Irish Chronicles Document Links Between Volcanoes and Weather
A study of over 40,000 written entries in Irish Annals and ice core measurements shows a strong correlation between the occurrence of volcanic eruptions and extreme cold weather in Ireland over a 1200 year period. Data analyzed in this study cover the period from 431 to 1649, during which time up to 48 volcanic eruptions are identified in Greenland ice core records through deposition of volcanic sulfate in annual layers of ice. You can find the study (open access), published on 6 June 2013 in IOP Publishing's journal Environmental Research Letters, at http://iopscience.iop.org/1748-9326/8/2/024035/article. Find out more about how volcanoes can influence climate.
EF-5 Tornado in El Reno, Oklahoma Widest Ever Recorded in US
The EF-5 tornado that hit El Reno, Oklahoma on May 31st was the widest ever recorded in the US, according to the National Weather Service in Norman Oklahoma. The tornado, which remained on the ground for 40 minutes and reached 2.6 miles across (4.2 km), took the lives of 18 people including storm chasers Tim Samaras, Paul Samaras and Carl Young. For more information on the tornado, visit http://ow.ly/i/2hfDG.
During the week of May 13th, the CO2 level at the Mauna Loa Observatory in Hawaii topped 400 ppm repeatedly. Daily levels of CO2 can vary due to weather, and there are seasonal trends as well. The level of atmospheric greenhouse gases continues to increase, now over 120 ppm since the Industrial Revolution began. For more on the Keeling Curve, see http://keelingcurve.ucsd.edu/. Find out more about greenhouse gases and warming.
Each type of mineral is made of a unique group of elements that are arranged in a unique pattern. However, to identify minerals you donít need to look at the elements with sophisticated chemical tests....more
Quartz is the second most common mineral in Earthís crust. It is a member of the quartz group, which includes less common minerals such as opal, crystobalite, and coesite. Silica (Si) and Oxygen (O) are...more
Mica minerals make some rocks sparkle! They are often found in igneous rocks such as granite and metamorphic rocks such as schist. They sparkle because light is reflected on their flat surfaces, which...more
Feldspar is the most common mineral in the Earthís crust, so you are very likely to find it in the rocks you collect! It is found it all of the three rock types, but is most common in intrusive igneous...more
Olivine looks like little green crystals. It is typically found in some igneous and metamorphic rocks. Often the crystals are so small that you need to use your hand lens or magnifying glass to see them...more
So far, over 2000 minerals have been found, and every year new ones are discovered. This is a pretty overwhelming number of different types of minerals, however, you don't need to know them all to be...more
Minerals occur naturally on rocky planets and form the building blocks of rocks. They are non-living, solid, and, like all matter, are made of atoms of elements. There are many different types of minerals...more