Ancient tree recorded Earth reversing magnetic field


Nelson Parker

An ancient tree that contains a record of a reversal of Earth’s magnetic field has been discovered in New Zealand. The tree—an Agathis australis, better known as its Māori name kauri—was found in Ngawha, on New Zealand’s North Island, during excavation work for the expansion of a geothermal power plant…

The tree, which had been buried in 26 feet of soil, measures eight feet in diameter and 65 feet in length. Carbon dating revealed it lived for 1,500 years, between 41,000 and 42,500 years ago…

❝ The lifespan of the kauri tree covers a point in Earth’s history when the magnetic field almost reversed. At this time, the magnetic north and south went on an excursion but did not quite complete a full reversal.

Looking forward to a polished picture of the tree rings.

Thanks, UrsaRodinia

“Flying salt shakers of death” are heavy; but, they ain’t metal


Click to enlargeMatt Kasson

❝ If cicadas made horror movies, they’d probably study the actions of their counterparts plagued by a certain psychedelic fungus.

West Virginia University researchers have discovered that a cicada fungus called Massopora contains chemicals similar to those found in hallucinogenic mushrooms.

The fungus causes cicadas to lose their limbs and eccentric behavior sets in: Males try to mate with everything they encounter, although the fungus has consumed their genitals and butts.

❝ You’ve heard of “The Walking Dead.” This is “The Flying Dead.”

A bit of cross-pollination with zombie movies – and some truly interesting consideration of a species infected with multiple funguses.

Canadian permafrost thawing 70 years earlier than predicted


Landscape near Mould Bay. CanadaLouise Farquharson

❝ Permafrost at outposts in the Canadian Arctic is thawing 70 years earlier than predicted, an expedition has discovered, in the latest sign that the global climate crisis is accelerating even faster than scientists had feared…

❝ A team from the University of Alaska Fairbanks said they were astounded by how quickly a succession of unusually hot summers had destabilized the upper layers of giant subterranean ice blocks that had been frozen solid for millennia…

❝ Scientists are concerned about the stability of permafrost because of the risk that rapid thawing could release vast quantities of heat-trapping gases, unleashing a feedback loop that would in turn fuel even faster temperature rises.

All the worst of what has been predicted by climate science is coming home to roost – just earlier. The ignorant and backwards naysayers will have to put both hands over their eyes, now.

Modified Drone captures rare view of Mount Everest


Click to enlarge

❝ Ever since a British officer in 1903 captured what is believed to be the first image of Mount Everest, photographers have been striving to take iconic pictures of the world’s highest mountain. Everest’s enormity makes it nearly impossible to make a single photograph that highlights both its scale and position within the Himalayan landscape.

❝ This year, Renan Ozturk, a 39-year-old professional mountaineer and filmmaker on assignment for National Geographic, set out to make just such a photograph. His plan was to use a specially modified drone to create a 360-degree panorama that would portray Everest in its full grandeur but also reveal its commanding position in one of the planet’s most colossal landscapes.

RTFA. Enjoy the beauty of this image.