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South Korea Energy Report
April 13, 2014 | Energy Information Administration

“South Korea relies on imports to meet about 97% of its energy demand as a result of insufficient domestic resources, and the country is one of the world’s leading energy importers.” Quoted from the Energy Information Administration report.

Ten Risky Cities
April 1, 2014 |

TheGuardian has an article that presents the earthquake, tsunami and severe storm hazards of ten risky cities.

The Saidmarreh Landslide
March 29, 2014 |

The Saidmarreh Landslide in western Iran is one of the largest landslides in the world. It occurred about 10,000 years ago when about 5 cubic miles of limestone detached along bedding planes and slipped down the north flank of the Kabir Kuh anticline. The slide debris had a run-out distance of over 9 miles. It can be clearly seen on satellite images today.

NASA Landsat Geocover image annotated by

Problems on Everest
March 25, 2014 | Reader's Digest

Reader’s Digest has an article titled: “Everest: The Mess at the Top of the World“. It points to a number of problems that have developed as “climbing Everest” has been popularized to the point that people who lack the fitness and experience are being guided up the mountain and littering the routes with tons of garbage, equipment and corpses. Unlike many “negative articles” the author of this one includes ideas for fixing the problems.

Land Below Sea Level
March 16, 2014 |

Did you know that there are seven distinct depressions on Earth that are over 100 meters below sea level, and twenty-three that are over 10 meters below sea level and ten more that are at least two meters below sea level? We have a google map that points to ten of these depressions and a list of the remaining locations.

Energy Consumption in China
March 9, 2014 | Energy Information Administration

“China is the world’s most populous country with a fast-growing economy that has led it to be the largest energy consumer and producer in the world. Rapidly increasing energy demand, especially for liquid fuels, has made China extremely influential in world energy markets.”

Ice-Free Shipping Through the Arctic
March 6, 2014 |

A post on the Nature News Blog reports that by 2030 the Norther Sea Route through the Arctic Ocean above Eurasia is expected to be navigable for nine weeks per year. The Northwest Passage through the Canadian Arctic Archipelago is expected to be navigable for five weeks per year.

Syria Oil and Gas Report
March 2, 2014 | Energy Information Administration

“Syria’s energy sector is in turmoil because of the ongoing hostilities between government and opposition forces. Syria’s oil and natural gas production has declined dramatically since March 2011 because of the conflict and because of the subsequent imposition of sanctions by the United States and European Union in particular. Syria’s energy sector is unlikely to recover in the near term.” Quoted from the Energy Information Administration’s country report.

Exporting Natural Gas from the Haynesville Shale
February 27, 2014 | Bloomberg

Production of natural gas from the Haynesville Shale has been falling in response to low gas prices and more lucrative drilling opportunities. Some believe that the solution is in exporting the gas to Asia where prices are much higher.

An LNG Construction Boom for the Gulf Coast?
February 25, 2014 |

The natural gas industry is currently pushing to build more export facilities that will liquefy natural gas and load it onto transport ships that will deliver it to destinations in Asia and other parts of the world where natural gas prices are much higher than in the United States. Many of those LNG facilities would likely be built along the US Gulf Coast. The hope is that this will reduce the glut of natural gas in the USA market and support prices. Current LNG terminals along the Gulf are shown in the map below from the EIA Energy Mapping System.

Energy Through the South China Sea
February 16, 2014 | Energy Information Administration

“Stretching from Singapore and the Strait of Malacca chokepoint in the southwest to the Strait of Taiwan in the northeast, the South China Sea is one of the most important energy trade routes in the world. Almost a third of global crude oil and over half of global liquefied natural gas passes through the South China Sea each year.” Quoted from the Energy Information Administration article.

Popular for January 2013
February 2, 2014 |

The Polar Vortex

Hot Rock Under the Atlas Mountains

Big Rare Earth Find in North Korea?

Horizontal Well Density in the Utica Shale of Ohio

Big Blue Diamond Found in South Africa

Ice Quake in Wisconsin?

Wow! The Best Snowflake Photos

Why Was It So Cold Last Week?

The Seti River Disaster
January 28, 2014 | NASA Earth Observatory

The first sign of trouble for residents along the upper Seti River in Nepal was the water. In late April and early May 2012, what was usually a roaring river had slowed to a trickle. And the milky-white water—colored by rock flour from glaciers upstream in the Sabche Cirque—had turned blue and clear. Residents regarded the river changes as bizarre, but nobody connected the slowdown to anything dangerous upstream. So it came as a surprise when a slurry of sediment, rock, and water suddenly surged through the valley on May 5, 2012, obliterating dozens of homes and sweeping 72 people to their deaths.

Formation of the South China Sea
January 28, 2014 |

An international team of scientists will depart on an expedition to learn about the geologic history of the South China Sea aboard the JOIDES Resolution drilling vessel.

Snow in the Middle East?
December 17, 2013 | NASA's Earth Observatory

NASA’s Earth Observatory has a satellite image showing snow on the ground from a recent storm in the Middle East. Jerusalem had over one foot of snow, knocking out power for thousands of households. Amman, Jordan received about eighteen inches.

