Watch this GIF of the formation of tonight’s Nor’easter #science #Juno #snow

guttl

Check out this Gif of the formation of winter storm Juno… previously known as just tonight’s Nor’easter! Check out the NASA video here to see earlier developments. More info about how the video was made and about the storm itself here at the NASA website!!

Image Credit: NASA/NOAA GOES Project – GIF – CauseScience

National Weather Service forecasters have been tracking a low pressure area that moved from the Midwest into the Atlantic Ocean today, and is expected to become a strong nor’easter that will bring blizzard conditions to the northeastern U.S. The path of the system was captured in a NASA movie of NOAA’s GOES-East satellite imagery.

New video/GIF visualizes waves in Earth’s Ionosphere, 70 miles up!! #supercomputer

g7bx5

Check out this awesome GIF (credit: CauseScience) of Wired.com’s Science Graphic of the Week. The GIF is of a video published in Geophysical Research Letters and shows 3 days of ‘weather’ in the E-layer of the ionosphere, 70 miles up. Check out the Wired.com post for more info here. The video is posted to youtube here, and shows ionospheric gravity waves simulated using NCAR’s Wyoming Super-Computer.

When the Earth’s surface roils with stormy weather, it causes the upper atmosphere to ripple like a breezy pond. Scientists only recently connected the two systems, and a new supercomputer-powered simulation broadens their understanding of how thunderstorms, jet streams, and cyclones affect weather at the edge of space.

Global temperature in 2014 continues record warmth – October ties as warmest ever! YIKES!!!

2014 continues to set records for the warmest year on record for average global temperatures. So far May, June, August, and September have been the warmest of each of those months ever recorded. Now October has tied as the warmest October ever recorded. For more info on this, and how it continues to show that there is not a global warming hiatus, check out Tom Yulsman’s blog – ImaGeo!

Al Roker is attempting to break the record for the longest weather report – raise money for #USO #Rokerthon

[tweet https://twitter.com/TODAYshow/status/532897220585332736]

Al Roker is attempting to give a 34 hour live weather report to break the current record, held by a Norwegian meteorologist. The Rokerthon is going on RIGHT NOW, and is hoping to raise money for the USO! More background and info in video from last night’s Rachel Maddow show!

Currently in hour 11!!

Earth Science Week! Participate in NASA’s Citizen Science Project #SkyScience

skyscience

This week, Oct 12-18, is Earth Science Week! In honor of Earth Science Week, NASA has set up a terrific Citizen Scientist project, #SkyScience.

Clouds are an important part of Earth’s atmosphere, and NASA scientists are studying how they affect our weather and climate. Clouds cover about half of the planet at any one time, ranging from high, wispy cirrus to dark, rumbling thunderheads. By participating in #SkyScience you will help NASA learn more about the types of clouds where you live, work and play, and help all of us celebrate the beauty of Earth’s atmosphere, and the science behind it.

What is Sky Science?

#SkyScience highlights two of NASA’s programs studying Earth’s atmosphere.  S’COOL, Students’ Cloud Observations Online, focuses on cloud observations as “ground truth” measurements to assist in the validation of the CERES instrument on NASA satellites passing overhead. Sky Art is an online community where the public can share in the beauty of nature and the science behind it by submitting sky photos related to NASA Earth science mission research areas.

Go to the NASA SkyScience webpage, and participate by following 4 easy steps.

[tweet https://twitter.com/susanbellfilm/status/520281613834653696] [tweet https://twitter.com/lemonchronicle/status/519380136001826817]

Check your calendar… it might be volcano season. Robin Wylie explains @ConversationUK

Could there really be such a thing as volcano season?

By Robin Wylie, University College London

The Earth seems to have been smoking a lot recently. Volcanoes are currently erupting in Iceland, Hawaii, Indonesia and Mexico. Others, in the Philippines and Papua New Guinea, erupted recently but seem to have calmed down. Many of these have threatened homes and forced evacuations. But among their less-endangered spectators, these eruptions may have raised a question: Is there such a thing as a season for volcanic eruptions?

Surprisingly, this may be a possibility. While volcanoes may not have “seasons” as we know them, scientists have started to discern intriguing patterns in their activity.

Eruptions caused by a shortened day

The four seasons are caused by the Earth’s axis of rotation tilting towards and away from the sun. But our planet undergoes another, less well-known change, which affects it in a more subtle way. Perhaps even volcanically.

Due to factors like the gravitational pull of the sun and moon, the speed at which the Earth rotates constantly changes. Accordingly the length of a day actually varies from year to year. The difference is only in the order of milliseconds. But new research suggests that this seemingly small perturbation could bring about significant changes on our planet – or more accurately, within it.

In February 2014, a study in the journal Terra Nova showed that, since the early 19th century, changes in the Earth’s rotation rate tended to be followed by increases in global volcanic activity. It found that, between 1830 and 2013, the longest period for which a reliable record was available, relatively large changes in rotation rate were immediately followed by an increase in the number of large volcanic eruptions. And, more than merely being correlated, the authors believe that the rotation changes might actually have triggered these large eruptions.

