Whipping winds, torrential downpours, power outages and floods — hurricane season in the Atlantic brings a host of dramatic and dangerous weather with it. But when exactly does the Atlantic hurricane season start and how long does it last? And what can people do to prepare in the face of the most dangerous storms on Earth? From hurricane naming conventions to staying safe in a storm, we'll detail all you need to know about the upcoming hurricane season. Related Coverage How Hurricanes Work (Infographic) How to Build an Emergency Preparedness Kit Hurricanes Normally Peak on This Day How they form Hurricanes are tropical cyclones. When a tropical cyclone's sustained winds reach 39 to 73 mph (63 to 118 km/h), it is considered a tropical storm and it gets a name from a list put out by the World Meteorological Organization. Once those sustained winds reach 74 to 95 mph (119 to 153 km/h), that storm becomes a Category 1 hurricane. According to the Saffir-Simpson scale, here … [Read more...] about Hurricane Season 2018: How Long It Lasts and What to Expect
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By Kimberly HickokFeb. 16, 2018 , 12:05 PM The Great Plains of the central United States—the Corn Belt—is one of the most fertile regions on Earth, producing more than 10 billion bushels of corn each year. It’s also home to some mysterious weather: Whereas the rest of the world has warmed, the region’s summer temperatures have dropped as much as a full degree Celsius, and rainfall has increased up to 35%, the largest spike anywhere in the world. The culprit, according to a new study, isn’t greenhouse gas emissions or sea surface temperature—it’s the corn itself. This is the first time anyone has examined regional climate change in the central United States by directly comparing the influence of greenhouse gas emissions to agriculture, says Nathan Mueller, an earth systems scientist at the University of California (UC), Irvine, who was not involved with this study. It’s important to understand how agricultural activity can have … [Read more...] about The United States’s Corn Belt is making its own weather
Earth is the only planet we know of that can support life. The planet is not too close or too far away from the sun. It lies in a "Goldilocks zone" that is just right — not too hot, not too cold. The distance from Earth to the sun is one of the most important factors in making Earth habitable. The next closest planet to the sun, Venus, for example, is the hottest planet in the solar system. Temperatures there reach more than 750 degrees Fahrenheit (400 degrees Celsius), while the average temperature on Mars is minus 80 F (minus 60 C). Earth's atmosphere also plays a vital role in regulating the temperature by providing a blanket of gases that not only protects us from excessive heat and harmful radiation from the sun, but also traps heat rising from the Earth's interior, keeping us warm. The average temperature on Earth is about 33.6 F (0.9 C), according to NASA. But temperatures vary greatly around the world depending on the time of year, ocean and wind currents and weather … [Read more...] about What Is the Temperature on Earth?
When Rutam Vora was growing up in Vadodara, a city of about 2 million people near the western coast of India, his parents kept cool each summer by drenching bedsheets in water and hanging them in the windows of their house. When the scorching westerly wind known as the loo swept in and hit the sheets, the evaporating water absorbed the brunt of the heat. White chalk spread on the roof reflected the sun and dropped the temperature further. They were old methods of coping with the heat, like drinking lassis or chaas when “struck by the loo,” and they were effective. But the weather, already hot, has been getting hotter. In the summer of 2015, it hit 114 degrees Fahrenheit in nearby Ahmedabad, where Vora works as a correspondent for The Hindu. The next summer, it passed 122 degrees, a record. It’s not uncommon for people to wrap their faces in wet cloth when venturing onto the furnace-like streets, and the wind is so hot it feels heavy. “For about a decade, the … [Read more...] about Inside India’s race to cool 1.3 billion people in a warming world
Today Guy Callendar is a historical footnote, but tomorrow he will have a chapter of his own. Born in 1898, Callendar was the son of Britain’s leading steam engineer, a successful academic and inventor who raised his children in a 22-room mansion. A greenhouse on the grounds was converted into a laboratory for the children until one of Callendar’s three brothers blew it up trying to make TNT. The same brother put out Callendar’s left eye. Undeterred by the subsequent lack of depth perception, he became his father’s successor as the nation’s most important steam engineer. None of this is why Guy Callendar’s name will be boldfaced in tomorrow’s textbooks. Instead it will be because he was willing to delve into fields he knew nothing about, atmospheric science among them. Nobody knows why he got so interested in the air. Callendar himself attributed it to ordinary curiosity: “As man is now changing the composition of the atmosphere at a … [Read more...] about Meet the Amateur Scientist Who Discovered Climate Change