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5 February 2016

Ampere-Lapparent Glacier Retreat, Kerguelen Island

Comparison of Ampere Glacier (A) and Lapparent  Glacier (L) southern outlet glaciers of the Cook Ice Cap in 2001 and 2013 Landsat images; red arrow indicates 2001  terminus locations, yellow arrows 2013 terminus locations and purple arrow upstream thinning. Kerguelen Island sits alone at the edge of the furious fifties in the southern Indian Ocean. The island features numerous glaciers, the largest being the Cook Ice Cap at 400 square …

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4 February 2016

Sol 1244: Bump, Set… Scuff!

Today’s plan is focused on bumping towards a bedrock target to set us up for contact science in the weekend plan.  As we bump forward, we’ll use the rear wheels to create one last scuff in Namib Dune, which we’ll image as we drive away. I was the GSTL today, and we had a busy morning deciding where to drive to and how to image the scuff that we’ll create.  …

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Science storytelling and AAAS 2016

By Shane M. Hanlon Being a scientist in Washington D.C. can be exciting with many opportunities in research, policy, and communication. This month is going to be an especially amazing time to be a scientist in the nation’s capital, especially if you’re interested in science communication. The annual American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) meeting is being held in D.C. on February 11th – 15th. The theme this year is “Global Science …

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Landslides near Muzaffarabad from the 2005 Kashmir earthquake

The 2005 Kashmir earthquake in Pakistan triggered large numbers of landslides. Google Earth imagery illustrates their dramatic impacts

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3 February 2016

Recognize an early-career geoscientist for excellence

Now that AGU is accepting nominations for this year’s awards (the deadline is March 15), I thought I’d throw out a pitch for the early career awards – and particularly the one that I’m most heavily involved in, the Science For Solutions Award.

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Book Review: Diamonds, Gold, and War

Earlier this week I shared a picture of a few books on diamonds that are on my current reading list. I’ve also mentioned in a couple of previous posts that I’d like to share with you a little information about some of the geology-themed books that I’ve read recently. Today I’ll be blogging about the first book, which is titled Diamonds, Gold, and War: The British, the Boers, and the …

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Study shows North Atlantic Ocean carbon storage doubled over last decade

A new study shows that the North Atlantic Ocean absorbed 50 percent more man-made carbon dioxide over the last decade, compared to the previous decade. The findings show the impact that the burning of fossil fuels have had on the world’s oceans in just 10 years.

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Sol 1243: Getting ready to leave Namib Dune

The contact science activities on Sol 1242 were successful, which completed our investigation at the Namib Dune sampling location.  I love the above Navcam image, which shows just how close we were able to get MAHLI to the dump piles, followed by the really high-resolution MAHLI image!  Now it’s time to leave Namib Dune and head off in search of the next drill location. I was the GSTL today, and …

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New landslide videos: Aconcagua (again), Muothatal and Pacifica

Three new landslide videos, including a debris flow from Aconcagua, an earthflow from Muothatal in Switzerland and coastal erosion in Pacifica

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The SEG Wiki – a wiki by/for geologists

The Society of Exploration Geophysicists (SEG) has made available the SEG Wiki – the first wiki that is comprised exclusively of content relevant to students, educators, and the geosciences industry

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Sol 1242: Last analyses of the dump piles

Today was the last day for science activities at Namib Dune, as we’re planning to drive away on Sol 1243.  It’s fun looking at the disturbed sand in the workspace, and realizing how much we’ve done here (is it just me, or does it look like a big sandbox full of scoops, dumps and wheel scuffs?).  While it might look like Curiosity has just been playing in the sand, we’ve …

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2 February 2016

Sol 1241: Wrapping up at Namib Dune

Curiosity is still parked at Namib dune, and we are we are close to finishing the science investigation here.  The team is still working to diagnose the CHIMRA anomaly, but the arm was cleared for use in today’s plan. The science activities in today’s plan include some additional MAHLI images to supplement the previously acquired selfie, and some long-distance ChemCam RMI mosaics to study layering on Mt. Sharp and the …

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Increase in volcanic eruptions at the end of the ice age caused by melting ice caps and glacial erosion

The combination of erosion and melting ice caps led to a massive increase in volcanic activity at the end of the last ice age, according to new research. As the climate warmed, the ice caps melted, decreasing the pressure on the Earth’s mantle, leading to an increase in both magma production and volcanic eruptions. The researchers, led by the University of Cambridge, have found that erosion also played a major role in the process, and may have contributed to an increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide levels.

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Landslides in Chile Part 5: Water waves triggered by landslides and the Mentirosa Island Landslide complex

The Mentirosa Island landslide complex comprises four tsunamigenic soil-rock slides in Patagonia, Chile, with a combined volume of 8 million cubic metres.

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1 February 2016

Understanding the 2015–16 El Niño and its impact on phytoplankton

This is part of a new series of posts that highlight the importance of Earth and space science data and its contributions to society. Posts in this series showcase data facilities and data scientists; explain how Earth and space science data is collected, managed and used; explore what this data tells us about the planet; and delve into the challenges and issues involved in managing and using data. This series …

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What happened to Ms. Gottschalk? Fall Meeting!

By Larry O’Hanlon A couple of weeks ago on this blog we shared some great student vlogging of AGU Fall Meeting experiences. At that time I noticed something peculiar about the vlogs of Portland State University undergraduate student Kimberly Gottschalk. In each new vlog post her appearance changed. She started with an almost a Victorian formality on the first day, and transformed gradually into what I suspect is her more …

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Pré de Bar Glacier Retreat, Italy

Landsat image comparison from 1990 and 2015 of the Pré de Bar Glacier (P).  The adjacent Argentiere Glacier (A) is shown, the red arrow is the 1990 terminus, the yellow arrow the 2015 terminus and the purple dots the snowline. Retreat from 1990 to 2015 was  Pré de Bar Glacier is a glacier on the east side of Aiguille de Triolet and south side of Mont Dolent. This is a steep …

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Images of the Tbilisi Zoo landslide and flood disaster

Dr Sergey Chernomorets has kindly provided images taken in September 2015 of the Tbilisi zoo landslide and flood disaster.

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31 January 2016

Sol 1239-1240: Analyzing the Sands of Mars

Since the anomaly with CHIMRA is still being investigated, there was no science involving the arm in today’s plan. Still, there was plenty to do, and we had to be careful not to collect too much extra data because there is a backlog of data on the rover waiting to be downlinked to Earth. On Sol 1239 we planned a bunch of observations of a target called “Gosser Schroffenstein” in …

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29 January 2016

The Future of Weather Forecasting

With new NOAA computers for numerical weather prediction now online, the focus is to improve the models we have and develop new ones. The new High Resolution Rapid Refresh Model (HRRR-H triple R to meteorologists) is just the beginning of this, and although it only runs out for 15 hours, we get a new run every hour. This is already improving short-term weather forecasts markedly. This model is run on …

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