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Updated: 43 min 28 sec ago

Oso landslide: differences of opinion about the landslide mechanisms

14 hours 24 min ago
Two different interpretations have now been proposed for the mechanisms of the Oso landslide, one by the GEER team and one by the USGS

The Power of Film, Turning Science into a Blockbuster

Mon, 07/28/2014 - 3:03pm
Movies can be a powerful tool to engage an audience. Since 1878 when the first motion photographs were taken, to the first animated cartoon in 19061, people across cultures and languages have been going to the movie theatre, pulling up YouTube™ videos, or streaming their favorite show on one of the many websites and services available today. And while cat videos can be pretty awesome and entertaining, wouldn’t it be great to get that same number of views, retweets and posts for videos on science-related topics??

Want to Really Communicate Your Science to the Public? Go on a Journey and They’ll Follow

Mon, 07/28/2014 - 10:04am
Consider these three related stories. Little Red Riding Hood sets off through the forest to Grandmother’s house. Mad Captain Ahab sails the Pacific in search of Moby Dick. You hit the road for a season of field work. Yes, Red Riding Hood, Ahab, you. All related.

Which Will Reduce Your Carbon Footprint More: Giving up Beef or Your Car?

Sun, 07/27/2014 - 1:00am
I listened to a fascinating interview on Science Friday from NPR Friday afternoon, and it’s good news for poultry producers/bad news for cattle ranchers. Giving up beef reduces your carbon footprint more than giving up your car! Click below to listen: Poultry is a big industry here in Maryland, and they should be very happy about this. Poultry is an order of magnitude less carbon intensive than beef production.

Rare Mid-Summer Tornado Outbreak Possible In Midwest Sunday

Sun, 07/27/2014 - 12:19am
An unusually strong summer cool front is expected to kick off numerous super-cell thunderstorms Sunday across the Midwest and even into the Mid-Atlantic/Northeast. With thousands of folks at campgrounds and beaches, the possibilities that the storms may catch folks in the open and away from sturdy shelter is much higher than normal. Just this week, an EF1 tornado hit the Eastern Shore of Virginia, and left two dead and over …

Guizhou and Nagano – the aftermath of recent landslides

Sat, 07/26/2014 - 4:09am
Photographs have emerged of the aftermath of landslides in Guizhou in China and Nagamo in Japan. The landslides are very different but both were equally devastating

Wildfire Smoke Reaches New York and Ontario

Fri, 07/25/2014 - 4:38pm
The wildfires from Washington and western/northern Canada continue to send a shroud of dense smoke to areas thousands of miles away. It’s been an almost autumn like afternoon over the Northeast U.S., and here in Maryland we have a deep blue sky with low humidity. No deep blue sky to our north however, where a dense layer of smoke covers southern Canada and New England. Below is the temperature anomalies …

Dropped cell phone calls become rain gauges in West Africa

Thu, 07/24/2014 - 4:53pm
A shaky cell phone connection during a rainstorm can be an annoying nuisance. But now scientists are showing that these weakened signals can be used to monitor rainfall in West Africa, a technique that could help cities in the region better prepare for floods and combat weather-related diseases.

Calling all scientists: Artify your Abstracts!

Thu, 07/24/2014 - 2:18pm
Abstracts are the quintessential means of getting the gist of your research out there to other scientists. But what if you want to reach a broader audience? What if you want to give your abstract that extra oomph that will combine its scientific rigor with some artistic creativity? Why, in that case you artify your abstract!

Making tracks

Thu, 07/24/2014 - 10:58am
I’ve had a great three weeks in the Canadian Rockies, but now I’m heading out. It’s been an honor and a privilege to teach in these fine mountains, among amazing rocks with talented colleagues and thoughtful students, and I’ve really enjoyed the past week of GigaPanning with my colleague Aaron Barth. Yesterday, Aaron and I saw these bear tracks in the mud next to a creek where we were GigaPanning. …

Askja: a very large volcanic landslide in Iceland

Thu, 07/24/2014 - 4:21am
This week a very large landslide occurred on the flanks of the Askja stratovolcano in Iceland. Initial estimates are that is over 25 million cubic metres. and that it generated tsunami waves in the lake at the toe that were over 50 m high.

