Posts

April 28, 2015

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4:03 PM | Epidotized tuff, Tucson Mountains, Arizona
I was in Tucson this past weekend for a book project meeting, and my editor and coauthor and I took a hike on Sunday morning in the Tucson Mountains to Wasson Peak. Not far from the summit, we saw an epidotized tuff, where the fiamme and pumice blobs had undergone reactions to produce pods of epidote, giving the rock a look like a sick dalmatian: This is a cool rock …
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3:26 PM | Playground and Driveway Sealer Can Damage DNA
Run-off from coal-tar based sealants are hazardous to marine life, new government studies find, and can damage DNA and the ability to repair the damage. Continue reading →
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1:40 PM | NEPAL QUAKE: Death Toll Tops 5,000
The death toll from a devastating earthquake in Nepal has risen to 5,057.
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1:32 PM | Earthquake swarm on Tjörnes Fracture Zone (TFZ)
Since yesterday (27-April-2015) at least there has been earthquake swarm taking place in Tjörnes Fracture Zone (TFZ). This earthquake swarm had a peak in activity during the night. Total of 49 earthquakes have been recorded so far, it … Continue reading →
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1:31 PM | DNews: Nepal Earthquake: How Avalanches Work
Mt. Everest recently experienced an avalanche after an earthquake devastated Nepal. How does an avalanche work?
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1:05 PM | DNews: The Science Behind the Nepal Earthquake
Over the weekend, a 7.8 magnitude earthquake devastated Nepal. Why did it happen, and how can you help?
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12:34 PM | Graphs by the Dozen
Quite a bit of attention was paid to the fact that in the global temperature data from NASA, and from NOAA, the year 2014 turned out to be the hottest on record. Even more attention ensued because so far this … Continue reading →
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11:40 AM | The Nepal Earthquake: Link Roundup and How You Can Help
The photographs taken by ABC Australia journalist Siobhan Heanue on Saturday, April 25th are eerie. The temple square in Kathmandu is peaceful, filled with people enjoying the beautiful structures,... -- Read more on ScientificAmerican.com
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11:00 AM | Deadly Sponges are Snuffing-Out Coral Colonies
Sponges are using toxins, mucus, shading and smothering to kill and then take over coral colonies in areas that have been over-fished, finds a new study.
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10:21 AM | 2015 SkS Weekly News Roundup #18A
Abbott’s maligned climate change measures face French scrutiny Australian Climate Change Authority emissions reduction targets 'too weak', says Milne Climate science and religion are “fully aligned”: Vatican summit calls on Catholics to fight global warming Coffee production slipping in Tanzania as temperatures rise Global warming: 2C rise in temperature could see 5 fold increase in heat extremes More fatal earthquakes to come, warn climate change scientists Nearly half of […]
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9:35 AM | Disasters Emergency Committee – Nepal Earthquake Appeal
In the coming weeks there’ll be time for reflection, for debate, for advocacy to build back better. Today the priority has to be ensuring a swift and effective response – getting clean water, food, shelter, medical aid to those that desperately need it. The UK Disasters Emergency Committee is a collective of UK development organisations, working together in emergency situations. They launched their appeal for the Nepal Earthquake yesterday, and the UK Government will match the first […]
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8:25 AM | Richard Poynder on the need for transparency in publishing
[This is a guest-post by Richard Poynder, a long-time observer and analyst of academic publishing now perhaps best known for the very detailed posts on his Open and Shut blog. It was originally part of a much longer post on that blog, the introduction to an interview with the publisher MDPI. I’m pleased to reproduce […]
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5:16 AM | Heartland takes climate foolishness to a Biblical level
I just received a notice that made me laugh. The Heartland Institute, one of the groups responsible for misleading the public about climate change, sent out a notice about an upcoming Papal event. The event itself sounds great, it is aworkshop on April 28th to address global warming. I have written about the bold action taken by Pope Francis; he is clearly a leader amongst the faith community on this topic which is already having large societal and human health impacts. […]
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1:55 AM | Breakfast of Champions
A vigorous day of action in the core lab requires proper nutrition and what better place to find it than in the galley of the ship. read more

