Category Archives: Geoscience

Mantle Mystery Yields to Diamond Vise

Cross section of a diamond anvil cell. Illustration by Tobias1984.

Improved imaging of the Earth’s interior has unlocked new subsurface mysteries, including an area 600 miles (1,000 kilometers) down where the mantle’s usual flow pattern changes.

Now, at a lab bench on the planet’s surface, a team of researchers might have found the reason why.

Read/listen to my full story at KJZZ’s Arizona Science Desk:
Researchers Use Diamond Vise To Crack Mantle Mystery

Study: Expect Southwest U.S. Monsoon Storms to Intensify

Arizona monsoon storm near Carefree Highway. Photo by Shredex.

The most extreme monsoon storms are growing more intense in central and southwestern Arizona, according to a study by the University of Arizona and the National Autonomous University of Mexico.

The findings conform to patterns expected under climate change conditions. Indeed, experts have already observed this effect.

Read/listen to my full story at KJZZ’s Arizona Science Desk:
Study Shows More Intense Monsoon Storms on the Horizon

Taking the Mystery Out of Microbursts

Microburst near Amarillo, Texas. Image from the National Severe Storms Laboratory. Credit: Jason Boggs.

Phoenix, Arizona, is not known for strong winds, but that all changes when monsoons annually deliver destructive downdrafts like the one that damaged its five-story Burton Barr Central Library. In this piece, and in the interview that follows it, I clear up some of the confusion that still  whirls around these blasts.

Read/listen to my full story at KJZZ’s Arizona Science Desk:
Understanding How Microbursts Are Formed

Or listen to my interview on KJZZ’s The Show.

Mt. Graham Telescopes Observe Frye Fire Up Close

Firefighters monitor Frye fire from atop Mount Graham’s Large Binocular telescope (photo courtesy LBTO).

The Frye Fire has burned tens of thousands of acres southwest of Safford, some of them uncomfortably close to Mount Graham International Observatory.

Read/listen to my full story at KJZZ’s Arizona Science Desk:
Frye Fire Has Close Encounter With Mt. Graham Telescopes

Is Progress Outpacing Precaution? Experts Weigh In

Illustration by An Arres.

No one expects the machinery of progress to roll backwards, but sometimes it seems that no one is watching the speedometer (or manning the brakes, assuming any exist).  Is this a fair assessment? If so, should we be worried — and what can we do about it?

In this feature, experts on technology, risk, science, policy and neuroscience discuss risk, innovation and how our values affect our conceptions of both.

Read/listen to my full story at KJZZ’s Arizona Science Desk:
ASU Experts Weigh the Risks of Innovation