Taxonomy term

july 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

Local coastal impacts underestimated from sea-level rise

Most studies indicate that sea levels will rise over the next century due to melting glaciers, more ice breaking off the Antarctic ice sheet and thermal expansion — and there is great variation in how much scientists estimate seas will rise. But that’s not even the most important question, according to a new study. Instead, researchers should be looking at relative sea-level rise — how much rising seas will affect individual regions. And when you break it down by region, the study suggests, the outlook isn’t promising.

09 Jul 2010

Baja quake sheds light on liquefaction

Data collected by a unique array of instruments located near the epicenter of the magnitude-7.2 earthquake that struck Baja California April 4 are providing scientists with new insight into the phenomenon of liquefaction, a potentially dangerous side effect of major earthquakes.

09 Jul 2010

Hazardous Living: Climategate climatologists cleared of wrongdoing

Last November, a thousand private e-mails between prominent climatologists were hacked, resulting in a brouhaha that threatened to discredit the work presented in the Nobel Prize-winning Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s Fourth Assessment Report.

08 Jul 2010

Down to Earth With: Nick Brooks

More than 6,000 years ago, the world’s most famous desert was no desert at all. A wet, grassy landscape, the Sahara supported populations of hunter-gatherers. But between 5,000 and 6,000 years ago, the Sahara started to dry out. The rapid climate change forced the Sahara’s human inhabitants to adapt — some people became more sedentary and settled near oases while others took up cattle herding and traveled between the desert’s dwindling resources. 

02 Jul 2010

Bids in space: When should we outsource government science?

Government research and development has its limits: Time, money and bureaucracy can all hamper the timely progress of research. As a result, many federal agencies are looking to private companies to help drive new innovation and keep costs down — but it’s never that simple. Two current hot-button topics — returning humans to space and geoengineering — highlight a range of issues related to how private and public investment in science can coexist. This month, we focus on NASA.

30 Jun 2010

Offbeat Betting: Volcano betting gathering steam

You never quite know when a given volcano is going to erupt — but you can bet on it. Ireland’s biggest bookmaker, Paddy Power, jetted to fame among geologists in early January, when it announced its latest novelty bet: which of a handful of famous volcanoes around the world would be the next to powerfully erupt.

21 Apr 2010