Tag Archives: NASA

Climate Change Guide

Earth is getting hotter. There’s really no doubt about it. This past January, for example, “was the planet’s most unusually warm month since we started measuring temperature in 1880.”

The misinformation out there about climate change is maddening and time consuming to go against. Thankfully there’s a great resource available to help sift through the BS.

It’s a YouTube channel called Scientists on Climate Change. You’ll find a number of videos there with interviews from actually climate scientists. These are the people who know what they’re talking about. These are not politicians or wishful thinkers. I highly recommend it if for no other reason than to see what real-life scientists are studying.

Summer of Science

How about a summer of science for your high schooler (or 8th grader)?!?! OK Higher Ed is offering a fantastic opportunity for students who will be in 8th-12th grade next year. It’s called the Summer Academies.

A total of 26 academies will be held at 17 college campuses across the state throughout the summer.  Topics include biology, engineering, math, aeronautics, meteorology…you know, all the STEM stuff. Best of all, it’s FREE!!!

Check out these quotes from former academy attendees courtesy of OKMath.

“No field of study has started a fire within me like architecture and interior design has. Your enthusiasm for my ideas and designs was new and exciting for me.”

“This is the best thing I will ever do this whole entire summer.”

“College doesn’t seem as unimaginable as before. I will definitely be going to college.”

OKMath also reports, “a greater percentage of Summer Academies students go to college immediately after high school than compared to other students.” Also, “Summer Academies students earn degrees at a higher rate than other students.”

Click here to register and see a full list of academies being offered. You can also call 1-800-858-1840 for more information.

And remember, it’s FREE!!

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“The Senator with the Snowball”

Senator Jim Inhofe’s embarrassing speech before congress with his snowball was a low point for Oklahoma politics. So in steps Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-Rhode Island) with the perfect rebuttal. It had just the right amount of scientific references and just the right amount humor.

I love this quote, “So, you can believe every major American scientific society, or you can believe the Senator With The Snowball.”

Sen. Inhofe will forever be known as the Senator with the Snowball.

Megadroughts are Megabad

Oklahoma could be ground zero to some one of the worst droughts in a millennium. A new report in the journal Science Advances says the Great Plains and Southwest portion of the U.S. are in line for megadroughts over the next 100 years. Those are droughts that last more than 20 years. Researchers say we could see droughts that last as long as 35 years or more. This part of the world hasn’t seen droughts like that since the 1100s.

You guessed it, the drier conditions are mostly a result of rising greenhouse gases, according to the report.

My grandfather was a wheat farmer in north central Oklahoma all of his life. I remember visiting his farm as a child. The TV was never on except to watch the weather report and then no one could move or say a word. That weather report was his lifeline. You could sense his anguish if he needed rain and it wasn’t coming. I can’t imagine what a megadrought will do to our Oklahoma farmers.

I wonder when our state and national leaders will take this seriously? If reports like this don’t change some minds, I’m not sure what will.

 

 

Climate Change Made Easy to Understand

Here’s one of the better produced videos you’ll see on climate change, not so much because of the flashy b-roll but because the scientist cuts right to the chase. It’s part of a series called Climate Change Elevator Pitch and comes courtesy of Climate Denial Crock of the Week. The host of the series is John Cook. He’s the Climate Communication Fellow for the Global Change Institute at the University of Queensland in Australia. He’s one of many people behind Skeptical Science, a fantastic resource to learn about climate change. You can spend hours there and barely touch the surface.

Evidence of an Ancient Lake on Mars

The Mars rover Curiosity continues to turn up amazing finds on the red planet. This time NASA says it’s found evidence of an ancient lake. How? They base that on the way the rock is laying. “The cross-bedding — evident as layers at angles to each other — reflects formation and passage of waves of sand, one on top of the other. These are known as ripples, or dunes,” wrote a NASA official.

Click the link and check out the fascinating images.

Hottest. Year. Ever.

2014 is about to become the hottest year on record. The World Meteorological Organization says early estimates put this year at the top of this list. It’s just another sign of climate change.

The WMO says 14 of the 15 warmest years on record have all been since 2001. They say the average temperature from January to October is up a little more than 1-degree Fahrenheit. So big deal, right? What does a 1-degree increase mean? According to NASA, a temperature change of one or two degrees is a very big deal. They report it only took a one or two degree drop to cause the Little Ice Age and 20,000 years ago our continent was covered in ice after the temperature dropped five degrees. So flip that around and imagine what a one degree rise in temperature would do to the planet.

We’re already seeing some impact with flooding, droughts, even the massive amount of snowfall in Buffalo a few weeks ago as being fallout from the rising temperatures. “Our climate is changing and every year the risks of extreme weather events and impacts on humanity rise”, said Christiana Figures, the executive secretary on climate change for the UN.

It’s getting late in the game to stop it completely but there are things we can do to minimize potential disasters down the road. Maybe the next time Barbra Streisand holds a workshop on how to fool everyone to thinking climate change is real we can get some answers.

Carbon Dioxide Circles the Globe

NASA has recently released a graphic depiction of how carbon dioxide makes its way around the world. It’s a fascinating watch. Click on the link and read what National Geographic has to say. In a nutshell, most carbon dioxide comes from the Northern Hemisphere and basically infects the atmosphere everywhere it goes.

I wonder if Jim Inhofe will watch it.

 

Two Years On Mars

It blows me a way every time I think about it. Man-made vehicles are on Mars right now!! That’s 128-million miles away.

The rover Curiosity landed on Mars on August 6th, 2012. Since then it’s explored sites called Yellowknife Bay, Mount Sharp, and the Zabriskie Plateau. It’s found evidence of an ancient lakebed that NASA says once held fresh water…a key ingredient for life.

The picture above is a selfie taken by Curiosity on top of a sandstone site called Windjana. Here’s more on that particular site and what the rover is doing.

I did a story  in 2012 on the rover and how a University of Tulsa professor is using the data collected by Curiosity to learn more about rocks here on Earth.

It’s incredible that Earthlings designed the rover and sent it millions of miles away to a barren planet. Science never ceases to amaze me.