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Texas Board of Education votes to strike amendment questioning evolution

Blogging on EARTH

Evolution will still be taught in Texas. After months of proposed amendments, statements by special interest groups and lengthy debate, the Texas Board of Education voted 8-7 today to strike language from its curriculum that required students to “analyze and evaluate the sufficiency or insufficiency” of common ancestry, a major tenant of the theory of evolution.

27 Mar 2009

Bats and white-nose syndrome = VA cavers, please stay out

Blogging on EARTH

The name sounds pretty innocuous, but white-nose syndrome (WNS) is rapidly becoming very bad news for bats; in just a couple of years, hundreds of thousands of hibernating bats in the northeastern United States with this fungus have died. Among the most affected are the little brown bat and the endangered Indiana bat.

26 Mar 2009

Alaska's Mt. Redoubt erupts at last

Blogging on EARTH

After months of threatening and rumbling, Mount Redoubt finally erupted late Sunday night.

Redoubt began to exhibit increasing unrest last fall, with seismic activity becoming markedly increased in January, and expectations of an imminent eruption were growing. On March 15, researchers detected four hours of continuous volcanic tremor and observed of a brief plume of gas and ash, according to the U.S. Geological Survey's Alaska Volcano Observatory.

23 Mar 2009

Undersea volcano erupts near Tonga

Blogging on EARTH

One of Tonga's submarine volcanoes is awake again, sending spectacular plumes of smoke, ash and steam high into the sky. MSNBC has video here.

19 Mar 2009

Criminals steal London dino's dung

Blogging on EARTH

A series of robberies over the past five years at London’s Natural History Museum has curators frustrated — and puzzled. From stuffed squirrels to scarab beetles, it seems that anything that can be carried is vulnerable. But most oddly, some thieves made off with a piece of fossilized dinosaur dung.

04 Feb 2009

Underwater basalt formation looks like a city wall

Blogging on EARTH

The concept of sunken, undersea cities has long been present in almost every society, especially in the form of myths such as Atlantis. And now a recent discovery in the Taiwan Strait yields video of a geologic formation that resembles an ancient city wall.

Jeng Ming-hsiou, a biodiversity researcher and professor at the Academia Sinica in Taipei, Taiwan, discovered the formation. It is 200 meters long and 10 meters high and resembles tightly-packed pillars. He said it is basaltic and probably formed from a volcanic eruption around 1,800 years ago.

05 Jan 2009

AGU: How scientists should talk climate change

Blogging on EARTH

SAN FRANCISCO — The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's Fourth Assessment report last year showed a strong consensus among scientists that the climate is warming, thanks largely to anthropogenic greenhouse gases. So one has to wonder why scientists are still struggling to get that message through to both policymakers and stakeholders.

17 Dec 2008

EIA: Worldwide oil demand will plummet in 2009

Blogging on EARTH

The Department of Energy’s Energy Information Administration is projecting that the global demand for oil will plummet even faster next year than it did this year — largely because of lower forecasts for global economic growth.

10 Dec 2008

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