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A satellite image of Greenland's southern tip shows the branching fjords that reach deep into the island's doomed ice-fields
A satellite image of Greenland's southern tip shows the branching fjords that reach deep into the island's doomed ice-fields
about 11 hours ago
The earliest evidence of a comet entering Earth's atmosphere and exploding has been found. It rained down a shock wave of fire which obliterated every life form in its path, has been found. read more
The earliest evidence of a comet entering Earth's atmosphere and exploding has been found. It rained down a shock wave of fire which obliterated every life form in its path, has been found. read more
about 11 hours ago
Clouds on Mars look a lot like those on Earth: images of the Martian sky taken by NASA's Opportunity rover depict gauzy, high-altitude wisps, similar to our cirrus clouds. These clouds likely consist of either carbon dioxide or wate...
Clouds on Mars look a lot like those on Earth: images of the Martian sky taken by NASA's Opportunity rover depict gauzy, high-altitude wisps, similar to our cirrus clouds. These clouds likely consist of either carbon dioxide or water-based ice crystals but since we can't sample a Martian cloud yet, it's difficult to know the precise conditions that give rise to them. So researchers have done the next-best thing; they've recreated Mars-like conditions within a three-story-tall cloud chamber in Germany, adjusting the chamber's temperature and relative humidity to match conditions on Mars — essentially forming Martian clouds on Earth. --> read more
about 12 hours ago
With 99% of the Earth's water unused, it might not seem like there could be a water scarcity issue, but water tends to be boom and bust. Many of the poorest regions don't have access to potable water and new estimates by the Po...
With 99% of the Earth's water unused, it might not seem like there could be a water scarcity issue, but water tends to be boom and bust. Many of the poorest regions don't have access to potable water and new estimates by the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) if temperatures warm due to climate change. read more
about 12 hours ago
Since 1996, corn containing a gene that allows it to create a protein that is toxic to certain insects yet is safe for human consumption has been grown in the United States. Most of this genetically modified "Bt corn" has been used for ...
Since 1996, corn containing a gene that allows it to create a protein that is toxic to certain insects yet is safe for human consumption has been grown in the United States. Most of this genetically modified "Bt corn" has been used for animal feed or processed into corn meal, starch, or other products. Varieties of sweet corn (corn on the cob) have existed since the late 1990s, though relatively few acres have been planted related to the impact of marketing campaigns against it by activist groups. A new study doesn't rehash the well-documented safety issue and instead deals with the environmental aspects. It suggests that Bt sweet corn is better for the environment because it requires fewer pesticide applications than conventional corn. --> read more
1 day ago
There are many different ways surface temperature records have been examined, all of which require taking some liberties with the actual data. The approach taken here is to generate a daily anomaly value (today’s minimum temp – yesterday...
There are many different ways surface temperature records have been examined, all of which require taking some liberties with the actual data. The approach taken here is to generate a daily anomaly value (today’s minimum temp – yesterday’s minimum temperature) for each station, then average this Difference value based on the area and time period under investigation. This doesn’t create a spatial average, but it does create an average value based on a collection of measurements for a specific area. By working with only the minimum temp measurements we get a view of the dynamic atmospheric response to the daily solar input.The charts below are based on this methodology. --> read more
1 day ago
Huge ice channels almost as tall as the Eiffel tower have been discovered beneath a floating ice shelf in Antarctica. They are 250 meters high, stretch hundreds of kilometers along the ice shelf, and likely influence the stability of th...
Huge ice channels almost as tall as the Eiffel tower have been discovered beneath a floating ice shelf in Antarctica. They are 250 meters high, stretch hundreds of kilometers along the ice shelf, and likely influence the stability of the ice shelf. The scientists used satellite images and airborne radar measurements to reveal the channels under the ice shelf. The channels can be seen on the surface of the ice shelf, as well as underneath, because the ice floats at a different height depending on its thickness. read more
2 days ago
We may have been a bit remiss in sharing it with the Internet, but we’ve been enjoying our weekends here in Ohio, as late summer has faded into autumn (or Fall, which even Chris admits is a nicely evocative name). Just down the roa...
