Taxonomy term

july 2010

Comment: Volcanic versus anthropogenic carbon dioxide: The missing science

“Volcanoes add far more carbon dioxide to the oceans and atmosphere than humans.” So says geologist Ian Plimer of the University of Adelaide in his 2009 best seller “Heaven and Earth: Global Warming — the Missing Science.” With this assertion, Plimer brings volcanic carbon dioxide degassing front and center in the climate change debate, reviving and reinforcing this wildly mistaken notion.

30 Jul 2010

Map reveals height of the world's forests

Satellite maps can show everything from city blocks to inaccessible mountain peaks from the comfort of our living rooms. Now, they can show us yet another dimension of the natural world: the heights of the world’s forests.

Michael Lefsky, an expert in remote sensing from Colorado State University in Fort Collins, used NASA satellites to compile a map that displays the height of all the world’s forest canopies. “The goal [of the research] was two-fold: to create a map that would allow us to map above-ground biomass, and simply to show that it can be done,” Lefsky says.

27 Jul 2010

Where on Earth? - July 2010

Clues for July 2010:
1. This long ridge of tilted sandstone marks the eastern edge of a great mountain range. Many different sections of the ridge have their own names: The broken, tilted rocks and sharp edges of the portion of the ridge pictured here earned this portion a sinister name.

Paleo Patrol: Primates of the Caribbean

The only monkeys you’ll find on the islands of the Caribbean today were brought there (intentionally or not) by people. But just a few thousand years ago, thriving populations of primates existed across the Caribbean. The discovery of exceptionally well-preserved monkey bones in the Dominican Republic is helping researchers better understand the evolutionary history of these now-extinct primates.

22 Jul 2010

Energy Notes: March 2009-2010

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

20 Jul 2010

The thrill to drill in the chill

Nearly 3.6 million years ago, a large asteroid slammed into Earth in what is today northeastern Russia. Within minutes, the impact formed an 18-kilometer-wide hole in the ground that then filled with water.

20 Jul 2010

Mineral Resource of the Month: Platinum Group Metals

The platinum group metals (PGMs) are among the rarest mineral commodities in Earth’s crust. They include iridium, osmium, palladium, platinum, rhodium and ruthenium. 

14 Jul 2010

Getting There and Getting Around Costa Rica

Most people traveling to Costa Rica fly into Juan Santamaría International Airport, outside of the capital of San José. The small city of Alajuela is actually closer to the airport, and some travelers stay there to avoid the capital’s congestion on their way into or out of the country. A second international airport in Liberia, in the northwest, allows for quicker access to the beaches of the Nicoya Peninsula. Visitors with lots of time and a sense of adventure can take the long drive from the United States, via the Pan-American Highway (called the Inter-American Highway in Central America). 

11 Jul 2010

Travels in Geology: Volcanoes, beaches and rainforests: Terrain hopping in Costa Rica

Costa Rica is the happiest place on Earth, according to a 2009 survey by a London economic think tank. Credit the strong coffee and refreshing batidos — milkshakes with fresh banana, papaya, mango or some other tropical treat — and the country’s pura vida attitude that celebrates living life to the fullest. 

11 Jul 2010