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Changing the Climate

Is that tree about to snap?

Toby Jackson Sounds like a simple enough question, right? However, it turns out we can’t give a very good answer. For a big old tree in a city or a park, it is important for safety reasons to know how... Continue Reading →

Can you trust a map?

Kaja Fenn Maps… They can be very simple or almost a work of art. We use them in our phones for sightseeing, in sat navs for directions, and the “old school” paper way when hiking. They can describe the terrain... Continue Reading →

White thieves and the wailing child

Brooke Jonson The old fisherman is hunched over his sandwich, and despite the late summer heat pulls his coat about himself like a little tent. “You afraid someone’s gonna nick yer bait, mister?!” someone calls out to him, to some... Continue Reading →

Chaos – why the weatherman can never be (exactly) right

Matt Brown Chaos is a fundamental feature of many physical systems – the atmosphere primary among them – that places a strict limit on the predictability of those systems. For the atmosphere this has obvious consequences, namely that we cannot... Continue Reading →

“San Francisco is going to get hit again and it’s going to be an even bigger monster this time…” ‘San Andreas’ movie, 2015

Rellie Goddard It’s an odd thing to admit, but I’m obsessed with faults. Irrespective of their shape or size, I find the deformation that manifests the movement of our continental plates fascinating (though I’d prefer them if they didn’t result... Continue Reading →

So hot right now: A tale of two lovers

Amber L. Madden-Nadeau Popocatepetl - more colloquially known as “Popo” – means “smoking mountain” and is an active volcano just 60 km from Mexico City (Figure 1) with 20 million people living within this catchment area. It stands right next... Continue Reading →

So Hot Right Now: Volcanology 101

Amber L. Madden-Nadeau A volcano is defined as “a naturally occurring vent or fissure at the Earth's surface through which erupt molten, solid, and gaseous materials”.  Volcanoes come in many different shapes and sizes and have many different eruptive styles. They... Continue Reading →

Nepal – the inability to ‘shake it off’

Rellie Goddard On the 25th of April 2015, a Mw1 7.8 earthquake, known as Gorkha, ripped through the Main Himalayan Thrust (MHT) just 77 km north-west of the country’s capital, Kathmandu1. This event propagated a colossal 160 km to the east-south-east, killing... Continue Reading →

Traces in the sand

Brooke Jonson What can you learn about an ancient world just by looking at the rocks?  Quite a lot as it happens. In 2011, I was patrolling a childhood fossiling location when I found the slab in figure 1. I... Continue Reading →

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