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Voyage to the White Shark Cafe: The Wild West

1 hour 5 min ago

It might seem strange traveling to a food-limited environment to study the lives of massive apex predators such as white sharks, but it was the sharks themselves who led the way.

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An astonishing rise in the number of humans

4 hours 56 min ago

One interesting thing about reading T. rex and the Crater of Doom, by Walter Alvarez in 2018 is the change in world population since it was first published in 1997. In explaining to his readers how to think about measurements in “parts per billion,” Alvarez explains his mental shortcut to appreciating those numbers. He says something along the lines of “since there are 5 billion people in the world, a …

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T. rex and the Crater of Doom, by Walter Alvarez

5 hours 13 min ago

Walter Alvarez has a new book out, and its publication reminded me that though I read and appreciated The Mountains of St. Francis, I had never read his most famous work — the account of how he and his father and a team of other researchers zeroed in on an extraterrestrial impact explanation for the end-Cretaceous extinction. So last week I read T. rex and the Crater of Doom (1997). …

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Boulder meets house: the power of landslides

11 hours 33 min ago

Boulder meets house in India: a new video on Youtube shows the impact of a boulder on two properties at Peerah in northern India last week. The houses are completely destroyed.

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Monday Geology Picture: Fish River Canyon, Namibia

Mon, 04/23/2018 - 3:20pm

This week I’m sharing a picture from Fish River Canyon in Namibia. This remote and beautiful canyon has some stunning geology – I’ll blog more about it when I have a chance. Back in 2016 I hiked the canyon over 5 days with a group of good friends. I highly recommend the trip, although you should make sure that you’re really fit since I found the backpacking to be quite …

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The EPA – Secret Science and Transparency

Mon, 04/23/2018 - 12:52pm

Today, AGU submitted a letter to Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt in which we voiced a number of concerns about upcoming policy changes at the agency related to the transparency and accuracy of scientific information. (Read the full letter here.) Specifically, the letter calls out the problems with a proposed policy mandating that the EPA consider only publicly available scientific data and information when crafting rule-making. These proposed …

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A Call to Arms: Geoscientists and Global Health

Mon, 04/23/2018 - 9:45am

April 7, 2018 marked the 70th anniversary of World Health Day, and the first week of April was Public Health week in the U.S., which I celebrated with by releasing a report on the impacts of climate change on the present and future health of Hoosiers (i.e., people from the U.S. State of Indiana). From the global to the local, April was a good time to think about health in …

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Building better tools for risk communication with user-centered design

Mon, 04/23/2018 - 9:22am

By Sonia Stephens How can we build better tools to communicate about coastal risks? As a technical communicator, I’m interested in how we can make scientific information more understandable and meaningful for different audiences. One of the things I study is how interactive risk visualization tools are made. That is, I study how these tools are developed: who does the design and development, what choices they make about design and …

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The Sucun rockslide in Lishui, China in 2016

Mon, 04/23/2018 - 2:41am

In September 2016 the Sucun rockslide killed 27 people in Zhejiang Province, China. This landslide has now been analysed in a paper published in Landslides by Ouyang et al (2018)

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Sol 2027-28: A Change of Season

Sun, 04/22/2018 - 8:00pm

The atmosphere is beginning to get dustier, as seen by the hazy look of the northern rim in Gale Crater in this image.

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Journalism catastrophe WAITING TO HAPPEN! (or, Let’s talk about headlines)

Sat, 04/21/2018 - 5:00am

The best science reporting in the world is diminished when you publish it under a histrionic headline.

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Lago Cholila, Argentina Headwaters Glacier Retreat Lake Formation

Fri, 04/20/2018 - 4:13pm

Changes in four glacier at the headwaters of Rio Tigre, Argentina in 1987 and 2017 Landsat images.  The red arrow indicate the 1987 terminus position and the yellow arrow the 2017 terminus position.  Glaciers form the headwaters for Lago Cholila which drains into  Futaleufu River in west central Argentina .  Davies and Glasser (2012) mapped the glaciers in the Hornopiren region just to the northwest and Parque Nacionale Corcovado just to the …

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Village visit with the northern lights

Fri, 04/20/2018 - 12:15pm

They tell an Inupiat tale of the northern lights — how they will swoop down to chop off your head and use it for a football.

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Further information about the Castell de Mur landslide in Spain

Fri, 04/20/2018 - 2:00am

More information is now available about the Castell de Mur landslide in Spain on 16th April, including drone images, before and after photographs and the seismic traces

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Friday fold: Isoclinal in Damaraland

Fri, 04/20/2018 - 12:20am

A guest Friday fold from Graham Andrews of West Virginia University: Graham describes this as an almost along axis view of a huge isocline in the Damaraland belt, Namibia Thanks for sharing! And a happy Friday to all.

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An April Sizzle in London

Thu, 04/19/2018 - 6:50pm

It was an April day to remember in old London. The UK Met office reported a temperature in St. James’s Park in central London today of 25.7° C. That is a very warm day for the UK in July or August and this was the hottest April day in London since 1949. Even in North Wales, at Gresford, the temperature reached  25° C (77°F). The reason for the heat is …

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Breaking Out of the Analysis Loop

Thu, 04/19/2018 - 12:34pm

Decisions are hard.  Sometimes you have too much information, sometimes you have too little, and sometimes it conflicts.  It’s easy to get stuck in a loop – going through the same options over and over again, hoping something new will jump and make the right choice obvious. In the meantime, you are not moving forward.  When you find yourself the victim of “analysis paralysis”, try some of these techniques to …

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Qiaqing Glacier Retreat & Lake Expansion, China

Wed, 04/18/2018 - 12:01pm

Qiaqing Glacier in 1992 and 2017 Landsat images indicating flow, blue arrows, 1992 terminus at red arrow and 2017 terminus at yellow arrow. tributaries A, B and C.  “Qiaqing” Glacier drains southeast from the Kona Kangri Massif at the eastern part of the Nyainqentanglha Shan. The glacier ends in a lake before feeding into the Parlung Zangbo and then Yarlung Tsanpo. This glacier feeds the Parlung Zangbo which is the …

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Tohoku tsunami impacted home-building habits of eco-engineer heart urchins

Wed, 04/18/2018 - 9:00am

In a new study published in the Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans, a journal of the American Geophysical Union, researchers explore how tsunamis impact shallow marine environments, also known as benthic environments, and the small, burrowing animals that dwell there.

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Visiting St. Francis’s lovely limestone

Wed, 04/18/2018 - 6:12am

The Cretaceous-Paleogene limestone called Scaglia Rossa was used to construct a basilica in tribute to St. Francis. Let's head to Assisi and take a look.

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