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Quickie Questions - Extraordinary Earth - Other

Date Answered Questioner (age, location) Question Answer

February 9, 2010susana (age 19, jamaica) ways climate change affect tourists internationally The answer to your question requires a serious investigation that escapes the reaches of this section, but I can think, from the top of my head, os a couple of ways in whch turism could be affected. For example, coral barriers are big magnets for scuba divers and snorkelers, a big turism atraction, but with the warming of the oceans the corals are affected and can even die. Costal zones could be also affected with the increase of the sea level, with beaches, low lands, etc., in danger of dissapearing.
February 5, 2010destiny (age 11, missouri) what are sedimentary rocks made out of . Many sedimentary rocks are made from the broken bits of other rocks. These are called clastic sedimentary rocks. The broken bits of rocks are called sediment. Sediment is the sand you find at the beach, the mud in a lake bottom, the pebbles in a river, and even the dust on furniture. The sediment may, in time, form a rock if the little pieces become cemented together. There are other types of sedimentary rocks whose particles do not come from broken rock fragments. Chemical sedimentary rocks are made of mineral crystals such as halite and gypsum formed by chemical processes. The sediment particles of organic sedimentary rocks are the remains of living things such as clamshells, plankton skeletons, dinosaur bones, and plants. Visit our webpage What Is a Sedimentary Rock?, and the links therein, for more information.
February 5, 2010jada (age 13, tx) rocks and sediments are part of the earth's what? The Earth's crust is composed of a great variety of igneous, metamorphic, and sedimentary rocks.
February 3, 2010Emiliano (age 9, Wisconsin) were are petroleum and natural gas located This map shows oil proven reserves, and this one shows the exporters of natural gas, which also own the main reserves.
February 3, 2010hussein (age 20, tanzania) How can climate change effect the earths atmosphere? Uncontrolled warming of the atmosphere could be the cause for climate global changes. In turn, if there is an increase of the global temperature, the atmosphere would expand.
February 1, 2010sunaina (age 19, india) what would happen to earth's temperature if its atmosphere is removed. A planet with no atmosphere will have extreme changes of temperature, instead of the more uniform temperature we enjoy in our planet. The day side of the planet would be scorching hot, while the night side would be freezing.
January 27, 2010july (age 18, philippines) what is the size of each kinds of volcano? Cinder cones reach about 1,000 feet above their surroundings while composite volcanoes can grow up to several thousand feet. Shield volcanoes are large, up to several tens of thousands feet. Lava domes are relatively small because they typically copllapse and has to rebuild itself.
January 27, 2010james (age 78, canada) Is it possible to say the mantle is perpetually cooling, and the crust and/or surface is either cooling or warming depending on changes in the atmosphere? It could be said ina very general sense. More than "depending on changes in the atmosphere", the crust superficial temperature is a function of the latitude and seasons.
January 18, 2010kee (age 10+, singapore) How does car smoke affect animals? Carbon dioxide is one of the main component of car exhaust, it is also one of the most important greenhouse gases, responsible of the Global Warming effect.
January 18, 2010DAVID (age , ) Close to a trillion barrels of oil have been extracted from the ground since drilling began, an insignificant amount when compared with the Earth's total mass (5.98 x 1024 kilograms or 6.5 x 1021 tons). The crust, where all the oil is found, accounts for less than half a per cent of the total mass of the Earth.
January 15, 2010Jalil (age 12, Madison il) What is the earth most earthquakes? Earthquakes happen when rock moves suddenly. Usually this happens along cracks in Earth’s crust called faults. There are many faults at the breaks between Earth’s tectonic plates. Our web page Where Do Earthquakes Happen? includes an animation that will help you to visualize where are this faults.
January 12, 2010Anna (age 16, California) What is the time of sunset for the longest and shortest days of the year in San Francisco? The shortest day corresponds to winter solstic, December 21 in 2010. The longest is the Summer solstice, June 21, 2010. You can obtain the times of sunrise, sunset, moonrise, moonset,etc. for any day and location here.
January 11, 2010Shiana (age 11, MICHGAN) Is there any more sites for biomes??????? Pales respond! Our web page Biomes and Ecosystems and the links therein cover lots of detail about biomes.
January 8, 2010MICAH (age 12, WASHINGTON) If the Mesosphere eats meteors how do rockets, and satelites get threw the Atmosphere? Not all objects going through the atmosphere burn out. It depends on several factors, size, speed and composition (what is the object made of) among them.
January 7, 2010Lauryn (age 10, Britain) The Earth tilts on it's own axis at 23.5 degree's. The Tropics of Cancer and Capricorn are 23.5 degree's from the equater. Is there a connection? The tropics include all the areas on The Earth where the sun reaches a point directly overhead and a point directly underneath at least once during the solar year. This only happens between the Tropics of Cancer and Capricorn. Outside this band of latitud, AND DUE TO THE TILT OF EARTH'S AXIS, the sun is never directly overhead or directly underneath.
January 7, 2010arundhati (age 12, trivandrum,india) why the planets are tilted towards a certain side ? The most widely accepted theory is that during the formation of the Solar System objects of significant masses, probably protoplanets, collided with them, causing the tilt of the axis.
January 6, 2010Victoria (age 13, Michigan) What is the average winter temperature in North America? In the contiguous United States, the average winter temperature for the 20th century was 33.4°F (0.7°C).
