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14 August 2011

Starry Starry Phytoplankton

Landsat 7 took this image of phytoplankton around Gotland Island (Sweden) in the Baltic Sea. If this doesn’t remind you of Vincent Van Gogh’s painting then you have zero imagination. Just as an aside, it’s not pronounced “van go” but more closely to van gogk. After selling only one painting during his life (and killing himself in a fit of depression), the least we can do is attempt to pronounce …

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14 April 2011

The Weather 99 & 146 Years ago Tonight

Two dramatic historical events happened on this day, and while neither was attributed to the weather, knowing what the conditions were is historically interesting. I think it adds some understanding of what it must have been like for those who were present at these events, so here is a re-write from last year on this day:   Being a history and science buff, I’ve often wondered what the weather and …

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2 April 2011

Lies My Teacher Told Me- A Must Read Book.

You may have noticed that under my list of  subject categories, I have history listed. Not history of science, just history, and this may seem strange for a blog about science. The reason??  I like history, and from time to time I like to write about it (especially to dispel certain myths). It’s been awhile since I did a history post, but this book is too important to pass up …

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14 February 2011

St. Valentine’s Day Massacre- The real weather that day.

Perhaps no single event in the era of gangsters and prohibition is the crime known as the Saint Valentine’s Day massacre. Many movies have been made, and dozens of books written, about the event. Almost all put the blame (where the experts say it belongs) on Al Capone. Most people have seen the movie about the crime and it shows a cold and quite snowy day leading up to the …

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17 January 2011

Shackleton’s Scotch Heads Home

When I visited Antarctica last January, the talk was all about the discovery of the Scotch that was found buried under Shackleton’s hut at Cape Royds. Five cases in all were found frozen in the ice beneath the hut. The dry cold of Antarctica preserves everything in a state of suspended animation. Jeep tracks in the dry valleys from 60 years ago are still visible. A carved cross by Robert …

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2 January 2011

Let’s Hope 2011 is a Brighter Year for Science than 2010 Turned Out To Be

I write this blog because the natural world is  amazing and I want to share what I find out with others. My background is in atmospheric science but I try to post frequently on any aspect of science that meets my definition of wild. It’s sad that so many people get caught up in these end of world myths like 2012. Even more are seduced by such laughable myths like …

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9 September 2010

Climate Science At The Top Of The World – Part One

I love ice and snow and I have had a lifetime’s dose of it this year. January saw me set foot at the South Pole and in late July, I found myself at the top of the world. Antarctica was thanks to the National Science Foundation. Greenland was thanks to Dave Jones at Storm Center Communications. Some of the most critical and urgent science in the world right now is …

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31 July 2010

Oldest Greenland Ice Core Recovered

I’ve just returned today from Greenland and am looking forward to seeing my first “night” in 10 days! The 14 countries that have supported the NEEM ice core project got their money’s worth this week. The two year project to drill an ice core through 2,500 meters of ice finally reached Greenland rock. Where Is It The NEEM site is at 8,300 feet on top of the ice sheet. I arrived …

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15 July 2010

NOAA: First 6 Months of 2010- Hottest On Record.

NOAA/NCDC released a whole slew of rather grim climate news today. It’s important to remember that besides the sun and increasing greenhouse gases there is a lot of built in variability in the climate system. It’s only been in the last couple of decades that the greenhouse warming has risen out of the noise created by weather. That said, even with El Nino gone and the sun coming out of …

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16 June 2010

Historical Preservation in Antarctica

Here is a Great Google Tech talk on Antarctica. Having been in both Shackleton’s and Scott’s huts, I am of course a big advocate of preserving not only these sites but in preserving the last great unspoiled continent on Earth. Well worth watching. It’s also nice to hear a Christ Church accent again! What an incredible tragedy if these places and this continent is lost.

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