Posts

October 22, 2014

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11:05 AM | Warm October, cold winter?
A tweet flashed by a couple of days ago hoping that a warm October might indicate a cold winter: It’s a straightforward enough hypothesis, although one I think we all can agree seems… Continue reading →
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11:00 AM | Polar Vortex Spiked U.S. CO2 Emissions in 2013
Largely as a result of trying to keep warm from that Arctic chill, carbon dioxide emitted from burning energy in the U.S. increased 2.5 percent in 2013 over the previous year.
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8:43 AM | DNews: What Will Happen When the North and South Poles Flip?
We've grown comfortable with our present-day magnetic north and south, but one day they're going to reverse. If that happens during our lifetime, what could we expect? Would it be the end of the world, or would we just have to redirect Santa's mail?
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6:42 AM | The Bukit Beruntung landslide in Selangor, Malaysia
Earlier this week heavy rainfall triggered a landslide at Bukit Beruntung in Selangor, Malaysia, which resulted in the evacuation of over 2000 people
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5:46 AM | Scientists to Explain 'Climate at Your Doorstep' at New Online Hub
This is a re-post from Inside Climate News While the climate community was fixed on global climate negotiations unfolding at the UN last week, one news organization was focused on educating people about the local damage that's already resulted from the world's inaction. On Sept. 22, the online newsroom The Daily Climate launched a Kickstarter to raise $25,628 for "Climate at Your Doorstep." The project aims to build an online community of scientists, journalists and members of the public to […]
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1:30 AM | Palm Fossil from Arizona
During my visit to the Gallery of Natural History at the Arizona Historical Society Museum at Papago Park (1300 N. College Ave, Tempe Arizona 85281) I saw fossil specimen (AHS-NH#14891) from Yavapai County, Arizona USA. It is a polished palm tree fossil. Image taken October 2014. Learn more: http://waynesword.palomar.edu/trjune99.htm#palmwood
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1:02 AM | Hidden in Plain Orange – How this harlequin bug’s orange coloration makes it both conspicuous and invisible
Aposematic coloration is the technical term for the coloration phenomenon found in such illustrious animals as poison dart frogs (Family: Dendrobatidae) and skunks.  The rationale is that the animal makes itself very conspicuous […]

