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The rate of change

Maribo | 20 April, 2014
by Meghan Beamish While reading through the latest IPCC reports - Working Groups II and III - one word kept popping out at me: rate. Specifically when I compared this phrase: The overall risks of climate change impacts can be reduced by limitin...
Categories: Features;

Perhaps the most depressing palaeoecology paper ever

One of the major rationales for palaeoecological analyses is to provide data that can be used to validate climate models -- if the models can predict past climate from periods with different climate forcings our confidence in their projections of future climate change under increased greenhouse gas concentrations should be enhanced. The Last Glacial Maximum, 21 kBP (LGM), is often used as a target because the climate forcing and response are large. Another often used target is the mid-Holocene, 6±0.5 kBP, towards the end of the Holocene thermal maximum when orbital forcing gave warmer summers and cooler winters at high latitudes. The orbital forcing was stronger earlier in the Holocene but this is a less suitable target as the climate was complicated by the remnants of the Laurentide Ice Sheets and massive pulses of meltwater, such as at the 8.2kBP event.
Categories: climate; Peer reviewed literature; transfer function; dinocysts; Hessler et al 2014; Planktonic foraminifera;

The Dogwoods are Blooming in Yosemite Valley! And North Dome, the Stuff of Legend

Geotripper | 20 April, 2014
The Pacific Dogwood (Cornus nuttalli) is a diminutive tree that forms some of the understory of Yosemite Valley's conifer forests. It seems practically invisible to park visitors (like me, anyway) most of the year except for two times: fall, when the tree becomes one of the most vivid contributors to the autumn colors of the valley, and spring, when the Dogwood flowers bloom. The flowers aren't all that showy actually. They are the small yellow sphere in the middle of the structure. But they are surrounded by large white bracts that look like flower petals. Bracts are actually highly modified leaves. Just the same, they add a bright splash of white to the forest understory in the spring. I was in Yosemite Valley just a week ago and I would swear there were no Dogwood blooms at the time, but there were many of them yesterday.
Categories: Ahwiyah Point Rockfall; Dogwood tree; North Dome; Tis-sa'-ack; To-tau-kon-nu'-la; Yosemite National Park; Yosemite Valley;

Northern Ireland geology

BGS Geoheritage | 20 April, 2014
BGS Image no: P006468Just E. of Ballintoy Harbour, Co. Antrim. Looking E. Upper Chalk and Tertiary dolerite intrusions just east of Ballintoy Harbour, Co. Antrim. Intrusive plug of Bendoo on right-hand side with chalk stack in centre. Sheep Island still in centre middle distance with Rathlin Island on horizon. View facing east from small cave 200 yd. south-east of Ballintoy Harbour.
Categories: Ballintoy Harbour; Chimney Tops; Interbasaltic Bed; Irish Harp; Northern Ireland; Port Reostin; Spaniard Rock;

Tucson-based Mintec acquired by Hexagon

Arizona Geology | 20 April, 2014
Mintec, Inc., announced that Hexagon AB, a leading provider of design, measurement and visualization technologies, has of today entered into an agreement to acquire the company, a resource modeling, optimization, mine planning and scheduling software developer for the mining industry.
Categories: None

electricity and crow

Inkstain (John Fleck) | 20 April, 2014
This is our 21st spring in the house on Aliso Drive, the longest (by a significant margin) that I've lived in the same place. The utility pole in the back corner of our yard has been at the fringe of my perception that whole time. I never completely ignored it, but I never thought much about it until the last few years when I started compiling bird lists and, more recently, taking pictures of the birds in my backyard.
Categories: birds; family;

Geo 730: April 20, Day 476: Weathered Wall

Outside the Interzone | 20 April, 2014
Taking a break from the basalt and sandstone of the surf area (though you can still see a bit a blue from the bay at the top), this is a close-up of the wall along the sidewalk of the Depoe Bay waterfront. I would describe this as cavernous weathering, with ribs between pits forming in vesicular (bubbly) basalt.
Categories: Earth; Geo 730; Geology; Oregon;

How to make graphene in a kitchen blender

Propogating Waves | 20 April, 2014
Atomic resolution, scanning transmission electron microscope image of part of a nanosheet of shear exfoliated graphene. Credit: CRANN/SuperSTEM
Categories: Chemistry; Nanotechnology;

the ants of spring

Inkstain (John Fleck) | 20 April, 2014
This crew is building an architectural masterpiece in our driveway.
Categories: family;

At The Cutting Edge of Science

JOIDES Resolution Blogs | 20 April, 2014
The information that is gathered during these marine geoscience expeditions contributes hugely to our knowledge and understanding of how the Earth evolved and is still evolving. It underpins our models of climate change, the emplacement of valuable minerals and the distribution of natural hazards in both space and time.
Categories: None

Perverse outcomes: Lifting U.S. oil export ban would mean greater dependence on foreign oil

Resource Insights | 20 April, 2014
The United States today is a large net importer of crude oil and refined products. And, yet the story that the country can somehow export crude oil as a foreign policy measure to help reduce Ukraine's dependence on Russia won't die. Oil executives and their surrogates keep bringing it up, and unsuspecting reporters amplify a message that has absolutely no basis.
Categories: None

A 10K run into the Eocene of the Negev

Wooster Geologists | 20 April, 2014
MITZPE RAMON, ISRAEL-Yoav and I had a long hike today into the Eocene succession of rock units in the northern Negev. We wanted to look especially at the Horsha Formation (Eocene, Lutetian) because it has some cool trace fossils and massively large oysters. Along the way there are also interesting features like submarine debris flows, thick chalk deposits, unconformities and faulting.
Categories: Uncategorized; Eocene; fossils; Israel; Negev;

