Posts

August 18, 2014

+
3:34 PM | New Postcards from Mars
The latest snaphots from the "Mars Webcam" include something special.
+
2:46 PM | Field Report From Mars: Sol 3753 – August 15, 2014
Opportunity just completed its first drives upslope on its long journey toward the crest of the highest rim segment of Endeavour crater, “Cape Tribulation.” Larry Crumpler gives us an update on what to expect next from the little rover that could.
+
2:40 PM | Farmers’ economic flexibility
Zetland, worth elevating from the comments: Most farmers tend to underplay their flexibility when talking about how much water they “need” but not when allocating the water they have.  
+
2:00 PM | Earth Institute Offers Funding for Student Initiatives
In an effort to better support students in their efforts to raise awareness about sustainability on campus, the Earth Institute is making available funding for the new Student Initiatives Support Program, offering grants of up to $250 each semester to support students who wish to host conferences, panels and other events at Columbia University that relate to the work of the Earth Institute.
+
1:40 PM | Major Gift Will Expand Center for Climate Change Law
Columbia Law School's Center for Climate Change Law will be newly expanded with a major gift from the Andrew Sabin Family Foundation. The center, an affiliate of the Earth Institute, has been renamed the Sabin Center for Climate Change Law.
+
11:00 AM | Earth Shots: Must-See Planet Pics
Glaciers retreat in Alaska, two tropical storms harass Hawaii and dust covers the Red Sea.
+
10:30 AM | Imaggeo On Mondays: Loch Leven
Over hundreds and thousands of years, glaciers reshape the landscape beneath them. As they creep forward, the combined weight of the glacier and the perpetual forward movement means the ice continuously erodes away the rock below, permanently changing the terrain. During the last Ice Age much of Scotland and northern Britain were covered by a […]
+
9:20 AM | ADWR land subsidence report released
The Arizona Dept. of Water Resources has released its second report on statewide monitoring of land subsidence. "Land Subsidence Monitoring Report 2" is online for free viewing and downloading. [Right, index maps of active land subsidence areas in Arizona, from the report]The subsiding basins are all in the Basin and Range province of […]
+
9:09 AM | M3.1 aftershock from Duncan quake
A magnitude 3.1 earthquake occurred at 9:13 pm on Friday evening, in the aftershock area of the M5.2 Duncan earthquake. [Right, orange star marks epicenter.  Credit USGS]The main shock was on June 28 and aftershocks are continuing intermittently, with the largest being M4.1.
+
9:00 AM | GfGD Conference
Register for the 2nd GfGD Conference by the end of August and you’ll be given the chance to win this attractive 60 x 40 cm canvas of geology related pictures. A winner from those registering before 31st August, and in attendance, will be drawn on the day itself. Registration is reasonably priced and easy to do, and we’re […]
+
5:38 AM | Global warming denial rears its ugly head around the world, in English
As people’s understanding of climate science grows, among both experts and non-experts alike, we become more accepting of the fact that humans are the driving force behind global warming. That’s because the evidence supporting human-caused global warming is overwhelming; hence rejection of that reality is usually based on an incomplete understanding of the scientific evidence. In Australia, Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s chief business adviser Maurice Newman offered a prime […]
+
3:28 AM | New publication: phylogenetic relationships of fur seals and sea lions (Otariidae)
Last week saw publication of a new study by Morgan Churchill, Mark Clementz, and myself, which presents a new cladistic analysis of the pinniped family Otariidae (Morphobank account/matrix available HERE) - known informally as fur seals and sea lions. I've been fascinated with fossil otariids since I started research on a specimen of the Pliocene dwarf fur seal Callorhinus gilmorei from the Rio Dell Formation in Northern California. This collaboration has been about two years in the making, and […]
+
12:02 AM | Camille Struck 45 Years Ago Tonight
The stagnant muggy heat of August began to break 45 years ago today on the coast of Mississippi, as clouds and winds increased. Later that evening the world turned upside down as a 30 foot wall of water whipped by winds of an incredible 190 mph changed the Mississippi Coast forever.Hurricane Camille was one of the most violent hurricanes ever to hit the mainland U.S., and it still ranks with …

