Archive by category | American Geophysical Union

AGU: Abrupt climate change – the good, bad and ugly

The US Climate Change Science Program released its latest report at the AGU meeting today, taking a deeper look at several potential disaster scenarios that fall under the rubric of “abrupt climate change.” The outlook is mixed, so we’ll start with the good news, move through the bad and end with the ugly.  Read more

AGU: Steve Ostro RIP

The downside of bumping into old friends and acquaintances, as you do constantly at a meeting like this, is that you will occasionally hear sad news. Today I learned that Steve Ostro of JPL had died at the weekend, of complications related to cancer. Steve was a pioneer in the radar mapping of asteroids, leading a team that got most of the firsts in this field. As he told David Chandler in our feature on near-earth asteroid hunting last summer:  … Read more

AGU: Screening of ‘Crude’ movie

AGU: Screening of 'Crude' movie

Cross-posted from Climate Feedback, on behalf of Olive Heffernan This evening at AGU there was a special screening of Crude, a film about our love affair with petroleum– oil that is, black gold, Texas tea. The documentary won Richard Smith of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation this year’s AGU Walter Sullivan Award for Excellence in Science Journalism, a prestigious prize for outstanding reporting that makes geophysical science accessible and interesting to the general public. In Crude, Smith explores the geological formation of oil, its discovery and ascendancy in society and the potentially catastrophic consequences of our absolute dependence on it. Ironically,  … Read more

AGU: Applied climate science

Cross-posted from Climate Feedback, on behalf of Olive Heffernan Over the past 24 hours, some 15,000 earth scientists descended on San Francisco for the annual Fall conference of the American Geophysical Union. Delegates were a dead give away at the airport and on the BART yesterday with their large poster tubes in tow. It’s my first AGU and it could be the jet lag, but I’m feeling slightly overwhelmed by the sheer size and number of parallel sessions; at any given time I could be at one of at least four climate-related talks and invariably find myself wondering why the  … Read more

AGU: Experimental hydrology Wiki

A vast room of poster presentations greeted thousands of scientists at the American Geophysical Union’s annual autumn meeting on Dec. 15 in San Francisco – including one offering an “experimental hydrology Wiki” website. The website was created last year by Theresa Blume of the University of Potsdam in Germany and Llja Tromp-van Meerveld of Simon Fraser University in Burnaby, British Columbia. While designed to meet a need they had as doctoral students, the website now is seeking more posted articles to assist a range of environmental researchers, from hydrology to fields like forest engineering. The website is:  Read more

AGU: Three from Titan

Lots of interesting stuff from Titan on Tuesday (forgive late blogging — my computer was knackered). The Cassini spacecraft has finished its primary mission, and its science team is understandably proud of its discoveries. What caught my eye, though, were three not-yet-quite-discoveries: things to follow up on with further data analysis and more observations in the extended mission.  Read more

AGU: Footquakes

It makes me sad that my fine colleagues and rivals at Science magazine already beat me to this story, but it is too much fun not to note here. There’s a poster here at AGU in which seismologists report detecting ‘footquakes’ – the sound of jubilant soccer fans (football to you British types) celebrating goals during a major competition.  Read more