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Travels in Geology: Australia's wonders, from ocean to desert

Australia, both a country and a continent, has geological wonders as strange and unique as the furry marsupials that inhabit the Land Down Under.

08 Dec 2008

Minerals also evolve

Taxonomy, the science of classification, connects creatures through genealogical relationships. But taxonomist Carl Linné (Linnaeus) didn't stop with living organisms; he applied his system to all natural objects — even minerals. And according to a new study, he may have been on to something: Iron may not pass genes to its rusted cousin iron oxide, but like living organisms, minerals have evolved considerably over the course of Earth’s history.

01 Dec 2008

GM, Ford, Chrysler CEOs may carpool to Capitol

Blogging on EARTH

Last week, members of the House Financial Services Committee blasted the execs at General Motors, Ford and Chrysler for arriving on the Hill in separate private jets — even as they pleaded for a $25-billion-dollar government bailout. But it looks like the Big Three auto companies have gotten the message.

26 Nov 2008

US earthquakes actually a powerful Siberian quake

A magnitude-7.3 earthquake in Siberia Monday was mistaken by U.S. seismometers as temblors in Idaho and California.

The actual quake occurred about 500 kilometers deep, in the Sea of Okhotsk about 315 kilometers northwest of Russia’s Kamchatka Peninsula, the U.S. Geological Survey reported.

25 Nov 2008

Wal-Mart to use wind energy

Wal-Mart’s reputation for cheap prices precedes it, but recently the retailer showed its greener side when it announced plans to supply 15 percent of its total energy load with wind power.

The energy will come from Texas wind farms constructed by Duke Energy, which will go online this spring, a Wal-Mart press release said.

That avoids releasing more than 139,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions per year — the equivalent of taking about 25,000 cars off the road, Wal-Mart said.

25 Nov 2008

The Disappearing Lake

For many tourists, Mountain Lake in southwestern Virginia has been an idyllic retreat. But in 2008, it pulled a disappearing act, leaving behind only cracked earth and a small pond.

In this multimedia presentation, EARTH reporter Cassandra Willyard tells the geologic story of Mountain Lake.

 

 

For more information on Mountain Lake, visit these sites:

20 Nov 2008

Raising California's Sinking Delta

Over the past century and a half, the river delta that provides Central and Southern Californians with drinking water and farmers with productive cropland has sunk about two and a half centimeters each year. Some of the delta’s islands now lie more than six meters below sea level. Two thousand kilometers of aging levees keep them dry for now, but as the land sinks, the pressure on the levees grows. Researchers at the U.S. Geological Survey in California have uncovered a way to rebuild the delta and sequester carbon in the process.

18 Nov 2008

Earthquake rattles eastern Indonesia

A magnitude-7.5 earthquake rocked through Indonesia's island of Sulawesi at about 1 a.m. local time Monday, leaving four people dead and prompting thousands to flee their homes. Following the mainshock, the region also experienced several strong aftershocks, ranging in magnitude from 5.1 to 5.6.

17 Nov 2008

Montreal Protocol affects more than just ozone

In 1987, nearly 200 nations signed the Montreal Protocol to restrict the use of ozone-depleting chemicals. The international treaty helped keep the ozone hole over Antarctica from growing further, preventing an increase in harmful radiation reaching Earth’s surface. Twenty years later, new research suggests that the treaty helped the planet dodge more than one bullet: The Montreal Protocol also prevented significant regional climate change.

13 Nov 2008

Californians prepare for the Big One

At 10 a.m. local time Thursday, a massive magnitude-7.8 earthquake struck Los Angeles. But don’t worry — it was only a drill.

12 Nov 2008

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