Feature story: David Johnston and Harry Glicken, friends and scientists who paid with their lives their love for volcanoes

These days the world is watching as Popocatepetl Volcano is awakening, threatening the lives of as many as 9 million people in the Mexican state of Puebla and in the “Distrito Federal”, home of the 4th largest city in the world, Ciudad de Mexico.

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Global Change and unusual weather patterns

The changes in the general atmospheric circulation, induced by Global Warming, besides causing new weather records at a relentless pace, give way to more and more unusual combination of the meteorological elements. Southern Switzerland for example, as well as the most part of the Southern Alpine foothills, in the period November-December 2015 has recorded values of temperature, precipitation and sunshine duration which have never appeared together so far for these two months in the series of systematic meteorological data available since 1864.

The Verzasca Valley in the Southern Swiss Alps shortly before Christmas 2015: sunny weather and no snow.
The Verzasca Valley in the Southern Swiss Alps shortly before Christmas 2015: sunny weather and no snow.

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Science vs Religion at Mauna Kea, Hawaii

There’s nothing really new in the clash between science and religion. In fact, many of us are aware that, as far back in time as 1633, Galileo Galilei, one of the greatest scientists of all time and the founder of modern science, went on trial for his controversial views about the solar system.

A giant telescope on the top of a scoria cone, Mauna Kea Volcano's summit. Picture by Federico P. Mariotto
The CFH Telescope on the top of a scoria cone, Mauna Kea Volcano, Hawaii. Picture by Federico P. Mariotto

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