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allison mills

Boron proxies detail past ocean acidification

Pockmarked plankton shells and dead coral are becoming the hallmark images of ocean acidification. But this isn’t the first time seawater has dropped on the pH scale. Based on models of seawater chemistry, the ocean acidity during the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum (PETM), beginning about 56 million years ago, is the closest-known analog to today. Now, researchers using boron proxies preserved in microfossils to reconstruct surface-ocean chemistry suggest that acidification was more extensive and lasted longer than previously thought, although the PETM conditions still don’t outpace the current rate of ocean acidification.

25 Sep 2014

Of char and carbon: The story of a buried soil

The so-called Brady soil — a dark horizon up to a meter thick that underlies much of Kansas and Nebraska — is widespread but often unseen. The layer is a paleosol, or fossil soil, that formed about 15,500 to 13,500 years ago when the region was a stable grassland built atop dunes of thick, wind-blown loess. That changed when the Laurentide Ice Sheet retreated and dunes swallowed the grasslands.

22 Sep 2014

Twinkle, twinkle new little star

What’s red, sparkly and far from home? Not Dorothy’s shoes, but a Thorne-Zytkow object (TZO), a type of hybrid star theorized since 1975 to exist but not observed until now.
 

10 Sep 2014

On the Web: Personalizing drought data with digital tools

One of the hardest parts of hazard mitigation is communicating risk to the public. With drought, people feel the heat while it’s happening but understanding how the current drought fits into past trends — and their implications for the future — is harder to grasp. Now, several online tools are available to help the public and decision-makers look at drought data.

04 Sep 2014

Calculating America's energy landscape

Studying the landscape-scale impact of energy development requires working at the interface where policy, business, activism, scientific research and stakeholders overlap.

02 Sep 2014

Down to Earth With: Tom Malloy

Butte, Mont., is home to one of the nation’s largest Superfund sites — a 300-meter-deep lake of acidic, heavy metal-contaminated water known as the Berkeley Pit. As the reclamation manager of Butte-Silver Bow County, it’s Tom Malloy’s job to help clean it up.

27 Aug 2014

Geomedia: 'Dinosaur 13' chisels away at the story behind discovery of Sue

The famous Tyrannosaurus rex "Sue" made headlines in the early 1990s, not only for being the most complete T. rex skeleton ever found, but also for the human drama that unfolded after the discovery. The story is the focus of a new documentary, "Dinosaur 13."

15 Aug 2014

On the Web: Ka-pow! Superhero short films get kids thinking about climate change

The Green Ninja may sound like a spin-off of the “Power Rangers,” the live-action children’s television series featuring color-coded superheroes. But there’s a little less punch and a lot more thought going into this YouTube science show for kids.

10 Jul 2014

Geomedia: Books: A changing literary climate

Climate fiction, or cli-fi, is a new literary genre. Using climate science as a launching pad, these books, films, poetry and other media imagine life on a planet altered by human activity. The genre is still a niche but becoming more common as climate change has captured popular attention.

09 Jun 2014

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