Taxonomy term

september 2012

Arctic humidity on the rise

As the Arctic warms and sea ice melts, scientists suspect that system feedback cycles may further speed up the warming process. Now, a new study looking specifically at the Arctic water vapor cycle shows how shifting patterns of humidity may bring about changes in the Arctic atmosphere.

07 Oct 2012

Risky business: Modeling catastrophes

Natural hazards — earthquakes, tropical cyclones and thunderstorms, for example — occur with considerable frequency around the world. Fortunately, most events are either not intense enough or too remote to cause damage. But the probability that a given natural hazard could become a natural disaster is higher today than at any previous point in history.

30 Sep 2012

The Bakken boom and the new wild west: A young geologist's perspective

Like many of my colleagues, I have found myself in awe of the drastically changing energy landscape around me. Both technologically and economically, the world of energy is not what it used to be. Precious resources that allow the modern world to exist are becoming harder to find and much more difficult to extract, but advances in drilling technology, such as directional drilling, are a tribute to humanity’s ability to innovate when needed.

24 Sep 2012

Energy Notes: May 2011-2012

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.

 
19 Sep 2012

Down to Earth With: Bruce Benson

In a remarkable career spanning nearly 50 years, Bruce Benson has held just two jobs. In 1965, a year after earning his bachelor’s degree in geology, he founded the Benson Mineral Group, an oil and gas exploration and production company that he has owned and chaired ever since. From this foundation, Benson’s business interests have spread into salvaging, banking, mortgage servicing, cable television, geothermal power, real estate and even pizza.

19 Sep 2012

Mineral Resource of the Month: Tungsten

Tungsten, sometimes called wolfram, is a metal only found naturally in chemical compounds, such as in the ore minerals wolframite and scheelite. Tungsten has the highest melting point and one of the highest densities of all metals. When combined with carbon, it forms a compound that is almost as hard as diamond. These and other properties make it useful in a wide variety of important commercial, industrial and military applications. 

 
13 Sep 2012

Getting There and Getting Around South Africa

Getting to South Africa is going to set you back a pretty penny. Our airline tickets cost about $2,000 each, for coach. It’s a very long flight, so you may as well commit to several weeks in country to make it worthwhile. We broke the journey up by taking advantage of a 10-hour layover at London’s Heathrow airport by going downtown to see the Rosetta Stone and pay our respects to Charles Darwin and Charles Lyell, who are interred near one another at Westminster Abbey.

 
06 Sep 2012

Travels in Geology: South Africa on safari for the geological Big Five

South Africa is hard to beat when it comes to diversity of nature. Whether we are talking about the country’s charismatic megafauna, its marine ecosystem, the unique fynbos plant community, or the extraordinary rock record, South Africa has something for everyone.

06 Sep 2012

Antarctic trees surprise scientists

Antarctic ice sheets can be unforgiving field sites for scientists looking for fossils, as the ice grinds and pulverizes signs of previous life. The adjacent ocean sediments, however, are a good hiding place for microscopic fossils from plants — pollen and leaf waxes that provide clues to ancient temperatures. Scientists have now retrieved samples of pollen and leaf wax from 15.5-million- to 20-million-year-old sediments that indicate Antarctica not only received more rain during the Middle Miocene than previously thought, but was also home to trees, albeit stubby ones.

03 Sep 2012

Benchmarks: September 23, 1933: The U.S. oil industry arrives in Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia currently produces about 11 million barrels of oil per day, edging out Russia and the U.S. to rank first in the world in production, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. The desert kingdom also has proven reserves of more than 260 billion barrels — spread among numerous fields (though most reside in a handful of giant fields) — amounting to about one-fifth of the world’s total. The country exports more oil than any other and exerts an undeniably prominent influence on the world oil market from its seat in the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC).
 
03 Sep 2012

Pages