Tag » Geosciences

Surf’s Up!
January 19, 2012

Surf’s Up!

Scientists help coastal communities plan for an uncertain future

If you love big surf, go to Depoe Bay on the Oregon coast during a winter storm. As swells rise and break offshore, winds whip ocean spray high into the air, but the waves move inexorably toward the harbor (the “world’s smallest navigable harbor,” reads a road sign), channel through rocks and, with a resounding […]

A Slippery Slope
April 22, 2011

A Slippery Slope

Warm rains and glacial melting trigger dangerous debris flows

Grinding over ancient layers of lava and ash, the glaciers of the Cascade Range act like supersized sheets of shrinkwrap. Stretched taut across tons of pulverized rock, these blankets of frozen snow hold sand, gravel and boulders in place — that is, until they start to melt. Then the sediments, unlocked from the glaciers’ icy […]

Countdown on the Columbia
October 2, 2010

Countdown on the Columbia

Deadline looms for the river that turned darkness to dawn

More than 400 dams produce power and control floods in the nation’s fourth largest river basin. The U.S./Canada treaty that established responsibilities for water flow and power sharing is due for renewal.

June 23, 2009

Climate Impacts

Abrupt global warming could shift monsoon patterns and cut agricultural output

At times in the distant past, an abrupt change in climate has been associated with a shift of seasonal monsoons to the south, a new study concludes, causing more rain to fall over the oceans than in the Earth’s tropical regions, and leading to a dramatic drop in global vegetation growth. If similar changes were […]

April 23, 2009

Climate by the Numbers

Modelers explore future states of the planet

You can’t just walk into the data center in the College of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Sciences (CEOAS). The sign on the door says you need a pass card. There should be another sign too: Caution, planetary experiments in progress. Inside, computer clusters churn 24/7, spinning out information about ocean currents, winds, air temperatures, ice […]

February 1, 2007

Across the Divide

Parting the Waters.

In the summer of 1997, Aaron Wolf and a Berber guide trekked up narrow mountain paths to a village high in the Atlas Mountains of Morocco. Despite the steep terrain, they walked lightly. A donkey carried their gear. As they moved toward snowcapped peaks, they crossed one dry, rocky ridge after another. It took four […]

July 23, 2006

Maps Help Plow New Ground for Oregon Grass

Two OSU scientists have produced the first collection of maps that show climate, soil characteristics and plant species suitability for the People’s Republic of China.