Posts

March 29, 2015

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2:00 PM | Maine’s Warmer but Sunnier Future
The following was published in the Biddeford-Saco Journal Tribune Sunday edition, 3/29/2015. Around the time I turned six years old, a funny thing happened. Starting in 1984, each successive month was warmer than its 20th century global average. That doesn’t mean December 1985 was warmer than November 1985. It means December 1985 was warmer, around the world, than the average temperature in December from 1900-1985. So was January 1986. And so was February 1986. And June 1992. March […]
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11:45 AM | Geosonnet 27
Selenium is sulfur’s sober mate, Not lost to vapor bubbles of the mind In rock or water, should one saturate They stay together, besties of a kind. Se cannot be photosynthesized To form selenate in anoxic seas From fractionation, we hypothesize an oxic whiff in late Archean breeze. The isotopic signal is preserved when anions are partially reduced. Complete reduction, ratios are
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6:11 AM | 2015 SkS Weekly Digest #13
SkS Highlights MarkR's New measurements confirm extra heating from our carbon dioxide garnered the highest number of comments among the articles posted on SkS during the past week. John Abraham's One satellite data set is underestimating global warming attracted the second highest and John Mason's The UK winter of 2014-15: another Tabloid FAIL the third.  Blog Posts of Note I won't go over every mistake Richard (Tol) has made, while flailing about looking for […]
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5:21 AM | Driving Through the Most Dangerous Plate Boundary in the World: Reconnaissance
We're headed on a blog adventure through the most dangerous kind of plate boundary in the world. To make things clear, the boundary we are exploring is not currently the most dangerous in the world, although it is certainly very hazardous. As described in my introduction yesterday, most subduction zones are not easy to explore. Most parts lie underwater or deep in the crust. We are instead traveling through the fossil subduction zone in California that was active from about 200 million years to […]
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3:28 AM | Ground Water Recharge and Forestry
Hal Berton has an article on one of the actions post Hazel/Oso Landslide that has taken place: seattletimes.state-tackles-steep-challenges-to-step-up-logging-oversight. Below are a couple of DEM images of the bench areas above the Town of Concrete that were mentioned in the article. There have been some slides around the perimeters of these terraces.I was up on a valley side terrace in a different valley this week. Nice level ground for logging operations with a stand of third growth […]
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3:05 AM | Exaggerated Impacts of Unrealistic Water Shortages
A guest post of sorts* from a group of prominent economists here in the western United States questioning the findings in a widely quoted report (pdf here) by a group from Arizona State about the potential economic impact if the Colorado River went dry: *********** A January 14th article in the Wall Street Journal reported ...Continue reading ‘Exaggerated Impacts of Unrealistic Water Shortages’ »
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12:47 AM | Field Report from Mars: Sol 3971 - March 26, 2015
Opportunity reaches a marathon milestone—in more ways than one. Larry Crumpler reports on the current status of the seemingly unstoppable Mars rover.

March 28, 2015

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11:00 PM | Drunk on Geology - Lithology Beer (Kickstarter Campaign)
The next up on the Drunk on Geology series is the Lithology Beer by the Lithology Brewing Company from Long Island, New York. This beer is unique in my Drunk on Geology series because it is not an established brewery. Yet. This is from an old friend of mine who is currently searching for the funds through a Kickstarter Campaign to help establish their award winning brew into an official brewing company.How often do you say to yourself, "I just wish there were more geological […]
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10:55 PM | Deep earthquake activity in Bárðarbunga and Öræfajökull volcano
Today (28-March-2015) there has been deep earthquake activity in Bárðarbunga volcano. This suggest that there is a fresh injection of magma into Bárðarbunga volcano system. If this is going to result in new eruption remains to be seen. … Continue reading →
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10:02 PM | Geo 1095: March 28, Day 817: Over the Rivers and Through the Woods
The sign above and to the right of Dana's head reads "Entering Over the Rivers and Through the Woods Oregon Scenic Byway." Here's some information on that route, and I won't argue with its scenic nature... but behind us, and to the left (we're looking more or less west, here), are some of the most scenic routes in the state. See numbers 5 and 6 at that last link. In the mid-distance, you can see an abrupt transition from bouldery ground and sparse vegetation to a large, uniform stand of old […]
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8:01 PM | Geo 1095: March 27, Day 816: Fiery Flow
Continuing over Tombstone Pass, after the site of the most recent posts, we come to McKenzie Junction. I've posted a number of photos from here before, which were also taken on this particular day trip. However, I was just starting the Geo series, and there were quite a number of shots I skipped at the time that I think are worth sharing. In addition, since those earlier posts, I've been back to the McKenzie trough/River/Pass at least three or four times, so I'll be mixing in some shots from […]
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6:13 PM | As the water drops, so does the power.
As I empty the last of last month’s big snowstorm from my rain barrels onto the garden, I notice the water comes out more and more slowly. It’s a reminder of why power production drops as supply in our big reservoirs declines. Some tricky tradeoffs here:
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4:39 PM | Packing up and ready to go
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3:36 PM | 3rd Annual Arizona Geological Society Doug Shakel Memorial Student Poster Event
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2:00 PM | Earth Hour: What Is the Carbon Footprint of an Email?
Find out how seemingly harmless everyday actions also contribute to emissions of carbon dioxide other greenhouse gases.
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12:12 PM | 2015 SkS Weekly News Roundup #13B
Earth Hour: 4 things to know about the annual evironmental event How idealism, expressed in concrete steps, can fight climate change Ipso proves impotent at curbing the Mail's climate misinformation Journalists have to decide what to do about candidates who are climate change denialists Media contributing to ‘Hope Gap’ on climate change One satellite data set is underestimating global warming Ted Cruz invokes Galileo to defend climate skepticism — and historians aren’t […]
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10:56 AM | We Already Have Pi Day, But Why Not 60 Seconds for Euler?
Fareed Zakaria of CNN has a very good piece in the Washington Post about STEM and I must say that it makes a lot of sense, although you might not think I would from the title. Check out “Why America’s obsession with STEM education is dangerous” and then come back here for more. Ok, so your back and I hope you agree with what he said, because I do, and …
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5:04 AM | In Pictures: One-Year ISS Mission Begins
The one-year ISS mission of Scott Kelly and Mikhail Kornienko began with an early morning launch from Baikonur, Kazakhstan.

