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Cold water fisheries moving northThe Gulf of Maine is warming faster than most other patches of sea on Earth, and the process is revealing some of the likely changes to fishery patterns as species such as cod and herring follow the colder water northwards. New species are moving in, such as black sea bass and blue crabs to replace them as the environment changes around them. Both the eastern USA and Canada have important fishing industries focussed on these species, Maine lobster being particularly famed. Scientists are taking these events as a warning of what might happen as warming takes a stronger hold elsewhere. The seas are also rising fast since the water is less dense and expands as it warms. The pace of warming has been speeding up fast over the last three decades, now being about 10 times faster than back in 1983. Scientists are unsure as to why this area is warming faster than the rest of the world’s oceans, though changes to the Gulf Stream may be a cause. The changes are likely to be far reaching, as the fragile system of currents that mixes waters and spreads nutrients changes patterns over the coming decades.Ecological effects observed so far include larger lobster catches (though they may move north too if the warming trend continues as expected), and starving puffin colonies as the herring they eat move away. New fisheries are developing and being licensed to replace the old, but the threat to a billion dollar industry is growing, with no clear certainty of the turn events will take, since many ecological changes act in a non linear pattern. Something that was stable, sometimes for aeons, suddenly changes to a new state when it reaches a tipping point, and the old one might never return. A similar process struck the cod fishing industry off the Grand Banks. When the fishery collapsed and was protected, hopes were high that cod numbers might rise again, but they have stayed at low levels, since other organisms have effectively replaced them in their old ecosystem. Many such events are expected to cascade through the world’s ecosystems over the coming decades.LozImage credit: Laszlo Ilyes http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2014/sep/03/maine-lobster-and-cape-cod-under-threat-from-rapidly-warming-seas

Cold water fisheries moving north

The Gulf of Maine is warming faster than most other patches of sea on Earth, and the process is revealing some of the likely changes to fishery patterns as species such as cod and herring follow the colder water northwards. New species are moving in, such as black sea bass and blue crabs to replace them as the environment changes around them. 

Both the eastern USA and Canada have important fishing industries focussed on these species, Maine lobster being particularly famed. Scientists are taking these events as a warning of what might happen as warming takes a stronger hold elsewhere. The seas are also rising fast since the water is less dense and expands as it warms. The pace of warming has been speeding up fast over the last three decades, now being about 10 times faster than back in 1983. 

Scientists are unsure as to why this area is warming faster than the rest of the world’s oceans, though changes to the Gulf Stream may be a cause. The changes are likely to be far reaching, as the fragile system of currents that mixes waters and spreads nutrients changes patterns over the coming decades.

Ecological effects observed so far include larger lobster catches (though they may move north too if the warming trend continues as expected), and starving puffin colonies as the herring they eat move away. New fisheries are developing and being licensed to replace the old, but the threat to a billion dollar industry is growing, with no clear certainty of the turn events will take, since many ecological changes act in a non linear pattern. Something that was stable, sometimes for aeons, suddenly changes to a new state when it reaches a tipping point, and the old one might never return. 

A similar process struck the cod fishing industry off the Grand Banks. When the fishery collapsed and was protected, hopes were high that cod numbers might rise again, but they have stayed at low levels, since other organisms have effectively replaced them in their old ecosystem. Many such events are expected to cascade through the world’s ecosystems over the coming decades.

Loz

Image credit: Laszlo Ilyes 

http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2014/sep/03/maine-lobster-and-cape-cod-under-threat-from-rapidly-warming-seas

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Rhodochrosite rosesA lovely bouquet of mineral flowers made of manganese carbonate was mined in Peru. We regularly return to this mineral because it has such a lovely variety of shapes and orangey pink hues, coloured by the manganese (see http://tinyurl.com/mkskvha ,http://tinyurl.com/p5h4gpw andhttp://tinyurl.com/ozr72ue). This isn’t the only mineral so sometimes crystalise in flower shapes, we shared a lovely rose shaped spray of deep blue azurite awhile back (http://tinyurl.com/okrwhtt) and a similar spray of desert rose (http://tinyurl.com/o443usl).Loz
Image credit: Mineral X-Graf

Rhodochrosite roses

A lovely bouquet of mineral flowers made of manganese carbonate was mined in Peru. We regularly return to this mineral because it has such a lovely variety of shapes and orangey pink hues, coloured by the manganese (see http://tinyurl.com/mkskvha ,http://tinyurl.com/p5h4gpw andhttp://tinyurl.com/ozr72ue). This isn’t the only mineral so sometimes crystalise in flower shapes, we shared a lovely rose shaped spray of deep blue azurite awhile back (http://tinyurl.com/okrwhtt) and a similar spray of desert rose (http://tinyurl.com/o443usl).

