Taxonomy term

november 2009

Mississippi Delta drowning

The Mississippi River Delta is arguably the most geologically (and politically) dynamic delta in the United States. Subsidence, sedimentation, sea-level change and human manipulation constantly alter the landscape at the end of North America’s longest river. But now, researchers say, the beloved delta may be irrevocably shrinking.

24 Nov 2009

Biophysical economics: The Mississippi Delta as a lens for global issues

With a global economic slowdown and growing environmental concerns, it is worthwhile to take a look at the future and think about how we can better manage development relative to society, natural ecosystems, climate and energy. These global issues can be viewed through the lens of the Mississippi Delta.

24 Nov 2009

Benchmarks: November 22, 1859: "On the Origin of Species" published

By David B. Williams

About a decade ago, I was fortunate enough to hold in my hands a first edition of Charles Darwin’s “On the Origin of Species.” The green cover was cracked and frayed. The cardboard backing protruded through the torn corners. I put the book down and stared at it in awe. The owner of this book was Asa Gray, one of America’s greatest botanists, an important early American supporter of natural selection, and a friend of Darwin’s.

23 Nov 2009

Down to Earth With: Lucy McFadden

Not many people can say they have an asteroid named after them. But Lucy McFadden, a self-described small planetary objects junkie, can. For nearly 40 years, McFadden has woven her two loves — astronomy and geology — into a career in planetary geology. She has mapped craters on Mercury, participated on NASA missions to comets, and collected meteorites in Antarctica, all in the interest of discovering more about the formation of our solar system.

21 Nov 2009

Energy Notes: July 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 Nov 2009

Court rules against Army Corps in New Orleans flooding case

A district court judge ruled Wednesday that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is liable for much of the flooding in New Orleans following Hurricane Katrina in 2005. The ruling puts the Corps and the U.S. government on the hook for millions if not billions of dollars in damages and punitive penalties, and could open the floodgates for more such lawsuits nationwide, experts say.

19 Nov 2009

Clearing roadways: A little salt goes a long way

Although winter in the Northern Hemisphere does not technically begin for another month, snowfalls and icy conditions are already making driving hazardous. When winter weather strikes, most states spread salt to clear roadways. However, more and more studies are showing that salt has lasting environmental repercussions, which may force a winter roadway maintenance overhaul. But if not salt, then what?

17 Nov 2009

Mineral Resource of the Month: Zinc

Zinc is the fourth most-widely consumed metal, following iron, aluminum and copper. The Romans were the first to use zinc. To produce brass, they smelted copper with calamine (a zinc ore) to make an alloy more golden in color than bronze (a copper-tin alloy), which they called calamine brass. They were unaware zinc was involved.

 
14 Nov 2009

Why red leaves remain elusive in Europe

As leaves change color every fall, the North American landscape transforms from a rolling verdure to a collage of vibrant yellows, oranges and reds. The autumn foliage in Europe, however, is rather bland, composed of mostly yellow leaves with red-leafed trees few and far between. Why this is the case has remained a mystery for years. But discovering why Europe’s leaves don’t turn red is only half of the battle; determining why the trees’ leaves turn yellow in the first place is the other.

03 Nov 2009

Where on Earth? - November 2009

Clues for November 2009:
1. Fed partly by a glacier, this waterfall is reputedly among the most powerful of its continent, discharging at least some 200 cubic meters of water per second.
2. As the dark color of the water here suggests, this approximately 45-meter-high waterfall carries a huge amount of sediment.
3. Located in the far northeastern corner of its host island nation, the waterfall shares its name with a musical composition by a 20th century classical composer from the same country.

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