Geology

This is a good example of a story that has morphed and changed as it gets passed from one paper to another. They all cite the same source, from the BBC but the reporters haven’t read the source. I think they just read each other. The science is actually rather interesting. But just about everything they say is the opposite of what the original story says. And actually the original paper suggests trying this at Long Valley in California rather than Yellowstone.

This is the original story on the BBC:

Satellite data have detected widespread water within ancient explosive volcanic deposits on the Moon. That means its interior may contain more indigenous water than previously believed. The ancient deposits are believed to consist of glass beads formed by the explosive eruption of magma coming from the deep lunar interior.

Here are some surprising facts about humans’ effect on planet Earth. We have made enough concrete to create an exact replica of Earth 2mm thick. We have produced enough plastic to wrap Earth in clingfilm. We are creating “technofossils”, a new term for congealed human-made materials – plastics and concretes – that will be around for tens of millions of years.

But it is the scale that humans have altered Earth’s life support system that is the most concerning.

The Alps are steadily "growing" by about one to two millimeters per year. Likewise, the formerly glaciated subcontinents of North America and Scandinavia are also undergoing constant upward movement.

This is due to the fact that at the end of the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM) about 18,000 years ago the glaciers melted and with this the former heavy pressure on the Earth's surface diminished. The ice reacted rapidly to climate change at that time whereas the Earth's crust is still responding today to this relatively sudden melting of ice. During the LGM the Alps were also coated with an ice cap that temporarily reached far into the alpine foreland.

The extent of glaciation was much smaller here than on the subcontinents of North America and Scandinavia.

New research suggests that "flash droughts", like the one that unexpectedly gripped the Southern Rockies and Midwest in the summer of 2012, could be predicted months in advance using soil moisture and snowpack data.

Scientists at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) analyzed the conditions leading up to the 2012 drought, which ultimately caused $30 billion in economic losses, looking for any warning signs that a drought was on the way. They find that observations of snowmelt and soil moisture could have predicted the ensuing drought up to four months in advance.

By 1992, environmental activist Jeremy Rifkin claimed, we would achieve Peak Oil. Fossil fuels would begin to decline. Rifkin was just going by an environmental press release but Peak Oil had a long history; almost as long as oil itself.

In 1919, the chief geologist of the United States Geological Survey, said Peak Oil would happen within 3 years, while King Hubbert of Shell Oil predicted in 1956 that Peak Oil would happen by 1971. So by 1992 those claims were only working with a new generation of people who didn't understand science. In reality, math models containing all those variables are unlikely to be right. 

The most comprehensive analysis to date of a series of earthquakes that included a 4.8 magnitude event in East Texas in 2012 didn't find evidence that the earthquakes were caused by wastewater injection - and they the difficulty of trying to claim earthquakes were caused by human activity, at least using currently available subsurface data.

Avalanches are the primary hazard for winter back country recreational trekkers and cause numerous deaths and injuries annually. 

These snowy adventures have grown in popularity, leading people to forget that just because you paid a professional guide does not mean there is no risk. A new study in Wilderness and Environmental Medicine explored the risk of avalanche accidents and found a strong correlation with great risk of avalanches; group size. Traveling in groups of four or more people carried a higher relative avalanche risk than for individuals or groups of two.

Dramatic videos created by environmental activists shows tap water being set on fire. In some cases, they were clear hoaxes, in others it turned out to be methane unrelated to drilling. Yet regardless, the belief is that natural gas fracturing (fracking), or conventional extraction, can reach drinking water. Scientists disagree, though conceding that anything can happen in the right circumstances, without it being indicative of the process.

Traces of volcanic ash originating from islandic volcanoes have been found in the sediments of Laker Tiefer See in the Nossentiner-Schwinzer Heide natural park in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern.

An international team of geoscientists identified traces of in total eight volcanic eruptions on Island of which six could be precisely identified. The oldest eruption occurred 11,400 years ago and the youngest, from 1875, has been described in historical documents.