A rather eventful week in Earth Science this week, so lots of links for you all to enjoy.
- The big news this week was obviously the conviction of six Italian seismologists and one official for multiple manslaughter. The reason? Providing ‘false assurances’ of safety to the resident of L’Aquila just before a magnitude 6.3 earthquake killed over 300 people. An appeal is pending, resignations have been tendered, and geoscientists around the world have reacted with shock and concern to this verdict, which potentially has serious implications for how – and if – scientists communicate geological risk to the public. Chris has already articulated his views that the whole reasoning behind the conviction was fundamentally flawed: see here and here. Some other good discussions:
- Some of the complex undercurrents surrounding the L’Aquila verdict are nicely summarised at The Trembling Earth blog.
- Erik Klemetti on the verdict/sentence – it sends the wrong message about hazard assessment:
- I don’t always agree with Bill McGuire with regard to geohazards, but he’s exactly right here.
- Unlike some, at least Paul Raeburn seems to understand untangling prediction of quake risk and communication of that risk is tricky:
- On a similar theme, Maria Brumm explains why the L’Aquila case really isn’t about risk communication.
- A valuable compare and contrast of risk communication for L’Aquila and Canterbury by Mark Quigley.
- In other earthquake news:
- Nice video overview of the tectonic setting of New Zealand
- Aquifer drainage ’caused earthquake’ M5.1 quake near Lorca, Spain in 2011 [I disagree with “caused”, perhaps “triggered” better?}
Some caveats from Paleoseismicity, who laments how the press turned a hypothesis into a virtual certainty
- Last week’s New England quake on camera: mostly people asking, “was that an earthquake?”
- Which volcanoes have had the most large eruptions in the past 10,000 yrs? Erik Klemetti gives the countdown.
- In depth analysis of potential impact of Hurricane Sandy on Eeastern US: storm surge expected to be especially high/damaging.
- V high pressures in Arctic are causing rapid refreezing AND may also be forcing Hurricane Sandy to make US landfall
- Detailed critique of “counterfeit”/fake report on climate issued by Cato Institute, here at Scientific American.
- The history of dendrochronology, bristlecone pines, deforestation & climate change. This wonderful article has it all.
- Squeezing Blood From the Desert (on meeting water demand in the southwestern US)
- Nice interactive graphic from Arbor Day Foundation on connections between Urban Trees & Stormwater
- Do You Support Reuse Of Water? Most Americans Do.
- A hydrogeologic-volcanic mystery (solved!) to warm my heart. Thanks for sharing this special site:
- A couple of flood videos for Anne and other water geeks to enoy…
- Cesium levels in fish off Fukushima not dropping –
- Antarctic ozone hole reached maximum of 8.2 million sq miles last month, smaller than last years maximum of 10.1.
- FUN FACT: No human being alive has done more to fight climate change than President Obama.
- A rather beautiful movie of solar activity
- Wow. 5X deeper than the Grand Canyon, Mars’ Valles Marineris revealed in new 3D image:
(via @HeidiCullen, @AGUSciPolicy)
- Pretty cool: The most detailed images of Uranus’ atmosphere ever
- Lively account from Bora doesn’t just convey flavour of #2012SVP, but field of Vertebrate Palaeontology as a whole.
- Earworm alert! The last minute of ‘Fossil Rock Anthem’ is especially clever, but not sure I want it in my head…
- Very cool – satellite measurements show linked changes in Earth’s magnetic and gravity fields due to flow in outer core
- Eclogites: beautiful metamorphic rocks that were subducted to 80 km depth. So how did they get back to the surface?
- Chuck Bailey on water gaps. Did the rivers cut through the mountains, or the mountains rise around the river?
- New paper out in GSA Bulletin by a wonderful crew of geomorphologists: “Does the river give a dam?” on lava dams in eastern Oregon’s Owhyhee River (PDF)
- oh my, how gorgeous is this landscape — looks like paleosols to me!
(via @clasticdetritus, @lockwooddewitt
- Charles Darwin had bad days, as all scientist do. Moments of transcendental genius require a lot of head-banging.
- How’s this for a super-depressing infographic on how women’s voices are heard on “women’s issues”
- In a study of women geoscientists, new ways of working lead to Same old gender inequality nn
- Have thoughts about Childcare, eldercare and family issues for scientists? Please participate in this important survey
- Never name anything “final.doc”. Even when I name something “submitted.doc” it still comes back to bite me
- How travel restrictions & last minute decisions impacted USDA scientists & the Soils/Crops/Ag meeting [We are seeing this for the upcoming GSA meeting too.]
(via @lkluber, @ChrisClaytonDTN)
- Wow. Read for gripping adventure. “Ejected from airplane at 9 miles above sea level w/o pressure suit.”
- Only second known Viking outpost in North America uncovered on Baffin Island
(via @rivrchik, @DogManBlue)
- The Myth That Screwed Up 50 Years of U.S. Foreign Policy – that the Cuban Missile Crisis did not end in a compromise.