January 5, 2010John (age 48, Wisconsin /USA) 2012 is really getting a lot of attention. I've heard that on 12\21\2012 the earth and the sun will line up directly with the center of the milky way galaxy. Will this event possibly change the rotation or the axis of the earth? There are no planetary alignments in the next few decades, Earth will not cross the galactic plane in 2012, and even if these alignments were to occur, their effects on the Earth would be negligible. Each December the Earth and sun align with the approximate center of the Milky Way Galaxy but that is an annual event of no consequence. Much more about the 2012 hype on this NASA page.
January 4, 2010Melissa (age 18, Trinidad) how does water pollution affect the coral reef There are different ways in which pollution affects coral reefs. For example, runoff from land "often carries large quantities of sediment from land-clearing, high levels of nutrients from agricultural areas and sewage outflows, and pollutants such as petroleum products and pesticides. These land-based sources of pollution threaten coral reef health." (http://celebrating200years.noaa.gov/visions/coral/side.html). But there is also the effect of Air Pollution on reefs: The carbon dioxide air pollution, when absorbed by ocean waters, causes “ocean acidification” which adversely affects the health of coral reef systems.
December 30, 2009alyssa (age 15, wyoming, United states) If a sedimentary rock can become any other type of rock does it's chemical compound change when it does so? Metamorphosis is the process that could change a sedimentary rock in a different kind of rock. Metasomatism is the change in the chemical composition of a rock that often occurs during the processes of metamorphism. Metamorphic rocks generally contain many elements absent from the original rock, and lack some that originally were present.
December 28, 2009alyssa (age 11, ca/usa) If we have only drilled 7miles down. How do we know how the earth's layers are made up. Lithosphere,asthenosphere,mantle,inner core and outer core and such.

Thank you.
There are multiple methods to study our plane interior, among them are the study of seismic wave behavior and the Earth's gravitational field. offers some details about the use of seismic wave to study the earth's interior.
December 23, 2009Larissa (age 13, 0regon, usa) Why isn't the rock buried 25 meters below the ground considered part of the biosphere? The actual limits of the biosphere (defined en 1875 as "The place on earth's surface where life dwells") are difficult to define. There are birds that fly at altitudes of more than 8 000 meters (Bar-headed Geese migrate at altitudes of at least 8 300 meters!!), and fish that live at more tan 8 000 meters deep. Microbes have also been found living deep under the Earth's terrestrial surface. So, is a rock buried 25 meters part of the biosphere? I am sure there is not a unique answer to that!
December 22, 2009Douglas (age 19, United States/CA) why dose our planet support life Our planet is in a privileged position inside the Solar Sytem, not too close and not too far from the Sun, for lots of water. For more about this topic, visit our web page The Goldilocks Theory.
December 21, 2009anne-maree (age 35, queensland, AUSTRALIA) With all the disasters happening in the world now, do you believe the world is nearly at it's end? While I do believe that we, the Human race, have been abusing our planet, I don't believe anything about the disastrous predictions for 2012. There is not a single scientific reason for that.
December 17, 2009miranda (age 18, texas) how many megatons of carbon are released into the atmosphere as fossil fuels are burned each year? 5.5 billions of tons of carbon are due to fossil fuel emissions. See this chart for more information.
December 17, 2009Gabby (age 13, kentucky) can you find the rock layers of the mesozoic in Kentucky? Extracted from The Paleontology Portal: The retreat of the extensive shallow seas of the Paleozoic left much of Kentucky exposed during the late Paleozoic (Permian) and Mesozoic; however, fossils from a few Permian rocks brought up in drill cores indicate that the shallow sea persisted in the far western part of the state. The Mesozoic is represented only by a small area of Cretaceous rock in the far western Jackson Purchase area. These rocks are mainly nearshore marine gravels and sands, deposited from rivers flowing from the north and east. Few fossils are known from this time.
December 16, 2009karen (age 10, phillipines) what are the effects f climate change? For information on this topic visit our web pages: Effects of Climate Change Today limate and Global Change News For more information, please, visit the links that appear here.
October 27, 2009Shamsudheen (age 27, India) Is there any change in the proportion of land and sea or land and water in the history of earth? Yes, in the very beginning, during the cooling of our primitive planet, water vapor began to escape fromthe thin crust on Earth's surface and condense in the Earth's early atmosphere. Then masive rains started, until the earth was flooded with water, forming the seas.
October 27, 2009KONNER (age 10, MN) WHAT ARE SOME GRASSLAND ABIOTIC FACTORS Temperature, precipitation, wind, and humidity are abiotic factors for grasslands.
October 27, 2009Jill (age 13, United States) How did the earth come to have an axial tilt? It is widely accpted among scientists that Earths axis was tilted very early in the evolution of our planet, when a object around the size of Mars struck Earth.
October 19, 2009jeany (age 22, ireland) how fossil fuels gas emission affect the weathering process of rocks and minerals? I can see two direct ways, through particulates and through acid rain.
October 19, 2009KINDLE (age 12, GEORGIA) WHAT IS A TRENCH AND A RIDGE? Trench can be defined as a long steep-sided depression in the surface or ocean floor. A ridge is a geological feature that features a continuous elevational crest for some distance.
October 19, 2009syrena (age 12, united states) what is the cause if a vernal equinex On an equinox (which occurs around March and September 21), neither half of the Earth points directly towards the Sun. In fact, the Sun is at the equator, so both halves of the Earth are getting about the same amount of sunlight. See our web pag The Vernal and Autumnal Equinoxes for more information.
October 19, 2009jasmine (age 13, Ohio, USA) What is the actual Diameter at equator in kilometers Earth's diameter measured across the equatorial plane is 12 756.28 km.