Nature’s roadblock to hurricane prediction

Wed, 07/23/2014 - 10:13am
The quiet Atlantic hurricane season of 2013 came as a surprise to many, as seasonal forecasts had consistently predicted an unusually large crop of named storms. A new study published in the Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres, a journal of the American Geophysical Union, finds that internal variability—processes that unfold without being dictated by larger-scale features—can make one season twice as active as another, even when El Niño and other large-scale hurricane-shaping elements are unchanged. The results suggest that seasonal hurricane forecasts could be improved by conveying the amount of unavoidable uncertainty in the outlook.

Updating how we teach the process of science

Wed, 07/23/2014 - 10:02am
This week, I’m with a group of in-service middle school teachers for a week-long workshop on climate science.  It is always inspiring to connect with K-12 teachers to see and hear about their passion for their classrooms and for teaching – and always frustrating to hear that they have to do so with so few resources that include outdated textbooks.  And in those outdated textbooks we will find the “scientific …

Oso landslide: the last set of remains been recovered and a new report has been released

Wed, 07/23/2014 - 5:51am
Two key events happened yesterday in relation to the Oso landslide in Washington State - the remains of the last victim were recovered and a new report analysing the landslide was released.

The Great Facebook Blizzard of 2014

Wed, 07/23/2014 - 12:55am
At the AMS Broadcast Meteorology conference last month in Lake Tahoe, I presented a talk about widespread rumors on Facebook last January that a paralyzing snowstorm was coming. This is just one example of the love/hate relationship that meteorologists have with Facebook, and I was quoted in an article on TV News Check about this as well a couple of weeks ago. As I told the reporter for TV News …

Benchmarking Time: DC is all about boundaries

Tue, 07/22/2014 - 2:13pm
Washington DC is an interesting city. When the original plans were being made in the 1780s and 1790s, they called for a 100-square-mile area to be allocated for the city, and George Washington (who was President at the time) wanted to include the City of Alexandria in Virginia. But the Residence Act, passed in 1791, specified that all the federal buildings had to be on the Maryland side of the river (mostly because someone realized that the law allowed the President to choose the location and some members of Congress didn't want him taking advantage of that and including his own property to the south of Alexandria). So we ended up with a diamond-shaped District 10 miles on a side, overlapping both Virginia and Maryland, with the actual city in Maryland.

Oso disaster had its roots in earlier landslides

Tue, 07/22/2014 - 12:55pm
The disastrous March 22 landslide that killed 43 people in the rural Washington state community of Oso involved the "remobilization" of a 2006 landslide on the same hillside, a new federally sponsored geological study concludes.

Erzurum: a landslide destroys an almost new ski jump facility in Turkey

Tue, 07/22/2014 - 4:54am
Last Tuesday a landslide destroyed a 20 million Euro ski jumping facility in Erzurum, Turkey. The collapse was in part caught on a video

NOAA: Earth Had Its Hottest June On Record

Mon, 07/21/2014 - 6:26pm
From NOAA: “The globally averaged temperature over land and ocean surfaces for June 2014 was the highest for June since record keeping began in 1880. It also marked the 38th consecutive June and 352nd consecutive month with a global temperature above the 20th century average. The last below-average global temperature for June was in 1976 and the last below-average global temperature for any month was February 1985. “ FYI May …

Monday Geology Picture(s): Rocks Flanking the Entrance to the Smithsonian Natural History Museum

Mon, 07/21/2014 - 2:50pm
My apologies for the light blogging recently. I was traveling in the US for three weeks, and now I am traveling for work for 6 weeks. I will do my best to blog when I can, but blogging may continue to be light for a little while longer since I’m currently working 12 hour shifts in the field. However, when I return in September I will be taking some time …