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Back on the JR (!!??). Guam, Magnetometers and Serpentine...

JOIDES Resolution Blogs | 11 December, 2016
And... two years and 10 weeks later:  I'm back on the JR!   read more...
Categories: None

CYGNSS Launch Weekend Continues: A Day of Science Communication

Notes from the field | 11 December, 2016
You're probably wondering why I'm down at NASA KSC so early before launch day. We're not down here relaxing on the beach; the weekend before launch is packed with events. For example, just today, I participated in our CYGNSS Science Team meeting and two press events.
Categories: Cyclone Global Navigation Satellite System (CYGNSS);

Education and Outreach Officers reporting for duty!

JOIDES Resolution Blogs | 11 December, 2016
Categories: E/O; education; outreach;

Gather ye climate data while ye may

Open Mind | 11 December, 2016
President-elect Donald Trump has appointed a host of the worst imaginable climate deniers to positions of authority in his administration. He seems determined to put them in control, and they seem determined to stop all U.S. action to help with ... C...
Categories: climate change; Global Warming;

Mild or wild: robustness through morphological filtering

MyCarta | 11 December, 2016
This guest post (first published here) is by Elwyn Galloway, author of Scibbatical on WordPress. It is the forth in our series of collaborative articles about sketch2model, a project from the 2015 Calgary Geoscience Hackathon organized [...]...
Categories: Application; Geology; Geophysics; Geoscience; Image Processing; Programming and code; Python; Research; Tutorial; binary; closing; dilation; erosion; geophyiscs; Hackathon; image enhancement; image morphology; image processing; mathematical morphology; Mobile App; scikit-image; Web App;

Understanding the world's highest Vascular Plant community.

Sciency Thoughts | 10 December, 2016
Rising global temperatures have led to Plant communities migrating upwards in mountain ranges across the globe, colonising areas formerly covered by snow and glaciers. However this process is not simply dependent on temperature, as Plants usually grow in some form of soil layer, with root structures that form complex relationships with Fungi and other micro-organisms in this soil and soil is typically absent or very limited on the snow and ice covered upper slopes of mountains, with microbial communities, if present at all, quite different to those found in Plant-supporting soils at lower altitudes.
Categories: Alphaproteobacteria; Asteraceae; Bacteria; Bacteroidetes; Betaproteobacteria; Botany; Brassicas; Ecology; Grass; India; Jammu and Kashmir; Ladakh; Microbiology; Plants; Tibetan Plateau; Vascular Plants;

Curiosity update: Moving again!

Red Planet Report | 10 December, 2016
Sol 1545-47, December 9, 2016, update by USGS scientist Lauren Edgar: This morning we received downlink that indicated operation of the drill feed using standard commands.  This is great news, and the anomaly response team has cleared the rover for ...
Categories: Reports; Aeolis Mons; Beachcroft; Blue Hill; Curiosity; Echo Lake; Gale Crater; Mars Science Laboratory; Mount Sharp; MSL; Murray Formation; NASA; Precipice; Squid Cove; Stimson Formation; The Anvil; Western Head;

Tales Written in Leaves, Part I ~ Blaming the Bolide

In which the blogger confirms, yet again, the dangers of assuming he knows something.The process has nearly run its course, though oaks and beeches are holding on,  During November and very early December in this area of the northeastern U.S., deciduous trees let go of their leaves in numbers beyond imagination (well, my imagination, at least).  Given that such trees dominate many forests here, it's not surprising that we were blanketed in leaves.  Metallic growls disturbed daylight hours as folks with leaf blowers tried to corral the fallen leaves, saving the users' backs while sacrificing their hearing.  Being old school, I chose to sacrifice my back.
Categories: angiosperms; deciduousness; gymnosperms;

Whatcom County Lahar Policy: Something to Consider

Whatcom County Council is in the early stages of struggling with the concept of lahar hazard. Lahar hazard has been a challenging issue for all counties and cities potentially impacted by lahars coming off Washington State's glacial clad volcanoes. Lahars are large landslides that travel down into valleys below volcanoes. Lahars can be generated during eruptions, but they can take place without any volcanic activity.
Categories: geology; policy;

Guy McPherson and the end of humanity (not)

Hot Topic | 10 December, 2016
Ecologist Guy McPherson has been touring New Zealand for the past couple of weeks, explaining why humanity has only 10 years to live (a kind-of Ziggy message that has immediate appeal to me). After his appearance on the Paul Henry breakfast show, I was called by TV3/Newshub for comment. Based on my understanding of climate change science I said that though the situation is very serious -- dire even -- extinction in 10 years is not going to happen. When I gave my remarks to Newshub, I knew little about McPherson but I understood that he is a very knowledgeable biologist who should not be dismissed lightly.
Categories: Climate cranks; Climate science; environment and ecology; extinction; Guy McPherson; Jim Renwick; methane;

In Search of a Tree

For almost a year I've followed a serviceberry tree 30 miles south of town, out in the Laramie Basin. What a surprise to find a serviceberry in a land of grass, sagebrush and greasewood flats! It was on the north side of a small ridge of tilted s...
Categories: #treefollowing;

More Bugs!