October 19, 2009janhavi (age 11, India) My teacher tells us that Grenland is called so as it is full of meadows and the Earth was much warmer in the past and if it is true Greenland should be much warmer as a result of Global Warming ? It is already warmer. See this National Geographic article for more information.
October 19, 2009janhavi (age 11, India) My teacher tells us that Grenland is called so as it is full of meadows and the Earth was much warmer in the past and if it is true Greenland should be much warmer as a result of Global Warming ? It is already warmer. See this National Geographic article for more information.
October 19, 2009what would happen to plant and animal life if the earth did not tilt on it (age , ) Too many assumptions have to be made to answer your question. But there is something for sure, without Earth's axis tilt there wouldn't be seasons in our planet. This will surely affect the distribution of life in our planet!
October 16, 2009dan (age 7, marietta Ga) why do all parts of earth not have light at the same time Our planet is a big sphere, and at any moment face the Sun with just half of the world.
October 16, 2009andrew (age 11, Pennsylvania) What is a natural phenomenon that occurs in the mesosphere? A well known one is the Polar Mesospheric Clouds, also known as Noctilucent Clouds, first observed above polar regions in 1885. See some pictures here.
October 16, 2009Maurice (age 33, WALES) how is the earth older than the other planets
and the sun because earth should travel round
the sun?
The Sun, Earth, and the rest of the planets were born out of he solar nebula and are all of the same age, thought to be about 4.5 billion years.
October 16, 2009salina (age 43, indiana, usa) whats the chance of a world wode tsunami covering all land mass? I don't think that there is the possibility of a global tsunami covering all land masses. The amount of energy needed for such event is enormous! This NOAA's web page offers several good animation of what scientists consider to be global tsunamis.
October 16, 2009mushtaq (age 20, pakistan) how magma chamber produced two types of magma? There are three types of magma: Basaltic magma -- SiO2 45-55 wt%, high in Fe, Mg, Ca, low in K, Na Andesitic magma -- SiO2 55-65 wt%, intermediate. in Fe, Mg, Ca, Na, K Rhyolitic magma -- SiO2 65-75%, low in Fe, Mg, Ca, high in K, Na This detailed explanaton of the processes involved in magma differentiation is offerd by Prof. Stephen A. Nelson of Tulane University.
October 13, 2009gina (age 40, new jersey) May I ahve information on Ice? Are you asking about ice as a state of matter? Maybe the polar caps of our planet? See these links to several of our pages for related information: The Cryosphere The Cryosphere and Global Climate Change The Martian Cryosphere Snow Resources for Teaching About the Poles and the Cryosphere What Controls the Climate?
October 13, 2009gina (age 40, new jersey) May I ahve information on Ice? Are you askin about ice as a state of matter? maybe the polar caps of our planet? See these links to several pages of our website for related information: The Cryosphere The Cryosphere and Global Climate Change The Martian Cryosphere Snow Resources for Teaching About the Poles and the Cryosphere What Controls the Climate?
October 9, 2009Amareah (age 10, North Carolina) How much damge did Hurricnae Katrina do? Hurricane Katrina: This August 2005 storm was the most destructive and costly natural disaster in U.S. history. It produced damage estimated at $75 billion in the New Orleans area and along the Mississippi coast. Katrina was responsible for approximately 1,200 reported deaths, including about 1,000 in Louisiana, 200 in Mississippi, and seven in southern Florida. Extracted from FEMA for Kids.
October 8, 2009Mark (age 35, Minnesota) Will the Coriolis effect cause the Earth’s molten core to reverse direction after we pass thru the Galactic Equator approximately soon after 2012 Dec 21, or will this cause the axis to shift?
And
Will the Earth’s magnetic shield collapse when we enter the Galactic equator, allowing solar particles and cosmic energies to reach the surface of the Earth?
Thanks for taking the time to answer these questions.
I don't see a particular reason to relate the Coriolis Effect and the motions of Earth's core with the Galactic Equator, but this is not my field of work!
October 6, 2009Daniel (age 12, NSW, Australia) How thick is a tsunami? I am not sure about your question. If you want to know how high are the tsunami waves, they can go from a couple of feet high up to hundreds of feet high (a 500 m wave was calculated for the Lituya Bay Tsunami of 1958).
October 2, 2009ru (age 19, america) IN HOW MANY YEARS WILL THE BLACK HOLE DESTROY THE EARTH. A star with a mass similar to that of our Sun and in the last phase of its life is a red giant. At this point, the Sun will have expanded to cover all the interior planets, including the Earth. But before that, in about 1.1 Gyr (1 100 000 000 years) from today) the Sun will be 10% brighter and this extra solar energy will cause the Earth's atmosphere to dry out. Under such conditions, surface life on Earth will probably be exterminated. So, it will not be a black hole the culprit of Earth ill fate, it will be our old friend the Sun.
October 2, 2009Chloe (age 13, South Australia) What happens when a Meteorite collides with Earth? What is it called? It depends on several things, mainly mass and energy (of which mass is a factor). There are some impact craters on our planet (see our web pageImpact Craters on Earth) and there is also the theory of the formation of the moon as a result of a huge impact with our planet. This theory is known as Giant Impact, and asserts that the proto-Earth was hit by a Mars-sized body and Moon formed from the debris.
September 30, 2009flubbyhead (age 57, usa) Is my magnet mis-labeled, or is the North pole mis-labeled? Because the magnetic poles of our planet are inverted respect to the geographical poles, the north side of your magnet will point to the north geographical pole, which corresponds to the south magnetic pole.
September 30, 2009Gale Teschendorf (age 53, IL) Do solar panels add to global warming?
Since they are very dark colored it appears that they would trap heat not unlike CO2.
