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.
How did life evolve on Earth? The answer to this question can help us understand our past and prepare for our future. Although evolution provides credible and reliable answers, polls show that many people turn away from science, seeking other explanations with which they are more comfortable....more
The atmosphere of Mars is much thinner than that of Earth, with a surface pressure averaging 1/100th that at the surface of the Earth. Surface temperatures range from -113oC at the winter pole to 0oC...more
The uniquely red global surface of Mars is marked by many interesting features - some like those on the Earth and others strangely different. The reddish color is caused by rust (iron oxide) in the soil....more
This image shows a local dust storm near the edge of the south polar cap. Viewing of this image at high resolution is recommended. This fascinating image shows dust swirling over a large area. Martian...more
The Mars '98 mission was designed to be a study of Martian climate, weather, and surface properties at the Martian south pole. Mars '98 was supposed to build upon the discoveries of the Mars Pathfinder...more
The mission of Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) is to map the surface of Mars from space, a mission somewhat akin to the Magellan mission to Venus. The MGS probe is also suppose to explore the topmost portion...more
The Mars Observer set out to observe the atmosphere (detailed weather rather than climate), magnetic field and surface of Mars. It carried with it 8 instruments. However, the Mars Observer (MO) failed...more
The small, round rock shown here was named The Lamb. Soils found around the Lamb by Mars Pathfinder's Rover were unique. The soils may be an iron oxyhydroxide phase, or they may be a magnetic iron oxide...more