Altering the spin of a planet, even by a small amount, requires a huge amount of energy. It has been estimated that changes in the Earth’s rotation rate dissipate around 120,000 petajoules of energy each year – enough to power the United States for the same length of time. This energy is transferred into the Earth’s atmosphere and subsurface. And it is this second consequence that the Terra Nova authors believe could affect volcanoes.

The vast quantities of energy delivered to the subsurface by rotation changes are likely to perturb its stress field. And, since the magma which feeds volcanic eruptions resides in the Earth’s crust, stress variations there may make it easier for the liquid rock to rise to the surface, and thereby increase the rate of volcanic eruptions.

The Terra Nova study is far from conclusive. Nevertheless, the idea that minute changes to the Earth’s spin could affect volcanic motions deep within the planet is an intriguing one.

But there’s another natural phenomenon which has a much stronger claim to affect volcanic activity – one which might be just as surprising: climate change.

Eruptions caused by climate change

In recent decades, it has become apparent that the consequences of planetary ice loss might not end with rising sea levels. Evidence has been building that in the past, periods of severe loss of glaciers were followed by a significant spike in volcanic activity.

Mount Pinatubo, 1991.
US Geological Survey

Around 19,000 years ago, glaciation was at a peak. Much of Europe and North America was under ice. Then the climate warmed, and the glaciers began to recede. The effect on the planet was generally quite favourable for humankind. But, since the mid-1970s, a number of studies have suggested that, as the ice vanished, volcanic eruptions became much more frequent. A 2009 study, for example, concluded that between 12,000 and 7,000 years ago, the global level of volcanic activity rose by up to six times. Around the same period the rate of volcanic activity in Iceland soared to at least 30 times today’s level.

There is supporting evidence from continental Europe, North America and Antarctica that volcanic activity also increased after earlier deglaciation cycles. Bizarrely, then, volcanic activity seems – at least sometimes – to rise and fall with ice levels. But why? Again, this strange effect might be down to stress.

Eruptions cause by the melting of ice

Ice sheets are heavy. Each year, Antarctica’s loses around 40 billion tonnes. They are so heavy, in fact, that as they grow, they cause the Earth’s crust to bend – like a plank of wood when placed under weight. The corollary of this is that, when an ice sheet melts, and its mass is removed, the crust springs back. This upward flexing can lead to a drop in stress in the underlying rocks, which, the theory goes, makes it easier for magma to reach the surface and feed volcanic eruptions.

The link between climate change and volcanism is still poorly understood. Many volcanoes do not seem to have been affected by it. Nor is it a particularly pressing concern today, even though we face an ice-free future. It can take thousands of years after the glaciers melt for volcanic activity to rise.

Yet while it may not be an immediate hazard, this strange effect is a reminder that our planet can respond to change in unforeseen ways. Contrary to their brutish reputation, volcanoes are helping scientists understand just how sensitive our planet can be.

The Conversation

Robin Wylie does not work for, consult to, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organisation that would benefit from this article, and has no relevant affiliations.

This article was originally published on The Conversation.
Read the original article.

GIF of swirling Northeast Pacific Storm! Imaging from GOES-15 weather satellite #science

A huge swirling storm ravaged the northeast Pacific earlier this week. Here is a sweet GIF of satellite image showing the swirling storm’s birth in the Pacific! From youtube video of Tom Yulsman.

cgmup

As a massive and powerful cyclone with winds exceeding hurricane strength (http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/c…) swirled in the northeast Pacific, the GOES-15 weather satellite captured the images that comprise this animation. The imagery come from the satellite’s 6.5 µm water vapor channel imagery. It shows the development and evolution of the storm between Sept. 21 and 23, 2014.

A climate triptych: This is what the melting arctic ice cap looks like!! @wiredscience

Nick Stockton at Wired.com has put together a compilation of 3 different ways to visualize the melting arctic ice cap. Above is one example:

The gallery of strange figures you see above represents the outlines of Arctic sea ice extent month by month from 1979 to the present.

… generated from National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) north pole sea ice extent. The images are arranged in a grid with the years across the top from 1979 to 2014 and the months running down the image from January to December. Click image for full resolution. NASA’s Scientific Visualization Studio

Check out Stockton’s article for other awesome animations of the melting ice cap.

A climate triptych: This is what the melting arctic ice cap looks like!! @wiredscience

Nick Stockton at Wired.com has put together a compilation of 3 different ways to visualize the melting arctic ice cap. Above is one example:

The gallery of strange figures you see above represents the outlines of Arctic sea ice extent month by month from 1979 to the present.

… generated from National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) north pole sea ice extent. The images are arranged in a grid with the years across the top from 1979 to 2014 and the months running down the image from January to December. Click image for full resolution. NASA’s Scientific Visualization Studio

Check out Stockton’s article for other awesome animations of the melting ice cap.

Captivating animation of ‘misery index’ from Cameron Beccario #amazing #science

mooney2

… the “misery index.” The M.I. “combines wind chill and heat index to show what the air feels like,”

Link to CityLab article here. Seen by CauseScience on twitter – @chriscmooney

Link to the most awesome animation ever with ‘misery index’ here.