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Carbon Balance of the Amazon?
March 23, 2014 | NASA

“A new NASA-led study seven years in the making has confirmed that natural forests in the Amazon remove more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere than they emit, therefore reducing global warming. This finding resolves a long-standing debate about a key component of the overall carbon balance of the Amazon basin.” Quoted from the NASA press release.

Floods and Landslides in Brazil
January 2, 2014 | NASA Earth Observatory

“Widespread floods are plaguing at least three states in southeast Brazil. Heavy rains lasted throughout December in Minas Gerais, Bahia, and Espirito Santo States, causing floods and mudslides. December rainfall in Espirito Santo has already reached 714 millimeters (28.11 inches), an all-time record monthly rainfall.”

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.

Natural Gas Flaring from Space
October 30, 2013 | Geology.com

We have posted views of Earth from NASA’s Suomi satellite that show night illumination and natural gas flaring for oil industry sites in the Bakken Formation, Eagle Ford Shale, Alaska North Slope, United States Gulf, Mexican Gulf, Venezuela Orinoco Field, Brazil offshore basins, North Sea, North Africa onshore, west Africa offshore, and Persian Gulf.

Brazil Oil and Gas Report
October 1, 2013 | Energy Information Administration

“Brazil is the 8th largest total energy consumer and 10th largest producer in the world. [...] Discoveries of large offshore, pre-salt oil deposits could transform Brazil into one of the largest oil producers in the world.” Quoted from the Energy Information Administration country report.

Diamonds from Brazil?
September 25, 2013 | Gemological Institute of America

Few people think of Brazil as a source of diamonds, but in the 1700s the country was the world’s leading supplier of gem-quality diamonds. Production continues there today with about 25,000 carats produced per year.

Related: The only producing diamond mine in the USA.

Top Diamond Producers
July 18, 2013 | Geology.com

Botswana, Russia and Canada retained their positions as the top three gem quality diamond producers for 2012 according to production estimates from the United States Geological Survey.

Related: Diamond Mines in Canada

One to Five Snakes Per Square Meter?
July 18, 2013 | AtlasObscura.com

An island off the coast of Sao Paulo, Brazil is said to have at least one venomous snake per square meter. The Brazilian Navy forbids visitors to the uninhabited (by humans) island.

LNG Exports: Big Oil vs Manufacturers vs Foreign LNG
January 20, 2013 | FuelFix

Many energy companies would like to export natural gas as LNG from the United States to countries where market prices are much higher. However, United States manufacturers object because they fear that LNG exports will raise domestic prices.

Not mentioned in the FuelFix article are: 1) many new conventional gas discoveries in Africa, Australia, South America and Indonesia that could compete with LNG exports from the United States; 2) the enormous untapped shale gas potential in other parts of the world; and, 3) natural gas throughout the world that is currently being flared. Will LNG export terminals for United States gas make economic sense five years from now?

We are constantly looking for interesting items related to geology and general science. When we find something interesting we share it here. Bookmark this page and visit often. You can also receive our news for free by RSS feed or email. We publish updates three or four days per week.





Homeowners InsuranceHomeowners Insurance usually does not cover damage caused by floods, landslides, earthquakes and other geohazards.
frac sandFrac Sand is a high-purity silica sand used in hydraulic fracturing to enhance the flow of oil and gas from tight rock units.
Diamond formationDiamonds from Coal? Diamonds form under a variety of conditions that rarely involve coal as a source of carbon.
fluorescent mineralsFluorescent Minerals glow with spectacular colors when illuminated in the dark with an ultraviolet lamp.
Uses of heliumHelium is a byproduct of the natural gas industry. Its most important use is in magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) machines.
Canada diamond minesCanada Diamond Mines: Canada is the third largest producer of gem-quality diamonds in the world.
Utica shaleUtica Shale: New wells in eastern Ohio prove that the Utica Shale will be a major source of natural gas and natural gas liquids.
Green River fossilsSpectacular Fossils of the Green River Formation. Some of the world's best-preserved fossil fish from an intermountain lake.
OpalOpals: Gem quality opal is one of the most spectacular gemstones. A single stone can flash with every color of the spectrum.
NovaruptaMost Powerful Eruption of the 20th Century: People in Juneau heard the volcanic blast - over one hour after it occurred.


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