Notes from the West Side of Marrowstone

I had a project on the southwest shore of Marrowstone Island near the upper end of Mystery Bay. The beach here is primarily gravel at the surface but with a mix of sand and silts under the gravel as well. Except for the upper beach the tidelands here are crunchy with various tidal sea life too the point of influence where I walked.
Categories: Field Work; geology; history;

Massospondylus: Prehistoric Animal of the Week

It's Easter Sunday!  Like last year, we will be looking at another prehistoric animal that has a connection to eggs in the fossil record...because of Easter eggs...mmm.  Check out Massospondylus carinatus!  Massospondylus was a plant eating dinosaur that lived in what is now South Africa during the Early Jurassic Period between almost 200 to 183 million years ago. Most adults grew to about fifteen feet long from snout to tail.  The genus name, Massospondyuls, translates to "Long Vertebrae".
Categories: None

Vernal Fall in Yosemite and a Sense of Scale (or, How to Feel Very Small)

Geotripper | 20 April, 2014
It's a sense of scale that helps us keep perspective. I was at Washburn Point in Yosemite National Park today, and I took a few shots with the zoom of the same spot across the way.
Categories: Half Dome; Liberty Cap; Nevada fall; perspective; Sense of scale; Vernal fall; Yosemite National Park; Yosemite Valley;

Wooster’s Fossils of the Week: A scleractinian coral and its tube-dwelling symbionts (Middle Jurassic of Israel)

Wooster Geologists | 19 April, 2014
We have much to learn about these gorgeous Jurassic fossil corals of Israel. They are virtually unstudied and offer a great opportunity for comparing them to the global Jurassic coral world.
Categories: Uncategorized; Fossil of the Week; fossils; Israel; Jurassic;

Kinder Morgan permits 5 wells in St Johns CO2 field

Arizona Geology | 19 April, 2014
The Arizona Oil & Gas Conservation Commission approved permits (#1189-1193) to Kinder Morgan CO2 Co. for 5 wells to develop the St. John's carbon dioxide field in eastern Arizona.
Categories: None

What Mexico has, California is lacking

Seismo Blog | 19 April, 2014
Categories: Earthquake special reports;

Sweet1 by Nature: African Cities and the Natural World

The Nature of Cities | 19 April, 2014
Spring in Brussels. Balmy weather, traffic jams, helicopters hovering in skies of pale, duck-egg blue. Politicians, policy-makers and lobbyists rub shoulders with the G4S security personnel tasked with their safety. The guards outnumber their charges...
Categories: Africa; Architecture; Design; Lesley Lokko;

Geo 730: April 19, Day 475: Pillows and Beds

Outside the Interzone | 19 April, 2014
One notable feature of the Depoe Bay basalts is the way the pillows are interbedded with sediments. In some spots, such as this one, the pillows appear to be completely surrounded by, and supported in, the sandstone. My best guess would be that discrete pillows formed on the sea floor, then foundered into the underlying unconsolidated sediment. Alternatively, they might be invasive- that is the pillows may have formed by intrusion of lava into the sediment below- but that seems less likely, to me at least, to form such nice, round, and normal-looking pillows. It seems quite unlikely that this was a simultaneous deposition of such quantities of both lava and sediment.
Categories: Earth; Geo 730; Geology; Oregon;

Trillium Season

Trillium is an April flower and its brief appearance of large while flowers in the otherwise dark forest floor marks the change over from bare branches to the return of the western Washington jungle. The flower always just beats the leafing out of the red alder and big leaf maple.
Categories: flora;

Beyond the Plunder: The Misunderstood Life of Pirates

Deep Sea News | 19 April, 2014
Buccaneers, Charlatans, Marauders, and Swashbucklers. Throughout the centuries, our booty-hoarding friends have been branded by many rather dubious labels. Yet seldom does the average gangplank groupie stop to appreciate the secret identities of some...
Categories: Environmental Sciences; Life of Science; Nautical Terms and Phrases; Scientist!; Social Sciences; citizen science; Natural History; pirates; SDNAT; William Dampier;

Stratigraphy day at Makhtesh Ramon

Wooster Geologists | 19 April, 2014
MITZPE RAMON, ISRAEL-Usually on Saturdays Yoav Avni and I do something "touristic", like visit an archaeological site or museum. Since it is the Passover holiday, though, and we are both averse to crowds, we decided to do a little stratigraphy outside Mitzpe Ramon instead. Our challenge from Amihai Sneh was to sort out the lower boundary of the En Yorqe'am Formation (Upper Cretaceous, Cenomanian), so we added another section to our argument.
Categories: Uncategorized; Cretaceous; Israel; Negev;

I can only beg ... suspend judgment until the whole case shall have been presented

"Hillers trachyte is a pale gray paste with large white crystals of feldspar and crystals large and small of hornblende.  This describes the variety at hand."This is one of the least eye-catching rocks in my kitchen.  No one picks it up, ponders it, asks questions.  Yet it's special for me ... and for the history of geology.  I found it one morning on the picnic table at my campsite, on top of yellowed sheets of paper with notes and sketches.  They were not there the evening before.
Categories: letter to the Earth; Utah geology;

Down the Landsat rabbit hole, Albuquerque edition

Inkstain (John Fleck) | 19 April, 2014
Now that I've figured out how to easily download NASA Landsat imagery, (thanks, USGS!) I don't think I'm going to get much else done this weekend. It's an amazing conceptual tool for helping to think about how water moves through western North America. Here's Albuquerque on April 13, with the colors tweaked to highlight growing plants. Finding the metro area's golf courses is left as an exercise for the reader:
Categories: New Mexico; water;

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