Taxonomy term

february 2010

Conjunction injunction: Recent and future planetary alignments

February 1962: The five planets visible to the naked eye, as well as the sun and moon, all appeared within 17 degrees of each other in the sky. A concurrent solar eclipse and new moon made it possible to view the planets.

04 Feb 2015

Designing Snowflakes

It's easy to forget that powerful snowstorms are made of tiny, delicate ice crystals we call snowflakes. Some snowflakes take a familiar six-sided form. Others are more fantastic. Either way, snowflakes can astound with their intricate beauty.

05 Mar 2010

Voices: Should science dictate whether to rebuild after a natural disaster?

Move Port-au-Prince? Maybe. San Francisco and New Orleans? Never.

It is common for scientists to call for the relocation of a city to a safer location after it is struck by an earthquake or hurricane. After all, when many cities were built, the nature of the hazard they faced was either unknown or very poorly understood. This is true whether we’re talking about San Francisco, Calif., New Orleans, La., or Port-au-Prince, Haiti. Now that we know the hazards, is it time to relocate a city in a dangerous locale? Port-au-Prince? Yes. San Francisco and New Orleans? No.

24 Feb 2010

Where on Earth? - February 2010

Clues for February 2010:
1. Covering some 250 square kilometers in area, this Southern Hemisphere glacier is one of the few glaciers in the world that is actually growing.
2. The glacier rises some 60 meters above a lake named after its host country. The glacier acts to dam one branch of the lake, but the lake water occasionally breaks through, most recently in 2008, 2006 and 2004.
3. The glacier is named after an explorer of the same country, who was also a major player in addressing a border dispute with the glacier’s neighboring country.

Reclaiming Alberta's oil sands mines

Forest, wetlands and a lake suggest a boreal ecosystem can be rebuilt

22 Feb 2010

Energy Notes: October 2008-2009

Oil and petroleum imports data are preliminary numbers taken from the American Petroleum Institute’s Monthly Statistical Report. For more information visit

20 Feb 2010

Termites and climate change: Here, there and everywhere?

Will climate change allow termite populations in North America to spread?

16 Feb 2010

Mineral Resource of the Month: Asbestos

Asbestos is a generic name given to six needle-shaped minerals that have been used in commercial products. It is an industrial term rather than a mineralogical term, referring to specific fibrous mineral particles that possess high tensile strengths, large length-to-width ratios, flexibility and resistance to chemical and thermal degradation. Asbestos also exhibits high electrical resistance, and many forms can easily be woven into textiles. Even though asbestos markets have declined dramatically over the past 30 years because of health and liability issues, it is still used throughout the world.

14 Feb 2010

What makes a disaster? Does this blizzard count?

Blogging on EARTH

Actually, this is a meta-blog: A blog about a blog.

Not had enough of the snow yet?

11 Feb 2010

Voices: If global warming is real, why is it snowing in DC?

Over the last week, I’ve heard a lot of people say, “If global warming is real, why is it still snowing in Washington, D.C.?”

Well, I have a response: It’s weather, not climate.

11 Feb 2010