August 17, 2014

+
11:09 PM | Magnitude 3,3 earthquake in Kverkfjöll volcano
A minor earthquake swarm took place in Kverkfjöll volcano today (17-August-2014). This earthquake swarm might have been triggered by the earthquake activity in Bárðarbunga volcano that is next to it, that is however not confirmed and can be … Continue reading →
+
11:01 PM | Geo 730: August 17, Day 594: Altered Rhyolite Dike (?)
By this point of the Quartzville trip, the rocks are getting consistently weird. Above is a case in point. In this (perhaps temporarily) disused quarry, it looks as if the target rock was hydrothermally altered rhyolite, and it looks as if the rhyolite occurs in a dike, seen as horizontally jointed columns toward the back. The reason for the tentative "looks," though, is twofold. First, ALL the rock is so cooked and altered that it's difficult to tell with certainty what the protolith was, and […]
+
10:17 PM | I’m on the teevee box, explaining why I’m optimistic about our ability to solve water problems
On KNME’s In Focus with historian Sonia Dickey and the Bureau of Reclamation’s Mike Hamman, talking about the risks and possibilities of our western water future:  
+
10:12 PM | Geo 730: August 16, Day 593: Charcoal-Grilled Strawberries
Well, at least the plant at my fingertip looks like a wild strawberry to me. Though it's not really grilling, and that's not really charcoal. Pretty much all the rock visible in this photo is ancient charcoal, completely infused and filled with quartz. This is at the east/upstream end of the outcrop, where the base of the "wood" containing breccia-like rock comes down to near the road level, (Dip is to the east here.) and it's actually reachable. Elsewhere, you can't get at the apparently […]
+
9:23 PM | Mine creek at Twitter Court
I’ve shown you the ugly orange streambed just below the old McDonell pyrite mine. Farther downstream, the creek (which I’ll name Mine creek) emerges from private backyards next to Mountain Boulevard at Twitter Court. It’s still pretty orange here, from extremely small (colloidal) particles of iron oxide minerals that form as the acid drainage from […]
+
8:54 PM | Geo 730: August 15, Day 592: Plants, Old and New
The new plants are pretty obvious, though browning in the early August heat. The old "plant" is not so obvious, but easy to spot once you know what to look for. See the black splotch in the bedrock, occupying the central portion of the photo? That's a large block of what seems to be permineralized charcoal. About a month ago, I posted a microscopic view of this material. It's weird stuff. The carbon in the charcoal is preserved, unmodified, but all the pore space has been filled with quartz. As […]
+
7:31 PM | Soil Connections: Drought, Dust and Antibiotic Resistant Bacteria
An unfortunate sequence of events involving drought, depleted water resources, wastewater management, antibiotic resistant bacteria (ABR) and dust storms may pose a real health risk in desert states – and, perhaps, beyond. Briefly, here’s the sequence of steps, beginning with drought and ending with a respiratory infection: 1. Arid states can’t grow everything they want with what little rainfall they get – so they irrigate. 2. Limited fresh water used …
+
7:26 PM | 2014 SkS Weekly Digest #33
SkS Highlights Global warming is moistening the atmosphere by John Abraham garnered the highest number of comments of the articles posted on SkS during the past week. Dana's New study finds fringe global warming contrarians get disproportionate media attention drew the second highest number of comments. Both articles are shortened versions of the what was published by each author on their shared blog post, Climate Consensus-the 97% hosted by The Guardian.  El […]
+
7:06 PM | California’s drought – is this what climate adaptation looks like?
Bloomberg’s Alan Bjerga last week gave us a nice tour through the details of how California’s agricultural businesses are responding to drought conditions. He notes especially a shift, was water gets more expensive, into higher valued crops. Stuff that can be grown in places where water is cheap and plentiful, like what, into high-dollar crops ...Continue reading ‘California’s drought – is this what climate adaptation looks like?’ »
+
6:14 PM | Update on activity in Bárðarbunga at 18:13 UTC
This is a update on the activity in Bárðarbunga volcano. This information might get outdated quickly as things change. Earthquake activity continues in Bárðarbunga volcano with no signs of stopping. Since midnight the total earthquake count for Iceland … Continue reading →
+
2:56 PM | I'd be happier if I didn't write this stuff!
Thus happiness depends, as Nature shows,Less on exterior things than most suppose.                   --William CowperFor years my father--who is a really great guy--has been telling me that I'd be a happier person if I didn't write about all the converging threats bearing down on the human race. Turns out he's right!Here's what a new study said on the matter:Recent evidence suggests that a state of good […]
+
9:37 AM | Invertebrate of the Week #7 – Sally Lightfoot Crab (Grapsus grapsus)
This week we are showcasing a dashing little crustacean known colloquially as the Sally Lightfoot Crab (Grapsus grapsus).  Sally Lightfoot’s can grow to a maximum carapace size of ~8cm and are […]
+
8:27 AM | Weekly Wallpaper #1 – Cheetah vs Leopard in Botswana
Photographer Jamie Hopf managed to get a fantastic shot of a face-off between a male cheetah and female leopard in Botswana. According to the photographer, the leopard moved in to […]
+
8:19 AM | Exfoliation in action in Twain Harte
Okay, so this is different. I've never seen exfoliation actually happen. I've seen distant rockfalls that might have been initiated by exfoliation, but this is pretty wild. Twain Harte is the Sierra Nevada village where there were dam failure worries a few weeks ago, probably related to exfoliation. It was posted by Dotysan on YouTube. Good job!
+
7:05 AM | 2014 SkS Weekly News Roundup #33C
As Earth warms, relationship between science and religion thaws Climate change: the elephant in the room Climate change will widen the social and health gap Communicating climate change – without the scary monsters Corporate Australia in denial over climate change El Nino’s delay spurs memories of 2012 when it never came Is climate change key to the spread of Ebola? Many Republicans privately support action on climate Snowpack atop Arctic sea ice has dwindled since […]
+
2:24 AM | Northern Convergence: Victoria, Finding Geology and a Rare Ecosystem in a Beautiful City
We start our blog journey through Canada with a view of alpine peaks, forests and birds. If the picture seems a little fuzzy, it's because it is a highly cropped view down one of the main avenues in the city of Victoria on Vancouver Island (below). And truth be told, the peaks are actually in the United States. They are the Olympic Mountains, across the Strait of Juan de Fuca. We had not gone far into Canada yet! Victoria is a pretty little city (population around 80,000, with a suburban […]
+
2:11 AM | Short update on Bárðarbunga volcano at 02:12 UTC
This is a short update on Bárðarbunga volcano activity. Earthquake activity continues in Bárðarbunga volcano and shows no signs of slowing down. Two swarms have appeared in Bárðarbunga volcano system. One is at location called Kistufell, while the … Continue reading →
123456789
595 Results