Taxonomy term

julia rosen

Down to Earth With: Paleontologist Gerta Keller

The mass extinction that did in the dinosaurs is one of the best-known events in geology. It’s also one of the most contentious.

27 Apr 2017

Thirsty business: How the tech industry is bracing for a water-scarce future

Today’s technologies — from smartphones to laptops to smart appliances to cloud computing — require tremendous amounts of water, some of which is needed to cool large heat-generating data centers. Some of the biggest names in tech, along with government agencies and smaller businesses, are taking innovative approaches to deal with water issues — including placing facilities in the high desert. 

18 Sep 2016

Reading the ridges: Are climate and the seafloor connected?

New research suggests that midocean ridge volcanoes respond to variations in sea level, potentially leaving topographic records of past glaciations in the form of abyssal hills. But could those volcanoes also influence the climate cycles that drive sea-level changes?

25 Apr 2016

Geomedia: Apps: Join the crowd: Introducing a new generation of geo-apps

At a time when the technical and computing capabilities of science are evolving at breakneck speeds, it might seem like researchers would always seek out more powerful and sophisticated tools to tackle their scientific questions. But some have chosen the opposite strategy: drawing on the dispersed resource of millions of relatively low-tech devices like smartphones and personal computers — and their users. 
08 Feb 2016

Benchmarks: September 26, 1991: Crew sealed inside Biosphere 2

It takes about an hour to drive from Tucson, Ariz., to the Biosphere 2 research facility, perched atop a plateau in the Santa Catalina Mountains. Through its glittering glass walls, you can still see the shadowy silhouette of the Brazilian rainforest that grows inside. Indeed, the facility once enclosed numerous small-scale experimental ecosystems — from a swath of swaying savanna to a 700,000-gallon ocean complete with its own coral reef. And, beginning on Sept. 26, 1991, Biosphere 2 enclosed a crew of four men and four women who would call the bubble home for two years.
26 Sep 2015

Down to Earth With: Glaciologist Erin Pettit

If it has to do with frozen water, Erin Pettit has probably studied it. As an associate professor of geology and geophysics at the University of Alaska at Fairbanks, Pettit investigates all things ice. Her research spans vast spatial scales, from the behavior of entire glaciers down to the structure of individual ice crystals. And it has taken her from Alaska to Greenland to Antarctica, and to many of the mountain ranges in between.
22 Sep 2015

Meteorite reveals rare irregular crystals

Scientists have found naturally occurring quasicrystals for the second time in a meteorite recovered from eastern Russia, according to a new study in Scientific Reports. Some of the researchers, including the lead author, Luca Bindi of the University of Florence in Italy, reported the discovery of the first natural quasicrystal, a mineral called icosahedrite, in the same meteorite in 2012. The researchers say that both quasicrystals probably formed under the high temperatures and pressures of a violent cosmic collision about 4.5 billion years ago, shortly after the formation of the solar system.
05 Aug 2015

Benchmarks: August 3, 1958: USS Nautilus crosses the North Pole

As the USS Nautilus glided through the black depths of the Arctic Ocean, Cmdr. William Anderson asked the crew for quiet. A tense silence hung over the dull roar of the propellers and the sharp pings of sonar as the submarine closed in on its destination. “Eight … six … four,” Williams counted down over the intercom, accelerating as they got closer, “three … two … one …”
03 Aug 2015

As an aerosolizer, dust devils demoted

Dust is an inescapable byproduct of a rocky planet reworked by tectonic forces, extraterrestrial impacts and human activities. And though it may seem like a nuisance, airborne dust plays an integral role in the Earth system, fertilizing downwind ecosystems and influencing climate. But just how dust gets lofted into the air has long puzzled scientists. Previous studies have suggested that dust devils could stir up as much as a third of the atmosphere’s dust budget, but new work reveals these twisters contribute just a tenth of that amount.

01 Aug 2015

Benchmarks: July 22,1960: Mineral discovery ends Meteor Crater debate

In 1923, Daniel Moreau Barringer stood on the edge of a vast bowl-shaped depression in the Arizona desert, watching a drill rig bore into the floor of the crater. Barringer had spent more than two decades exploring the massive hole, which lies on the Colorado Plateau 65 kilometers east of Flagstaff, Ariz. And although he had sunk dozens of drill holes, collected scores of samples, and carefully mapped the piles of talus that draped its concave walls, Barringer still hadn’t found what he was looking for, and he was getting nervous.
22 Jul 2015