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.
Cool It! is the new card game from the Union of Concerned Scientists that teaches kids about the choices we have when it comes to climate change—and how policy and technology decisions made today will matter. Cool It! is available in our online store.
The Sun acts like it has a big magnet in the middle of it. We call this the Sun's magnetic field. The Sun's magnetic field has a fancier name, the Interplanetary Magnetic Field (IMF). This just means that...more
Have you ever seen an explosion before? Maybe you've seen a volcano explode on t.v. Or maybe you've seen a potato explode in the microwave because your mom forgot to poke holes in it. Well, explosions...more
The Sun is not a quiet place, but one that exhibits sudden releases of energy. One of the most frequently observed events are solar flares: sudden, localized, transient increases in brightness that occur...more
The visible solar atmosphere consists of three regions: the photosphere, the chromosphere, and the solar corona. Most of the visible (white) light comes from the photosphere, this is the part of the Sun...more
To understand how our Sun works, it helps to imagine that the inside of the Sun is made up of different layers, one inside the other. The center of the Sun is called the core. It is the region where the...more
Scientists at the High Altitude Observatory (HAO) try to learn about the changes we see in the Sun over time. They also study how it affects the atmosphere of the Earth. There are four main areas of study...more
The Sun affects many things on Earth. One of the main things the Sun does is warm our planet, including the atmosphere. This energy drives much of Earth's weather. The solar cycle is the rise and fall...more
In the basic Hydrogen fusion cycle, four Hydrogen nuclei come together to make a Helium nucleus. This is the simple version of the story. There are actually electrons, neutrinos and photons involved in...more
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We now offer the Cool It! card game in our Science Store. Cool It! is the new card game from UCS that teaches kids about the choices we have when it comes to climate change.