Interesting question and I don't know the answer. Just speculating, since solar panels transform the solar energy into electricity, the amount of energy reflected back should be minimum (although there is always some). I would expect that with time, the efficiency coefficient of the solar panels would increase, and more energy would be converted in to electricity. The other factor I see right now is that the total surface of solar panels around the world is not considerable when compared against other sources of global warming, and let’s hope it stays like that!
September 28, 2009Ajay (age 31, India) In which Country to see Seven (7) Sun at a time There is only one Sun in our Solar System. But, of course, all the stars are suns, so from any place on Earth we always see more than one sun!
September 28, 2009ayesha (age 28, Pakistan) wat is the reason of movement of sun & other stars in the sky?wat is the origin of their movement? We see them bacause because our own motions. This is called "apparent movement" of the stars, Sun, etc. As we spin around the planet axis, we see the Sun, moon, stars, etc. moving accros the sky, but it is really us who are moving with the planet.
September 25, 2009sage (age 8, texas united states) why is tornado alley most likely to get tornadoes? Thunderstorms needs warm, humid air. And the rotating thunderstorms (that produce tornadoes) need low-level winds that shift direction and grow stronger just above the ground. These factors are better found in the Central USA, the plains between the Appalachians and the Rocky Mountains.
September 25, 2009miguelle (age 11, seychelles) how the earth turns in rotation to day time and night time Beacuse Earth rotation, different sides of the Earth are facing the Sun at different times. The sides facing the Sun are on day time, the opposite side, which is under the Earth's own shadow, are on night time.
September 17, 2009Therese (age 17, Belgium) Why do you think CO2 is portrayed in the media as the only major greenhouse gas? The main greenhouse gases in the Earth's atmosphere are water vapor, carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, and ozone. From the human-produced ones, CO2 is the most important.
September 16, 2009Lachie (age 11, Australia) Could you please explain how the carbon we breathe out today may have been part of the body of a dinosaur 100 million years ago. Because the carbon continuously moves through a cycle know as The Carbon Cycle. This figure is also very informative.
September 16, 2009umamaheswari (age 30, tamilnadu) what happen when earth is not tilted? One of the main effects would be that we wouldn't have seasons in our planet. Please, visit our page Earth's Tilt Is the Reason for the Seasons! for more nformation.
September 14, 2009Larry (age , ) You are touching two unrelated issues. The prevalent theory about the tilt of our planet axis describes the cause as the impact of a large object against Earth, possibly creating the Moon out of a large chunk of the planet. On the other hand, there are more evidences of the plate tectonic. The Mid-Ocean Spreading Ridge, and the Pacific Rim of Fire are two of the better known.
August 24, 2009Janis (age 12, New Zealand) How did the Earth come to be? Scientists believe that the solar system (Sun, planets, comets, etc.) was formed when a cloud of gas and dust in space was disturbed, maybe by the explosion of a nearby star (called a supernova). This explosion made waves in space which squeezed the cloud of gas and dust. Squeezing made the cloud start to collapse, as gravity pulled the gas and dust together, forming a solar nebula. Just like a dancer that spins faster as she pulls in her arms, the cloud began to spin as it collapsed. Eventually, the cloud grew hotter and denser in the center, with a disk of gas and dust surrounding it that was hot in the center but cool at the edges. As the disk got thinner and thinner, particles began to stick together and form clumps. Some clumps got bigger, as particles and small clumps stuck to them, eventually forming planets or moons . Near the center of the cloud, where planets like Earth formed, only rocky material could stand the great heat. Icy matter settled in the outer regions of the disk along with rocky material, where the giant planets like Jupiter formed. As the cloud continued to fall in, the center eventually got so hot that it became a star, the Sun, and blew most of the gas and dust of the new solar system with a strong stellar wind. By studying meteorites, which are thought to be left over from this early phase of the solar system, scientists have found that the solar system is about 4,600 million years old!
August 21, 2009cya (age 14, india) what is the secret behind the bermuda triangle?sir,please give the answer to this question..

is it the alien forces,or cyclones,or are there flying landmasses or there are hot balls of gases flying in the air?
The Bermuda Triangle phenomenon, when scientifically observed, shows a very different side. This article discusses the topic.
August 18, 2009nicky (age 11, NY) what direction do winds generally blow across the U.S.?? The prevailing winds, known as westerlies, blow to the northeast. Please, see this page, especially the last diagram.
August 17, 2009Butch (age 64, North Carolina, USA) Why is it that on earth the hottest spots seem to be the lowest and the coldest seem to be the highest? Looks like since the mountains are closer to the sun they would be warmer. Also as the heat from the sun travels through space to earth why doesn't the space get warmer? Is there some heat lost in space as it travels to the earth? Sunlight streams down from space through the atmosphere, striking the ground or ocean beneath. The sunlight heats the surface, and that surface radiates the heat into the adjacent atmosphere. This is the reason the troposphere, the lowest layer of Earth's atmosphere, is heated from below. The troposphere is warmest at the bottom near Earth's surface.
August 10, 2009aparna (age 9, germany) Whow r astroids ,comets and meteors formed
Whow is mars red
A widely accepted theory for the formation of the Sun (and planets, comets, etc) is that solar systems are formed when a cloud of gas and dust in space is disturbed, maybe by the explosion of a nearby star (called a supernova). This explosion make waves in space which squeeze the cloud of gas and dust. Squeezing made the cloud start to collapse, as gravity pulled the gas and dust together, forming a solar nebula.
