Taxonomy term

Voices

Voices: Log off and get outside again

I began this column while meandering across the West just after Labor Day last year. We drove from Telluride, Colo., to Zion National Park in Utah, to Lake Powell on the Utah-Arizona border, and finally to the North Rim of the Grand Canyon in Arizona.

06 Jan 2011

Highlights of 2010: Definitive statements: a new trend?

“This is the way it was.” Or: “This is what is happening.” Hmmm. Scientists don’t usually make such definitive statements, given that in science, there are almost always caveats. Yet in the last year, such statements have been issued by several large groups of scientists who have come together to support a certain point of view. Are scientists feeling the need to dig in their heels because of public pressures? Or are we actually reaching some consensus?

10 Dec 2010

Voices: Geologists on the wrong side of the law

We live in a litigious society. Engineering and environmental geologists are no strangers to the legal system. They frequently deal with issues relating to geologic hazards such as active faults and unstable ground, the release of contaminants into the environment and numerous other circumstances. But for the most part, geoscientists tend to avoid legal battles. Is that changing?

03 Dec 2010

A Dirty Secret - China's greatest import: Carbon emissions

The U.S. and much of the Western world have a dirty secret.

While we claim to be working diligently to decrease our emissions and switch to cleaner, non-fossil fuel energies, we are actually just exporting emissions to other countries, most notably China. We don’t talk about it. We get on our soapboxes at international meetings and claim to be making great progress to halt ever-increasing carbon dioxide concentrations in the atmosphere. And we complain vociferously about developing countries — again, most notably China — not doing the same.

22 Nov 2010

Elemental Traces in the Atlantic: The final chapter

Jeremy Jacquot's blog for EARTH, "Elemental Traces in the Atlantic," detailed the scientific journey of the first U.S. GEOTRACES expedition. Read his other blogs here and here, and the original story on GEOTRACES as it appeared in EARTH here. Stay tuned for a wrap-up of the cruise in EARTH early next year.
11 Nov 2010

Elemental Traces in the Atlantic: An encouraging start, an inauspicious end

Follow my blog at EARTH online, "Elemental Traces in the Atlantic," over the next couple of months, where I’ll be writing from the ship and detailing the scientific journey. And stay tuned early next year, when EARTH and I will bring you a wrap-up of the cruise. Read the original story here.
03 Nov 2010

Human migration: How sustainable is it?

The largest migration of megafauna the world has ever experienced is under way — but it is going unnoticed. The reason? We’re too involved: The massive migration is that of humans moving from the countryside to cities. In 2008, for the first time in history, more than half the world’s people lived in cities, and the United Nations projects that percentage to grow to 60 percent by 2030. The pace of urbanization has been rapid and steeply climbing: In 1800, 3 percent of people lived in cities; in 1900, it was 13 percent; in 1950, it was 29 percent; and in 2005, it was 49 percent.

01 Nov 2010

Elemental Traces in the Atlantic: The art of clean sampling

Follow my blog at EARTH online, "Elemental Traces in the Atlantic," over the next couple of months, where I’ll be writing from the ship and detailing the scientific journey. And stay tuned early next year, when EARTH and I will bring you a wrap-up of the cruise. Read the original story here.

Think of the cleanest, most meticulous person you know and multiply that attention to detail by about an order of magnitude. That’s what it takes to be considered trace-metal “clean.”

27 Oct 2010

Comment: Volcanic versus anthropogenic carbon dioxide: The missing science

“Volcanoes add far more carbon dioxide to the oceans and atmosphere than humans.” So says geologist Ian Plimer of the University of Adelaide in his 2009 best seller “Heaven and Earth: Global Warming — the Missing Science.” With this assertion, Plimer brings volcanic carbon dioxide degassing front and center in the climate change debate, reviving and reinforcing this wildly mistaken notion.

30 Jul 2010

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