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.
Dangerous particles from the Sun don't hit the Earth's surface. They are forced by the Earth's magnetic field to move around the Earth. You can think of the Earth's magnetic field as a big shield from...more
The magnetic field of the sun (the IMF) is distorted in passing over the comet, taking a long time to slip around the sizeable ion cloud which forms the comet coma. The stretched magnetic field lines form...more
Motions within Earth's metallic core generate the planet's global magnetic field. This magnetic field extends beyond Earth's surface and atmosphere into the space surrounding our home planet. The interaction...more
AU stands for Astronomical Units. It is an easy way to measure large distances in space. It is the distance between the Earth and the Sun, which is about 93 million miles. For really big distances, we...more
The solar wind is formed as the Sun's top layer blows off into space. It carries magnetic fields still attached to the Sun. Streams appear to flow into space as if they are spiraling out from the Sun,...more
Shop Windows to the Universe
We now offer the Cool It! card game in our Science Store. Cool It! is the new card game from UCS that teaches kids about the choices we have when it comes to climate change.