Extreme Weather Photo Contest Winners | Precipitation Measurement Missions Thank you to everyone who submitted photos to the first installment of our GPM Extreme Weather Photo Competition. We loved all of your entries and thoroughly appreciate your participation! The GPM Photo Competition Committee is happy to announce our top 5 picks. We’ll be sending the submitters NASA bags and GPM stickers. Please stay tuned for additional contests and activities. Ormond Shelf, by Jason Weingart Date and Location: May 15, 2012 Ormond Beach, Florida How this Photo Was Taken: “I'm a photography student at the University of Central Florida. I have shot many storms from the same spot this photo was taken, and I almost drove by to get a different vantage point, but something told me to just stop at my spot. The storm actually pushed back on shore as it moved south, and then became strong enough for tornado warnings on three separate occasions. Fun Fact: A shelf cloud is a type of arcus cloud with a wedge shape. About Photographer Jason Weingart: Thunderstorm, by Grant Petty
Climate Change, Deforestation, Biomes and Ocean Currents, Plankton, Endangered Species - Earth Web Site Click for more detail Thermohaline Change Evidence is growing that the thermohaline current may be slowed or stopped by cold fresh water inputs to the Arctic and North Atlantic oceans. This could occur if global warming is sufficient to cause large scale melting of arctic sea ice and the Greenland ice sheet. Such a change in the current may be gradual (over centuries) or very rapid (over a few years). "Diatoms (a kind of phytoplankton) are estimated to "scrub" roughly as much CO2 from the atmosphere each year as all the world's rainforests. "Net primary productivity is the mass of plant material produced each year on land and in the oceans by photosynthesis using energy from sunlight. Biodiversity is the variety of life found at all levels of biological organization, ranging from individuals and populations to species, communities and ecosystems. Click for more detail Some of the sun's energy is being blocked from reaching the earth by air pollution. What are they?
Solar System NASA Rover Opportunity's Selfie Shows Clean Machine A new self-portrait by NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity shows gleaming solar arrays, thanks to recent help from dust-cleaning winds. › Read more Dawn in the Apollo Valley Beam Wave Guide antennas at Goldstone, known as the "Beam Waveguide Cluster." › Read more Solar System Missions Cassini-Huygens to SaturnStudying Saturn and its rings and moons.› DawnDawn, the first spacecraft ever planned to orbit two different bodies after leaving Earth, will orbit Vesta and Ceres, two of the largest asteroids in the solar system.› EpoxiThe Epoxi mission recycles the already "in flight" Deep Impact spacecraft to investigate two distinct celestial targets of opportunity.› JunoThe Juno spacecraft, currently making its way to Jupiter, will for the first time peer below Jupiter's dense cover of clouds to answer questions about the gas giant and the origins of our solar system.› VoyagerVoyager 1 and 2 flew past Jupiter and Saturn.
Total Lunar Eclipse This Weekend—Last One Until 2014 This weekend sky-watchers across most of the globe will have the chance to watch at least some of the last total lunar eclipse until 2014. The entire lunar eclipse will be visible in East Asia, Australia, and the far western portion of North America that includes Alaska and Canada's Yukon and Northwest Territories. The spectacle will last nearly three and a half hours, starting on Saturday at 4:45 a.m. Pacific Time. Totality—when the full moon will be completely blocked from direct sunlight—will start at 6:05 a.m. Part of the eclipse will be visible in Europe and Africa at moonrise, in the evening, said Raminder Singh Samra, an astronomer at the H.R. "Meanwhile, observers across the Pacific region of North America will get to see the sky show low in the western horizon at moonset, in the early morning," he said.
The scientific consensus on global warming « Later On From the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), the preeminent scientific organization in the US. Note that this article is not based on a mere count of articles, but rather looks at statements from various scientific organizations. Science 3 December 2004: Vol. 306. no. 5702, p. 1686 DOI: 10.1126/science.1103618BEYOND THE IVORY TOWER: The Scientific Consensus on Climate ChangeNaomi Oreskes*Policy-makers and the media, particularly in the United States, frequently assert that climate science is highly uncertain. Some have used this as an argument against adopting strong measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. For example, while discussing a major U.S. Environmental Protection Agency report on the risks of climate change, then-EPA administrator Christine Whitman argued, “As [the report] went through review, there was less consensus on the science and conclusions on climate change” (1).
Stars and Galaxies Astrophysics Missions Galaxy Evolution Explorer Uses ultraviolet wavelengths to measure the history of star formation 80 percent of the way back to the Big Bang. › Mission home page Exoplanet Updates, documents, and in-depth information about NASA's Exoplanet Exploration Program. › Exoplanet web site Keck Interferometer Links two 10-meter (33-foot) telescopes, which form the world's most powerful optical telescope system. › Telescope home page Kepler Mission The Kepler Mission will search for Earth-like planets with the "transit" method. › Kepler home page Palomar Observatory A joint effort between JPL and the California Institute of Technology, the Palomar Observatory houses a collection of famous telescopes. › Palomar home page PlanetQuest web site The latest news, images, and information about NASA's search for exoplanets and another Earth. › PlanetQuest web site Voyager to the Outer Planets Voyager 1 and 2 flew past Jupiter and Saturn.