Shell Backs Out of Gas to Liquids Plant
December 15, 2013 | Bloomberg

Royal Dutch Shell was planning to spend $20 billion on a natural gas-to-liquids plant on the Gulf coast but cancelled the project. They are not new to this business as they own the largest gas-to-liquids plant in the world in Qatar and another one of the largest in Malaysia. They are also building the world’s largest floating LNG plant for a field off the coast of Australia.

If you watch the news about natural gas you have seen a huge rush to permit LNG plants that will export natural gas out of the United States, other companies getting into the LNG and gas-to-liquids businesses, multiple natural gas developments off the coastlines of every continent but Antarctica, countries all over the world realizing that they have a huge amount of natural gas in shale, enormous amounts of gas being flared instead of captured and all of that is before we count gas in the polar regions and methane hydrates.

Shale Production Outside of the USA
November 21, 2013 | Bloomberg

Bloomberg has an article that summarizes some of the efforts to produce oil and natural gas from shale outside of the United States. Some of these countries lack the equipment and expertise to develop the wells and are forming agreements with experienced companies.

Typhoon Haiyan Kills at Least 10000
November 9, 2013 | Reuters

Typhoon Haiyan hit the Philippines as a Category 5 typhoon, with winds gusting up to 170 miles per hour, swamping coastal areas in storm surge and destroying thousands of buildings that were in its path.

Kazakhstan Oil and Gas Report
October 28, 2013 | Energy Information Administration

Kazakhstan, an oil producer since 1911, has the second largest oil reserves as well as the second largest oil production among the former Soviet republics after Russia. Given this abundance of oil, about 64% of the country’s energy consumption is attributed to coal.

LNG on the Canadian Pacific Coast
October 17, 2013 | Financial Post

Ten LNG plants have been proposed to convert natural gas into a liquid and ship it to overseas markets from Canada’s Pacific coast.

Related: What is LNG?

Typhoon Nari Hits Vietnam
October 15, 2013 | Reuters

Over 100,000 people were evacuated in Vietnam as Typhoon Nari hit the coast.

Eruptions a Sakurajima
October 13, 2013 | National Geographic

National Geographic has a short article on Sakurajima, a volcano in Japan that is continuously in eruption.

A $40 Billion Oil Project in the Caspian Sea
October 3, 2013 | Energy Information Administration

Eni, Shell, Total, and ExxonMobil have invested over $40 billion to develop oil production facilities in the Caspian Sea. They are tapping the Kashagan Field, the largest field outside of the Middle East with an estimated 13 billion barrels of proved reserves.

The Impact of Fragmenting a Forest Environment
October 2, 2013 | New York Times

In 1987, Thailand built a dam on the Khlong Saeng river. As the reservoir filled it transformed over 100 forested hilltops into islands. Now each island, along with its plant and animal inhabitants, is an experiment to test what happens with a forest environment is fragmented.

Crustal Processes in the Himalaya
September 25, 2013 | Speaking of Geoscience Blog

The Speaking of Geoscience blog has an interesting article that explores crustal deformation in the Himalaya.

What Happened at Mount Paektu in North Korea?
September 24, 2013 |

Mount Paektu is a volcano near the border between North Korea and China. About 1000 years ago it produced one of the largest eruptions in human history. The North Korean government recently allowed researchers from Imperial College London and Cambridge University to visit the volcano and collaborate with North Korean scientists.

Most Threatened Cities and Metro Areas
September 23, 2013 | Quartz

Quartz has a summary article that illustrates: “The 10 cities most threatened by a damaging natural disaster” and “The metro areas most threatened by a natural disaster” (data from Swiss Re). The most threatened are in Asia with earthquakes and flooding as the major threats.

The Largest Deep Earthquake Ever Recorded
September 22, 2013 | University of California Santa Cruz

“A magnitude 8.3 earthquake that struck deep beneath the Sea of Okhotsk on May 24, 2013, has left seismologists struggling to explain how it happened. At a depth of about 609 kilometers (378 miles), the intense pressure on the fault should inhibit the kind of rupture that took place.” Quoted from the University of California Santa Cruz press release.

Yemen Oil and Gas Report
September 19, 2013 | Energy Information Administration

“Although Yemen is not a major hydrocarbon producer relative to some of the other countries in the Middle East, oil and natural gas resources are sufficient to enable exports. However, Yemen’s difficult security environment hinders the production and transport of those resources.” Quoted from the Energy Information Administration country report.

Gem Mining in Cambodia
September 19, 2013 | Gemological Institute of America

The Gemological Institute of America has two short videos that show mining for sapphire, ruby and other gems in Cambodia.

Natural Gas from Mozambique to Asian Customers
September 11, 2013 | Reuters

During the past few years Anadarko has discovered an enormous amount of natural gas off the coast of Mozambique. Now they are planning a large LNG project and marketing the gas to Asian buyers.

Related: What is LNG?

