Posts

March 28, 2015

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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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2:28 PM | GeoEd: Lessons from the EGU 2014 GIFT Workshop
Today’s GeoEd post is brought to you by Susan Tate, an 8th grade teacher from Michigan in the USA. Susan attended the GIFT workshop held during the General Assembly last year.  The GIFT programme offers primary school to high school teachers the opportunity to upgrade their knowledge in geophysical themes and to shorten the time between new discoveries and textbook information. After three days supercharging her geosciences knowledge at the 2014 conference, Susan shares her […]
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2:08 PM | Minor earthquake swarm in Hekla volcano
Since yesterday (26-March-2015) a minor earthquake swarm has been taking place in Hekla volcano. This has not been continuous earthquake swarm and there has not been huge number of earthquakes taking place. Largest earthquake had the magnitude of … Continue reading →
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10:45 AM | “PeerJ can’t possibly last because the numbers don’t add up.”
I had an email out of the blue this morning, from someone I’d not previously corresponded with, asking me an important question about PeerJ. I thought it was worth sharing the question, and its answer, more generally. So here it is. Do you have any insight into the PeerJ business model? When I try to […]
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4:41 AM | Rhees to head USBR Upper Colorado office
The Bureau of Reclamation today named Brent Rhees to head its Salt Lake City-based Upper Colorado office: As deputy regional director, Rhees managed several complex and high profile issues, including the Middle Rio Grande Endangered Species Collaborative Program, dam safety modifications, implementation of the Navajo-Gallup Water Supply Project, the Colorado River Salinity Control Program and ...Continue reading ‘Rhees to head USBR Upper Colorado office’ »
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3:52 AM | Recent radio interview on Israeli National Radio
I was recently interviewed by Doug Goldstein on his personal finance show, "Goldstein on Gelt," which plays on Israeli National Radio, the English-language radio network in Israel. Goldstein saw a piece of mine and asked me on the show to discuss the recent sharp decline in oil prices. A podcast of the interview is now available. Goldstein is a good interviewer with an eclectic mind and brought out the best in me with his conversational approach. The interview starts at about 2:30. Click here […]
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3:35 AM | Battle over museum transfer heats up
The bill to transfer the former Mining & Mineral Museum from the Arizona Historical Society to the Arizona Geological Survey is generating heated debate.   Although both AHS and AZGS have taken official neutral positions on SB1200, supporters and opponents are squaring off.  [Right, artists rendition for the proposed Centennial Museum to be built in the former museum space.  The building is currently vacant.]   The Arizona Capitol Times posted the most detailed […]
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2:25 AM | The Colorado – as human construct, and face to flow
Water journalist Brett Walton wrote a lovely piece about finally meeting the Colorado River for the first time: I have reported on the Colorado River for five years. I know it as a legal argument, as a topographic feature, as an obstacle, and as a matrix of charts, calculations, and grim projections. I’ve read its ...Continue reading ‘The Colorado – as human construct, and face to flow’ »
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1:25 AM | Four Ideas to Bust the Floor on Outer Planet Mission Costs
The road to lower costs outer planet missions has been paved by NASA’s first two New Frontiers missions, the $700M New Horizons mission to Pluto and the $1.1B Juno mission to Jupiter. But can the cost of a mission to the outer solar system be cut to $450M, the limit for a Discovery mission?

March 26, 2015

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11:28 PM | Mapping faults hidden below Lake Malawi
The lakes along the Great African Rift Valley are among the largest fresh water lakes in the world. They lie in depressions created by slow stretching and thinning of the east African continent over millions of years. Many of the essential geological structures that enable the continent to tear and produce earthquakes are hidden within [...]
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9:05 PM | LPSC 2015: Aeolian Processes on Mars and Titan
Planetary scientist Nathan Bridges reports on results from the Lunar and Planetary Science Conference about the action of wind on the surfaces of Mars and Titan.
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7:33 PM | Videowettbewerb der EGU 2015 – die Finalisten
Ebenso wie im letzten Jahr gibt es auch 2015 wieder einen Communicate your Science Video - Wettbewerb. Hierbei soll jungen Geowissenschaftlern die Möglichkeit gegeben werden, ihre Arbeit in einem kurzen, allgemeinverständlichen Video vorzustellen. Das finde ich eine ziemlich gute Idee. Denn mittlerweile spielt sich eine Menge Wissenschaftskommunikation im Netz in bewegten Bildern ab. Und es kann anderen jungen Menschen nicht nur Wissen vermitteln, sondern auch das Arbeitsfeld und die […]
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7:28 PM | Is Boston Vulnerable to a Major Earthquake?
The remote but potentially catastrophic risk of a significant quake in Boston has researchers pondering how to protect the city's fragile historic architecture. Continue reading →
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7:14 PM | Sustainability Management Student Develops Passion for Energy Analysis
Master of Science in Sustainability Management student Laura Tajima came from an educational background, having experience managing cross-cultural education programs and developing curricula that engaged international scholars to speak about their personal experiences with global environmental issues. Currently, Laura works as an intern with the Mayor’s Office of Long-Term Planning and Sustainability, working with energy [...]
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5:32 PM | Shell-shocked: Ocean acidification likely hampers tiny shell builders in Southern Ocean
A new study shows a ubiquitous type of phytoplankton -- tiny organisms that are the base of the marine food web – appears to be suffering from the effects of ocean acidification caused by climate change.
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4:40 PM | Snow Now Melts in Wyoming Two Weeks Early
The spring snowmelt comes more than two weeks earlier than it did in the 1970s in Wyoming's Wind River Range, a new study finds.
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