Thin ice and the importance of Quaternary geology

From NASA Earth Observatory: 2011 Sea Ice Minimum From the description (emphasis added): In September 2011, sea ice covering the Arctic Ocean declined to the second-lowest extent on record. Satellite data from NASA and the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) showed that the summertime ice cover narrowly avoided a new record low. [...] …

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Mapping the harvest

From NASA's Earth Observatory this week: Poor harvest in Kenya From NASA's description: Ten million people could face hunger in Kenya after a poor harvest, Kenya’s government warned on January 9, 2009. According to the Associated Press, the government declared a state of emergency to free up funds for food aid. This image, which shows …

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Climate change survey

From CNN: Surveyed scientists agree global warming is real. The results of a University of Illinois survey of scientists include the following: 90% of the scientists surveyed agreed that global temperatures have risen compared to levels from before 1800. 82% agreed that human activity been a significant factor in this increase of mean global temperatures. 97% of …

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Global warming and solar cycles

If you are a regular reader of The GeoChristian, you know that I lean towards the validity of anthropogenic global warming (AGW), which is the idea that human activities are causing the Earth to become warmer. Much of the debate--on both sides--is driven by ideology more than science, but I have found the scientific arguments …

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Catastrophic space storms

Livescience.com: Perfect Space Storm Could be Catastrophic on Earth, Study Concludes Solar activity has just passed the low point in its 11-year  cycle, and is expected to peak again around 2012. It is believed that about every 100 years or so, there is a particularly intense solar storm, which could disrupt power supplies on Earth …

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The Pliocene as a model for the 21st century?

The US Geological Survey has a news release regarding climate during the mid-Pliocene Epoch, between 3.0 and 3.3 million years ago: Getting Warmer? Prehistoric Climate Can Help Forecast Future Changes. Scientists used paleontological data (i.e. fossils) to reconstruct surface water and deep-ocean temperatures, as well as ocean circulation patterns. Here are some of the findings: …

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Barrier islands and hurricanes

LiveScience.com has a timely article: Ike Underscores Foolishness of Building on Barrier Islands. When Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans, many (including me) questioned the wisdom of having a city in a sinking swamp along a river that would rather run in a different channel. I'm not saying I'm in favor of abandoning New Orleans now …

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India’s Katrina

Heavy monsoon flooding in India has claimed close to 1000 lives, and millions more have been displaced. The most dramatic event has been the abrupt change of course of the Kosi River in northern India. The Kosi River flows from the Himalaya Mountains into the Indian state of Bihar. The flood-swollen river has broken through …

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