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.
Some planets are tilted so their North and South Poles are not straight up and down. Earth is tilted a bit - about 23°. Uranus is tilted a lot - more than 90°. Mercury, on the other hand, is hardly tilted...more
Mercury has a magnetic field. Its field is weak. Earth's magnetic field is tilted, and so is Mercury's. That means Mercury's magnetic poles are not in the same place as its geographic poles. Mercury has...more
Mercury has almost no atmosphere. The planet's small size means that its gravity is too weak to hold down a normal atmosphere. There is a very thin atmosphere around the planet. Mercury's thin atmosphere...more
Mercury is the only inner planet other than the Earth that has a significant magnetic field (220 nT). This field, along with the planet's high density and small size relative to the Earth, indicates that...more