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.
The week of May 19 brings dozens of tornadoes to Tornado Alley in the states of Oklahoma, Kansas, Iowa, Illinois and Missouri. On May 20th, a massive tornado struck Moore, Oklahoma, devastating communities - destroying over 100 homes and hitting two elementary schools and a hospital - with many casualties and deaths. Our thoughts are with our friends and colleagues suffering from these storms. For more on the May 20th storms, see the NOAA Storm Prediction Center Storm Report.
This picture shows a part of the Earth surface as seen from the International Space Station high above the Earth. A perspective like this reminds us that there are lots of different things that cover the...more
Like the other inhabitants of the desert, birds come up with interesting ways to survive in the harsh climate. The sandgrouse has special feathers that soak up water. It can then carry the water to its...more
Deserts are full of interesting questions. How can anything survive in a place with hardly any water? Why is it so dry to begin with? You can find at least one desert on every continent except Europe....more
You can find insects almost anywhere in the world. So it should be of no surprise that there are plenty of insects in the desert. One of the most common and destructive pests is the locust. A locust is...more
There are several species of mammals in the desert. They range in size from a few inches to several feet in length. Like other desert wildlife, mammals have to find ways to stay cool and drink plenty...more
Biomes are large regions of the world with similar plants, animals, and other living things that are adapted to the climate and other conditions. Explore the links below to learn more about some of the...more
The temperate forest biome is found in regions where there is large difference in temperature between winter and summer. Regions with this climate are generally found in the mid-latitudes, far from both...more