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8 December 2015

Considering the Spechty Kopf diamictite

Considering the Spechty Kopf diamictite

I have known for a long time about a diamictite in the latest Devonian part of the Appalachian stratigraphic sequence, since it is exposed in the lowermost part of the section (western end of the outcrop) at Sideling Hill, Maryland. When I led field trips there, I talked students through the multiple possible origins for diamictites (sedimentary rocks that are poorly sorted, with significantly “outsized” clasts “floating” in a finer-grained …

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9 November 2015

The final days of sub-400 ppm carbon dioxide

The final days of sub-400 ppm carbon dioxide

This is probably the last week our planet’s atmosphere will have less than 400 parts per million of carbon dioxide. When are we going to stop letting this heat-trapping waste gas pile up in our home?

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6 January 2014

Stop conflating weather and climate

Please. Please. Please. Please stop conflating weather and climate. It is cold today, yes, and that’s a big deal. But it doesn’t influence any scientific conclusion about climate change, one way or the other. Today’s cold temperatures are a weather event. It’s distinctive, but short-lived. Climate is a long-term trend: many years of weather events. It’s not something you can point to on a single day, and say “ha!” Climate …

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22 October 2013

Atlantic, by Simon Winchester

Atlantic, by Simon Winchester

I finished Simon Winchester’s book Atlantic the other day. I consumed the audiobook version (this is one major positive aspect to my long commute: plenty of listening time), which was pleasantly read by Winchester himself. He’s got a good accent and a nice way of speaking – I recommend that medium. Atlantic is a book about the Atlantic Ocean. It’s set up to cover the vast sweep of Atlantic history, …

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19 February 2013

Flight Behavior, by Barbara Kingsolver

Flight Behavior, by Barbara Kingsolver

I finished reading Barbara Kingsolver’s new novel Flight Behavior over the weekend. It’s certainly cut from the same cloth as Kingsolver’s other work. If you liked Prodigal Summer and her many Arizona novels, you’ll probably like this one, too. Similarities include: beautiful writing, a focus on the relationships women have to their families, friends, and strangers, and the powerful insights we can gain by associating with nature. What sets it …

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18 January 2013

Friday fold: “Chasing Ice”

Friday fold: "Chasing Ice"

Callan watches the new documentary “Chasing Ice” about James Balog’s Extreme Ice Survey project, and spots a lovely Z-fold during the largest glacial calving event ever recorded.

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11 December 2012

Why Geology Matters, by Doug MacDougall

Why Geology Matters, by Doug MacDougall

Callan reviews a new book by Doug Macdougall: “Why Geology Matters.”

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16 May 2012

Contemplating the IARC-JAXA graph

Contemplating the IARC-JAXA graph

One of the ~350 or so blogs I subscribe to is Arctic Sea Ice by Neven. Today, he put up a post highlighting new daily data from IARC-JAXA, a collaboration between the International Arctic Research Center (IARC) at the University of Alaska-Fairbanks and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA).  Check it out. Here’s a couple of things I was struck by: The annual variation between summer and winter ice cover …

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12 April 2012

Climate change books: fact & fiction

Climate change books: fact & fiction

Callan reviews two books about climate change: the nonfiction account by Michael Mann, and a fictional thriller set in the warmed Arctic of the future.

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5 March 2012

Scott Mandia, climate communicator

Scott Mandia, climate communicator

Callan has a conversation with Scott Mandia, a community college professor working on the national level to improve the public’s understanding of climate science.

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