Valesguya disjuncta aka scavenger fly
Categories: From the Collections Room; Paleontological techniques; Science and Technology;

A NASA spacecraft watches as a huge 'hole' in the Sun's atmosphere rotates into view

ImaGeo | 10 December, 2016
The solar wind, blowing at 2 million miles per hour from the hole, just caused a geomagnetic storm here on Earth Over the past week, NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory spacecraft watched a massive coronal hole rotate into view as the Sun spun on its...
Categories: None

Defending Climate Science

RealClimate | 10 December, 2016
Guest commentary from Lauren Kurtz
Categories: Climate Science; Scientific practice;


Open Mind | 10 December, 2016
Categories: climate change; Global Warming;

The Shared Fossil Heritage Of Gondwanaland

Reporting on a Revolution | 10 December, 2016
Lovely infographic:"As noted by Snider-Pellegrini and Wegener, the locations of certain fossil plants and animals on present-day, widely separated continents would form definite patterns (shown by the bands of colors), if the continents are rejoined"...
Categories: bio-geography; fossils; plate tectonics;

Door 10: M is for Meteorite

Part 3 of our run-down of exhibitions and events held at the Society this year features our very own meteorite! July The Geological Society Library's outreach programme is to designed to promote the sheer breadth and scale of our unique collectio...
Categories: Advent calendar; History; history; history of geology; mapping; maps; meteorites; Piltdown;

Magnitude 6.5 Earthquake off Northern California (as recorded at MJC)

Geotripper | 10 December, 2016
A large earthquake has shaken the ocean floor off the coast of Northern California. It took place about 100 miles west of Cape Mendocino (below) and the town of Ferndale.  The 6.5 magnitude event took place on the oceanward extension of the San Andreas fault roughly halfway between the Gorda Ridge and the south end of the Cascadia Subduction Zone. The first motion diagram for the event is consistent with a right lateral strike-slip fault. The lateral motion of the shaking minimized the chances of producing a tsunami, and none was reported. The quake was felt over a large part of the North Coast, but I expect there was little damage. A hundred miles is a good distance to be away from an epicenter.
Categories: 6.5 magnitude quake; Ferndale; northern California; San Andreas fault;

the hawaiian shirt crew

Accidental Remediation | 10 December, 2016
I haven't told a random school story in a long time...
Categories: academia; short psychology; things I like;

HiRISE: Colorful bedrock exposed by landslide

Red Planet Report | 9 December, 2016
The steep walls of Valles Marineris sometimes fail, creating giant landslides. This provides a clean exposure of the underlying bedrock. This image of the north wall of Ganges Chasma reveals bedrock with diverse colors and textures, representing diff...
Categories: Reports; bedrock; High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment; HiRISE; landslide; Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter; mass wasting; MRO; NASA; University of Arizona; Valles Marineris;

The Undermining of Climate Science

State of the Planet | 9 December, 2016
The election of Donald Trump has climate scientists concerned about its implications for U.S. environmental policies and worldwide efforts to curb the effects of climate change. Many fear that climate science under Trump could be strategically underm...
Categories: Climate; Earth Sciences; General Earth Institute; climate change; climate matters; Climate Policy; Climate Science; Communicating Climate; Global Warming; NASA;

Magnitude 6.5 Earthquake on the north coast of Sumatra claims over a hundred lives.

Sciency Thoughts | 9 December, 2016
The United States Geological Survey recorded a Magnitude 6.5 Earthquake at a depth of 8.2 km, on the north coast of Sumatra, about 16 km to the southeast of the town of Sigli in Aceh Province, slightly after 5.00 am Western Indonesian Time on Wednesday 7 December 2016 (slightly after 10.00 pm on Tuesday 6 December, GMT). So far 102 fatalities have been attributed to this event, which is also thought to have destroyed over 10 000 homes and over 50 mosques, and which was felt across much of northern Sumatra, western Peninsula Malaysia and southern Peninsula Thailand.
Categories: Aceh Province; Earthquakes; Geohazards; Indo-Australian Plate; Indonesia; Subductive Plate Margin; Sumatra; Sunda Plate;

Curiosity update: Diagnostics & remote sensing

Red Planet Report | 9 December, 2016
Sol 1544, December 8, 2016, update by USGS scientist Lauren Edgar: The plan for Sol 1544 includes remote sensing and additional diagnostics to resolve the drill feed fault.  The plan starts with a Mastcam tau and crater rim extinction observation ...
Categories: Reports; Aeolis Mons; Aunt Betty Pond; Curiosity; Gale Crater; Kebo Mountain; Mars Science Laboratory; Mount Sharp; MSL; Murray Formation; NASA; Stimson Formation;

Congress Delays Action on NASA's 2017 Budget

Planetary Society Weblog | 9 December, 2016
Congress stands ready to punt on NASA's budget, meaning the space program will have to operate on a short budgetary rope until April of next year....
Categories: None

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