Our Amazing Earth

Volcano and Earthquake Surprises

Earthquakes and volcanoes can provide us with surprising and unexpected new data. Just within this century, several dramatic events have increased our understanding of these natural hazards, including the catastrophic 2004 Sumatra-Andaman earthquake and tsunami in Indonesia, and the 2011 Tohoku earthquake in Japan. Now, examination of the events leading up to a 2021 volcanic eruption has brought new – and sobering - information.

By |2022-09-15T06:49:39-07:00September 15th, 2022|Our Amazing Earth|4 Comments

Protecting Significant Sites in Egypt, Peru and Beyond

Safeguarding ancient Egyptian cultural treasures in the 1960s laid the groundwork for the UNESCO World Heritage Site program. These designations provide protections for places having outstanding cultural and natural heritage. Both Egypt and Peru have fabulous archaeological sites with World Heritage designations, and I’ve had the good fortune to see many. I hope to visit World Heritage Sites in many other countries.

By |2022-09-01T07:01:12-07:00September 1st, 2022|Ancient Andean Cultures, Our Amazing Earth|0 Comments

On Beyond Lithium – Part 1

Renewable energy from sunlight, water, and wind plays an important role worldwide—and renewable storage is essential to reduce imbalances between energy demand and energy production. We need to develop much more storage capacity; fortunately, there are efficient storage technologies already in use, as well as innovative alternative approaches under development.

By |2022-07-07T07:05:02-07:00July 7th, 2022|Our Amazing Earth|6 Comments

Grand Canyon Volcanoes

When most of us think about the impressive geology of the Grand Canyon, our focus is on the ancient rocks. Within the past 1 million years, however, volcanoes have created striking displays in the canyon. Hot lava often flowed down the Colorado River channel for tens of miles; other times, it dammed the river, impounding water behind dams that eventually breached, sometimes releasing catastrophic floods.

By |2022-08-27T06:48:14-07:00June 16th, 2022|Our Amazing Earth|11 Comments

Buildings That Last

In the earthquake-prone central Andes Mountains, there archaeological sites with monumental adobe and stone block structures standing that were built by ancient people hundreds and even thousands of years ago. Clearly, the ancient builders planned to have their important structures last–-and they had the knowledge to build appropriately for their environment. Buildings that promise to last a long time are also being constructed today.

Food, Fertilizer, and the World’s Richest Soils

Ukraine has a vast area covered with extremely rich soils that are well suited for growing grains and other agricultural products. In past years, the country has exported enormous quantities of crops to countries throughout the European Union, as well as in Asia and Africa. In 2019, almost half of Ukraine was cultivated land, feeding millions of people.  Now, things are changing fast.  

By |2022-03-31T08:26:03-07:00March 31st, 2022|Our Amazing Earth|6 Comments

Food, Fertilizer, and Inca Empire Conservation

In the past century, manufacturing nitrogen fertilizers with ammonia has been explosive (even literally...). Increases in crop production from manufactured fertilizers have benefited tens of millions of people. Unfortunately, this fertilizer produces tremendous waste in an inefficient process that is highly polluting; we could lower global use with alternative methods. Over 500 years ago, the Incas implemented laws to conserve their valuable guano fertilizer.

Security, Stability, and Soil

Food security is a growing concern for our global population of close to 8 billion people. The essential natural resource that controls food production is soil, which is being eroded away and degraded worldwide. Without healthy soils, our capability to provide adequate food for billions is seriously in question. Methods for improving degraded soils are available.

By |2022-02-23T06:39:11-07:00February 23rd, 2022|Our Amazing Earth|4 Comments
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