Loz


Image credit: Mineral X-Graf

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Polar mesospheric clouds Noctilucent clouds (as they are known when seen from the ground) occur at high latitudes and altitudes during the summer months, and appear gorgeous when the sunlight is reflecting off them during twilight. This is also true of the view from orbit, and astronauts report it is one of the most stupendous (out of many) sights from the viewpoint 350km up of the International Space Station. These ones were snapped over southern Ukraine, and are about 80-100 km above the ground. Over the last decades they have been visible ever further south, and seem to be brighter. Scientists think that there may be a link to climate change, such as a rise in water vapour in the upper atmosphere forming denser patches of ice crystals. LozImage credit: NASA

Polar mesospheric clouds 

Noctilucent clouds (as they are known when seen from the ground) occur at high latitudes and altitudes during the summer months, and appear gorgeous when the sunlight is reflecting off them during twilight. This is also true of the view from orbit, and astronauts report it is one of the most stupendous (out of many) sights from the viewpoint 350km up of the International Space Station. These ones were snapped over southern Ukraine, and are about 80-100 km above the ground. 

Over the last decades they have been visible ever further south, and seem to be brighter. Scientists think that there may be a link to climate change, such as a rise in water vapour in the upper atmosphere forming denser patches of ice crystals. 

Loz

Image credit: NASA

Photoset

americanmensa:

Witness The Birth Of A Mineral

While investigating the effects of nucleation, whereby molecules assemble into crystalline structures, researchers from Pacific Northwest National Laboratory trained a transmission electron microscope on high concentrations of sodium bicarbonate and calcium chloride in water to watch the process occur in real-time.

"For a decade, we’ve been studying the formation pathways of carbonates using high-powered microscopes, but we hadn’t had the tools to watch the crystals form in real time. Now we know the pathways are far more complicated than envisioned in the models established in the twentieth century."

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Native silver wire spiralThe shapes of native metals never cease to amaze me, and this lovely 1.4 x 1 x .9 cm Celtic knotwork reminds me of some of my favourite styles of historical jewellery, though wrought by nature rather than man. LozImage credit: Joe Budd/Rob Lavinsky/iRocks.com

Native silver wire spiral

The shapes of native metals never cease to amaze me, and this lovely 1.4 x 1 x .9 cm Celtic knotwork reminds me of some of my favourite styles of historical jewellery, though wrought by nature rather than man. 

Loz

Image credit: Joe Budd/Rob Lavinsky/iRocks.com

Photoset

rockon-ro:

FULGURITE from Morocco. A fulgurite is a hollow, tubular piece of fused sand caused by a lighting strike to the ground. They are hollow and lined with melted sand grains and generally less than an inch or two in diameter ( a lighting bolt is normally 1 to 2 inches in diameter). Fulgurites mark the pathway the lighting followed into the ground.

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Great Glen Fault, Scotland, still in the United Kingdom?
One more bit of Scottish Geology to end the day. Scotland is divided into two pieces by a line filled with lakes, the remnant of what is known as the Great Glen Fault.
Faults often beat up the rocks around them, filling them with cracks. Those cracks allow water to intrude into the rocks, making them easier to erode. Today, the Great Glen Fault is marked by a series of valleys and long, linear lakes (this one is known as Loch Linnhe) filling those valleys.

-JBB
Image credit:http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/7/72/The_Great_Glen_from_Beinn_na_Cille_-_geograph.org.uk_-_1166717.jpg
Read more:http://www.scottishgeology.com/geo/regional-geology/highlands/great-glen-fault/http://www.bbc.co.uk/britainfromabove/stories/wild-britain/greatglen.shtml

Great Glen Fault, Scotland, still in the United Kingdom?

One more bit of Scottish Geology to end the day. Scotland is divided into two pieces by a line filled with lakes, the remnant of what is known as the Great Glen Fault.

Faults often beat up the rocks around them, filling them with cracks. Those cracks allow water to intrude into the rocks, making them easier to erode. Today, the Great Glen Fault is marked by a series of valleys and long, linear lakes (this one is known as Loch Linnhe) filling those valleys.

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Siccar Point, ScotlandScotland should hold a place of reverence in the heart of everyone who works in the Geosciences. Another of Scotland’s geologic gems; this outcrop literally led to the science of geology. This is the famous outcrop at Siccar Point, where James Hutton first put together the idea of geologic time as incredibly long, as having “that we find no vestige of a beginning, no prospect of an end”.This outcrop is a classic example of an angular unconformity. Hutton reasoned that the formation of this outcrop required immense amounts of time, geologic time. The rocks in the lower layer were deposited as sediments, lithified, tilted, and eroded over immense time. After that, an entire new package of rocks was deposited on top. Out in the world we can see snapshots of some of these processes; rocks being tilted by faulting, sediments being deposited, rocks being eroded after uplift, but they all take enormous amounts of time. This outcrop simply can’t be formed quickly by any rapid process.Today’s election results will be available in a blink of an eye compared to the time represented by this outcrop, but the legacy of both will endure.-JBBImage credit: Anne Burgesshttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geology_of_Scotland#mediaviewer/File:Siccar_Point.jpgRead more:http://www.scottishgeology.com/geo/regional-geology/southern-uplands/siccar-point/Have you been missing out on our posts lately? If so, it is due to changes in Facebook’s filtering system. To find out how you can enjoy reading our posts more often click here: http://tinyurl.com/ll9wd7l.