August 7, 2009Genesis (age 12/13, Georgia) When do think the Earth will die? WIll be off the earth and on another plant? or will we die along with earth? A star with a mass similar to that of our Sun and in the last phase of its life is a red giant. At this point, the Sun will have expanded to cover all the interior planets, including the Earth. But before that, in about 1.1 Gyr (1 100 000 000 years) from today) the Sun will be 10% brighter and this extra solar energy will cause the Earth's atmosphere to dry out. Under such conditions, surface life on Earth will probably be exterminated.
August 7, 2009Tintswalo (age 12, South Africa) Can you please tell me more on intrusive and extrusive volcanoes please. This is a common mistake. Volcanoes are extrusive because their lavas are extruded onto the surface of the Earth (either on the continents or on the seafloors). For this reason, there is no definition for intrusive volcanoes.
July 27, 2009TANKISO (age 20, SOUTH AFRICA) THE EARTH IS ROUND IN SHAPE,BUT BY THE OBSERVATION OF THE PEOPLE TO ITS OWN SURFACE SEEMS TO BE FLAT SURFACE WHY? Essentially this phenomenon is due to the fact that our planet is extremely large (a radius of about 12,756 km) respect to a human being (average height about 1.6 m), so we are able to see just a very small part of the surface of the planet, which seems flat in our eyes.
July 27, 2009TANKISO (age 20, SOUTH AFRICA) IF THE INNER PART OF THE EARTH DO HAVE HIGHER TEMPERATURE AND ALSO THE SUN GIVE OUT THE HEAT TO ITS SORROUDINGS PLANET WHY DO WE AS HUMAN IN THE PLANET EARTH GET BURN OUT, BECAUSE OF THE TWO COMBINATION OF HEAT? Our planet is at the ideal distance from the Sun to support life. This is known as The Goldilocks Theory.
July 23, 2009alice (age 12, texa,houston) what does iono mean from ionosphere?......and what is its temperature The ionosphere is made of ions and free electrons. In other words, when the sun radiation hits the atmosphere, it energizes some atoms to the point that they release electrons, and are left with an electric charge (while before they were neutral). These charged atoms are called ions.
July 22, 2009alice (age 12, houston) what does iono mean from ionosphere?......and what is its temperature The ionosphere is a region of the Earht's (and other planets!) atmosphere where atoms have lost electrons due to the solar energy, so it is formed by ions (charged atoms, which mean atoms with less or more electrons than its neutral state) and free electrons. Our web page The Ionosphere offers lots of information on this region.
July 20, 2009mia (age 12, la) what are the 3 main factores that effect climate They main factors that affect climate are: latitude, altitude, pressure systems, prevailing winds, distance from sea, ocean currents and great mountain barriers (pnemotecnic for memorizing: LAPPDOG)
July 20, 2009ayomide (age 9, california ) can a comet knock the earth out of the solar system The amount of energy required for such thing would destroy our planet!
July 17, 2009khun (age 27, Cambodia) How many percentage of rainfall does the earth absorb? And how many percentage of it turn to the atmospher? The amount of rainfall absorved by the ground varies from place to place. It depends on the vegetation cover, the kind of soil, artificial structures (roads, buildings, irrigation chanels), local topography, season, lat/lon, etc.
July 17, 2009mia (age 12, la) what are the 3 main factores that effect climate They main factors that affect climate are: latitude, altitude, pressure systems, prevailing winds, distance from sea, ocean currents and great mountain barriers (pnemotecnic for memorizing: LAPPDOG)
July 17, 2009mary (age 9, california ) can a comet knock the earth out of the solar system The amount of energy required for such a drastic event would destroy the Earth!
July 17, 2009ayomide(mary) (age 9, california lancaster) can a comet knock the earth out of the solar system The amount of energy required for such a drastic event would destroy the Earth!
June 17, 2009Faryal (age 14, Indiana) A moon kind of comes about when it gets caught in the earth's atmosphere or something. What is the possibility that something else will get caught in Earth's orbit and Earth will have another moon? Very low. The orbit of our planet has been cleaned through Earth's life. This is one of the condition for a celestial body to be considered a planet.
June 16, 2009Alexander (age , ) Let's start with the fact that the Sun's diameter is about 100 times that of the Earth. This means that 100 Earths can be lined up to stretch across the face of the sun. Now, imagine the the Sun as an empty bowl, and let's try to fill it up with Earths. Now we can stretch the Earths in three directions (up and down, in and out and left and right, and everywhere in between). So, to fill the Sun we would need 100x100x100 = 1 000 000 Earths!
June 16, 2009Daizha (age 12, Mississippi) Do scientist believe in global warming? There is a broad agreement among most of the scientists about this issue. See our web pages IPCC: The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change 4th Assessment Report , Tackling the Global Warming Challenge , and links therein for information on this topic.
June 2, 2009khbax (age 16, bankok) Why does the ratio of daytime and nighttime change? This is essentially due to the tilt of our planet's axis, the reason for the existence of seasons.
May 19, 2009Sam (age , ) To answer all your questions would requiere more space that we have in this section, but our web page Predictions of Future Global Climate and the link therein offer the information you are looking for.
May 19, 2009Sam (age , ) To answer all your questions would requiere more space that we have in this section, but our web page Predictions of Future Global Climate offers much of the information you are looking for.
May 18, 2009Tatiana (age 12, united states of america ,ohio) How long will the earth live before it dies out? Considering the Sun as the most likely reason for Earth dismiss, then we have some time. In about 5 billion years (5000 000 000 years), the hydrogen in the center of the Sun will start to run out, the helium will get squeezed, and this will speed up the hydrogen burning. Our star will slowly puff into a red giant and will eventually eat all of the inner planets, including the Earth.
