.
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4:52 PM | Some Mushrooms Glow, and Here's Why
Certain mushrooms glow in order to attract insects who can help them to colonize new habitats. Continue reading →
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4:50 PM | Slides from the LPSC 2015 Session on the Community Response to NASA's Budget Request
The Planetary Society helped organize a community response to the latest NASA budget at the 2015 meeting of the Lunar and Planetary Science Conference.
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4:38 PM | Field Photos: Landscapes And People Goriganga Valley Kumaon Himalayas
Staggering!... is the word that comes to mind with view of sheer rock faces like this one.The northerly dipping rocks are not sedimentary, but are amphibolite and higher grade metamorphic rocks of the Greater Himalayan Crystalline series (some workers call it the High Himalayan Crystalline series) which make up the hanging wall of the Main Central  Thrust. I hiked through the lower portions of the thrust sheet a couple of weeks ago. The main rock types I encountered were augen gniess, […]
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4:37 PM | For the parched southwestern U.S., a good forecast
Today’s long lead forecast from the Climate Prediction Center is pretty sweet: That’s May-July, and here’s a reminder about what the color blobs mean, because that swatch of green across New Mexico, where I live, can be a bit misleading. The CPC divides climatological history into three bins – 1/3 dry, 1/3 the middle, and ...Continue reading ‘For the parched southwestern U.S., a good forecast’ »
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4:20 PM | March 2015 Open Thread
More thread.
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4:15 PM | Oddball 'Crystal' Crashed to Earth Inside Meteorite
The second known natural quasicrystal was found inside a meteorite that crashed to Earth in Russia.
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3:22 PM | The Southern Cone of South America
I am sorry I was not able to post pictures from my recent South America trip with Smithsonian Journey's. I experienced some computer problems and/or was in places with limited or no internet service (yes, places like that still exist). But here are a few now with more to follow.This was taken from my room at the Las Yamanas Hotel on the shores of the Beagle Channel. The photo was taken in Ushuaia, Argentina but across the channel is Chile. The channel, named after the ship Charles Darwin sailed […]
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2:51 PM | Waking up to America’s Water Challenges
"Will it take another Dustbowl for Americans to start paying attention to water issues?" asked Water Center Director Upmanu Lall. Or will it be the chance to create the "iPhone technology" of water? Whether the impetus is crisis or opportunity, according to Lall, the time to act is now.
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