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25 January 2011

Uncommon Carriers, by John McPhee

Over the weekend, hideously cold temperatures kept me indoors. I baked a cake, I went to see the new movie “True Grit” (excellent), and I read the 2006 compilation of John McPhee’s writing on transportation, Uncommon Carriers. Like most everybody I know, I came to McPhee based on his geology writings — the quartet of books that were collectively republished en masse in 1998 as Annals of the Former World, …


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6 January 2011

Book review video: Climate change

Links, mostly to Amazon pages for the 6 books mentioned in the video: Thin Ice by Mark Bowen Ice, Mud, & Blood by Chris Turney Turney’s Twitter stream from Antarctica What’s the Worst that Could Happen? by Greg Craven Link to the AGU10 blog post mentioned and to Greg Craven’s response. The Carbon Age by Eric Roston Plows, Plagues, and Petroleum by William Ruddiman CO2 Rising by Tyler Volk Link …


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6 April 2010

Suess effect II: corals sing an isotopic song

Almost a year ago, on my old blog, I brought up the issue of the Suess effect. Go read that post if you don’t remember what the Suess effect is. If you want an executive summary, digest this: The burning of low-14C fossil fuels (because the fuels are old and the 14C has all decayed), lowers the total atmospheric ratio of 14C relative to other isotopes of carbon. The carbon …


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8 March 2010

When the Sturtian happened

Last Friday, I spent the evening riding up to New York on a bus. To pass the time, I had my iPod and a new paper by Francis Macdonald and colleagues in Science. The paper examines the timing of one of the episodes of “Snowball Earth” glaciation. There’s some important new data in this paper, and it helps constrain the “Sturtian” glaciation in time. So here’s the deal with Precambrian …


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Video on carbon sequestration in Oman ophiolite (from one of the Skepchicks)


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