March 14, 2014 |
MONTALCINO, Italy - " Scusi ," I said to a well-dressed man in this medieval Tuscan village, where even the gas station was somehow part of the farming landscape. "Can you tell me how to get to Castiglion del Bosco?" "Hmm, yes," he said in English, taking my map, then, " Un momento . " He dialed his cellphone, and I realized he was asking someone for the best route. Not the first or last time we found the Italians to be incredibly helpful. "I can tell you how to get there, but my wine is much better," he said, laughing.
March 7, 2014 |
GRANADA, Nicaragua - I came to Nicaragua to climb a volcano, to listen to howler monkeys scream in the trees of a rain forest and to walk along a deserted beach, watching the sun flame out at the end of day, turning the sea and sky ablaze. I did all those things and more in this star-crossed Central American nation, a place where culture, history and nature combine to offer visitors some of the hemisphere's most diverse experiences. Nicaragua, which calls itself "the next Costa Rica," has much to commend it: large tracts of nature reserves; sleepy surf towns; dozens of volcanic peaks; rain forests rich with biodiversity; seemingly endless, undeveloped beaches; and charming colonial cities alive with culture.
February 25, 2014 |
An unusual swarm of volcanic eruptions over the last 14 years may be partially responsible for the slowing of global warming, a new report suggests. The 17 eruptions from 1998-2012 pumped sulfur dioxide into Earth's upper atmosphere, where it formed liquid particles that reflected more sunlight back to space, moderating the larger-scale warming of the planet surface, according to the study published online Monday in Nature Geoscience. PHOTOS: Erupting volcanoes Adding the volcanic activity into calculations effectively reduced the discrepancy between observed temperature trends and the models that underpin the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's reports on climate change attributable to human activity.
February 17, 2014 |
For 100,000 years, a pod of cool magma has been sitting mostly immobile beneath the Mt. Hood volcano. Consider it cold storage. As long as the magma stays cool, the volcano will not erupt. Cool magma is like peanut butter straight from the fridge - difficult to move. But if the conditions are right, that magma can liquefy in just a few months, potentially leading to an eruption, according to new research. Hot magma from deep in the Earth's crust bubbles up, mixes with the cool magma and causes it to liquefy.
February 14, 2014 |
At least three people were killed and tens of thousands forced to flee their homes when a volcano erupted on Indonesia's most populous island, shutting down airports and showering the region with ash and grit. The eruption of Mt. Kelud in Java began late Thursday night and could be heard as far as 125 miles away, according to local news reports . “The eruption sounded like thousands of bombs exploding,” Ratno Pramono, a 35-year-old farmer from the nearby village of Sugihwaras, told the Associated Press.
February 4, 2014 |
In the northeast of China, at the Yixian and Jiufotang formations, scientists have discovered thousands of exquisitely preserved fossils of plants and birds, dinosaurs and mammals. Together they make up the Jehol Biota -- an ecosystem, preserved in ash, that dates back nearly 130 million years. Some of these fossils are so complete that researchers can determine what a dinosaur had for breakfast on the day it died. Others include impressions of an animal's muscles and skin, as well as hair, feathers and scales. The fossils tell us that back in the lower Cretaceous period this land was humid, and dotted with conifer forests and lakes.