October 21, 2014

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11:35 PM | driving and...
I used to talk on the phone while driving... quite often, actually, although not for very long for any given conversation. I've stopped entirely, for two reasons: in the last couple of years, more and more jurisdictions have made cell phone use illegal while driving; and when I broke down and got a smartphone and started receiving work e-mails, I had to have an "unlock" password that makes the phone a giant pain to dial with.I've done a few regrettable things while driving to/from fieldwork. […]
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10:16 PM | TDB Today: Reasons not to be cheerful, Part #272b
In my post at The Daily Blog this week I take inspiration from the great Ian Dury, and reflect on the disconnect between political ambition and the state of the climate system as it continues to warm. It will be my last post at TDB for a while – for definitions of “a while” that […]
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10:01 PM | Limiting global warming to 2°C: the philosophy and the science?
Its at The Conversation and a retweet near you, no doubt. By
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9:57 PM | A to Z of the Human Condition: N is for Natural Curiosity
Originally posted on Wellcome Collection blog:We invited you, as fellow experts on the #HumanCondition, to add your own idiosyncrasies to our current exhibition by submitting photographs on Instagram for…
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9:35 PM | Bárðarbunga volcano daily update for 21-October-2014
This is the daily update for Bárðarbunga volcano. Largest earthquake today had the magnitude of 5,3. Second largest earthquake had the magnitude of 4,7. The magnitude 5,3 earthquake had the depth of 15,6 km. This suggest that something … Continue reading →
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9:00 PM | I have no idea what I am doing!
By a PhD student The first year of this PhD is coming to an end I am not even sure what PhD stands for (pretty hard degree). I am sure I have spent (most of) my days doing something, but … Continue reading →
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8:45 PM | Auf Höhlentour mit Penelope Boston
In diesem Video werden wir von Penelope Boston in eine fremde und bizarre Welt entführt. Eine Welt, die uns auf den ersten Blick an ferne Planeten erinnern mag, und die uns dennoch regelrecht zu Füßen liegt. Höhlen. Ein extremer Lebensraum, in dem sich nur bestens angepasste Spezialisten tummeln können sie vielleicht trotzdem ein Schlüssel auch für mögliche Biotope auf fremden Planeten darstellen. Und selbst wenn man davon einmal absieht, sind […]
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8:07 PM | Geo 730: October 21, Day 659: Full Punchbowl
I've mentioned Devils Punchbowl quite a number of times, but shown a photo of it only once before in this series. That one was at a low-ish tide, though clearly not unusually low. At negative tides, the interior is easily accessible on foot, and it looks as if in that photo, there's water in the right portal, where one would enter. But here we see it at high-ish tide, and in relatively calm conditions. Even calm, you wouldn't want to get stuck in here; the water is extremely cold. I don't […]
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8:04 PM | Geologizing in the Realm of the Beast
September 8, 1762 the young son of the Yolle‘s, herding the flock of sheep, disappeared near the village of Laval in the province of Dauphiné (France). Only the poor remains of the boy, partially eaten by a mysterious creature, were recovered. The pastor of Laval, named Raphaël, later described an encounter with this creature: “the [...]
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8:04 PM | Geologizing in the Realm of the Beast
September 8, 1762 the young son of the Yolle‘s, herding the flock of sheep, disappeared near the village of Laval in the province of Dauphiné (France). Only the poor remains of the boy,... -- Read more on ScientificAmerican.com
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6:30 PM | QGIS user group – presentation
I spoke today at the second Scottish QGIS user group meeting. It was a diverse gaggle of practitioners including academics, council, quango and no doubt many more. Some really interesting talks went on,… Continue reading →
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4:25 PM | Standing on the San Andreas Fault
Having just arrived in California and still in the process of unpacking boxes in my apartment, I decided the most productive thing to do was go on a hike. Silicon Valley is near a lot of Open Space Preserves as well as various local and state parks, and I was really eager to get outside and explore. And because I'm in California, I was hungry to finally set eyes (and foot) on the biggest fault I could get to.
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4:15 PM | El Nino Brings Floods, Risks -- and Opportunities
El Nino ups the odds of flooding in some spots, but that information could provide opportunities.
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4:14 PM | Meteorite Impact May Have Triggered Largest Pulse Of Deccan Basalt Eruptions
What caused the mass extinction 65 million years ago?a) It was a meteorite impact and the resulting environmental crises.b) No,  it was the Deccan basalt eruptions and the resulting environmental crises.c) It was both, the meteorite impact and the eruptions.The two mechanisms were distinct. One, a calamity from space and the other a gigantic eruption whose cause was from deep within the earth. Now, it seems they may be more intimately linked. The meteorite impact may have triggered the […]
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4:03 PM | Solite Excavation: Day 10
Day 10 of our excavation at Solite Quarry was all about Tanytrachelos, a small aquatic reptile from the Triassic. Much of the area we were excavating involved shale within ~2-3 inches from the top of the insect bed. It was within … Continue reading →
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4:01 PM | Volcanic Plumbing at Mid-Ocean Ridges Goes Far Deeper than Thought
New pictures in the journal Nature Geoscience may help resolve a debate about how new crust forms at mid-ocean ridges where earth’s tectonic plates are slowly pulling apart.
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3:13 PM | Climate, Water and Hay Aligned in Kittitas Valley
Climate, available irrigation water and good soils align in the Kittitas Valley to make this central Washington valley an attractive area for growing livestock feed. Some history might play a role as well.Climate in the Kittitas consists of warm and dry spring, summer and fall weather. Spring comes fairly early in the year and warm temperatures linger well into October (particularly this year!). Winters are cold with sub 0 degree F not unusual. In addition, the Kittitas Valley is a bit on […]
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2:08 PM | I’m on TV!!
About a year ago I was asked to appear as a guest on a kids television show about rocks and minerals called Finding Stuff Out. I was asked to come an talk about rocks, minerals, geology in general and how I got interested in geology. The show is for 8-10 year olds and it is […]
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2:08 PM | The inevitability of Westlands’ woes
Bettina Boxall on the Westlands Water District: [T]he nation’s largest irrigation district is in the wrong place.
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2:00 PM | Orange Rhymes with Door-Hinge
National Blog Posting Month – September 2014 – Crunch Prompt – Orange is a colour that people either hate or love: tell us how you feel about it. —— Orange. It’s not a bad color, necessarily. We have a giant … Continue reading →
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1:18 PM | Geosonnet 15
The ants which scuttle by between our toes Dissolve the min’rals of the Earth we tread The calcic feldspar, slipped under their nose Ten trillion insects weather, pit, and shred. The Himalayan mountains cool the Earth Though mangroves and the grasses do their part, But ants may do what was the work of turf By min’ralizing CO2, they start Evaporating seas in Neogene Drying the Earth to
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12:30 PM | Monday dispatches from GSA: Vancouver
The arrival of the long-threatened rain did not dampen lots of cool science.. Continue reading →
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12:08 PM | Why don't people use viz rooms?
Matteo Niccoli asked me why I thought the use of immersive viz rooms had declined. Certainly, most big companies were building them in about 1998 to 2002, but it's rare to see them today. My stock answer was always "Linux workstations", but of course there's more to it than that. What exactly is a viz room? I am not talking about 'collaboration rooms', which are really just meeting rooms with a workstation and a video conference phone, a lot of wires, and wireless mice with low batteries. These […]
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