Taxonomy term

january 2011

Benchmarks: April 9, 1895: James Edward Keeler confirms Saturn's rings not solid

On April 9 and 10, 1895, astronomer James Edward Keeler snapped the most important photographs of his life. With a 13-inch (33-centimeter) refracting telescope, Keeler captured proof that Saturn’s rings were not solid disks, but instead a collection of particles revolving around the planet. The discovery put to rest a question that astronomers had been pondering for more than two centuries.
 
01 Apr 2011

Voices: Humans at high temperatures

Reconsidering the economic implications of climate change

How much will it cost to implement plans to mitigate climate change? And if we don’t implement changes, what will the cost of climate change be?

31 Jan 2011

Paleo Patrol: Out of Africa and into Arabia?

How and when did modern humans leave Africa and colonize the rest of the world? Many archaeologists would probably tell you that about 60,000 years ago, Homo sapiens walked up through Egypt, crossed the Sinai Peninsula into the Levant region of the Middle East and then continued on to Eurasia.

But maybe not.

27 Jan 2011

Hazardous Living: Preparing for the storm of the century

They’re calling it “California’s Other Big One” — the giant storm that could drop more than two meters of rain on California and cause massive flooding, landslides, levee failures and general catastrophic chaos. It’s probably not that hard to imagine this year for water-weary Californians who have been hit hard by heavy rains and subsequent floods and landslides since early winter.

21 Jan 2011

Energy Notes: September 2009-2010

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 2011

Triassic Park: On the origin of (dinosaur) species

Ask a third grader what happened to the dinosaurs and she will tell you that an asteroid killed them all. Many adults even know what caused the demise of the dinosaurs: A massive bolide crashed into the Yucatán Peninsula in Mexico about 65 million years ago, setting in motion a series of environmental changes that killed off 60 percent of life on Earth. But if you ask people about the origin of dinosaurs 165 million years earlier, you get blank looks. Even many paleontologists have little to say about the subject.

18 Jan 2011

Mineral Resource of the Month: Molybdenum

Molybdenum is a silvery-white, malleable metal that does not occur in metallic form in nature. Although a number of molybdenum-bearing minerals have been identified, only one has commercial significance: molybdenite, a natural molybdenum sulfide. Molybdenite concentrate is converted to molybdic oxide, which in turn is used to produce intermediate products, such as ferromolybdenum, metal powder and various chemicals.

 
14 Jan 2011

Voices: Does all scientific work deserve public attention?

Last September, I read a thoughtful post about science blogging and communication on The Guardian’s science blog by David Dobbs. Many scientists seem to think that their work is done once they’ve published a paper, Dobbs said. He argued that scientists have grown over-reliant on the scientific paper to get the word out about their findings and instead — or really, in addition — they need to communicate the importance of their work to an audience larger than the readership of peer-reviewed papers.

14 Jan 2011

The Changing Face of Sudan

To say that things are changing in Sudan would be an understatement. With a referendum on secession set for Jan. 9, and expected to pass, and many issues to be negotiated between now and July 9 when the country’s peace agreement ends, a lot will change over the coming months. And everything hinges on Sudan’s most valuable product: oil.

08 Jan 2011

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