In The News

Antarctic mega icebergs

Kelly-Anne Lawler is a PhD student at the Research School of Earth Science studying Southern Ocean palaeoclimate.

From the large iceberg that made the news as it neared South Georgia island, to the RV Polarstern sailing between iceberg A-74 and the Brunt Ice Shelf, large icebergs calved from the Antarctic ice shelf are of great interest to scientists and non-scientists alike.

The U.S. National Ice Center (USNIC) monitors snow and ice in the Arctic, Antarctic, Mid-Atlantic and Great Lakes regions. Since 1978 it has been  naming, tracking, and documenting large Antarctic icebergs. Icebergs with an area greater than 20 square nautical miles, or that are at least 10 nautical miles on their longest axis, are of interest to the USNIC and are named according to their origin and the order in which they calved from the ice shelf.

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On Circulation is back in circulation

1 September 2020

Welcome to the revival of the On Circulation blog! This blog is run by PhD candidates currently undertaking research at The Australian National University Research School of Earth Sciences (RSES). We have a team that includes an experimental petrologist, a rock physicist and mathematical geophysicist, two climatologists (modern and palaeo) and two geodesists, as well as a whole school of earth science researchers.

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Featured post

Why we should March for Science

By Ali and Jess

Five reasons YOU should March for Science TOMORROW:

  1. You believe that government decisions should be guided by facts and evidence. March for Informed Public Policy!
  2. To say no to restrictions being placed on scientists communicating their research, as we are currently seeing in the U.S. Show your support for Open Communication of Knowledge!
  3. For Stable Science Investment, for security in our future jobs!
  4. For a science informed future and a well-informed community. We need kids to learn and love science, they are the future! We need Universal STEM Literacy!
  5. Finally, science is our tool to solve some of the world’s most challenging problems; it is worth marching for!

Continue reading “Why we should March for Science”

2016 Geoscience Australia Open Day!

The annual Geoscience Australia Open day is coming up so be sure to add it to your calendar! One time when I visited the GA open day there was a dinosaur just casually walking around roaring at people so keep an eye out for that! (Unless it went extinct…which is possible, dinosaurs tend to do that.)

Geoscience Australia Open Day – Sunday 21 August 2016

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Gaming for science!

By Kelsie

I spent all this week writing my thesis…ok so I spent some time writing my thesis and the rest of the time was spent playing video games or as I like to think of it, “research”! Hear me out!

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How to write a scientific journal article

-by Louise Schoneveld

Last week I snuck into the ARC Centre of Excellence for Climate System Science’s scientific paper writing workshop, held here at the ANU. I thought I would share a few of the nuggets of wisdom I learnt during my 3 days at the workshop. I am not a climate scientist but was lucky enough to score a place in this workshop.

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COP21: The Outcomes

Last week the leaders of almost 200 nations came together in Paris for the 21st UNFCCC Conference of Parties. On Saturday, 12 December 2015 these leaders reached an agreement that will signal the end of the use of fossil fuels, with the aim of rapidly replacing coal, oil and gas with clean energy sources worldwide.

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COP21: Australia’s Position

Climate change is a global problem that requires all nations to come together to be a part of the solution. Australia equates to 5.15% of the world’s landmasses and 1.3% of greenhouse gas emissions, the 13th largest emitter in the world per capita out of 195 nations.

Countries by carbon dioxide emissions in thousands of tonnes per annum, via the burning of fossil fuels.
Countries by carbon dioxide emissions in thousands of tonnes per annum, via the burning of fossil fuels.

Continue reading “COP21: Australia’s Position”

COP21: Understanding Emissions and Targets

The 196 parties of the UNFCCC are coming together next week with the aim of stabilizing greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere at a level that will likely keep global warming below 2˚C.  Check out my last blog post on COP21 for more information.

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COP21: Paris Climate Talks

Next week one of the world’s biggest and most important diplomatic events will take place. But what is the UNFCCC COP21 and why should we care?

Understanding the Acronyms

UNFCCC stands for United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, this refers to the selection of leaders from 195 nations and the European Union who have come together with the aim of reducing the impact of human actions upon the Earth’s climate system.

The Conference of Parties (COP) is the leading body of the international convention. COP21 is the 21st annual gathering for the UNFCCC leaders and is to be held in Paris, 30 November – 11 December 2015. Continue reading “COP21: Paris Climate Talks”

Is Antarctica gaining ice?

What’s behind this story and why this publication is highly questionable.

By Bianca K.

Last week a newly published paper ( stated that the Antarctic Ice Sheet is actually gaining and not loosing ice. A statement that is quite the opposite to pretty much every other scientific study on this topic.

No need to mention that this sparked a new debate and released a media storm.

Continue reading “Is Antarctica gaining ice?”

Disney–Pixar’s “Lava” explained by a geologist–volcanologist

I Lava You

Following the tradition of Disney films produced by Pixar Animation Studios, the recent 2015 release of Inside Out was accompanied by a short video simply called Lava. Here it is:

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5 things you may not already know about the “Water on Mars” story

There has been quite a lot of excitement recently in the planetary sciences. If you haven’t already heard (if not, where have you been!?), it has now been confirmed that liquid water flows on the surface of Mars – this is almost old news now with the speed things travel on the internet!

This discovery is so new and exciting as they believe water is actually liquid and flowing on the surface of the planet, right now. We’ve known for a while that water exists on Mars, frozen in its ice caps, and we’ve also known that water once flowed but has since evaporated, but flowing water today is new.

Continue reading “5 things you may not already know about the “Water on Mars” story”

Exfoliate, rinse, pollute

By Eleanor

What’s worse: letting a plastic bag fly away into the ocean, or washing your face?

Everyone I know, and hopefully everyone you know, would chase after a plastic bag if it blew away. We do this because we know plastic in the ocean is bad, and littering is illegal in Australia, and anyway, beaches covered in rubbish aren’t very nice to be on.

Continue reading “Exfoliate, rinse, pollute”

Deep Dreaming with Google (2)

By Tanja

A couple of weeks back I wrote about the Google Deep Dreaming algorithm and promised some results for you to see. I uploaded some of my photos and waited to see what will come out. It took about a week for them to get processed and properly messed up.

Continue reading “Deep Dreaming with Google (2)”

Geoscience Australia’s 2015 annual Open Day

Geoscience Australia’s 2015 annual Open Day on Sunday 23 August will offer a diverse program of free hands-on activities, science displays and talks for all ages. Come along and learn about the exciting range of work carried out by Australia’s national geoscience agency.

See. Learn. Explore.


For more information visit or email

Deep Dreaming with Google

You may have seen some pretty weird and crazy images floating around the interwebs recently. You may have even heard about an emerging new artist who is producing them. You see something like this:


… and you go and think about someone having a go at some new tools in photoshop and you look at it more closely and you start thinking about the meaning of life and what must be going on in this person’s head.

And then … through a bit of Googling – you realize that actually… it was Google that created them. And by this I don’t mean its founders or some technician on acid, I mean some algorithm came up with this.

Continue reading “Deep Dreaming with Google”

“Let me tell you about my trouble with girls…”

By Jess

“Let me tell you about my trouble with girls. Three things happen when they are in the lab; you fall in love with them, they fall in love with you, and when you criticize them, they cry!”

These are the words of Nobel Prize winner and Royal Society member Sir Tim Hunt at the World Conference of Science Journalists in South Korea earlier this week; at a lunch hosted by women scientists, no less. Continue reading ““Let me tell you about my trouble with girls…””

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