Taxonomy term

january 2010

Comment: Peak Soil: Does civilization have a future?

First there was Peak Oil, the idea that there’s only so much oil out there and we may have reached or even passed a turning point in global oil production. In his 2007 book “Peak Everything,” author Richard Heinberg said it’s not just fossil fuels: Everything from population to food production to freshwater availability has its own point of no return.

15 Apr 2010

Termites and climate change: Here, there and everywhere?

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

16 Feb 2010

Testing methane's potential on the North Slope

Buried beneath the gigantic swath of desolate tundra that forms Alaska’s North Slope are some of the nation’s biggest hydrocarbon resources. For decades, the Trans-Alaska Pipeline has supplied about 20 percent of the nation’s oil. But below the permafrost of the Last Frontier lies another huge fossil fuel resource — and this one is a lot harder to tap.

26 Jan 2010

Where on Earth? - January 2010

Clues for January 2010:
1. Rising more than 200 meters above the surrounding area, this volcano is actually a pile of scoria — a bubbly and glassy volcanic rock that forms when lava ejected from a volcano cools midair.
2. The volcano was originally thought to have formed in about 1850, thanks to “eyewitness accounts” and what turned out to be faulty scientific observations and assumptions. Radiocarbon evidence from surrounding dead trees as well as paleomagnetic evidence has put the eruption in about 1650.

Haitian quake no shock to geologists

Although the magnitude-7.0 earthquake that shook Haiti on Jan. 12 was a horrible shock for millions of people in and around the Haitian capital of Port-au-Prince, the event came as no surprise to geologists. For years, scientists familiar with the geology of the region had been warning that the island of Hispaniola, which Haiti shares with the Dominican Republic, was overdue for a major quake.

21 Jan 2010

Energy Notes: September 2008-2009

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

 
20 Jan 2010

On Her Majesty's space agency

The United Kingdom is to have its own dedicated space agency, U.K. Minister for Science Lord Paul Drayson announced last month. Supporters of the U.K. space program hope the agency, which will coordinate all of Britain’s space activities, will not only bring more jobs and income but will also increase the profile of the space program.

19 Jan 2010

Mineral Resource of the Month: Iron Ore

In nature, elemental iron is found largely in either magnetite or hematite, both iron ore minerals. Nearly all iron ore — whether used directly as lump ore or converted to briquettes, concentrates, pellets or sinter — is used to make steel. In the United States, steelmaking accounts for almost 99 percent of iron ore consumption. Minor amounts are consumed in the production of cast iron, cement, magnets and jewelry. There are eight major iron ore mines in the United States — all surface mining operations — two in Michigan and six in Minnesota. 

 
14 Jan 2010

Benchmarks: January 13, 1404: England prohibits Alchemy

Alchemy, in both ancient and medieval times, wasn’t just about turning lead into gold, although such “transmutation” was certainly one desirable goal. In a broader sense, alchemists were both philosophers and the precursors to modern chemists, in that they sought to understand thedifferent states of matter, the interactions of metals, and the way in which elements were created from the original chaos. There were thought to be four elements — earth, air, fire and water — and combining them properly could produce any substance on Earth, from medicines to gold. Among the more lofty ambitions of alchemists was the search for the fabled Philosopher’s Stone, a substance that was supposed to enable the transmutation of one substance into another (and perhaps act as an elixir of life).
 
13 Jan 2010

Haiti devastated by major earthquake

A magnitude-7.0 earthquake struck Haiti at 4:53 p.m. EST on Tuesday, causing widespread damage. The earthquake occurred approximately 15 kilometers southwest of the densely populated capital, Port-au-Prince. Early reports indicate severe devastation. The quake is the largest ever measured in Haiti and yet another of a series of disasters to afflict the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere.

12 Jan 2010

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