Endurance is the name of the game for finishing the 2014 Climate Ride from New York to Washington DC, and it is also what is needed for keeping up the effort to inform society of the science of climate change.  In many ways, this ride is a metaphor for the long journey, including discouragingly steep uphill tasks, interspersed with well-deserved stretches of nearly frictionless progress and accomplishment, and the challenge of identifying plausible routes for reaching seemingly distant goals of sustainability.

Thanks to my generous sponsors and those of the other two members of “Team AGU” (Xin Zhang and Hans Engler), we raised nearly $10,000 for the American Geophysical Union (AGU’s position statement on climate change science can be found here), but the biggest rewards of participating in this ride were, by far, personal.   The gorgeous views of rural New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Maryland and the company of over 100 new friends who shared the experience will be among my most enduring memories.  Most importantly, however, by showing up and embracing a challenge, we Climate Riders showed that we can dare to take on a challenge bigger than what we may have ever done before.

The mission of Climate Ride is to inspire and empower citizens to work toward a new energy future, including increased awareness and understanding of the inter-connectedness of climate change issue among participants, donors, sponsors, members of Congress, and the general public.  We accomplished that goal, and we also reached Washington DC, but our journey continues.

-          Eric Davidson

Climate Riders reach their destination! Congrats to Team AGU!

Dear all,
Hope my card will arrive before me.
Here in “Ecrins” National Park (France), the rain changed everything from the bed of this stream to my gauging station (not anymore on the picture) and even brought some ice cubes for the afterwork…
Wish you were here with waders,
Pierre Lardeux, PhD Student, Centre for Glaciology, Aberystwyth University

Dear all,

Hope my card will arrive before me.

Here in “Ecrins” National Park (France), the rain changed everything from the bed of this stream to my gauging station (not anymore on the picture) and even brought some ice cubes for the afterwork…

Wish you were here with waders,

Pierre Lardeux, PhD Student, Centre for Glaciology, Aberystwyth University

'Space bubbles' may have aided enemy in fatal Afghan battle

image

In the early morning hours of March 4, 2002, military officers in Bagram, Afghanistan desperately radioed a Chinook helicopter headed for the snowcapped peak of Takur Ghar. On board were 21 men, deployed to rescue a team of Navy SEALS pinned down on the ridge dividing the Upper and Lower Shahikot valley. The message was urgent: Do not land on the peak. The mountaintop was under enemy control.

The rescue team never got the message. Just after daybreak, the Chinook crash-landed on the peak under heavy enemy fire and three men were killed in the ensuing firefight.

A decade later, Michael Kelly, of the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory (APL), happened to read a journalistic account of Operation Anaconda, one of the first major battles of the War in Afghanistan, and thought radio operators may have been thwarted by a little-known source of radio interference: plasma bubbles.

Now, Kelly and his colleagues provide evidence that plasma bubbles may have contributed to the communications outages during the battle of Takur Ghar and present a new computer model that could help predict the impact of such bubbles on future military operations. Their work has been accepted for publication in a journal of the American Geophysical Union called Space Weather.

Read the full press release here.