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How did life evolve on <a href="/php/tour_test_sqli.php?page=/earth/earth.html&edu=elem">Earth</a> during the <a href="/php/tour_test_sqli.php?page=/earth/past/Archean.html&edu=elem">Archean</a>, when the <a href="/php/tour_test_sqli.php?page=/sun/sun.html&edu=elem">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=elem">glaciated</a>, if <a href="/php/tour_test_sqli.php?page=/earth/climate/earth_greenhouse.html&edu=elem">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=elem">isotopic</a> signatures of Earth's early atmosphere in <a href="/php/tour_test_sqli.php?page=/earth/geology/rocks_intro.html&edu=elem">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=elem">nitrogen</a> as a possible way to increase warming from <a href="/php/tour_test_sqli.php?page=/earth/Atmosphere/overview.html&edu=elem">atmospheric</a> <a href="/php/tour_test_sqli.php?page=/physical_science/chemistry/carbon_dioxide.html&edu=elem">carbon dioxide</a>.<p><small><em>Image courtesy of Manchester University</em></small></p>Stars don't last forever. Occasionally, a star bigger than our Sun will end its life in a huge explosion, called a <a href="/php/tour_test_sqli.php?page=/the_universe/supernova.html&edu=elem">supernova</a>. The center of the star collapses in less than a second, blowing away the outer layers of the star.  There are many beautiful images of supernova remnants, the expanding shell of gas made up of the outer layers of the original star. This image is the Vela Supernova Remnant.<p><small><em>Image courtesy of the Anglo-Australian Observatory/Royal Observatory Edinburgh</em></small></p>This dramatic view of Jupiter's <a href="/php/tour_test_sqli.php?page=/jupiter/atmosphere/J_clouds_GRS.html&edu=elem">Great Red Spot</a> and its surroundings was obtained by <a href="/php/tour_test_sqli.php?page=/space_missions/voyager.html&edu=elem">Voyager 1</a> on Feb. 25, 1979, when the spacecraft was 5.7 million miles (9.2 million kilometers) from Jupiter. Cloud details as small as 100 miles (160 kilometers) across can be seen here. The colorful, wavy cloud pattern to the left of the Red Spot is a region of extraordinarily complex end variable wave motion.<p><small><em>Image courtesy of NASA</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=elem">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=elem">winds</a> and <a href="/php/tour_test_sqli.php?page=/earth/Atmosphere/hurricane/surge.html&edu=elem">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>Scientists at the University of Michigan have found that <a href="/php/tour_test_sqli.php?page=/earth/polar/cryosphere_permafrost1.html&edu=elem">permafrost</a> in the <a href="/php/tour_test_sqli.php?page=/earth/polar/polar_north.html&edu=elem">Arctic</a> is extremely sensitive to sunlight.  Exposure to sunlight releases carbon gases trapped in the permafrost, including <a href="/php/tour_test_sqli.php?page=/earth/climate/earth_greenhouse.html&edu=elem">climate-warming</a> <a href="/php/tour_test_sqli.php?page=/physical_science/chemistry/carbon_dioxide.html&edu=elem">carbon dioxide</a>, to the <a href="/php/tour_test_sqli.php?page=/earth/Atmosphere/overview.html&edu=elem">atmosphere</a> much faster than previously thought.<p><small><em>George Kling, The University of Michigan</em></small></p>This first global map of <a href="http://www.windows2universe.org/earth/Water/ocean.html">ocean</a> surface saltiness, released in September 2012 by the NASA Aquarius mission team, shows the distribution of salt in the first 2 cm of the Earth's ocean. <a href="http://www.windows2universe.org/earth/Water/salinity.html">Salinity</a> variations are one of the main drivers of <a href="http://www.windows2universe.org/earth/Water/circulation1.html">ocean circulation</a>, and are closely connected with the <a href="http://www.windows2universe.org/earth/Water/water_cycle.html">cycling of freshwater</a> around the planet. High salinity is seen in the Mediterranean, Atlantic, and the Arabian Sea.<p><small><em>Image courtesy of NASA/GSFC/JPL-Caltech</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