Taxonomy term

november 2010

A Dirty Secret - China's greatest import: Carbon emissions

The U.S. and much of the Western world have a dirty secret.

While we claim to be working diligently to decrease our emissions and switch to cleaner, non-fossil fuel energies, we are actually just exporting emissions to other countries, most notably China. We don’t talk about it. We get on our soapboxes at international meetings and claim to be making great progress to halt ever-increasing carbon dioxide concentrations in the atmosphere. And we complain vociferously about developing countries — again, most notably China — not doing the same.

22 Nov 2010

Questions arise over earliest evidence of human tool use

The debate over when our ancestors first used stone tools is not over just yet. In August, researchers had reported finding scratch marks on two 3.4-million-year-old animal bones that they said were made by Australopithecus afarensis — the ancestor made famous by Lucy — scraping meat off the bones with sharp-edged stones. If true, that would push tool use back to 800,000 years earlier than previously thought.

18 Nov 2010

Hazardous Living: Bringing down the house at Pompeii

Heavy rains last week caused the roof of a 2,000-year-old frescoed house at Pompeii to crash in, much to the dismay of the Italian government. The house, thought to have been erected just before Vesuvius buried Pompeii under six meters of ash in A.D. 79, was outside an amphitheatre and had been used by gladiators before going into battle. According to an Associated Press story, Italian President Giorgio Napolitano called the cave-in a "disgrace for Italy," and he demanded an explanation.

11 Nov 2010

Elemental Traces in the Atlantic: The final chapter

Jeremy Jacquot's blog for EARTH, "Elemental Traces in the Atlantic," detailed the scientific journey of the first U.S. GEOTRACES expedition. Read his other blogs here and here, and the original story on GEOTRACES as it appeared in EARTH here. Stay tuned for a wrap-up of the cruise in EARTH early next year.
11 Nov 2010

Earth science rocks at the USA Science & Engineering Festival

A jazz-improvising robot; an Einstein impersonator; Van de Graaff generators that make your hair stand on end: These were just some of the attractions at the inaugural USA Science & Engineering Festival, which included an expo held on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., on Oct. 23 and 24, 2010.This celebration of science, where NASA astronauts mingled with awestruck kids and families competed in robotic soccer tournaments, featured 1,500 hands-on activities and attracted 500,000 visitors.

09 Nov 2010

Benchmarks: November 27, 1873: Red River logjam removed for good

Throughout the 1800s, America’s eastern and southeastern coastal rivers acted as highways for shipping. Generally winding with shallow slopes, the rivers could be plied easily by barges and steamboats, but one particular water body — the main channel of the Red River that runs from Arkansas through Louisiana — thwarted the plans of shippers for much of the 19th century. A massive entanglement of logs, stumps and branches, known as the Great Raft, blocked the Red from Fulton, Ark, to about Shreveport, La. But on Nov. 27, 1873, after more than 40 years of trying, the raft was destroyed and boats could travel unimpeded down the main channel of the Red River.
 
05 Nov 2010

Elemental Traces in the Atlantic: An encouraging start, an inauspicious end

Follow my blog at EARTH online, "Elemental Traces in the Atlantic," over the next couple of months, where I’ll be writing from the ship and detailing the scientific journey. And stay tuned early next year, when EARTH and I will bring you a wrap-up of the cruise. Read the original story here.
03 Nov 2010

Merapi continues to erupt

Indonesia's Mount Merapi sent another powerful blast of searing ash and rock into the sky again on Wednesday, marking the volcano's most powerful eruptions since it began erupting again on Oct. 26.

03 Nov 2010

Greening the friendly skies

If you’re a frequent flyer, the script of plane travel is probably so familiar you may mumble it along with the flight attendant: “Please raise your tray tables and return your seatbacks to their full upright position. We’re beginning our descent.” The sounds of that descent are probably just as familiar: The whir of landing gear descending, the loud drone of engine power rising and falling as the plane makes a series of stair-step descents to lower and lower altitudes before landing on the runway.

02 Nov 2010

Human migration: How sustainable is it?

The largest migration of megafauna the world has ever experienced is under way — but it is going unnoticed. The reason? We’re too involved: The massive migration is that of humans moving from the countryside to cities. In 2008, for the first time in history, more than half the world’s people lived in cities, and the United Nations projects that percentage to grow to 60 percent by 2030. The pace of urbanization has been rapid and steeply climbing: In 1800, 3 percent of people lived in cities; in 1900, it was 13 percent; in 1950, it was 29 percent; and in 2005, it was 49 percent.

01 Nov 2010

Pages