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19 March 2020

Darkness, not cold, likely responsible for dinosaur-killing extinction

New research finds soot from global fires ignited by an asteroid impact could have blocked sunlight long enough to drive the mass extinction that killed most life on Earth, including the dinosaurs, 66 million years ago.

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4 March 2019

California is volcano country

One of the big projects I’ve been working on for the past couple of years has been assisting my SIC (Scientist-In-Charge) at the California Volcano Observatory in writing a report about California’s exposure to volcanic hazards. And (not) coincidentally, that’s the title of a new report that the USGS just released last week!

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2 January 2019

Dangerous sneaker waves puzzle scientists

On January 16, 2016, a sudden swath of large and powerful waves swept through seaside communities along 450 kilometers (280 miles) of Pacific Northwest coastline. From Washington to northern California, water rushed past normal tide lines and filled beaches and streets, stretching hundreds of meters inland. These “sneaker waves” are aptly named given their unannounced arrival, which occurs when massive waves push extra water onshore—a higher-than-usual water level that scientists refer to as runup. At best, these events take beachgoers by surprise. At worst, they are disastrous and fatal.

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