May 18, 2009shelbi (age 10, usa) what is the temperature for a rain forest The temperature in a rain forest is commonly between 93 °F (34 °C) and 68 °F (20 °C).
May 18, 2009RUPESH (age 33, INDIA) TELL THE NAME OF THAT PERSON WHO PROVE FIRST THE EARTH IS SPHERICAL Eratosthenes was the first to calculate the circumference of the Earth, but the idea that our planet is round is much older. It is recognized that Pythagoras has one of the earliest recorded mention of the idea, in the VI century B.C.
May 12, 2009mike (age 30, Ohio, USA) Theoretically if you blew off the tops of the Andes mountains, would the rainforest, and desert balence out, and what would be the effect on the global climate? The answer to your question would require hundreds of especialists running their very complex models and discussing the results among them. Our climate is extremely complex, just one factor (top of the mountains) will not define the climate. Somethink like your idea would produce changes, for sure, but the consequences are very hard to calculate.
May 11, 2009johanna (age 8, philippines) when is the shadow become long and become short? Around noon shadows are shorter than early in the morning or late in the afternoon. Shadows are also long during winter at high latitudes.
May 11, 2009KK (age 12, NJ) I do not have an email adress and will earth end up dieing on its own, I mean like ..........in 1000 years,if it does please please please please please save us ,please please please Don't worry, in about 5 billion years (5000 000 000 years), the hydrogen in the center of the Sun will start to run out, the helium will get squeezed, and this will speed up the hydrogen burning. Our star will slowly puff into a red giant and will eventually eat all of the inner planets, even the Earth.
May 7, 2009fredjenn (age 18, Philippines) what is oxygen-carbon dioxide cycle The oxygen-carbon dioxide cycle is only part of the Carbon Cycle. Our page The Carbon Cycle offers a good deal of information on this topic.
April 30, 2009sally (age 10, virgina) how do u know that the ozone layer is fading? The Ozone Hole is a major "thinning" of the ozone layer in Earth's atmosphere. It was first noticed in the late 1970s. The hole appears in the winter over the poles, especially the South Pole. Various chemicals that humans release into the atmosphere help cause the hole. Special weather patterns near the poles in winter also help cause the holes to form. Our web page Ozone Holes shows two satellite images with a clear view of the holes.
April 28, 2009richard (age 11, GA) When the conditions for a rainbow to form are right. Why is there not more than one rainbow? Although just one rainbow is the most common sight, some times two and even three rainbows can be seen. Secondary rainbows are caused by a double reflection of sunlight inside the raindrops, and appear at an angle of 50°–53°.
April 21, 2009J.D. (age 10, California) what is the percentige of Eaths sea to land, or can you show me a pie chart,or do both! I need this for a report so please help me. Earth's surface is more than 71% water and close to 29% surface land.
April 20, 2009Lacy (age 50, Michigan) What kind of cloud typically produces a thunderstorm? ~please respond~ Cumulus and Cumulonimbus clouds provide the most interesting and severe weather to our planet.
April 17, 2009ashleigh (age 15, ohio) what are 5 reasons that early earth and modern earth are different? The early earth was a very unfriendly place, without the protection of a dense atmosphere it was continuously hit by meteorites, there was intense volcanic and seismic activity, extreme temperatures, scalding rocks and choking fumes.
April 17, 2009austin (age 10, big lake ak) i want to know how metimorfic rocks form please neeed answers thank you Have you have heard that caterpillars metamorphose into butterflies? Rocks can metamorphose too! They change when they are in a place that is very hot with high pressure. One place like this is where the pieces of Earth's outer layer are crashing into each other. Much more information on our web page Metamorphic Rocks.
April 17, 2009angie (age 13, america) what are the four factor affects of climate? They are: 1. Latitude (the lower the latitude is, the more intense sunlight) 2. Air masses (certain air masses affect the temperature) 3. Ocean Currents (movement of the oceans) 4. Proximity to Water (seasons are milder near the oceans).
April 16, 2009monique (age 15, philippines) What are the components of kingdom plantae? Kingdom Plantae contains around 300 000 different species of plants.
April 16, 2009Clara (age 60, georgia/ usa) is the sun earths source of direct heat as well as light? if so why is it cold in anartica? i do not believe that the sun is earths sole source of heat. the heat comes from a layer, or expanse in the atmosphere when sunlight passes through it, and meets vapor just above the earth, heat is activated by sunlight, thats why it can be 100 degrees in the desert in daytime and 50 degrees
at night. if the earth was heated by the sun, the inside of the earth would be hot and stay hot for a long time.we do no have direct heat from the sun, it would burn us up. have you ever heard of a tornado in anartica? the tilt of the earth does not cause seasons, it prevents extreme weather. the weather conditions are generated by the other planets in our solar system, which are really enemy planets. some of the planets are not to make a journey around the sun very often, but to act as fuel agents to ignite the earth,the earth is warming because it is moving closer to the sun as time goes along and is destined to burn up.
The difference on the surface temperature at different latitudes lies on the striking angle of the sunrays. Around the equator the sunrays strike almost perpendicular to the surface, and most of the energy is transported to the surface. At high latitudes, the striking angle is much lower, and most of the energy is lost before reaching the surface.
April 16, 2009sarah (age 8, ney york(usa)) where are volcanoes mostly found??? Volcanoes are mostly found in narrow bands along the edges of the tectonic plates.
