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.
This picture of the Earth surface was taken from high above the planet in the International Space Station. In this view from above, we can see that there are lots of different things that cover the Earth....more
Like the other creatures 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 different biomes....more
The temperate forest biome is found in regions where winters are cold and summers are warm. Regions with this climate are common in the mid-latitudes, far from both the equator and the poles. Tropical...more