Taxonomy term

september 2011

Down to Earth With: Nobel Prize winner Adam Riess

Astronomer Adam Riess and his team made a huge splash in 1998 when they announced the finding of dark energy. That work also included the discovery that the universe is expanding at an increasing rate. Riess and his colleagues were awarded the Nobel Prize in physics for their discovery.

03 Oct 2011

CryoScoop: Sea ice synopsis and a whale tale

The extent of Arctic sea ice shrinks each year during the northern hemisphere’s spring and summer, trading a white frozen surface for dark open ocean. Reaching its lowest annual extent by September or October, the ice grows back again through the cold and dark winter months.

30 Sep 2011

Charting a course correction: A review of Earth: The Operators' Manual

"Earth: The Operators' Manual" achieves its goal, which is to prepare us to change course and relace fossil fuels with alternative sources to blunt the impacts of global warming.

23 Sep 2011

All that glitters... Acid mine drainage: The toxic legacy of gold mining in South Africa

More than a century of mining near Johannesburg, South Africa, has left the region littered with mounds of waste and underlain by a network of abandoned mine shafts. Together, they are producing a toxic brew of acid mine drainage.

23 Sep 2011

Travels in Geology: Glacial pools to sea caves: A tour of New Zealand's South Island

New Zealand has a reputation for extreme adventure — sky diving, jet boating, bungee jumping and even “zorbing,” which sends you rolling down a hill inside a transparent plastic ball. But beyond the adrenaline sports, you’ll find unique geologic features in landscapes ranging from volcanoes and alpine peaks to beaches and rainforests.

21 Sep 2011

Energy Notes: May 2010-2011

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 Sep 2011

Mineral Resource of the Month: Rare Earth Elements

The rare earths are a group of 17 metallic elements that occur in nature as nonmetallic compounds. Ironically, they’re not at all rare: As a group, they are about as abundant as lead in Earth’s crust. Rare earths earned their name to distinguish them from the alkaline earth elements (like beryllium, calcium and magnesium) that were found in the same deposits where rare earths were first discovered in Scandinavia in the late 1800s.

 
14 Sep 2011

Voices: Climate change and civil conflict: New clues from El Nino

In 2007, 11 retired admirals and generals from the U.S. armed forces published a report arguing that global climate changes represented a major threat to global security. That same year, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon argued in a Washington Post op-ed that the ongoing Sudanese civil conflict was, in part, attributable to climatic changes. By combining new techniques from climate physics and econometrics, my colleagues and I have found evidence that there is some truth in these statements. Indeed, the global climate can influence the outbreak of civil wars.

09 Sep 2011

CryoScoop: Woolly rhino traveled with an ice scraper

The discovery of a woolly rhino fossil in Tibet that predates the last glacial maximum shows how these and possibly other creatures were already adapted for the cold climate to come. 

09 Sep 2011

Move over Homo habilis: Early human evolution remapped

Mapping out how one species of early hominin branches to another has always been complicated by the rarity of complete specimens and lack of precise dating methods for fossils more than 50,000 years old. Now researchers studying the braincase, pelvis, hands and feet of a primitive hominin — which lived about the same time early Homo species were evolving — are taking full advantage of a rare, nearly complete assemblage of fossils and a new highly accurate dating method to once again redraw humankind’s ancient lineage.

07 Sep 2011

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