How Far Away is the Horizon? | Life's Little Mysteries On a clear day, you can see for miles and miles and miles. The old saying turns out to be just about true. For a six-foot tall person, the horizon is a little more than 3 miles (5 km) away. Geometry tells us that the distance of the horizon – i.e. the farthest point the eye can see before Earth curves out beneath our view – depends simply on the height of the observer. Add the effect of refraction, which bends rays of light as they pass through the atmosphere, and the horizon is even farther. Plus, since clouds hover above ground level, they can be seen to farther distances than features on Earth's surface. But just as weather sometimes aids our view, it can also hinder it.
Arctic Warming is Altering Weather Patterns, Study Shows EDITOR'S NOTE: This story was originally published April 3. Given recent news that Arctic sea ice set a record low, it's a reminder that changes in the Arctic can affect the U.S. and Europe. By showing that Arctic climate change is no longer just a problem for the polar bear, a new study may finally dispel the view that what happens in the Arctic, stays in the Arctic. The study, by Jennifer Francis of Rutgers University and Stephen Vavrus of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, ties rapid Arctic climate change to high-impact, extreme weather events in the U.S. and Europe. The study shows that by changing the temperature balance between the Arctic and mid-latitudes, rapid Arctic warming is altering the course of the jet stream, which steers weather systems from west to east around the hemisphere. The jet stream, the study says, is becoming “wavier,” with steeper troughs and higher ridges. The strong area of high pressure shunted the jet stream far north into Canada.
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Drill to Earth's Mantle (PhysOrg.com) -- In what can only be described as a mammoth undertaking, scientists, led by British co-chiefs, Dr Damon Teagle of the National Oceanography Centre in Southampton, England and Dr Benoit Ildefonse from Montpellier University in France, have announced jointly in an article in Nature that they intend to drill a hole through the Earth’s crust and into the mantle; a feat never before accomplished, much less seriously attempted. The Earth’s mantle is the part of the planet that lies between the crust and the iron ball at its center, and to reach it, would require drilling down from a position in the ocean, because the crust is much thinner there. Even still, it would mean drilling through five miles of solid rock. And if that doesn’t sound hard enough, temperatures increase the farther down you go, and could reach as high as 1,050 degrees Fahrenheit; high enough to render useless most modern drill bits.
Global Warming Facts, Causes and Effects of Climate Change Jump to Section: Q: What is global warming? A: Here's a simple definition of global warming. (And yes, it's really happening.) Over the past 50 years, the average global temperature has increased at the fastest rate in recorded history. And experts see the trend is accelerating: All but one of the 16 hottest years in NASA’s 134-year record have occurred since 2000. Climate change deniers have argued that there has been a “pause” or a “slowdown” in rising global temperatures, but several recent studies, including a 2015 paper published in the journal Science, have disproved this claim. Q: What causes global warming? A: Global warming occurs when carbon dioxide (CO2) and other air pollutants and greenhouse gases collect in the atmosphere and absorb sunlight and solar radiation that have bounced off the earth’s surface. In the United States, the burning of fossil fuels to make electricity is the largest source of heat-trapping pollution, producing about two billion tons of CO2 every year.
Eyes on the Solar System: NASA web app lets you explore space in 3D | Geek-Cetera Unless you’re an astronaut, or a billionaire with enough money to pay for a ride into space, you’ll probably never see what Earth looks like from above its atmosphere or see the rings of Saturn in real life (sorry to be the one to break it to you). Thankfully, NASA has created a real-time 3D browser-based experience that lets you explore the planets and their moons, asteroids, and other objects in our solar system, as well as the spacecrafts that are exploring these objects. The browser-based app, called “Eyes on the Solar System,” uses video game technology and NASA data to let you control your point of view by clicking and dragging your mouse. NASA said this is the first time the public will actually be able to see the whole solar system as well as NASA’s missions as they move together in real-time. The app actually lets you follow NASA spacecrafts thanks to NASA’s actual space mission data. NASA via PhysOrg
How Humans Helped the Earth in 2010: Slide Show Ridding the Earth of Plastic From boom to bust, the reputation of plastics since World War II has gone from revolutionary dream invention to environmental nightmare. Degradable plastics break down into smaller pieces, leaching chemicals such as bisphenol A (BPA) into the water. Pieces of plastic are often mistaken for food among marine and desert animals alike -- with lethal consequences. Cutting back on the pervasive use of plastics in society is practically impossible, but helping to improve biodegradability, identifying new alternative materials, researching the ocean’s plastic-laden gyres, recycling plastic in new ways, and banning the use of plastic bags shows that in 2010 humans took the problem of plastic to the bank. In Agra, India, home of the Taj Mahal, plastic bags and bottles blocked drains during the monsoon season.