April 16, 2009sarah (age 8, ney york(usa)) how do volcanoes change the surface of the earth? When surface volcanoes are born, a new landform (for instance, a mountain) is created. When they erupt new layers are added to the surface. If there is an explosion, the surrounding areas are affected (forests are burned, mudslides can wipe towns, the piroclastic flow can impact buildings, etc).
April 16, 2009raven williams (age 12, florida) What are Earths landforms? A landform is a feature of the earth's surface, such as plains, plateaus, mountains, hills, valleys, etc.
April 16, 2009SAMEERA (age 11, INDIA {lucknow}) HOW THIS PLANET EARTH HAD BORN IN THE SOLAR SYSTEM? A widely accepted theory for the formation of the Sun (and planets, comets, etc) is that solar systems are formed when a cloud of gas and dust in space is disturbed, maybe by the explosion of a nearby star (called a supernova). This explosion make waves in space which squeeze the cloud of gas and dust. Squeezing made the cloud start to collapse, as gravity pulled the gas and dust together, forming a solar nebula.
April 13, 2009Ashley (age 17, NC USA) What causes the earth to rotate around its axis? Gravity? Or a magenet force? The rotation of the Earth, and other planets, about their axis is a remanent of the rotation of the planetary nebula from where all were formed.
March 24, 2009Gankanda (age 30, Sri Lanka) Can we make solar shild to reflect the sun radiation from worming the earth? For all effects, the Earth magnetic field is that shield. The geomagnetic field protects us from dangerous radiation from the Sun, deflecting the solar wind about 10 Earth radii (about 64,000 km [40,000 miles])upstream from Earth.
March 23, 2009Kellie (age , ) The atmosphere of our planet is restricted to a relatively short distance from the surface. The rest of the planets are way too far from Earth to be considered near our atmosphere.
March 19, 2009Shane (age 9, New York) What enviromental problems do scientist face in the desert biome. What can be done to help them One of the biggest threats to deserts is development. This page offers detailed information on this topic.
March 17, 2009louie (age 61, fl pinellas county) is the rotation 0f earth around the sun clock wise or anty clock wise? As viewed from the North Star Polaris, the Earth turns counter-clockwise.
March 16, 2009anne (age 10, pa) what is destroying the earth Essentially, we, the humans are behaving as a plague, destroying farming lands, producing greenhouse gases, and annihilating species. Hopefully, we have started to realize that we cannot continue abusing the planet as up to now. Let’s start acting responsibly before it is too late.
March 16, 2009raizen (age , ) from our web site What Is a Sedimentary Rock?: Many sedimentary rocks are made from the broken bits of other rocks. These are called clastic sedimentary rocks. The broken bits of rocks are called sediment. Sediment is the sand you find at the beach, the mud in a lake bottom, the pebbles in a river, and even the dust on furniture. The sediment may, in time, form a rock if the little pieces become cemented together. There are other types of sedimentary rocks whose particles do not come from broken rock fragments. Chemical sedimentary rocks are made of mineral crystals such as halite and gypsum formed by chemical processes. The sediment particles of organic sedimentary rocks are the remains of living things such as clamshells, plankton skeletons, dinosaur bones, and plants.
March 11, 2009sara (age 23, Florida/ USA) Is Niniru gravity going to stop the earths rotation for a couple days in 2012 No. There is no any scientific fact that supports this.
March 11, 2009Nikky (age 22, Swaziland) do u believe that the continents we have today were once fitted together? Yes, it is the prevalent theory related to the plate tectonic. This figure shows the continents united in a super continente called Pangea.
March 10, 2009Andaya (age 14, US) what is a current theory on geoscience (on earth)that i could look up? i need to find one and ive been looking all over for one. geoscience is a very broad subject. Although the theory of Plate Tectonics has been around for some time, there is still a lot of scientific effort directed to its study. The previous link, and the links therein offer a good deal of information.
March 5, 2009Ashlee (age 15, arizona) "where is the floor,wall,raised rim,rays,ejecta on a impact crater? and is there a picture of all these names on a picture of a impact crater? This figure has the information you need.
March 2, 2009maria (age 14, OREGON) where are the youngest rock in the oceon found(geographic feature) The youngest rocks on the ocean floor are foun along mid ocean ridges and correspond to those that have just cooled from magma. Olderrocks are found farther from the mid ocean ridges.
March 2, 2009maria (age 14, OREGON) how does the magnetic reversal support the theory of seafloor spreading? Please, visit our web page Seafloor Spreading for a diagram that provides evidence of seafloor spreading by showing the ages of ocean floor in the Atlantic and eastern Pacific Oceans. These differently agged areas are also identified by their alternated magnetic polarity. When the lava that forms the floor cooled down, their atoms kept the existing magnetic polarity at the time. Because the magnetic reversal is a continuos process, the new crust had the inverse polarity and so on.
February 26, 2009Rachel (age 12, phillippines) what is the different kinds of volcano? because even in wikipedia i still can't find it,help me please..this is our assignment in science. Among the different kinds of volcanoes are: shield volcanoes, cinder cones, composite volcanoes.
February 24, 2009Louisa (age 50, NY) earth science self study geology regional metamorphism is associated w all plate boundaries, convergent, transform or divergent? I want to say divergent but diagram leads me to think convergent? Help Thank you! Metamorphism is associated with all 3 types of plate boundaries, but is most common at convergent plate margins.
