A blog about a first-time house owner learning to maintain his backyard, and thoughts about nature, science, history, and life.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Weather-Related Articles

Here are a few (mostly short) weather and climate articles that I've pulled from around the web.  All of them were interesting to me, so I hope that you'll find at least a couple interesting to you.

Greenhouse Gases Affect Rainfall Differently Than Natural Global Warming

Scientists used computer models to show that precipitation during modern-day global warming has increased less than precipitation during warming that occurred during the Medieval Warm Period between 950 and 1250 AD.  Read the article for a brief explanation as to why.

Afforestation can mitigate climate change locally

"Planting deciduous trees in tree-deficit areas could bring about cooler and wetter summers and mitigate effects of climate change in temperate zones [i.e. the mid-latitudes], says a new research."  The punchline: planting trees leads to more evapo-transpiration, which cools the air near the surface.  Read this short article for a more complete explanation.

NASA Captures Solar Flux Rope, CME Precursor Seen For The First Time On Its Own

Solar storms can produce Coronal Mass Ejections (CMEs), large ejections from the Sun's outer atmosphere that can, in the worst cases, affect telecommunications and even electronics on Earth.  Flux ropes have been thought to occur before a CME, but they haven't been observed until recently.  The article's a little technical, but interesting nonetheless!

The Tornado Damage Scale In Images

This one, as the title says, is just pictures of tornado damage, with short descriptions.  Have you ever wondered about the difference between an EF-0 (EF stands for Enhanced Fujita, a recent revision to the old Fujita scale) and a relatively rare EF-5 tornado?  The pictures show the dramatic difference.

Rain tracked with mobile network

I found this story to be really neat.  Ordinarily, we track rainfall with weather radar.  But in some places, like Africa, we don't have radars in place.  This limits our ability to study rainfall in these places.  But this study used cellular phone signals, which are weakened in the rain, to produce maps of estimated rainfall.  The maps wound up being pretty accurate.  Even parts of Africa have cell phone coverage, so this could be a useful technique for improving our knowledge of rainfall in places where our understanding is currently limited.  Of course, there's more detail in the article.

Sahara: Life giving sands

This is a short (4-minute) video showing how sand from the Sahara is transported across the Atlantic to the Amazon jungle in South America, where it helps to support one of the most diverse habitats on Earth.  Some breathtaking images in this video!

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