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24 April 2017

Notes from March for Science, Philadelphia, PA

Thoughts while marching in Philly… Many people were busy arguing whether we “should” have to March for Science, but it was important for us to remember that we “could” march

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Study finds pond expansion a significant factor in loss of Mississippi delta land

Wind-driven expansion of marsh ponds on the Mississippi River Delta is a significant factor in the loss of crucial land in the Delta region, according to new research. The study found 17 percent of land loss in the area resulted from pond expansion, much of it caused by waves that eroded away the edges of the pond.

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What now? Now we go to work.

By Shane M Hanlon I’m a scientist who teaches scientists how to talk to non-scientists. I recognized the need for this type of instruction years ago when I was still a graduate student. Even when I first got my position in the Sharing Science program here at AGU, scientists were increasingly aware of the need to be able to effectively communicate their science to broad audiences but many were still …

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The Wellington earthquake landslide problem

A few days ago a newspaper in New Zealand highlighted the potential Wellington earthquake landslide problem. Research is ongoing into this key issue

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23 April 2017

Thousands Stand Up for Mankind’s Greatest Invention- Science

Thousands of scientists from around the world did something that seemed unimaginable a few years ago. They stood up and made their voices heard in defense of science. Thousands of scientists braved a steady light rain and cool temperatures to gather on the Mall in Washington today and then marched toward the Capitol. The rain was not a surprise because the forecast for the day was nearly spot-on (thanks to …

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22 April 2017

March for Science: Wellington, New Zealand

Today I was honoured to attend, In Wellington, the first of the over 600 March for Science events that are occurring all over the world.

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21 April 2017

Yakutat Glacier Terminus Collapse, 10 km retreat 1987-2016

Landsat images from 1987 and 2016 with terminus indicated by yellow dots. Point A indicates the 1987 terminus location and Point E the 2016 terminus location.  The Yakutat Glacier during the 1894-1895 Alaskan Boundary Survey ended near a terminal moraine on a flat coastal outwash plain. By 1906 the glacier had retreated from the moraine and a new lake was forming. Harlequin Lake. Surveys of the terminus of the glacier indicated …

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20 April 2017

Tundra swans take two distinct paths to Alaska

Both the East and West Coast tundra swans spend the majority of their lives migrating. Based on information from the satellite trackers, the bird I saw might have left the Central Valley of California in late January. From there, it looped across Oregon and Washington, maybe northern Utah, on its way to the prairie in Canada. Then it flew over northern British Columbia and back to Alaska.

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Helping Students Advocate for the Earth – from InTeGrate

There is a new section of the InTeGrate Teaching Sustainability module titled “Helping Students Advocate for the Earth” – explore these resources “for advice on designing courses around issues central to your community in ways that empower students to advocate for the Earth.”

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19 April 2017

Science: “An Exercise in Finding What’s True”

Neil de Grasse Tyson’s video below is a must watch. His quote that “Science in an entire exercise in finding what is true”, is similar to another quote that I’ve often repeated from Richard Feynman: “Science is what we do to keep from lying to ourselves.” Watch the video and then share it.

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Losses from landslides in Colombia: the long term picture

Overnight there are reports of further deaths from landslides in Colombia. Data since 2004 suggests that landslides continue to inflict a high cost there

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Nuusuaq Peninsula West Greenland Glacier Disintegration

Comparison of alpine glaciers on Nuussuaq Peninsula in 1990 and 2016 Landsat images.  Each arrow is at a specific location in both images exhibiting glacier separation/disintegration.  The Nuussuaq Peninsula is just north of Disko Island in West Greenland and is home to many alpine glaciers and small ice caps.  Here we examine the furthest west group of alpine glaciers on the peninsula.  This group is 125 km west of the ice …

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18 April 2017

The Almaluu-Bulak landslide in Kyrgyzstan: amazing new Google Earth imagery

Fantastic Google Earth imagery is now available of the site of the Almaluu-Bulak landslide in Kyrgyzstan, which was captured so memorably on video last year

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Mercury’s craters offer clues to planet’s contraction

Craters serve as time-markers for the faults because they can be dated by how degraded they appear. The more degraded looking craters are older. Those that have sharper features are younger, and those with bright rays of debris radiating around them are youngest of all.

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17 April 2017

The Meethotamulla garbage dump landslide: an avoidable tragedy?

As the death toll from the Meethotamulla garbage dump landslide goes up, there is increasing evidence that many concerns have raised about the site

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Harnessing the communicative power of art in science education

“From a young age, I began to understand that artists describe and interpret the world around them. In this way, they perform a task quite similar to that of a scientist.”

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Why can we see and hear meteors at the same time?

Light travels nearly a million times faster than sound. But for thousands of years, humans have reported hearing some meteors as they pass overhead, puzzling scientists for decades. Now, a new study puts forth a simple explanation for the phenomenon.

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Liesegang rings in a natural sandstone “tile”

An easter egg on a piece of toast? No, it’s a nice example of Liesegang rings in a slab of sandstone. Explore more in this blog post.

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16 April 2017

The Meethotamulla garbage dump disaster in Sri Lanka

The Meethotamulla garbage dump in Colombo, Sri Lanka is now known to have killed at least 26 people. Images suggest this was a disaster waiting to happen.

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14 April 2017

Supercomputer Recreation of an Oklahoma Tornado

A big hat tip to Tim Schmit at the Uni. of Wisconsin SSEC for this: Look at the animation below of a supercell with a large tornado that was re-created using a supercomputer. From the video tag on YouTube: Using supercomputers, a team led by UW-Madison CIMSS researcher Leigh Orf, successfully recreated a monstrous supercell that produced several tornadoes in 2011, one of which registered as an EF-5 and touched …

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