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Last Chance for Cat Island?

With all of the noise surrounding compensation payments made (or not) to people and businesses hurt by the BP / Deepwater Horizon oil and gas disaster, one mostly overlooked casualty of that massive oil spill has been the thin, fragile line of barrier islands that form(ed) the Gulf’s first line of defense against hurricanes, and […]

Disappearing Mississippi Delta, 1972 – 2014

Like many folks, we were astonished by the recent ProPublica / The Lens mapping work showing the tremendous loss of marshland in the Mississippi Delta and adjacent parts of the Gulf coast.  There is an unholy alliance of factors responsible:  the rise in sea level due to melting onshore glaciers and icepack, and thermal expansion […]

A Higher-Resolution Look at United Kalavrvta

At the suggestion of Rob Simmon from NASA, we’ve produced a view of the United Kalavrvta from August 4, 2014, using the high-resolution panchromatic band (Band 8) of the Landsat-8 image.  Much sharper, as expected. And now we measure the vessel length on the image at 282 meters — very close to the 275-meter length […]

Playing Hide-and-Seek! With an Oil Tanker.

Supertankers loaded with crude have been making the news recently, mostly because they can’t find a place to sell the stuff. These tankers departed from Kurdistan, but Iraq claims the oil they carry is their property and the Kurds don’t have the right to sell it.  This global political dispute is playing out on the […]

Mining in Wisconsin – Another Consequence of Fracking

How is mining related to fracking? Well, the process of hydraulic fracturing forces fluid into the rock at extremely high pressure.  This pries open natural pre-existing cracks (fractures) in the bedrock, and also causes new cracks (induced fractures) to form. This network of enhanced and induced fractures is what allows gas and oil to flow […]