Tuff Schist

The adventures of an unstable geologist

Posts tagged science

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Drilling hit by budget woes

On 30 September, the Integrated Ocean Drilling Program (IODP) — the framework that has governed the extraction of geological cores from the sea floor for the past decade — will cease to exist. The next day, it will be reborn for another decade with a new name and blueprint, but the same old problem: how to pay for what is arguably the most successful international research collaboration ever.

Filed under science ocean drilling JOIDES Resolution

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Dolphins ‘call each other by name’ 
Research published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
"We played signature whistles of animals in the group, we also played other whistles in their repertoire and then signature whistles of different populations - animals they had never seen in their lives," explained Dr Janik.
The researchers found that individuals only responded to their own calls, by sounding their whistle back.
The team believes the dolphins are acting like humans: when they hear their name, they answer.

Dolphins ‘call each other by name’

Research published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences

"We played signature whistles of animals in the group, we also played other whistles in their repertoire and then signature whistles of different populations - animals they had never seen in their lives," explained Dr Janik.

The researchers found that individuals only responded to their own calls, by sounding their whistle back.

The team believes the dolphins are acting like humans: when they hear their name, they answer.

Filed under science dolphins speach marine biology

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Help explore the ocean floor!

The HabCam (Habitat Mapping Camera System) team and the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution need your help!

Identify species and ground cover in images of the seafloor, and help create a library of seafloor life in the habitats along the northeast continental shelf of the United States.

This is one of many Zooniverse projects. Zooniverse is a hub of crowd-sourcing for science and includes projects in astronomy, oceanography, climate studies and more!

Filed under crowd-sourcing science biology oceanography

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standupkid:

V’GER DEMANDS THE INFORMATION.
Thirty-five years after its launch, Voyager 1 appears to have travelled beyond the influence of the Sun and exited the heliosphere, according to a new study appearing online today.
The heliosphere is a region of space dominated by the Sun and its wind of energetic particles, and which is thought to be enclosed, bubble-like, in the surrounding interstellar medium of gas and dust that pervades the Milky Way galaxy.
On August 25, 2012, NASA’s Voyager 1 spacecraft measured drastic changes in radiation levels, more than 11 billion miles from the Sun. Anomalous cosmic rays, which are cosmic rays trapped in the outer heliosphere, all but vanished, dropping to less than 1 percent of previous amounts. At the same time, galactic cosmic rays – cosmic radiation from outside of the solar system – spiked to levels not seen since Voyager’s launch, with intensities as much as twice previous levels.
The findings have been accepted for publication in Geophysical Research Letters, a journal of the American Geophysical Union.

standupkid:

V’GER DEMANDS THE INFORMATION.

Thirty-five years after its launch, Voyager 1 appears to have travelled beyond the influence of the Sun and exited the heliosphere, according to a new study appearing online today.

The heliosphere is a region of space dominated by the Sun and its wind of energetic particles, and which is thought to be enclosed, bubble-like, in the surrounding interstellar medium of gas and dust that pervades the Milky Way galaxy.

On August 25, 2012, NASA’s Voyager 1 spacecraft measured drastic changes in radiation levels, more than 11 billion miles from the Sun. Anomalous cosmic rays, which are cosmic rays trapped in the outer heliosphere, all but vanished, dropping to less than 1 percent of previous amounts. At the same time, galactic cosmic rays – cosmic radiation from outside of the solar system – spiked to levels not seen since Voyager’s launch, with intensities as much as twice previous levels.

The findings have been accepted for publication in Geophysical Research Letters, a journal of the American Geophysical Union.

Filed under NASA voyager heliopause space science

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Giant  Camels once roamed the Arctic!Camels are well known for their ability to survive the hot and dry conditions of the desert, but a study suggests they once thrived in colder climes. Fossils have been found in Canada and identified as the leg bones of large (2.7m at the shoulder) camels that lived ~3.5 million years ago. 
Camels are known to have developed in North America, but this study suggests that they were not always warm-weather creatures. Large eyes allowed them to see in the months of darkness near the pole. Large feet are as useful for walking on snow as on sand. And the fatty humps would have helped with surviving long winters. 
Here’s the Original Nature Comm. Paper

Giant  Camels once roamed the Arctic!
Camels are well known for their ability to survive the hot and dry conditions of the desert, but a study suggests they once thrived in colder climes. Fossils have been found in Canada and identified as the leg bones of large (2.7m at the shoulder) camels that lived ~3.5 million years ago.

Camels are known to have developed in North America, but this study suggests that they were not always warm-weather creatures. Large eyes allowed them to see in the months of darkness near the pole. Large feet are as useful for walking on snow as on sand. And the fatty humps would have helped with surviving long winters.

Here’s the Original Nature Comm. Paper

Filed under camel science paleontology paleoclimate geology

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Booming Sand Dunes (a.k.a. Singing Sands)

NOVA scienceNOW video

Booming sand dunes produce a sound described as roaring, booming, squeaking, or the “Song of Dunes”. This is a natural sound phenomenon of up to 105 decibels, lasting as long as several minutes, that occurs in about 35 desert locations around the world. The sound is similar to a loud, low-pitch, rumble, and it emanates from the crescent-shaped dunes, or barchans. The sound emission accompanies a slumping or avalanching movement of the sand, usually triggered by wind passing over the dune or by someone walking near the crest.


Scientists studying the phenomenon (like Prof. Melany Hunt, whose students are pictured above) can’t just wait around for an avalanche, so they (and their students) trigger events by sliding down the dunes on their bottoms. This had led to a number of jokes about doing science “by the seat of their pants”.

Filed under desert geology dunes acoustics science

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Tour a drill ship from your ipad!
The Japanese deep sea drilling vessel (DS/DV) Chikyu Hakken can now be toured with a free ipad app! This app was designed for education purposes, but I think it’s just plain cool.
The Chikyu was built to be the second (and larger) drilling platform for the Integrated Ocean Drilling Program, which has been studying the rocks beneath the ocean for the last 10 years. I had the privilege of sailing on the very first IODP expedition aboard the Chikyu in 2007. Expedition 314 was the first part of an ongoing project to study the tsunamigenic faults in the Nankai Trough, offshore Japan (NanTroSEIZE).  
Now, the Chikyu is planning out its next ten years as part of the International Ocean Discovery Program, and you have the chance to see part of what makes this ship so very special.

Tour a drill ship from your ipad!

The Japanese deep sea drilling vessel (DS/DV) Chikyu Hakken can now be toured with a free ipad app! This app was designed for education purposes, but I think it’s just plain cool.

The Chikyu was built to be the second (and larger) drilling platform for the Integrated Ocean Drilling Program, which has been studying the rocks beneath the ocean for the last 10 years. I had the privilege of sailing on the very first IODP expedition aboard the Chikyu in 2007. Expedition 314 was the first part of an ongoing project to study the tsunamigenic faults in the Nankai Trough, offshore Japan (NanTroSEIZE). 

Now, the Chikyu is planning out its next ten years as part of the International Ocean Discovery Program, and you have the chance to see part of what makes this ship so very special.

Filed under Chikyu Japan IODP JOIDES Resolution drilling education science