A bunch of science links tonight. Kind of a year-end thing. First, as reported by the BBC, Science Magazine has compiled their list of ten key scientific advances of 2004. The top three are the Mars rovers finding evidence of water on mars, the discover of the Indonesian “hobbits,” and the South Koreans announcing the cloning of human embryos.
In late September 2004, a series of earthquakes signalled that the volcano was awakening. Since then, enough lava has oozed into the volcano’s crater to build a dome the size of an aircraft carrier. The new dome, standing 275 metres off the crater floor at its highest point, is now taller than a nearby dome built by a previous set of eruptions over the course of six years.
“Something extraordinary is happening at Mount St Helens. We are scratching our heads about it,” says Dan Dzurisin of US Geological Survey’s Cascades Volcano Observatory (CVO) in Vancouver, Washington, US. The new dome has grown so quickly – almost four cubic metres every second – that it has bulldozed a 180-metres-thick glacier out of its way. If this rapid growth rate continues, there is a growing risk of a dome collapse which could trigger a major eruption, researchers warned at the American Geophysical Union meeting in San Francisco.