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Just over four years after my first visit to Australia (From drought to flood down under: Part I), the tides have turned and the country has gone from experiencing the driest decade on record to having the wettest two-year period on record in 2010-2011.  These recent rains have been both a blessing and a curse.  The good news is that they helped the region of southeastern Australia start to recover from the long drought (see Figure 1).  The bad news is that the rains came on heavy and strong.  In January 2011, devastating floods occurred across southeastern ...

Posted in: Field Campaigns: SCRC   GLOBE Science Topics: GENERAL SCIENCE CLIMATE

All over the United States, spring flowers such as daffodils and crocuses began blooming nearly a month ago due to an unseasonably warm winter.  Some of my friends from many parts of the country have been mentioning how beautiful their gardens are and enjoying the warm weather.  Even my family and friends from the Mid-Atlantic region have been sending photos showing off their beautiful home gardens. Daffodils in bloom in late February Many think it’s really nice to see green grass, budding trees, and flowers in bloom in late February, as it’s a spirit lift ...


In December 2007, I arrived in Australia for the first time ever.  It was a critically dry period for the region, as they were in the midst of a terrible drought.  Immediately upon my arrival, there were signals of a community in dire straits.  Instead of advertisements for products and services, the signs in the airport were encouraging water conservation.  My hotel bathroom had a message affixed to the mirror asking me to limit my shower time and water usage.  The dams were drying up and many communities faced running out of water in just mere months.  As ...

Posted in: Field Campaigns: SCRC   GLOBE Science Topics: GENERAL SCIENCE CLIMATE

Since the end of January 2012, Europe has been experiencing record-breaking cold temperatures and heavy snowfalls.  Temperatures are dropping to -40°C (-40°F) and below in Europe.  The canals of Venice are freezing over (the first time since 1991) and sections of the Black Sea have frozen (the first time since 1977).  And, Rome has received its first substantial snowfall since 1986. A small boat cuts through the ice along a canal in Venice. Photo by Marco Sabadin/AFP/Getty Images The frozen Black Sea in Ukraine (Reuters photo) ...

Posted in: Field Campaigns: SCRC   GLOBE Science Topics: CLIMATE CHANGE CLIMATE   Investigation Areas: ATMOSPHERE

If you’ve seen the science news headlines in the past few weeks, you may have noticed stories summarizing how 2011 ranked in climate history.  What is interesting is that the headlines have been a bit contradictory.  For example, if you’ve read the story as reported by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the headline reads “ NASA finds 2011 ninth-warmest year on record ”, which to me implies it was another record hot year given that it made the top ten list.  Nonetheless, another story reported in ABS news touts that the world wasn’t quite ...

Posted in: Field Campaigns: SCRC   GLOBE Science Topics: GENERAL SCIENCE CLIMATE

When you think about farms, you may think of the sounds you hear.  Those sounds may include both natural and manmade sounds, such as the rustling of produce in the wind or machines working the fields.  While these are expected sounds that can indicate farm health, scientists recently have been looking at another natural sound: songbirds. Farmers are becoming more interested in looking at the key connections between ecological, economic, and social components to managing their farms, according to Quest science blog .  It is then important to make sure that clear and ...


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