April 27, 2015

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10:00 PM | Colour in scientific graphs – part 2
Last time we had an introduction to colour in scientific graphs, where we had two categorical data series. What happens if we have continuous or sequential data, plotted over an area? Here are two X-ray maps using the classic ‘rainbow’ … Continue reading →
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9:46 PM | Was Your Record High Temperature A Result of Climate Change? Probably.
A paper in Nature Climate Change today is getting international press and for good reason, It contains a rather astounding statistic. Here is a quote from the beginning of the paper with my highlights in red:  Climate change includes not only changes in mean climate but also in weather extremes. For a few prominent heatwaves and heavy precipitation events a human contribution to their occurrence has been demonstrated1, 2, 3, 4, 5. Here we …
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8:00 PM | Two new reviews of the homogenization methods used to remove non-climatic changes
I’ve stolen VV’s title. Why not? He’s the man who knows. Moyhu also has something interesting to say. All I have to say is: WTF? In case you’ve missed it, there’s a real one, and then there’s the GWPF’s comedy one. You can read the GWPF’s stuff at tempdatareview.org, though why you’d bother I don’t…
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7:41 PM | Bill Nye’s Earth Day Visit with the President of the United States
Last week, our CEO Bill Nye joined The President of the United States for an Earth Day visit to The Everglades, one of the country's renowned National Parks and a vital global ecosystem. The Washington Post covered the news, and we at The Planetary Society shared in the excitement.
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6:51 PM | World Tapir Day
World Tapir Day occurs on April 27 each year, to recognize and promote the conservation of tapirs. If you’re unfamiliar with tapirs, they are perissodactyls (the mammal order that includes rhinos and horses) that currently live in South America (3 … Continue reading →
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6:43 PM | Captured CO2 Could Fuel a Giant Underground Battery
A massive carbon battery could be used to store energy from renewable sources, such as wind and solar. Continue reading →
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5:00 PM | Things you learn doing outreach
A short, light post this time. I'll be doing an outreach event as a USGS rep in a couple of weeks, and having done the demo once already at AAAS's 2015 Family Science Days, I was thinking about the things I learned last time. Some of these have also applied to other outreach I've done (I love doing video chats with students and science clubs, especially if I can get people excited about geology!)
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4:57 PM | That giant pipeline from a wet place? Not gonna happen….
This comes up every drought, and people in the Pacific Northwest are worried again that we’re gonna steal their water: It may sound like a loopy idea, but there have been a lot loopier ideas that came true. And this is the American West, where we make a living taking water and moving it someplace ...Continue reading ‘That giant pipeline from a wet place? Not gonna happen….’ »
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4:15 PM | Nepal Digs Out From Devastating Earthquake
Nearly 1.2 percent of Nepal's population died in the massive 7.8 magnitude quake that hit Saturday. The death toll was at nearly 3,700 Monday morning and was rising.
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4:01 PM | Volcán Calbuco: what do we know so far?
Detailed assessments of what happened during the April 22-23 eruption of Calbuco, Chile, are now coming in from the agencies responsible for the scientific monitoring of the eruption (SERNAGEOMIN) and for the emergency response (ONEMI). The volcano is well monitored and accessible, and as a result there has been a great deal of high quality […]
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3:04 PM | Blueschist on Old Redwood Road
How many people are going to visit a quiet dead-end up a steep hill just to see if any rocks are there? Not too many, but I’m one of them. The street is Old Redwood Road, a short arc overlooking the Munck Elementary School that doesn’t quite return to Redwood Road. It has a handful […]
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3:00 PM | Orchids' Lips Evolved to Lure Pollinators
Orchid lips are irresistible to pollinators, such as bees, and these lips can develop and change over time.
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2:47 PM | Taking a 4,000-Meter-Deep Profile of Antarctic Waters
In addition to understanding potential pathways for "warmer" circumpolar deep water to reach the ice shelf, we are also measuring what the structure and properties of the water column are and determining if there is already warmer water on or near the continental shelf that could already interact with the glaciers of East Antarctica today.
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2:41 PM | Lamont-Doherty to Manage U.S. Ocean Drilling Program
Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory has signed a $35 million, five-year cooperative agreement with the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF) to manage scientific support services for U.S. scientists studying the world’s ocean floors. Lamont will use the award to manage U.S. scientific support services for the International Ocean Discovery Program (IODP), a 26-nation collaboration that [...]
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2:00 PM | The Scoop on School Vacation Camps
Now that we are heading into May, the schoolyear's biggest vacations are over. But during February and April breaks, campers headed to the Wells Reserve for plenty of outdoor fun and learning, and this year was a blast! Below are a few fun photos from February's Ocean Explorers and Snow Survivors camps and April's Vernal Pool Party and Marshy Mysteries. Check them out and remember: the biggest vacation is right around the corner -- click here for our full schedule of summer camp offerings […]
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1:27 PM | Imaggeo on Mondays: Finger Rock
Standing proud amongst the calm waters of Golovnina Bay is ‘The Devil’s Finger’, a sea stack composed of volcanic sediments. Located on the Pacific coast of Kunashir Island -which is controlled by Russia but claimed by Japan – the stack is testament to the volcanic nature of the region. The island itself is formed of four active volcanoes which are joined together by low-lying geothermally active regions. Sea stacks, tall columns of rocks which jut out of the sea close […]
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