Siccar Point, Scotland

Scotland should hold a place of reverence in the heart of everyone who works in the Geosciences. Another of Scotland’s geologic gems; this outcrop literally led to the science of geology. This is the famous outcrop at Siccar Point, where James Hutton first put together the idea of geologic time as incredibly long, as having “that we find no vestige of a beginning, no prospect of an end”.

This outcrop is a classic example of an angular unconformity. Hutton reasoned that the formation of this outcrop required immense amounts of time, geologic time. The rocks in the lower layer were deposited as sediments, lithified, tilted, and eroded over immense time. After that, an entire new package of rocks was deposited on top. Out in the world we can see snapshots of some of these processes; rocks being tilted by faulting, sediments being deposited, rocks being eroded after uplift, but they all take enormous amounts of time. This outcrop simply can’t be formed quickly by any rapid process.

Today’s election results will be available in a blink of an eye compared to the time represented by this outcrop, but the legacy of both will endure.

-JBB

Image credit: Anne Burgess
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geology_of_Scotland#mediaviewer/File:Siccar_Point.jpg

Read more:
http://www.scottishgeology.com/geo/regional-geology/southern-uplands/siccar-point/

Have you been missing out on our posts lately? If so, it is due to changes in Facebook’s filtering system. To find out how you can enjoy reading our posts more often click here: http://tinyurl.com/ll9wd7l.

Photo
Fingal’s Cave, Scotland, United Kingdom Maybe?Well, today’s the day for the United Kingdom. Scotland, the northern portion of the island of Great Britain, is voting on whether or not to secede from the United Kingdom. I have absolutely no opinion on this referendum and am not going to try to understand or explain the issues involved, mostly because I’m a citizen of a different country. On the other hand, here are some Scottish rocks!This is Fingal’s Cave, a remnant of the same lavas that were produced 60 million years ago during an outpouring of volcanism across the northern British Isles. The basalt lava gives a beautiful example of Columnar Jointing, a fracture pattern formed when the lava solidifies, continues cooling, and then shrinks. The cave was then cut by the action of waves, which wore away at the columns until they started to give way.-JBBImage credit (Creative commons):https://www.flickr.com/photos/thalamus/221016485/Read more:http://www.atlasobscura.com/places/fingal-s-cavehttp://www.staffatours.com/the-islands/staffa/fingals-cave/

Fingal’s Cave, Scotland, United Kingdom Maybe?

Well, today’s the day for the United Kingdom. Scotland, the northern portion of the island of Great Britain, is voting on whether or not to secede from the United Kingdom. 

I have absolutely no opinion on this referendum and am not going to try to understand or explain the issues involved, mostly because I’m a citizen of a different country. On the other hand, here are some Scottish rocks!

This is Fingal’s Cave, a remnant of the same lavas that were produced 60 million years ago during an outpouring of volcanism across the northern British Isles. The basalt lava gives a beautiful example of Columnar Jointing, a fracture pattern formed when the lava solidifies, continues cooling, and then shrinks. The cave was then cut by the action of waves, which wore away at the columns until they started to give way.

-JBB

Image credit (Creative commons):
https://www.flickr.com/photos/thalamus/221016485/

Read more:
http://www.atlasobscura.com/places/fingal-s-cave
http://www.staffatours.com/the-islands/staffa/fingals-cave/

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Lava and heat hazeOne of my favourite images so far to come out of the current fissure eruption in Iceland (seehttp://tinyurl.com/kfrgvve) is this wonderful snap of heat haze rising above the recently erupted lava (the largest lava extrusion in over a century). The main curtains of fire from the fountaining basalt are hidden behind the haze, providing a glowing orange backdrop the scene. LozImage credit: Arctic-Images/Corbis

Lava and heat haze

One of my favourite images so far to come out of the current fissure eruption in Iceland (seehttp://tinyurl.com/kfrgvve) is this wonderful snap of heat haze rising above the recently erupted lava (the largest lava extrusion in over a century). The main curtains of fire from the fountaining basalt are hidden behind the haze, providing a glowing orange backdrop the scene. 

Loz

Image credit: Arctic-Images/Corbis