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Bente Lilja ByeRSS Feed of this column.

Earth science expert and astrophysicist writes about Earth observation, geodesy, climate change, geohazards, water cycle and other science related topics.

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First, they painted a dramatic black-drop, then they presented their latest statistics on public opinion on climate change. TNS gallup organized a press conference at the IPY Oslo Science Conference on Friday presenting their latest survey findings.

TNS asked whether a cold winter (normal and totally perfect by my standards), Climategate and inaccuracies in the IPCC reports had influenced peoples trust in climate change.
The polar regions are far, far away for most people. Do not count me in among 'most people' though. As a Norwegian I practically live in the Arctic. There are only 8 nations that are (partly) situated in the Arctic: Canada, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden, Russia and USA Several countries claim rights in Antarctica, which is regulated by the Antarctic Treaty . Sometimes we talk about a third pole, namely The Himalayas. Common for all three regions are remoteness and inaccessibility.

On this very date, 18th of May, 30 years ago, Mount St. Helens reawakened with a devastating eruption. If it weren't for the magnificent images taken by the USGS I would have had a hard time  believing just how devastating it was. The unexpected lateral blast killed volcanologist David A  Johnston on his observation post – now called the Johnston ridge – and simply ripped out the trees from the hill sides.

Mount St. Helens

Climategate is being evaluated by several committees. The truth about transparency of climate data and scientific methods is supposed to be revealed after analyses of the hacked emails from University of East Anglia's Climatic Research Unit (CRU).

When we experience disasters like the earthquake in Haiti January 2010, we naturally ask the questions: Could we have known (early warning)? Could we have been prepared (mitigation plans)?


Haiti on the Hispaniola island in the Caribbean. Credit: USGS
Christmas Tree
Photo: Bente Lilja Bye
Christmas at Fishermans Wharf, San Francisco.

The American Geophysical Union is said to be the world's largest gathering of geoscientists. Remember that planet Earth is exactly that – a planet. So include a number of astronomers and astrophysicists in this herd of nerds, some 16000 of them actually. This gathering is misleadingly called The American Geophysical Union Fall meeting, when in fact it is more like a Christmas meeting as it takes place the week before Christmas every year in San Francisco, one of my favorite cities in the whole wide world.