March 27, 2015

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11:53 PM | Geo 1095: March 26, Day 815: Inhospitable Ground
A final shot of the ignimbrite on the approach to Tombstone Pass, at the crest of the Western Cascades along Route 20. Plants evidently can, under the right circumstances, get established in this material, but a single hot, dry year can kill them off. Below, as I sometimes do, I've included a landmark to help find this spot. There are a number of pullouts, and at least two (and I think more) with similar exposures. This sign is just uphill from the pullout at the exposure I've been curious […]
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11:40 PM | Copper is the official metal of Arizona
Governor Doug Ducey today signed legislation making copper the official metal of the state of Arizona.  [Right, copper plates produced in Arizona. Credit, Freeport McMoRan Copper & Gold]According to the announcement from the governor's office, Senate Bill 1441 was sponsored by State Senator Steve Smith after a fourth-grade class at Copper Creek Elementary School in Tucson had the idea and reached out to him about it. “These students helped create a bill that had bipartisan […]
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10:13 PM | Driving Through the Most Dangerous Plate Boundary in the World: A New Blog Series
Source: adapted from National Park Service and R. J. Lillie. 2005, Parks and PlatesBefore I get accused of "cable-newsing/click-baiting" with my choice of a headline, I'll amend it to say "Driving through the most dangerous kind of plate boundary in the world". Where in the world do we find the worst earthquakes, and many of the worst volcanic eruptions? Looking at maps of earthquake epicenters and volcanic eruptions, it doesn't take long to realize that there are specific zones where disasters […]
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9:46 PM | Friday fold: Isla Escarpada, Chile
I’m very nearly delinquent on posting the Friday fold… Here you go – a Google Earth view of a differentially-weathered fold partly above and partly below sea level in Chilean Patagonia, south of Puerto Natales: They call it Isla Escarpada. Awesome. Here’s a Google Maps link if you want to explore it yourself. Happy Friday!
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9:10 PM | Ceres Gets Real; Pluto Lurks
Although we are still along way from understanding this fascinating little body, Ceres is finally becoming a real planet with recognizable features! And that's kinda cool.
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9:07 PM | How Southern California quietly doubled its 2014 supply of Colorado River water
Resilience is a system’s ability to absorb a shock and still retain its basic structure and function. Here, in one complicated table, is an example of the sort of institutional plumbing valves we need to build to increase resilience in the face of drought. It’s a table accounting for the Metropolitan Water District of Southern ...Continue reading ‘How Southern California quietly doubled its 2014 supply of Colorado River water’ »
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6:08 PM | Geology and Filming in Mizoram
In the small town of Kolasib, we stayed in Hotel Cloud 9. I had been told since I was a child that I was always off on Cloud 9 and now I was actually here. However, the electricity wasn’t for the first few hours, so showers were cold, but the dinner was hot.
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5:47 PM | Fossil Friday – rattlesnake vertebra
It’s springtime, and in the Inland Empire that means snakes! The Pleistocene fossils from Southern California make it clear that this has been the case for a long time, as demonstrated by the vertebra shown above. This partial vertebra is … Continue reading →
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4:15 PM | Antarctica’s Icy 'Doorstops' Are Thinning Rapidly
Antarctica's ice shelves are thinning, and at an increasing rate, which bodes ill for potential sea level rise.
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3:58 PM | Soon-to-End Mercury Mission May Hold Clues to Earth’s Evolution
NASA's MESSENGER spacecraft has been orbiting Mercury for the last four years, giving scientists an unprecedented look at our solar system's innermost planet. But now the craft's fuel supply is exhausted; inexorably drawn in by Mercury's gravity, it is scheduled to crash in April. Sean Solomon, director of Columbia University's Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, has been leading the mission, and in this video, he talks about its implications.
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3:40 PM | Buzz Kill
To feed our own species, we race, Wild herbage, corn rows replace...
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3:26 PM | Risk of landslide forces the closure of popular viewing place in Skagafjörður
Due to risk of landslide a viewing area in northern Skagafjörður has been closed. Tip of a cliff in the area is about to break off at any time and without warning and there appears to be considerable … Continue reading →
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