The BBC has an article about a great find of the frozen remains of a baby Mammoth on the Yamal Peninsula in northern Russia. No viable DNA could be extracted apparently so it won’t be possible to use it for the proposed Pleistocene Park. Head over to the BBC article to check it out.
The Woods Hole Research Center has just completed a 2-year pilot phase for its National Biomass and Carbon Dataset 2000 (NBCD2000), a GIS data for the continental United States that will provide a “baseline data set for the assessment of the carbon stock in U.S. forest vegetation and will improve current methods of determining carbon flux between vegetation and the atmosphere.” This dataset will be especially helpful for researchers looking at issues related to greenhouse gas levels and climate change among other topics.
Based on year 2000 data, the NBCD2000 was derived from a number of base data sets provided by the USGS and others, including Shuttle Radar Topography Mission topography data, the National Elevation Dataset, the National Land Cover Database 2001, US Forest Service forest inventory data. The pilot phase mapped 5 of the 66 defined mapping zones within the US, with the remainder of the project commencing today and scheduled for completion in 2009. The NBCD2000 data will be made available for download via the USGS Seamless Data Distribution System.
Surfers the world over have raved over a section of the California coast called The Mavericks. Now scientists know why. Geologists mapping the ocean floor have found the clear indication of what makes those waves so darn legendary. A nice ramp on the floor combined with a couple of deep troughs on either side allow the waves to get large and stable – the perfect combo for surfing. It’s kinda like nature’s water park.
The New York Times reported yesterday that the Yangtze may be so so polluted that the damage is irreversible. It’s understandable that a country wishing to quickly grow its economy might be lax on environmental issues. However, it blows my mind that the Yangtze could be “irreversibly” damaged. Even if the claim is hyperbole, it certainly indicates an incredibly high level of environmental damage. Hopefully China can find some what to repair the river that accounts for 35% of its fresh water supplies.
The BBC has an interesting page highlighting Climate Change with impacted areas around the world and different types of images. Definitely worth a look.
Apparently, like the esteemed Samuel Langhorne Clemens, reports of the Earth’s magnetic force’s demise are greatly exaggerated. The Earth’s magnetic force is just as strong now as it was 3.2 million years ago. For those of you who may have been loosing sleep over this issue, you’ll be happy to know we have no chance of loosing our atmosphere a la Mars anytime soon. I know that’s one thing I can mark off my worry list!
The Greenland Institute of Natural Resources and the Danish Polar Centre are heading to sea to tag 10 walruses with GPS-based report systems. I am pretty sure this will not result in the popularizing of walruses as similar efforts were for penguins down south. Still a great project that could yield a wide variety of data. To learn more head over to the BBC news site.
Sydney went dark this evening as a large portion of the city participated in Earth Hour, an attempt to increase global awareness about climate change. My only question is what is the local impact of all the candles used in the restaurants that participated in the event This is an interesting idea that I hope will spread beyond New South Wales.
The BBC reports on an article from the Journal of Archaeological Science about research on the clay that was used to make China’s Terracotta army. They have recovered pollen from the clay and hope to find its source. An interesting part is that different statues may have come from different source materials, or maybe different times of years, based on different pollen content.
Have you ever heard of Atlantis being called the land beneath the ocean? Well how about an ocean beneath the land? Apparently researchers have found a sizable blob of water beneath Asia. It’s about the size of the Arctic Ocean and the yet another lovely byproduct of plate tectonics. Apparently it also serves a critical function in helping to dampen the effects of seismic activity.