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.
Neptune's atmosphere shows a striped pattern of clouds. This cloud pattern is very similar to that of Jupiter and Saturn. Neptune even has a Great Dark Spot similar to Jupiter's Great Red Spot. The history...more
This image shows the new Great Dark Spot of Neptune, which was discovered using the Hubble Space Telescope. The image shown here, shows a "hole" in the clouds of Neptune in pink, in the northern hemisphere,...more
The giant planets have definitely changed since their formation. But how much remains to be seen. Most of the original air of the giant planets remains in place. (The earth-like planets lost most of their...more
This image shows some clouds known as "cirrus" clouds, extending for many kilometers across the face of Neptune. These clouds are very high up, for they can be seen to cast shadows on the lower clouds,...more
This image of Neptune uses false colors to show where the smog is. The smog of Neptune can be seen in red along the edge of the image. These hazes of smog are found at very high altitudes, over the clouds...more
Like Jupiter and all the giant planets, Neptune's appearance shows a striped pattern of clouds. Other cloud shapes seen over time include a small dark spot, the "scooter" and the Great Dark Spot. The Great...more
Scientists think that the solar system formed out of a spinning cloud of hydrogen and helium gas. Because the cloud was spinning, it flattened into a frisbee shape, just like a ball of pizza dough becomes...more
If you had a quiz question in school that asked what year Neptune was discovered, you'd probably choose 1846. But Neptune wasn't discovered the way all the other planets in our solar system were. Astronomers...more