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Thermometers at work everywhere in Alaska

Thu, 09/05/2019 - 5:50pm

Every Alaskan owns at least one version of a sensitive scientific instrument: the thermometer. But what is it measuring?

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Making sense of Saturn’s impossible rotation

Thu, 09/05/2019 - 2:08pm

Saturn may be doing a little electromagnetic shimmy and twist which has been throwing off attempts by scientists to determine how long it takes for the planet to rotate on its axis, according to a new study.

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A global database of giant landslides on volcanic islands

Wed, 09/04/2019 - 2:05am

A global database of giant landslides on volcanic islands In a paper just published in the journal Landslides, Blahůt et al. (2019) describe the compilation of a new global database of giant landslides on volcanic islands.  This database is hosted on the website of the Institute of Rock Structure & Mechanics. The authors note that “the records can be downloaded as a spreadsheet or as a kml file for interrogation …

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Guided Star Gazing

Tue, 09/03/2019 - 1:06pm

I am a classroom teacher and am also a member of a local astronomy club. We do lots of public events, but my favorite events are those I put on for my students and their families.

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An unconformity at Bacon Cove, Newfoundland

Tue, 09/03/2019 - 10:56am

At Bacon Cove in eastern Newfoundland, there is a nice example of an angular unconformity between Ediacaran and Cambrian sedimentary rocks.

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Hutchinson Glacier, Greenland Releases New Island

Tue, 09/03/2019 - 10:26am

Cape Deichmann becomes an island as it disconnects from Hutchinson Glacier. Landsat images from 2010 and 2019. The Hutchinson (H) and Polaric Glacier (P) region of East Greenland indicating three locations of island forming or about to form in 2010 and 2019 Landsat images.  Point #1 is Flado Island, Point #2 and Point #3 is Cape Deichmann Ziaja and Ostafin (2019)  noted the formation of a new island at Cape …

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Mercury’s ancient magnetic field likely evolved over time

Tue, 09/03/2019 - 10:00am

Mercury’s ancient magnetic poles were far from the location of its poles today, implying its magnetic field, like Earth’s, changed over time, a new study says.

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E21 – X-rays of the Earth’s Gooey Center

Tue, 09/03/2019 - 4:30am

Much like x-rays can show broken bones (or noses), seismic equipment can show us what’s going on in Earth’s interior. While seismologists can’t take quick snapshots like medical doctors can, they can provide an image of tectonic plate movements over time to help the scientific community – and local communities – understand geophysical phenomena from mountain formations to volcanoes to the earthquakes that rock their world.

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The tyranny of dozer road building

Tue, 09/03/2019 - 1:52am

Two articles published in Nepali newspapers in the last few days have examined the disastrous impacts of dozer roads in mountain areas

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The landslide-induced train derailment at Lock Eilt in Scotland in January 2018

Mon, 09/02/2019 - 2:13am

On 22nd January 2018 a train was derailed by a landslide at Loch Eilt in north-west Scotland. The RAIB report explains why the landslide was not retained by a catch fence installed at the location.

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Storytelling basics: A (mini) series

Fri, 08/30/2019 - 10:35am

I'm a professional storyteller. It's a weird thing to say and has been a weirder realization to come to. But, it's true.

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Women’s Equality Week Q&A with Maggie Walser

Fri, 08/30/2019 - 8:30am

August 26th is Women’s Equality Day. To celebrate women’s contributions to Earth and space science, we’re devoting this week to featuring Q&As with inspirational women in STEM. #WomensEqualityDay! Today, we’re excited to feature Maggie Walser. Maggie is a senior program officer for the Gulf Research Program at the National Academy of Sciences. She is an AGU member since 2007 based in Washington, D. C.  Her volunteer experience includes AGU Congressional Science …

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Friday fold: Calafia State Beach

Fri, 08/30/2019 - 7:09am

The Friday fold is a guest contribution to "Mountain Beltway" from the manager of the AGU Blogosphere, Larry O'Hanlon. It shows apparent crumpling of a few sedimentary layers at the toe of a soft sediment slump at Calafia State Beach in southern California.

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Atmospheric rivers sometimes soak Alaska

Thu, 08/29/2019 - 3:35pm

Scientists have long noted these flood-causing/wildfire-relieving “long, narrow plumes of enhanced atmospheric water vapor.” If you were to study weather maps of the entire Earth today, you would see about 11 atmospheric rivers.

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Celebrating 100,000 students doing field work on the Rio Grande

Thu, 08/29/2019 - 3:18pm

Since 1996 "100,000 students have walked the halls, tested in the labs, and hiked these trails,” observed Rep. Deb Haaland.

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North Cascade Glacier Climate Project 2019, 36th Annual Assessment

Thu, 08/29/2019 - 12:27pm

 The summer of 2019 found the North Cascade Glacier Climate Project in the field for the 36th consecutive summer monitoring the response of North Cascade glaciers to climate change.  This long term monitoring program was initiated partly in response to a challenge in 1983 from Stephen Schneider to begin monitoring glacier systems before and as climate change became a dominant variable in their behavior. The field team was comprised …

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Researchers find new ways for coral reef ecosystems to grow

Thu, 08/29/2019 - 10:21am

Particulate organic matter from the open ocean has a bigger-than-expected role in the growth and health of coral reefs, say researchers studying declining coral reefs in Hawaii.

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Women’s Equality Day Q&A with Jacquelyn Gill

Thu, 08/29/2019 - 8:28am

August 26th is Women’s Equality Day. To celebrate women’s contributions to Earth and space science, we’re devoting this week to featuring Q&As with inspirational women in STEM. #WomensEqualityDay!   Today, we’re excited to feature Jacquelyn Gill, Assistant Professor of Paleoecology & Plant Ecology at the University of Maine. Jacquelyn received her PhD in Geography at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and her BA in Human Ecology at College of the Atlantic. …

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Some Climate Related Facts About the Big Trouble Brewing in The Caribbean

Wed, 08/28/2019 - 6:47pm

There is an old saying among forecasters that “There is almost always a hurricane on the Atlantic weather map on Labor Day.” Well, Dorian exploded into a hurricane this morning, and it now looks ever more likely there will be a major hurricane near the Florida Coast early Monday (Labor Day). A big hat tip to Katherine Hayhoe for this link about how climate change is impacting hurricanes.

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Upper Nile will experience more water scarcity due to hotter, drier periods

Wed, 08/28/2019 - 9:00am

An increase in hotter, drier years in the coming decades due to climate change may worsen water scarcity issues in the Upper Nile Basin. These impacts are likely to cause an increase in agricultural failure in Ethiopia and may potentially lead to civil strife, according to the authors of a new study published in Earth’s Future, a journal of the American Geophysical Union.

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