You are browsing the archive for featured - AGU Blogosphere.
9 March 2014
I hear that the President will introduce the first episode. I saw this quote from Carl Sagan on Google Plus last week, and it is more true now than when wrote it. There does seem to be a growing segment in America that looks as ignorance as an attractive lifestyle choice. A far cry from the days of Gemini and Apollo as I was growing up. In those days, Texas …
8 March 2014
Guest post by Ilissa Ocko Ever wondered what the “wintry mix”’ you were suffering through was really made of, or argued with a friend about whether you were seeing sleet or hail? Wonder no more! On a recent ski trip to Jackson Hole, Wyoming, my husband and I encountered almost every type of precipitation possible. It had snowed four feet in four days where we snowmobiled in Yellowstone National Park; …
5 March 2014
This is the first in what will be a series of posts about my recent visit to Sutherland, a small town in South Africa’s Northern Cape province. In October 2013 my husband Jackie and I visited Sutherland for a long weekend. Sutherland is famous because it is home to the South African Astronomical Observatory (SAAO) research station, which has a number of telescopes that are used for astronomical and astrophysical research. …
Scientists for several decades have studied the potential environmental impacts of a nuclear conflict—either an all-out conflagration between superpowers or a more limited regional war. Now a research team led by scientists from the National Center for Atmospheric Research has produced an unusually detailed picture of the aftermath of a hypothetical regional nuclear war by using a modeling approach that includes simulations of atmospheric chemistry, the oceans, land surface, and sea ice.
There is an excellent new report out on climate science written for the general public, and I highly recommend it. It’s written at a high school level and the authors and reviewers are a ”who’s who” of science experts. I know a lot of teachers have trouble finding materials for the classroom that they can trust, and this fits the bill. You can download the complete report here and read it …
3 March 2014
One of the most well-read posts on Kim Cobb’s blog is not about her travels around the world as a paleoclimatologist or her visits to congressional offices on Capitol Hill. It’s a 2012 post about women’s fashion choices at the AGU Fall Meeting that got people talking. Cobb highlighted this occasional dilemma for women in the sciences, showing photos of several successful AGU outfits and also alluding to more serious …
2 March 2014
Saturday afternoon model runs show a stripe of heavy snow from Arkansas to Maryland Sunday into Monday. (Note this is just one model run and not a forecast). Meteorological spring began at midnight Saturday but the winter of 2014 keeps giving. A blast of very cold Arctic air is moving through the plains and will combine with a developing trough to produce a wintry mix from Arkansas to Maryland, and …
1 March 2014
So, you may have seen me mention on Twitter that I was planning on seeing Pompeii this week – and I did, properly fortified with some nice cider at a nearby pub beforehand. I’m not going to give you the full rundown of the science and history of the eruption, because David Bressan is already working on a series of excellent posts about that. Instead, I’m going to treat this as a quick-and-snarky guide to whether you want the movie to feature at your next “bad geology movie night”.
28 February 2014
I suspect a lot of folks think the Farmers Almanac winter forecast was right, and the reason they think so is because of CONFIRMATION BIAS. Science in many ways is a vaccine against confirmation bias. Read the link on confirmation bias, and my friend Jim Gandy’s guest post. Then you will understand something that those who read horoscopes, wear magic bracelets, or buy pills for their prostate (hawked by retired …
26 February 2014
The most recent budget showdown has just barely faded over the horizon. The president and Congress can finally talk about something that doesn’t involve the contentious issue of doling out funding for the government to stay open and operating. We can finally get back to focusing on setting policy – or can we?
You heard about the big X4.9 solar flare at 00:50 GMT Monday I suspect. Phil Plait at Bad Astronomy is always the go to person on that, but NASA has a video out of the fare in different wavelengths that is pretty cool. The sunspot that produced the flare is rotating slowly around, and will be facing Earth in a few days. If it erupts again then we may be …
25 February 2014
Satellite images and additional photographs are now available of the Mount La Perouse rock avalanche. This is a big landslide – runout distance is >7 km
24 February 2014
Three out of the four times that I flew between Anchorage and Nome, Alaska, the weather was overcast and clouds covered much of the landscape below. However, when I flew from Nome to Anchorage in August 2013 I was fortunate enough to fly on a day when skies were clear. I was thrilled to obtain a spectacular view of Denali, also known as Mt. McKinley, the highest peak in North …
“I didn’t deliberately set out to distill the Summary for Policymakers of the latest IPCC report into illustrated haiku. But, one weekend when I was too sick to leave the house, I found myself inspired by its ‘Headline Statements’…”
23 February 2014
The first episode of the new COSMOS airs on March 9th (worldwide on Fox, and National Geographic Channel in many countries). Neil de Grasse Tyson (Director of the Hayden Planetarium in New York) has been thought of by many of my fellow science geeks to be THE person to do a much-needed update of Carl Sagan’s epic tour of the Universe, and that means filling some big shoes. Sagan died …
22 February 2014
Helicopter pilot Drake Olson has found the rock avalanche that occurred in Alaska on Sunday. It is on the flank of Mount La Perouse.
21 February 2014
Between the Arctic conditions and what felt like hurricane-force winds, Chicago was not the most enjoyable place to be in February. But did we let that dampen our spirits while attending the AAAS Annual Meeting? Absolutely not.
The USGS has a new web-based tool for disseminating information about debris flow potential for areas affected by wildfires
20 February 2014
CHICAGO – Last month, Stephen Hawking uploaded a two-page commentary about his new ideas about black holes to arXiv, a preprint server hosted by Cornell University Library covering research in physics, mathematics, computer science, nonlinear sciences, quantitative biology and statistics.
The paper generated buzz among journalists, who reported on Hawking’s commentary, and it also took off on social media and in the blogosphere where others in the scientific community commented on, discussed and contested Hawking’s ideas.
What Hawking did — posting his thoughts to the site rather than going through the traditional channels — and the commentary that ensued would not have been possible a decade ago, Carl Zimmer, a columnist with The New York Times, told an audience here Feb.13 at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS).
What does a future society look like? Could it be one where people are far richer than they are today, but continue to burn fossil fuels in huge quantities? Might society decide to embrace renewable energy technologies, while its people become only slightly wealthier than they are now? What other futures might we expect?