Azerbaijan Oil and Gas Report
September 11, 2013 | Energy Information Administration

“Azerbaijan, wholly located within the South Caspian Sea basin, is among the oldest oil producers in the world. Oil and gas development and export is central to Azerbaijan’s economic growth. The country is one of Caspian region’s most important strategic export openings to the West.” Quoted from the Energy Information Administration country report.

Shipping LNG from Canada to Asia?
September 10, 2013 |

BG Group plans to build a pipeline from Canadian natural gas fields to the Pacific coast where the gas will be converted into LNG for shipment to Asian markets.

Related: What is LNG?

Malaysia Oil and Gas Report
September 10, 2013 | Energy Information Administratio

” Malaysia is the second largest oil and natural gas producer in Southeast Asia, the second largest exporter of liquefied natural gas globally, and is strategically located amid important routes for seaborne energy trade.” Quoted from the Energy Information Administration country report.

Dashboard Cam Captures Massive Rock Fall
September 1, 2013 | The Telegraph

In northern Taiwan an enormous rock misses a car by perhaps one or two feet. The incident was captured by the dashboard cam of a following car. See the video on The Telegraph website.

Oil and Gas from the Caspian Sea Region
August 30, 2013 | Energy Information Administration

The Caspian Sea region is one of the oldest oil-producing areas in the world and is an increasingly important source of global energy production.

Eastern Mediterranean Natural Gas
August 29, 2013 | Energy Information Administration

“Offshore natural gas discoveries in the Levant Basin have the potential to significantly alter energy supply dynamics in the eastern Mediterranean region and could spur natural gas exports in the near future.” Quoted from the Energy Information Administration press release.

Landslides in Southern Asia
July 18, 2013 | The Landslide Blog

The Landslide Blog has descriptions and photos for a number of recent landslides that have occurred in response to tropical storms in southern Asia. Scan down the homepage and note the diverse locations.

DNA Supports Pre-Columbian Dogs
July 15, 2013 | Royal Society Publishing

“Dogs were present in pre-Columbian America, presumably brought by early human migrants from Asia. [...] No European influence was indicated for the Arctic breeds Inuit, Eskimo and Greenland dog [...] the Carolina dog, a free-ranging population in the USA, may have an ancient Asian origin.” Quotes from the research abstract.

A “popular” presentation of this story (vs “scientific”) can be found on The New York Times.

Caves Discovered by Construction Projects
July 9, 2013 | CavingNews

CavingNews has two recent posts about caves being discovered during construction projects. One during road construction north of Austin, Texas and another during the construction of a security barrier in Israel.

Kuwait Oil and Gas Report
July 9, 2013 | Energy Information Administration

“In 2012, Kuwait exported the third largest volume of oil among OPEC member countries. EIA estimates that export revenues for Kuwait in 2012 were 75 billion dollars.” Quoted from the Energy Information Administration press release.

Five Eruptions on the Kamchatka Peninsula
July 9, 2013 | NASA Earth Observatory

There are currently five erupting volcanoes on the Kamchatkan Peninsula: Shiveluch, Bezymianny, Tolbachik, Kizimen, and Karymsky. NASA’s MODIS spectroradiometer detected heat signatures from over 400 miles above the Earth.

Military Helicopters Hammered by Hail in Afghanistan
June 30, 2013 | The Guardian

A heavy hailstorm in Afghanistan damaged helicopters at a NATO airbase. Hail the size of golf balls broke rotors and windows, pierced helicopter bodies and damaged parts.

Shale Oil and Shale Gas in 41 Countries
June 12, 2013 | Energy Information Administration

The Energy Information Administration has published: “Technically Recoverable Shale Oil and Shale Gas Resources: An Assessment of 137 Shale Formations in 41 Countries Outside the United States“.

The Oldest Primate?
June 10, 2013 | Scientific American

Archicebus, a tiny fossil about the size of a mouse has been identified as the “oldest known primate”. It lived approximately 55 million years ago.

Ash on Snow at Karymsky
June 7, 2013 | NASA

“Ash covers the western slopes of Karymsky Volcano in this natural-color satellite image. The image was collected on May 20, 2013. [...] Late-season snow remained on the surrounding Kamchatkan landscape.” Quoted from the NASA image release.

Forecast Mekong
June 6, 2013 | USGS on YouTube

This video demonstrates how USGS can apply advanced computer applications, hydrographic surveys, and SWAT visualizations that will enhance the integration of knowledge and models of river life of the Mekong Basin from the headwaters to the delta.

Oil from the Bay of Bengal?
May 29, 2013 | The Hill

Some United States oil and gas companies are interested in buying blocs in the Bay of Bengal, now that the United States has established relations with Burma (Myanmar).

Traffic Jams and Trash on Everest
May 20, 2013 | National Geographic

An article on explains how the popularity of “climbing Everest” has resulted in inexperienced climbers creating traffic jams on the mountain and littering the landscape. Ways to reverse this are explored.

Obstacles to Mineral Resource Development in Afghanistan
May 19, 2013 | National Public Radio

Afghanistan has trillions of dollars worth of gold, copper, iron, rare earth elements and gemstone deposits that can not be developed without foreign investment, infrastructure development, facility security and political stability.

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