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13 April 2017

Shimla and Idaho: two new, and very different, landslide videos

Two new landslide videos have appeared on Youtube; one from Shimla showing a large slide triggered by construction, and the other on a highway in Idaho, USA

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Researchers unravel drivers of large iceberg movement

Researchers have succeeded in modeling how Antarctic icebergs drift through the Southern Ocean, and in identifying the physical factors behind their movement and their melting. Which factors are most important tends to depend on the size of the iceberg in question

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12 April 2017

NASA Releases New Black Marble Image

The Suomi Satellite MODIS VIIRS (my mistake- sorry. Terra and Aqua have the MODIS) sensor can see city lights very well when there are no clouds but it’s a polar orbiting satellite so it only passes by one time at night. If you want to grab a shot of the entire planet’s night lights from space, it will take you a while to find a clear night in areas where there are a …

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Beautiful British Columbia Land of Many Mountains & Dwindling Glaciers

  British Columbia is host to many mountain ranges; Purcell, Monashee, Bugaboo, Selkirk, Cariboo, Coat Range, Kootenay, Kwadacha are just some of the diverse mountain ranges  that host glaciers and span climate zone. A shared characteristic today regardless of climate zone or mountain range is dwindling glacier size and volume.  Bolch et al (2010) found that from 1985-2005 Alberta glaciers lost 25% of their area and BC glaciers 11% of …

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One-fifth of world’s population depends on food imports

Countries unable to feed their growing populations are increasingly importing food to meet demand, a new study finds. Nearly half of the world’s population lives in areas where imports compensate for food scarcity and one-fifth of the world now depends upon these imports to survive, according to the new study.

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March for Science – will you or won’t you?

If you are looking for me this Earth Day, I’ll be participating in the March for Science in Philadelphia, sporting my purple AGU March for Science long-sleeve shirt. Where will you be?

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Musical groundwater?

Post by Kevin Befus, University of Wyoming I don’t mean to get your hopes up, but keep them up there. I’m not talking about recording the sonorific excitement that is groundwater flow. And, I’m not talking about the squeak of a pump handle, the gurgling of a spring, the grumble of a generator, or the roar of a drill rig. Rather, I want to share with you some songs that …

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11 April 2017

Who feels earthquakes?

Earthquakes are felt by people somewhere on the globe just about hourly (see this USGS list of felt earthquakes in just the last 24 hours). Some places are particularly prone to them–think Japan, Indonesia, Chile, Italy, California–while some stable parts of the continents will go generations, or even millennia, without anyone there feeling any quaking of the ground. But even in, say, California, where “felt” earthquakes occur daily, most individuals go months …

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Researchers find mushrooms may hold clues to effect of carbon dioxide on lawns

Researchers at the University of New Hampshire set out to determine how rising carbon dioxide concentrations and different climates may alter vegetation like forests, croplands, and 40 million acres of American lawns. They found that the clues may lie in an unexpected source, mushrooms.

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10 April 2017

O marks the spot for magnetic reconnection

ESA’s Cluster mission is challenging the current view of magnetic reconnection – the breaking and immediate rearrangement of magnetic field lines in the collision of two plasma flows. According to a new study, most of the energy dissipated during a reconnection event is not released at the crossings, or X-lines, between the two plasma flows but rather in swirling vortices, or O-lines, where magnetic field lines bundle up and spiral together. The new finding, which contradicts the accepted consensus, is an important step in the process of understanding the mechanisms that accelerate particles in space plasma.

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Turning Field Work into Field Play

Field work is basically made from these ingredients: stressful planning, packing hassles, long flights, inevitable food poisoning, sunburn, monotonous days, and lots and lots of fun!

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Listening: The other half of science communication

Talk to strangers. Find common ground. Share the science. But start by listening.

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9 April 2017

Papamoa: a brilliant video illustrating the mobility of landslides

A brilliant video has been uploaded to Facebook from Papamoa in New Zealand which illustrates the process of fluidisation of a rotational landslide

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8 April 2017

Sols 1661-1663: DAN has been busy

Our drive away from the “Ogunquit Beach” sand dune location went well, taking us about 35 meters to the southwest and putting us in a good location to continue measuring the composition of the bedrock as we drive up Mt. Sharp.

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7 April 2017

Dr Michael Mann on Science Friday

Science Friday had an excellent interview with Penn State Climatologist Michael Mann today, and you can hear it all here. Dr Mann produced the “hockey stick”, which is destined to become one of the most famous images in the history of science, and it’s caused him plenty of grief. If he’d been wrong, it would not have been so bad! Unfortunately for him, he was right, and that made the …

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Bernal Glacier, Retreating from Chilean Fjord

Bernal Glacier terminus looking towards Estero las Montañas from Eñaut Izagirre and Camilo Rada. Bernal Glacier drains east from the Sarmiento de Gamboa Range in Southern Patagonia terminating a short distance from the Estero las Montañas. The glacier is in the Alacalufes National Reserve and can be seen from boats traveling up the fjord. Davies and Glasser, (2012) indicate extensive recession of almost all glaciers in the range from 1870-2011. The …

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Friday fold: paper demo

The Friday fold is a sheet of paper. Yes, really!

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Life returning to island destroyed by eruption

Nine years after it erupted, Kasatochi Island is just beginning to resemble its neighbors.

Kasatochi is a speck in the middle of the Aleutian chain between Dutch Harbor and Adak, about 75 miles east of the latter. The volcanic island had no modern history of erupting until August 2008. In a few days that summer, the island changed from the lush green home of a quarter million seabirds to a gray pile of ash.

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Of Karst! – short episodes about karst

Writing my first contribution to the Water Underground blog I want to take advantage of this less formal environment. I will introduce karst as I and many others around the world see it. As the most beautiful environment to explore and study.

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Scientists uncover isotopic fingerprint of nitrous oxide emissions from Arctic tundra

A new study presents, for the first time, the isotopic fingerprint of nitrous oxide produced by Arctic soils. The finding opens new avenues for predicting future trends in atmospheric nitrous oxide as well as in identifying climate change mitigation actions in the Arctic, a region that is particularly sensitive to climate change.

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