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Friday, March 18, 2005

NPR Science Friday Segment on Thermophiles

Here's a teaser from the August 14, 1998 show "Extremophiles: Life on the Edge!"

There's a significant segment on Yellowstone's unique heat-loving microorganisms.

This week, scientists in the international Ocean Drilling Program announced that they had found living organisms over 800 meters below the ocean bottom, trapped inside sedimentary rocks over 15 million years old. Last month, scientists from the University of Washington and the American Museum of Natural History managed to lift several huge, hot sections of sulfide chimneys, the smokestack-like mineral features that form around deep-sea hydrothermal vents. And in June, researchers at Montana State University and elsewhere released findings about organisms thriving in the permanent ice layer in lakes in an Antarctic desert - organisms which somehow manage to live happy, full lives despite rarely seeing temperatures above -20 Celsius.

Follow the link to listen to the audio archive, which is in Real Audio at the bottom of the page.

Thursday, March 17, 2005

Old Supervolcanoes Give Yellowstone Clues

The Discovery Channel explores the geo-history of supervolcanoes:

Clues to past and future mega-eruptions of North America's biggest volcanoes are being unearthed just miles from Yellowstone National Park.

An hour's drive southwest of Yellowstone is a place geologists call the Heise Volcanic Field. Heise is the most recently deceased ancestor in a 400-mile-long line of seven supervolcanoes, stretching from Yellowstone southwest to the Nevada-Idaho state line, near McDermitt, Nevada.

Cascadia Scorecard Celebrates Wolf Reintroduction

Check out Northwest Environment Watch's more scientific take on the 10th anniversary of the reintroduction of wolves to Yellowstone:

"Next Monday will mark precisely 10 years since wolves re-appeared in Yellowstone National Park, from where they had been absent since the 1920s. The re-introduction program was a smashing success, far exceeding even optimistic predictions.

On March 21, 1995, federal biologists finally opened the acclimation pens holding 14 gray wolves, sometimes called timber wolves, brought from Alberta. Earlier that year an additional 14 wolves had been set free in central Idaho's mammoth wilderness. And the following year, 17 more wolves were released into Yellowstone and 20 more into Idaho."


Sunday Times of London Editorial on Supervolcano Scaremongering

Get under the sofa or we'll get avian flu when the supervolcano erupts
Notebook by Mick Hume

"Supervolcano is the BBC’s latest doomsday docudrama, about a supposed eruption in Yellowstone Park that leads to global catastrophe. Introduced as “a true story that hasn’t happened yet” (which sounds like what we used to call fiction), Supervolcano was watched by 7.3 million people. More than four million then turned over for the follow-up documentary about “the science behind the drama”, a remarkable eruption of public concern for a quiet Monday evening."


Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Discovery Channel Preview of Supervolcano Documentary

The Discovery Channel's website has a preview of the two-hour Supervolcano documentary that will premier in the USA on April 10th, 2005.

Sunday, March 13, 2005

Straight Talk About Wolves

"Digger" Jerry George doesn't pull any punches, hoss, in his straight-talkin' opinion piece in the San Francisco Chronicle:

Wolves' status depends on where they stand

Saturday, March 12, 2005

US Geological Survey Response to Supervolcanoes

The USGS isn't quite as sensationalist about the possibility of a super-volcanic erruption as the BBC is:

see their fact sheet "Steam Explosions, Earthquakes, and Volcanic Eruptions—What’s in Yellowstone’s Future?"

Saturday, March 05, 2005

BBC's New Supervolcano Documentary

A new two-part BBC factual drama asks 'What if Yellowstone erupted?'