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Greenland’s <a href="http://www.windows2universe.org/earth/polar/cryosphere_glacier1.html">ice sheet</a> saw a record <a href="http://www.windows2universe.org/headline_universe/olpa/greenland_10dec07.html">melt</a> in July 2012.  Scientists studying this event have found that this melting event was triggered by an influx of unusually warm air and amplified by the presence of a blanket of thin low-level <a href="http://www.windows2universe.org/earth/Atmosphere/cloud.html">clouds</a> which pushed temperatures up above freezing.  For more information see the <a href="http://www.news.wisc.edu/21638">press release</a> from the University of Wisconsin Madison.<p><small><em>Image courtesy of University of Wisconsin-Madison</em></small></p>On November 7, 2013, Typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda in the Philippines) made landfall, with imated wind speeds of ~315 km/hr - the strongest <a href="/php/tour_test_sqli.php?page=/earth/Atmosphere/hurricane/intensity.html&edu=high">tropical cyclone</a> to make landfall in recorded history.  As Haiyan moved across the Philippines before reaching Vietnam and China, its <a href="/php/tour_test_sqli.php?page=/earth/Atmosphere/wind.html&edu=high">winds</a> and <a href="/php/tour_test_sqli.php?page=/earth/Atmosphere/hurricane/surge.html&edu=high">storm surge</a> left devastation in its wake, leading to massive loss of life, destruction of homes, and hundreds of thousands of displaced inhabitants. <a href="http://www.cnn.com/2013/11/09/world/iyw-how-to-help-typhoon-haiyan/index.html">How to Help</a><p><small><em>Image courtesy of COMS-1, SSEC, University of Wisconsin-Madison</em></small></p>There are over 900 <a href="/php/tour_test_sqli.php?page=/the_universe/uts/megalith.html&edu=high">rings of stone</a> located in the British Isles. The most famous of these stone rings is of course, <a href="/php/tour_test_sqli.php?page=/the_universe/uts/stonehenge.html&edu=high">Stonehenge</a>.    The stones of Stonehenge were put in place between 3,000 B.C and 2,000 B.C. by neolithic people.Some speculate that the site was built as a temple of worship of the ancient Earth deities. Some say it was used as an <a href="/php/tour_test_sqli.php?page=/the_universe/uts/stonehenge_astro.html&edu=high">astronomical observatory</a> of sorts. Still others say it was a burial ground.<p><small><em>  Image courtesy of Corel Photography.</em></small></p>An artist's rendering of the moment of impact of a massive <a
  href="/php/tour_test_sqli.php?page=/our_solar_system/meteors/meteors.html&edu=high">meteorite</a>
  at the end of the Cretaceous (at the end of the <a
  href="/php/tour_test_sqli.php?page=/earth/geology/hist_mesozoic.html&edu=high">Mesozoic
  Era</a>). Many
  scientists have concluded for decades that a meteorite four to six kilometers
  in diameter impacted the Earth at this time, resulting in a <a
  href="/php/tour_test_sqli.php?page=/earth/past/KTextinction.html&edu=high">mass extinction
  of dinosaurs</a> and many other life forms.  Recent research suggests that
 perhaps <a
  href="/php/tour_test_sqli.php?page=/headline_universe/olpa/chicxulub.html&edu=high">massive
  volcanic eruptions</a> may be been responsible for the extinction.<p><small><em>Courtesy of Don Davis, NASA</em></small></p>March 2012 marks the first anniversary of the 9.0 magnitude <a href="/php/tour_test_sqli.php?page=/earth/geology/quake_1.html&edu=high">earthquake</a>, <a href="/php/tour_test_sqli.php?page=/earth/tsunami1.html&edu=high">tsunami</a>, and resulting nuclear accident in Japan on <a href="/php/tour_test_sqli.php?page=/headline_universe/march112011earthquaketsunami.html&edu=high">11 March 2011</a>.  The tsunami did massive damage, wiping out entire villages and killing ~16,000 people, and leading to one of the most serious nuclear accidents in history.  This image shows before and after photos of the area north of Sendai, where 10,000 people were lost.<p><small><em>Photos by <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2011/03/13/world/asia/satellite-photos-japan-before-and-after-tsunami.html?hp">GeoEye/EyeQ</a>.</em></small></p>How did life evolve on <a href="/php/tour_test_sqli.php?page=/earth/earth.html&edu=high">Earth</a> during the <a href="/php/tour_test_sqli.php?page=/earth/past/Archean.html&edu=high">Archean</a>, when the <a href="/php/tour_test_sqli.php?page=/sun/sun.html&edu=high">Sun</a> was about 25% weaker than today?  The Earth should have been <a href="/php/tour_test_sqli.php?page=/earth/polar/cryosphere_glacier1.html&edu=high">glaciated</a>, if <a href="/php/tour_test_sqli.php?page=/earth/climate/earth_greenhouse.html&edu=high">greenhouse</a> gas concentration was the same as today.  <a href="http://www.manchester.ac.uk/aboutus/news/display/?id=10798">Researchers</a> studying the <a href="/php/tour_test_sqli.php?page=/physical_science/physics/atom_particle/isotope.html&edu=high">isotopic</a> signatures of Earth's early atmosphere in <a href="/php/tour_test_sqli.php?page=/earth/geology/rocks_intro.html&edu=high">rocks</a> from Northern Australia have ruled out high levels of <a href="/php/tour_test_sqli.php?page=/physical_science/chemistry/nitrogen_molecular.html&edu=high">nitrogen</a> as a possible way to increase warming from <a href="/php/tour_test_sqli.php?page=/earth/Atmosphere/overview.html&edu=high">atmospheric</a> <a href="/php/tour_test_sqli.php?page=/physical_science/chemistry/carbon_dioxide.html&edu=high">carbon dioxide</a>.<p><small><em>Image courtesy of Manchester University</em></small></p>

Windows to the Universe, a project of the National Earth Science Teachers Association, is sponsored in part by the National Science Foundation and NASA, our Founding Partners (the American Geophysical Union and American Geosciences Institute) as well as through Institutional, Contributing, and Affiliate Partners, individual memberships and generous donors. Thank you for your support! NASA AGU AGI NSF