February 20, 2009Kate (age 12, Philippines) WHAT ARE THE TYPES OF METAMORPHIC ROCKS AND PLEASE GIVE IT'S MEANING? There are three general types of metamorphic rocks: Low-grade metamorphic rocks form at temperatures of about 200 degrees Celsius. That’s a little hotter than the oven temperature needed to cook chocolate chip cookies! At this temperature, mica minerals grow as the rock changes. Intermediate grade metamorphic rocks contain mica as well as minerals such as garnet. High grade metamorphic rocks form in places that are so hot the rocks almost melt, about 800 degrees Celsius. One mineral that forms in this intense heat is sillimanite, which is often found in the rock gneiss.
February 13, 2009zack (age 12, kentucky) why is one ocean tide stronger then the other ocean tide Please, visit our beb page Tides of the Oceans for detailed explanations on this topic.
February 13, 2009isela (age 10, california) what will we do if global warming takes place? where will we go? Due to the complexities of the natural processes, we just have a faint idea of what could be the consequences of the global warming. It is better to make a big, everybody-involved effort to stop the trend now, than to deal with the consequences.
February 13, 2009isela (age 10, california) what will we do if global warming takes place? where will we go? Due to the complexities of the natural process, we just have a faint idea of what will be the consequences of the global warming. It is better to make a big, everybody-involved effort to stop the trend now.
February 13, 2009Liz (age 38, United States) I recently read that our days are now only about 16 hours long instead of 24. The reason provided was the increased pulses of the earth's "heartbeat". Can you confirm that this is true? Thank you. Our full day (understanding "day" as a full revoultion of our planet over its axis) is still very close to 24 hours. Maybe they were talking about the length of time from sunrise to sunset?
February 11, 2009yessenia (age 11, elizabeth,nj) what is a solar angle and how does it effect temperatures on earth Near the equator the Sun rays arrive to the earth surface almost at a right angle (90 degrees). For higher latitudes this solar angle decreases, and less energy (heat) is deposited on the surface.
February 10, 2009flutur (age 12, new york) how are earthquakes good for us I can only think of a reason: small earthquakes don't do too much damage, but are useful for the study of the Earth interior.
February 10, 2009flutur (age 12, new york) how are earthquakes good for us I only can think of a reason: small earthquakes don't do too much damage, but are useful for the study of the Earth interior.
February 8, 2009Jarrell (age 12, Texas) How does the seasonal temperatures change with the alterarion of Earth's tilt? For example, if the earth's tilt would be 30 degrees instead of 23.5 degrees. If the axial tilt increases to 30 degree,the apparent latitudinal movement of the sun will increase. The seasons would be shorter, and the tropical zone will increase to about 39 degrees of latitud on both side of the equator.
February 8, 2009moustafa (age 20, egypt) what is the consolidation process in the rock cycle ? Sedimentary rocks are the result of lithification of sediments. Lithification involves consolidation and cementation. Consolidation is primarly related with pressure. The weight of overlying sediments results in compaction of lower layers.
February 8, 2009chris (age 14, usa) are the planets considered satellites to the earth? No. Planets move around a star, satellites move around planets. Our only natural satellite is the Moon.
February 8, 2009shekina (age 62, Australia) Where are we at this moment in orbit around the sun? For a detailed information on the position of the planets, including Earth, please visit The Astronomical Almanac of the U. S. Nautical Almanac Office .
February 6, 2009maria (age 13, texas) what would happen if the axis of the earth changed the angle of its tilt to 30 degrees? If the axial tilt omncreases,the apparent latitudinal movement of the sun will increase. The seasons would be shorter, and the tropical zone will increase to 39 degrees of latitud on both side of the equator.
February 5, 2009Toncy (age 20, India) Why is the rainfall more where there more trees? Although the general assertion is not exactly true, careful observation and records show that forests do affect rainfall to some extent, owing to their colder and moister air and the resistance which they offer to the movement of the winds. Read morehere.
February 5, 2009Darnell (age 10, Maryland, U.S.) HOW MANY HOURS OF SUNLIGHT THE NORTH POLE RECEIVE AT DECEMBER AND JUNE SOLSTICE? At the north pole there are 24 hours of daylight during the June solstice and 24 hours of night during the December solstice.
February 4, 2009bob (age 12, new zealand auckland) how much oxygen is in the atmosphere? The 20.95% of atmospheric molecules are Oxygen (O2). The total mass of Oxygen (O2) in the atmosphere is 1.1776 x 1018 kg.
February 3, 2009Ted (age , ) Since very early times the idea that Earth was spherical was being proposed. For example, Pythagoras in the 6th century BC held that all the celestial bodies were spherical. Around 330 BC, Aristotle provided observational evidence for the spherical Earth. Near 10 BC, the Greek geographer Strabo cited various phenomena observed at sea as suggesting that the Earth was spherical. The list is long, but it is clear that this idea of the round Earth was being discussed, and accepted, since long ago.
February 2, 2009marisol (age 012, ga) what is a clastic rock Clastic rocks are composed of fragments, or clasts, of pre-existing rock (for example, sedimentary rocks)
February 2, 2009hannah (age 13, philippines) what are some example of Biome?? These are the different types of biomes. Follow these links to learn more about the plants and animals that live in each one: Tundra, Taiga, Temperate forest, Tropical rainforest, Desert, Grassland, and Ocean biome.
January 30, 2009Lila (age 9, OHIO) How dose a volcano eruption alter change the earth's surface? A volcano eruption is a significant event for the areas around the volcano. Depending of the type of eruption, there can be disastrous mud flows, very fast moving masses of ash and other particles, lava can flow down the mountain burning everything on its path. Due to these events, forests in the eruption area can be destroy, homes and other properties can be damaged or even covered or burnt, crops, farm animals, roads, etc. are also subject to the effects of a volcano eruption.
Last modified November 6, 2008 by Eduardo Araujo-Pradere.

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