A good crop of links for your Sunday reading pleasure this week – and some new geoblogs to check out, too.
Other posts on All-geo
- Geology word of the week has to be ‘geospeedometry': Metageologist asks, how fast do metamorphic rocks form?
Newly discovered blogs
- There are some truly fabulous pictures here: The Year in Volcanic Activity from the Atlantic’s In Focus blog:
- 200 years since the start of the New Madrid quake sequence, a nice post by @shortstack81 on the quakes, & the continuing debate over the future seismic hazard in the area.
- San Francisco in ruins: early aerial (kite?) panorama after the ’06 quake
(via @stevesilberman, @LBRBautism)
- Possible signs of atmospheric heating before August quake in Virginia. Still unconvinced about the existence or ultimate usefulness of this ‘precursor’ but glad that people are amassing the data that will eventually resolve things.
- In the wake of the recent large earthquake, some timely background on the seismic hazards from the subduction zone off the SW coast of Mexico.
- Latest from the Italian quake manslaughter trial indicates lots of finger pointing going on. Le sigh.
- >400 mm in 24 hrs : Flooding and Landslides Pummel the top of the South Island.
- In Philippines, Flash Flooding Kills Hundreds.
- Raging Floods in Kenya.
- Another great post I missed whilst conferencing: Ed Yong on Cambrian predator Anomalocaris’ ultra-compound eyes.
- Comparing The AGU fall meeting with the COP17 negotiations in Durban highlights the vast gulf between the reality of climate change and the political failure to face up to it.
- The Economist succinctly notes we are failing on climate, what really matters to history.
- Satellite gains ability to detect when and how deeply land is frozen. Nifty.
- Semi-good news: ice-sheet sensitivity to climate change seems to cut both ways. Past cooling led to rapid glacier advance in Greenland.
- Climate modelling in the Archean: much weaker sun makes it quite difficult to stop the planet freezing over. I liked the description of the Archean Earth: our ‘Blue Planet’ had red skies & green seas. That’s what no oxygen will get you.
- The question our grandchildren will be asking us 50 years from now: why was it so easy to save the banks – but so hard to save the biosphere?
- Warning: this story will depress you. Lots. : A defender of the world’s whales sees only a tenuous recovery
- Everything you wanted to know about planetary rings, but we’re afraid to ask. @elakdawalla on an epic review paper.
- It seems the mad scientists all work at NASA these days… NASA Builds 6-Foot Crossbow to Harpoon Comets
- Carbon-rich Super-Earths may have steel cores & diamond-rich mantles. But no plate tectonics to get them to surface…
- … and there might be no-one to entice anyway: Exoplanets with plate tectonics might have better odds for developing life. I suspect that most geologists have long thought this; I have…
- For geology undergraduates: The GSA Subaru Minority Student Scholarship Program for 2012:
(via @geosociety, @geotripper)
- “Dates provide rates, and rates speak of dynamics”. A wonderful post by Philip Allen on the emerging field of unravelling the feedbacks between tectonics, erosion and sedimentation.
- A photo-essay on the journey to Walcott Quarry in Yoho National Park to see the Burgess Shale brings back some fond memories of my trip there in 2001.
- 100 yrs after we reached the South Pole, Antarctica still holds plenty of scientific mysteries & challenges.
- New Nature Geoscience paper uses orientation of seismic anisotropy in the subducted Cocos plate to estimate spreading rate it formed at. Not so excited until authors use anisotropy/spreading rate relationship on Archean slab fragments beneath cratons. Ooh.
- Fabulous global animation of 10 yrs of satellite imagery. Focuses on fires but the seasonal waxing & waning of vegetation is quite hypnotic too. Via a great post on fire as a geological and evolutionary agent at the Life Unbounded blog.
- Excellent post from Scicurious on the glorification of ridiculous work weeks in science and why that’s unhealthy
- Good sci journalism means you are neither a slave to the compelling hook, nor a stenographer. Great post by Brian Switek
- Great post by Tamino on the potentially deadly effects of choosing (or excluding) the wrong data