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21 October 2014

Standing on the San Andreas Fault

Having just arrived in California and still in the process of unpacking boxes in my apartment, I decided the most productive thing to do was go on a hike. Silicon Valley is near a lot of Open Space Preserves as well as various local and state parks, and I was really eager to get outside and explore. And because I’m in California, I was hungry to finally set eyes (and foot) on the biggest fault I could get to.

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20 October 2014

Record Warm September Increases Odds that 2014 Will be Hottest on Record

From NOAA. From NOAA. NOAA announced today that both August and September were the hottest globally since reliable instrument records began in the 1880′s. From NOAA: Global Highlights The combined average temperature over global land and ocean surfaces for September 2014 was the highest on record for September, at 0.72°C (1.30°F) above the 20th century average of 15.0°C (59.0°F). The global land surface temperature was 0.89°C (1.60°F) above the 20th …

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2015 AEG Shlemon Specialty Conference – “Time to Face the Landslide Hazard Dilemma: Bridging Science, Policy, Public Safety, and Potential Loss”

The 2015 Shlemon Specialty Conference, organised by the Association of Environmental and Engineering Geologists, is entitled “Time to Face the Landslide Hazard Dilemma: Bridging Science, Policy, Public Safety, and Potential Loss”.

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17 October 2014

Another Well Written Defense of Science

Jonathan Bines is a staff writer for Jimmy Kimmel and he has a piece in Huff Post that is superb- it deserves sharing and widely. In this memorable October, a lot of virologists (and disease experts) are getting a taste of what evolutionary biologists, and climate scientists have experienced. A quote from Bines: “Science cannot be refuted by appeals to intuition or personal experience, attacks on the character or motivations …

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16 October 2014

The Winter Forecast Is Out, and It’s Probably Wrong!

  NOAA Released the 2014/2015 winter forecast today and it is probably wrong. I’m not taking a slam at NOAA here, they will also admit to you that the odds are that this forecast will not be correct. The truth is, that any forecast beyond 5-7 days has very low skill. That said, we cannot learn to make long-range forecasts unless we try, and that’s how science works: we make …

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And now for the fun part: choosing your outreach activities!

The wonderful thing about science communication and outreach is that there are an almost infinite number of ways to share your science. We’ve made a quick list of some of the kinds of activities you can be involved in to share your science.

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Well Worth a Read: How Did We Become a Society Suspicious of Science?

I spotted this piece tonight by Keith Parsons a Professor of Philosophy at the Univ. of Houston-Clear lake. Well worth a read! He has a real point and it reminds me of Richard Feynman’s great quote: “Science is what we do keep from lying to ourselves”.

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The Ebola Outbreak Is Proof That We Humans Are Terrible at Evaluating Risk

There are at least 5,000 dead of Ebola in Africa and it is a real human tragedy no doubt, but when I turned on CNN Tuesday to get the latest on what is happening there, I ended up watching nearly two hours of news about two patients who have contracted the disease in America. They are still alive, and hopefully with good care will beat the disease, but I must …

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15 October 2014

Make every week Earth Science Week!

Why restrict the celebrations to one week? Let’s make every effort to engage students in Earth Science content every week!

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Three great new landslide videos, including a surfing backhoe!

I have come across three really interesting and high quality new landslide videos, including one that shows a backhoe surfing a landslide

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14 October 2014

Two in Row- September Follows August as Hottest on Record. 2014 May Be Hottest Ever.

Just like August, September was the hottest on record globally (according to NASA). NOAA maintains a different record, and will report their number any day now. The data sets use slightly different methods, but it’s a good bet that they will show a new record as well. NASA also has a graph showing the heat anomalies by latitude: NOAA’s National Climate Data Center created a very good info graphic that …

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13 October 2014

The New A-380 Airbus Is Indeed Amazing

I’ve been rather quiet here for over a week for good reason: I’ve been on holiday in the UK, and Cornwall in particular. I’ll have some more to write about in the week ahead, but I thought I would share a few comments about the new A-380 airbus. It’s the biggest passenger plane in the World and British Airways just put it into service. I was lucky enough to fly …

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Health check reveals how glacier is declining due to warming climate

Researchers from the British Geological Survey have taken the very first comprehensive health check of a rapidly melting glacier. Their latest study reveals that their icy patient, the Falljökull glacier in southeast Iceland, has been dramatically declining as it tries to adjust to recent changes in the climate.

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10 October 2014

Friday folds: ploudin trio from Corridor H

Three folded sandstone slab-blobs will serve as today’s Friday folds. Meet the ploudins!

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9 October 2014

In search of Santorini’s blueschist, part 1: into the Valley of the Shadow of Ash

While in Santorini, Greece, your humble geoblogger braves a warm afternoon to search the hillsides for evidence of subduction.

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China: a new rockfall video from Guiyang, Guizhou and images of landslides from the Yunnan earthquake in August

A new rockfall video has appeared on youtube showing a collapse in Guiyang, China. In addition, some new images are now available of landslides from the Yunnan earthquake

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8 October 2014

Scientists and Reporters Just Want to Get to the Bottom of It All

After just a few short months, my desk at the Los Angeles Times had succumbed to the same peculiar malady as my desk at Oregon State University, where I did my Ph.D. in paleoclimatology: It seemed to have sprouted a thin coat of fluorescent sticky notes. Each tiny square bore a fact that merited remembering or a question that demanded answering, and, every day, they multiplied.

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How rain falls – not just how much – may alter landslide risk

New research finds that it’s not just the amount of rain that falls on a hillside, but the pattern of rainfall that matters when trying to determine how likely a slope is to give way. This new information could improve forecasts of landslides, which are typically hard to predict, said the scientists conducting the research.
Different rainfall patterns—a short, heavy deluge, a light, steady downpour, or sporadic showers—will trigger different numbers of landslides with varying amounts of debris, according to the new study published today in Water Resources Research, a journal of the American Geophysical Union.

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Send us your science-themed Halloween costumes

Whether they’re from the department party last year or your childhood obsession with Marie Curie, we want to see your science on display.

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Lunar eclipse images from the past 2 hours

A selection of “moon shots” from this morning’s lunar eclipse is presented.

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