You are browsing the archive for August 2009 - Dan's Wild Wild Science Journal.
26 August 2009
How Close We Came To an Atmospheric Catastrophe
A few weeks back there was a riveting summary in NATURE, of the science surrounding the Ozone hole. Quirin Schiermeier tells the story of how we averted an environmental catastrophe in the absolute nick of time. It’s also a great example of how looking at unexpected observations in a logical way, can lead to a better knowledge of how the planet works. First some background. While most people have heard …
22 August 2009
Psycho Analysis of A Climate Skeptic
One of the reasons I started writing this journal is the incredible amount of misinformation online and on-air about Science. Climate science is the subject of much of this junk science with Biology, and more specifically, Natural Selection coming in second. I think a lot of the deniers of climate change can be explained by two thought processes that are both incorrect. Ask yourself this question- Does the most selfish …
20 August 2009
Citizen Science In Meteorology and Astronomy
My profession of Meteorology, and that of Astronomy, are the two sciences that have legions of citizen scientists who make lasting and significant contributions. The internet has increased this by an order of magnitude. It’s very gratifying to see, especially in a summer of silliness. The “war on Science” among some political groups goes on, but thousands of people around the world each day contribute to the sum of human …
18 August 2009
Why scientists are so certain about why the Earth is warming.
This is for high school and up, but it’s extremely well done. If you take the time to read it, you will see why 95% of climate scientists believe we are seriously tampering with our climate. No, it’s not 100%, but keep in mind, 6% of people still believe the moon landing was a hoax, and the Earth is 6,000 years old. Click on the image to read tamino’s (Scientist) …
Full Disk image from Goes 14
The newest GOES weather satellite is being checked out. NASA released the image below today. It was an image in Infra Red light at 10.7 microns. What you are really looking at is temperatures. High, cold clouds are bright white. Black ground is very warm. Low clouds over the oceans at about 5-10C are darker gray. GOES satellites are at an altitude of 40,000 kilometers. At this altitude they orbit …
16 August 2009
Hot Sea Running
A lot of tropical news this week. The 2009 hurricane season in the Atlantic has stirred to life quickly with two (Update Sunday: 3 !) tropical storms forming on Saturday. It’s not at all unusual to have little hurricane activity until August. The season runs from June 1st to November 30, but the prime season is from Aug, 1st to mid September. American forecasters have an old saying that there …
14 August 2009
The Black Hole at The Center of Our Galaxy
Black holes are one of those astronomical objects that are just as interesting to astronomers, as it is to the public in general. Most people are familiar with the basics of black holes. The gravity is so strong that light itself cannot escape from them. Our sun will never become a black hole, it is not big enough. It will end it’s life as a small white hot cinder, called a …
13 August 2009
A Glimpse of The Edge of Time Itself.
Astronomers have done something very, very cool. You really have to see this: I use the Doppler affect to spot tornadic thunderstorms. Astronomers use it to peer at the very edge of time itself.
11 August 2009
A Really Good Idea (Statistically Speaking)
If you have not heard of TED (Technology, Entertainment, Design) it’s a an invitation only conference in which speakers get at most 20 minutes to discuss their “really good idea”. You can watch many of the presentations online, and I highly recommend them. It’s a lot cheaper than attending the conference. 8,000 Euros, and that’s if you get invited! I saw one talk on the TED site, over the past …
9 August 2009
Why Didn't Someone Think of This!
Here we have done all this science, and spent all this money to find out why the planet is getting warmer. Just this weekend, the USGS has published information about the rapidly melting glaciers in Alaska, and the Cascades. The images below are from the USGS report. For those who like looking at the data, the image below is a summary of three glaciers. Two in Alaska and one in …