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27 July 2014

Which Will Reduce Your Carbon Footprint More: Giving up Beef or Your Car?

I listened to a fascinating interview on Science Friday from NPR Friday afternoon, and it’s good news for poultry producers/bad news for cattle ranchers. Giving up beef reduces your carbon footprint more than giving up your car! Click below to listen: Poultry is a big industry here in Maryland, and they should be very happy about this. Poultry is an order of magnitude less carbon intensive than beef production.

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Rare Mid-Summer Tornado Outbreak Possible In Midwest Sunday

An unusually strong summer cool front is expected to kick off numerous super-cell thunderstorms Sunday across the Midwest and even into the Mid-Atlantic/Northeast. With thousands of folks at campgrounds and beaches, the possibilities that the storms may catch folks in the open and away from sturdy shelter is much higher than normal. Just this week, an EF1 tornado hit the Eastern Shore of Virginia, and left two dead and over …

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26 July 2014

Guizhou and Nagano – the aftermath of recent landslides

Photographs have emerged of the aftermath of landslides in Guizhou in China and Nagamo in Japan. The landslides are very different but both were equally devastating

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25 July 2014

Wildfire Smoke Reaches New York and Ontario

The wildfires from Washington and western/northern Canada continue to send a shroud of dense smoke to areas thousands of miles away. It’s been an almost autumn like afternoon over the Northeast U.S., and here in Maryland we have a deep blue sky with low humidity. No deep blue sky to our north however, where a dense layer of smoke covers southern Canada and New England. Below is the temperature anomalies …

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24 July 2014

Dropped cell phone calls become rain gauges in West Africa

A shaky cell phone connection during a rainstorm can be an annoying nuisance. But now scientists are showing that these weakened signals can be used to monitor rainfall in West Africa, a technique that could help cities in the region better prepare for floods and combat weather-related diseases.

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Calling all scientists: Artify your Abstracts!

Abstracts are the quintessential means of getting the gist of your research out there to other scientists. But what if you want to reach a broader audience? What if you want to give your abstract that extra oomph that will combine its scientific rigor with some artistic creativity? Why, in that case you artify your abstract!

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Askja: a very large volcanic landslide in Iceland

This week a very large landslide occurred on the flanks of the Askja stratovolcano in Iceland. Initial estimates are that is over 25 million cubic metres. and that it generated tsunami waves in the lake at the toe that were over 50 m high.

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23 July 2014

Nature’s roadblock to hurricane prediction

The quiet Atlantic hurricane season of 2013 came as a surprise to many, as seasonal forecasts had consistently predicted an unusually large crop of named storms. A new study published in the Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres, a journal of the American Geophysical Union, finds that internal variability—processes that unfold without being dictated by larger-scale features—can make one season twice as active as another, even when El Niño and other large-scale hurricane-shaping elements are unchanged. The results suggest that seasonal hurricane forecasts could be improved by conveying the amount of unavoidable uncertainty in the outlook.

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Updating how we teach the process of science

This week, I’m with a group of in-service middle school teachers for a week-long workshop on climate science.  It is always inspiring to connect with K-12 teachers to see and hear about their passion for their classrooms and for teaching – and always frustrating to hear that they have to do so with so few resources that include outdated textbooks.  And in those outdated textbooks we will find the “scientific …

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Oso landslide: the last set of remains been recovered and a new report has been released

Two key events happened yesterday in relation to the Oso landslide in Washington State – the remains of the last victim were recovered and a new report analysing the landslide was released.

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The Great Facebook Blizzard of 2014

At the AMS Broadcast Meteorology conference last month in Lake Tahoe, I presented a talk about widespread rumors on Facebook last January that a paralyzing snowstorm was coming. This is just one example of the love/hate relationship that meteorologists have with Facebook, and I was quoted in an article on TV News Check about this as well a couple of weeks ago. As I told the reporter for TV News …

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22 July 2014

Benchmarking Time: DC is all about boundaries

Washington DC is an interesting city. When the original plans were being made in the 1780s and 1790s, they called for a 100-square-mile area to be allocated for the city, and George Washington (who was President at the time) wanted to include the City of Alexandria in Virginia. But the Residence Act, passed in 1791, specified that all the federal buildings had to be on the Maryland side of the river (mostly because someone realized that the law allowed the President to choose the location and some members of Congress didn’t want him taking advantage of that and including his own property to the south of Alexandria). So we ended up with a diamond-shaped District 10 miles on a side, overlapping both Virginia and Maryland, with the actual city in Maryland.

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Oso disaster had its roots in earlier landslides

The disastrous March 22 landslide that killed 43 people in the rural Washington state community of Oso involved the “remobilization” of a 2006 landslide on the same hillside, a new federally sponsored geological study concludes.

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Erzurum: a landslide destroys an almost new ski jump facility in Turkey

Last Tuesday a landslide destroyed a 20 million Euro ski jumping facility in Erzurum, Turkey. The collapse was in part caught on a video

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21 July 2014

NOAA: Earth Had Its Hottest June On Record

From NOAA: “The globally averaged temperature over land and ocean surfaces for June 2014 was the highest for June since record keeping began in 1880. It also marked the 38th consecutive June and 352nd consecutive month with a global temperature above the 20th century average. The last below-average global temperature for June was in 1976 and the last below-average global temperature for any month was February 1985. “ FYI May …

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Maoxian County landslide: a dramatic video of a fatal rockslide

On Thursday a rockslide occurred in Maoxian County in Sichuan Province, China. The terrifying moments of the landslide were captured on a dashboard camera

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The Only Thing More Amazing Than The Moonwalk 45 years Ago Tonight

Exactly 45 years ago tonight, everyone who could see a TV, was in front of one. The clip below is the actual coverage from CBS News that evening. You can actually watch all of the Moonwalk online, and if you were not born yet, I highly recommend you do so. A lot of folks do not realize that when the camera came on (and a lot of folks doubted it …

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19 July 2014

State Of The Climate 2013

Tom Karl NOAA NCDC Director: “The climate is changing more rapidly in today’s world than at any time in modern civilization.”  (to CBS News ) Entire report here. The ABSTRACT: and this one sidebar is particularly interesting:  

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18 July 2014

Canada Wildfire Smoke Edging Southward

  In the Boreal forests of Canada there have been huge wildfires this month and the smoke is covering much of Canada. Late images this afternoon show the smoke is moving across the Great Lakes states as well, and it may move into the northeast U.S. soon. This part of the world has warmed more than any other over the past 60 years, and Climate Central has a nice write-up …

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17 July 2014

Come One Come All

The Public Affairs team at AGU is hosting a webinar 17 July 2014 titled ‘How to Have a Successful District Visit’ from 1:00-2:00 EDT today! Join us for an interactive lesson on science communication.

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