We may have been a bit remiss in sharing it with the Internet, but we’ve been enjoying our weekends here in Ohio, as late summer has faded into autumn (or Fall, which even Chris admits is a nicely evocative name). Just down the road, the Cuyahoga Valley National Park has been an ample source of scenery, hiking, and wildlife, and we’ve managed to make it over there each of the last four weekends. In mid-September, we hiked to the lovely Buttermilk Falls. Buttermilk Falls, Cuyahoga National Park, Ohio. Photo: Chris Rowan, 2013 The following week, Anne led a class field trip to explore the processes that shape the Crooked River (aka, the Cuyahoga). Everett Covered Bridge peeks out above Furnace Run in Cuyahoga Valley National Park, 21 September 2013. This was one of three sites in the National Park where Anne’s Fluvial Processes class visited on their weekend field trip. Photo by A. Jefferson. And last week saw another excursion to Beaver Marsh, a lovely spot we first explored last February. Beaver Marsh in Cuyahoga Valley National Park, 29 September 2013. Photo by A. Jefferson Sadly, this week our options were somewhat limited. Towpath Trail parking in Peninsula, in the heart of Cuyahoga Valley National Park, 5 October 2013. On a normal autumn weekend day, this lot would be full to capacity. Today it sat empty, with potential visitors gated out. Close-up of the gate, 5 October 2013. Things in this National Park are a bit more complicated than in others: you can’t just close the access roads because people live within its borders and some of the paths and land are owned by local regional park authorities. So we were able to visit the town of Peninsula inside the park borders (which is already seeing the effects of the shutdown) but a nice wander along the canal towpath was out. Hopefully, not all our autumn weekends will look like this.
2 days ago
The mystery of why life on Earth evolved has gotten more complicated, not less. Scientists in a new paper say they have ruled out a theory as to why the planet was warm enough to sustain the planet's earliest life forms when the Sun...
The mystery of why life on Earth evolved has gotten more complicated, not less. Scientists in a new paper say they have ruled out a theory as to why the planet was warm enough to sustain the planet's earliest life forms when the Sun's energy was roughly three-quarters the strength it is today. Life evolved on Earth during the Archean, between 3.8 and 2.4 billion years ago, but the weak Sun should have meant the planet was too cold for life to take hold at this time; scientists have therefore been trying to find an explanation for this conundrum, what is dubbed the 'faint, young Sun paradox'. --> read more
4 days ago
It seems like I've underestimated the amount of time I need to prep for this year's Horticulture Training Program, as I now have a backlog of Taisha's entries to share. Here is one of them. She writes: Today's image is of Darwinia fasci...
It seems like I've underestimated the amount of time I need to prep for this year's Horticulture Training Program, as I now have a backlog of Taisha's entries to share. Here is one of them. She writes: Today's image is of Darwinia fascicularis subsp. fascicularis (Myrtaceae). This photo was taken on July 7th in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia by dustaway@Flickr. Thanks for the picture, dustaway! Darwinia fascicularis subsp. fascicularis is found on exposed sandstone ridges of shallow soil along the coast of New South Wales, Australia within 30km of the coast and up to 500m in elevation. It is one of two subspecies of Darwinia fascicularis, both of which are endemic to Australia. Darwinia fascicularis subsp. oligantha has fewer flowers, is shorter in stature, grows more inland and occurs at higher elevations. This evergreen decumbent shrub has light green, needle-like leaves that cluster at the end of branches. Leaves are typically in a whorled arrangement, radiating from the stem likes the spokes of a bicycle wheel. The small flowers are grouped together amongst the foliage. They first bloom a creamy-white then turn bright red as they age.
5 days ago