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This is an archive of AGU's GeoSpace blog through 1 July 2020. New content about AGU research can be found on Eos and the AGU newsroom.

You are browsing the archive for Michael McFadden.

13 September 2010

Understanding the Amazon rainforest and the effects of development

The Amazon rainforest has a very strong metabolism for absorbing carbon dioxide, says Paolo Artaxo of the Department of Applied Physics at the University of São Paulo, Brazil, but it is being impacted by deforestation, which releases carbon stored in the trees. It’s difficult to tell whether the forest acts as a net sink or source of carbon, due to its size and complexity, but Artaxo is planning to begin …

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25 August 2010

Blocked-up weather behind Russia's heat, Pakistan's floods

  The Russian heat wave this summer that has killed an estimated 15,000 thousand is undoubtedly tied to an unusual but not unheard of event known as “blocking,” say experts on the atmosphere. And the heaviest monsoon downpours in Pakistan’s history, causing floods that have displaced more than 10 million people, may be due in part to this same blocking event.  A blocking event  happens when an area of high …

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10 August 2010

Haiti earthquake: It wasn’t the fault of Enriquillo

Video interview with Eric Calais, science advisor for the UNDP Disaster Risk Reduction Program in Haiti. — Maria-José Viñas, AGU science writer

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9 August 2010

What role do rivers play in the carbon cycle?

The importance of carbon dioxide as a greenhouse gas in climate change is spurring studies to assess each source where the gas is emitted and each ‘sink’ (like forests and soils) where it is absorbed – and how much carbon comes and goes from each. At the Meeting of the Americas, David Butman of Yale University presented the first estimate of  how much carbon enters the atmosphere annually from the rivers and …

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8 August 2010

What brings people to the 2010 Meeting of the Americas?

At the Meeting of the Americas icebreaker, a casual sampling by AGU bloggers revealed that researchers have come from around the globe to discuss new work, make connections with colleagues, and  visit parts of the globe they wished to see. Anna Plotzki of the University of Bern, Switzerland was already in South America—Bolivia, to be specific, where she is working on her PhD on the evolution of Holocene landscapes in …

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12 July 2010

Geohazards blog has moved

Geohazards has moved! Please update your links, feeds, bookmarks. This blog will remain in place but new posts will appear at: http://blog.agu.org/geospace/ Hope to see you in GeoSpace, where we’ll blog about Earth and space science.

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Hurricanes and Oil Will Mix

A hurricane as strong as Katrina may soon be on a collision course with the Gulf oil spill to create a “double-whammy of worst-case scenarios.” That’s the next potential nightmare looming ahead according to Heidi Cullen, one of several scientists who addressed a briefing on 30 June for Congressional staff. “The Deepwater Horizon oil spill is a worst-case scenario. And, I would say that the fear in the back of …

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1 July 2010

(CORRECTED*) Gulf Gusher: Oil-spill science has advanced, but data is sparse

Since the Deepwater Horizon oil-drilling platform sank on April 22, millions of gallons of oil and gas have spewed into the Gulf of Mexico. As efforts to staunch the undersea flow continue, scientists (including many AGU members) are working round-the-clock to determine where the oil is going, what’s happening to it, and how it is affecting the environment. Much is unknown about what the effects will be from a spill …

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24 June 2010

National security consequences of climate change

Many of the potential environmental impacts of climate change are well publicized. Rising sea levels, the possibility of more powerful storms, ocean acidification, and a loss of biodiversity are becoming understood as likely consequences of warming. But along with those threats come the underappreciated risks of political and social unrest. To start raising awareness of these concerns the American Meteorological Society, AGU, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, …

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2 June 2010

(UPDATED*) Sinkholes: A chronic geohazard

Guatemala has been struck by the full wrath of nature in the last week – first, the volcano Pacaya erupted, killing at least three people, and blanketing the region in ash. Soon after, tropical storm Agatha passed through the country near the Guatemala-Mexico border killing at least 152 people. Heavy rainfalls led to widespread flooding and the formation of a dramatic sight – a sinkhole over 20 meters (65.6 feet) …

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