Posts

July 15, 2014

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7:30 PM | Stolen 'Nest of Dinosaurs' Returned to Mongolia
More than 18 dinosaur skeletons illegally taken from Mongolia were formally returned to their homeland during a ceremony in New York last week, U.S. authorities announced.
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6:08 PM | Costa Concordia Refloating: Live At the Scene
The Costa Concordia doesn't appear to be posing an environmental hazard yet, experts say.
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4:12 PM | 2014 SkS Weekly Digest #28
SkS Highlights Deep Decarbonization Pathways Project (DDPP) Presents Interim Report to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon, a reprint of a UN press release, generated the most commets of the articles posted on SkS during the past week - illustrating once again that SkS readers and team members have deep and abiding perspectives about what should be done in order to prevent dangerous climate change The interim report supports the UN Climate Summit scheduled for Sep 23, 2014. The full DDPP report […]
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2:28 PM | US 89 landslide repairs to begin
The Arizona Dept. of Transportation issued the following press release on Monday:Damaged highway south of Page set to reopen before next summer travel seasonPHOENIX —The reconstruction of US 89 between Bitter Springs and Page will begin later this month after the State Transportation Board approved a $25 million project to repair the landslide-damaged highway at Friday’s board meeting in Cottonwood, according to the Arizona Department of Transportation.The roadway, which suffered […]
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2:21 PM | Small quake northwest of Kingman
Most of our attention has been on southeastern Arizona where aftershocks continue from the June 28 magnitude 5.2 Duncan earthquake.   But yesterday the opposite side of the state had a minor M 1.9 earthquake at1:13 p.m. local time, midway between Kingman and Boulder City.[Right, orange star marks epicenter.  Credit, USGS]
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1:59 PM | Krugman and Climate
Aside from the climate blogosphere, Paul Krugman’s “Conscience of a Liberal” is my most regular blog visit.  He does not usually have a lot to say on climate change (which is mildly disappointing) and I have seen only very shallow and casual dismissals of the, to me compelling, notion that perpetual growth as a requirement for…
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1:42 PM | Quick Rosetta update: Churyumov-Gerasimenko is a contact binary!
I could not wait to post these amazing new images of comet Churymov-Gerasimenko from Rosetta. The nucleus of the comet is clearly a contact binary -- two smaller (and unequally sized object) in close contact.
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1:00 PM | Polar Vortex in Summer? Not Exactly, Experts Say
The cold front sweeping across the United States is not technically a polar vortex, but it will bring significantly lower temperatures.
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12:19 PM | The event that connects like the web
Last week, Matt, Ben, and I attended SciPy 2014, the 13th annual scientific computing with Python conference. On a superficial level, it was just another conference. But there were other elements, brought forth by the organizers and participants (definitely not just attendees) and slowly revealed over the week. Together, the community created the conditions for a truly remarkable experience. Immutable accessibility By design, the experience starts before the event, and continues […]
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10:44 AM | Lofoten Islands: images of landslides and rockfalls
Over the weekend I visited the Lofoten Islands in northern Norway. This a selection of images of landslides and rockfalls that I saw along the way.
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10:39 AM | A Case For Patent Reform: How Gillette May Have Destroyed Innovation In Men’s Shaving
It has been over a hundred years since Gillette patented their technique of manufacturing disposable cheap blades and changed men’s shaving for ever. The amazing success of this patent and the realisation that intellectual property rights can only last for twenty years resulted in a decision by the Gillette Company to constantly innovate and develop variations […]
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8:36 AM | The Road Goes Ever Ever On: Getting Into the Field Again!
 Roads go ever ever on,Over rock and under tree,By caves where never sun has shone,By streams that never find the sea;Over snow by winter sown,And through the merry flowers of June,Over grass and over stone,And under mountains in the moon. The Hobbit, by J.R.R. Tolkien The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings were an important part of my youth, in part because Tolkien constructed a vividly real world in which he set his stories. The mountains of Middle-Earth, whether the Misty Mountains, […]
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2:36 AM | The Son of a Hunter
A visit to the Upernavik museum brought us to ‘Edvard’ a young Greenlandic and the local museum curator. Embracing the opportunity to practice his English he enthusiastically spent time sharing the historic art and past of the community and his experiences as a young adult growing up in a Greenland that is shifting from one set of cultural norms to another.
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2:08 AM | Pit to Pier and the Navy and DNR Aquatic Lease
The Pit to Pier project took a bit of a blow last week when the Washington State Department of Natural Resources completed an agreement with the United States Navy regarding aquatic leases within Hood Canal (announcement here).The Pit to Pier is a scheme to build a conveyor belt from a mining area to a ship loading facility on the shore of Hood Canal. The gravel deposits at the mine are a huge deposit of glacial outwash sands and gravels. In addition, there is a large rock quarry not far to the […]
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1:54 AM | Australian Drought Is Likely Result of Rising Greenhouse Gases
A new paper in Nature Geoscience has found that the increasing drought in Australia is very likely due to rising greenhouse gases, and dropping levels of stratospheric Ozone in the atmosphere, and NOT a normal climate fluctuation. Model data also showed that it will likely get worse as greenhouse gases increase over the next century. Key Findings (from GFDL release-see link below) An important new tool for prediction of regional-scale …
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12:22 AM | on-site pets
I've known several people who regularly brought their pets (dog/cat/other) with them for fieldwork. It's not something I would do, but it can work out under a few conditions:1. The animal in question is docile/well trained and likes to be right next to/perch on the shoulder of its owner. No bolting!2. The animal likes travel, or at least is easygoing enough that it doesn't care one way or the other. If it would be happier/more secure at home, then don't drag it around!2. The fieldwork doesn't […]

July 14, 2014

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10:17 PM | Antarctica: An Intimate Portrait of a Mysterious Continent
Science journalist Gabrielle Walker’s book Antarctica: An Intimate Portrait of a Mysterious Continent (Bloomsbury, 2012) tells an absorbing story of the wide variety of scientific work undertaken in Antarctica and the support services that maintain it. It also attempts to capture the human fascination of the continent, not least for the author herself in her […]
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8:12 PM | From the Center: Toshiki Okada
from Sonic Life of Giant Tortoise by Toshiki Okada, performed at JACK, Brooklyn, photo Carol Rosegg She described the feeling. It would start somewhere near her solar plexus and then move up slowly, all the way up into her tear ducts. Or, maybe it would be easier to describe the feeling like being really, really hungry. So […]
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7:38 PM | Field Work Travelog – Day 3, ‘MY-lan’ and the trains
So we’re still in Milan, Illinois. Mind you, it’s not ‘mill-AHN’ like that fancy city in Spain, but MY-lan. Because, why would we use the original pronunciations for anything? The track is at the local Chevy dealership, getting put back … Continue reading →
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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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