Community Blogs

Community Blogs
 

Included below is a feed of the latest blog posts created by the GLOBE Community. To view a tutorial on how you can create a blog click here 

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Blog originally posted on The GLOBE Scientists' Blog: http://blog.globe.gov/sciblog/2013/03/06/connecting-pollutants-and-air-temperature-in-the-maldives/ With climate change, there are many relationships that are understood, and many others that are not.  Dr. Veerabhadran Ramanathan from The Scripps Institute in San Diego has spent the last fifteen years in the Maldives, a nation south of India that is comprised of over 1,200 islands, studying the relationship between air pollutants, cloud formation and air temperature. The Maldives are a great location for such an...


Posted in: Field Campaigns: Carbon Cycle GLOBE Science Topics: General Science Climate Change Climate Investigation Areas: Atmosphere

A couple of years ago, I attended a seminar sponsored by the Climate and Global Dynamics Division (CGD) of the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) on how climate change is threatening the survival of wolverines (Gulo gulo).  This scientist, Synte Peacock from CGD, painted a gloomy outlook for this ferocious creature after using a climate model to examine changes in spring snow cover and summer air temperatures.    However, recent legislative proposals may make the future a little brighter.   A wolverine. Photo Credit: Steve...


Posted in: GLOBE Science Topics: Climate Climate Change

Blog originally posted on the GLOBE Scientists' Blog: http://blog.globe.gov/sciblog/2013/02/21/capturing-plant-green-up-through-your-lens/ This week we have a guest blogger, Jessica Taylor. Jessica has been active as a GLOBE observer and trainer since 2001 and is a Master Trainer at NASA Langley Research Center. She conducts regular GLOBE Teacher Workshops in the areas of atmosphere and phenology investigations and works with several NASA missions to integrate GLOBE activities into their educational outreach efforts. Whenever I talk with teachers about studying phenology, their...


Posted in: GLOBE Science Topics: General Science Earth as a System Investigation Areas: Biosphere » Green-Up / Green-Down

Blog originally posted on The GLOBE Scientists' Blog: http://blog.globe.gov/sciblog/2013/02/13/globe-and-the-landsat-launch/ This week we have a guest blogger, Jennifer Bourgeault.  Jennifer, a member of the GLOBE Land Cover/Biology Team for 10 years, is the North Country Education Services (NCES) New Hampshire GLOBE Partnership coordinator and Master Trainer in the Land Cover/Biology protocols.  She thinks everyone should know how to use the Modified UNESCO Classification (MUC) Field Guide to classify land cover and how to use Multispec to look at change over time. ...


Posted in: GLOBE Science Topics: General Science Earth as a System Investigation Areas: Biosphere

Blog originally posted on The GLOBE Scientists' Blog: http://blog.globe.gov/sciblog/2013/02/06/how-does-globe-improve-your-community-show-us-2013-earth-day-video-competition Earth Day has been inspiring demonstrations and projects for a healthier, more sustainable environment for more than 40 years.  The first Earth Day, celebrated on 22 April 1970, featured over 20 million Americans joining together in auditoriums, parks and streets across the country to show solidarity in the fight against oil spills and toxic dumping, protecting wildlife and their habitats, and carbon...


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The cold weather this last month has led to Lake Erie developing ice cover. This past week, the temperature has been averaging about 20 F (-6 C). Even with temperatures in the 50s and 60s F (10 C to 15 C), ice has formed. See the Figure 1 below. As you can see in the picture, the ice on Lake Erie is broken up into things that look like islands. The wind blows the ice around and breaks it up. There is a straight line through Lake St. Clair that extends down into Lake Erie. What do you think caused this straight line? Usually, on Earth, straight lines are produced by humans. Figure 1:...


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Blog originally posted on The GLOBE Scientists' Blog: http://blog.globe.gov/sciblog/2013/01/30/an-interesting-relationship-soil-temperature-and-climate-change/ It seems common place that warmer air temperature leads to warmer soil temperature. And while this relationship seems intuitive, the effect isn’t always studied, especially with respect to the response from microorganisms. That is why researchers are investigating what happens when the soil temperature increases. An intricate network of soil microorganisms From: Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research...


Posted in: GLOBE Science Topics: Climate Climate Change Investigation Areas: Pedosphere (Soil) » Soil Temperature

Blog originally posted on the GLOBE Scientists' Blog: http://blog.globe.gov/sciblog/2013/01/23/trees-in-trouble-what-affect-does-tree-mortality-have-on-climate-change/ Through our trees in trouble series, we’ve examined trees in the Sahel zone in Africa and the United States.  This problem, climate change and dying trees, has been seen on every continent, the only exception being Antarctica, due to the lack of vegetation on the frozen continent.  Scientists have recently found that there is an alarming loss rate of big, old trees, whose ages range from 100-300+ years, in...


Posted in: GLOBE Science Topics: General Science Climate Change Climate Investigation Areas: Atmosphere Biosphere

Blog previously posted on The GLOBE Scientists' Blog: http://blog.globe.gov/sciblog/2013/01/16/a-tale-of-two-extremes/ Weather extremes have become a common theme in the news headlines the past few weeks. For example, nearly every part of the United States has been experiencing one of two extremes – either frigid cold or record-breaking high temperatures. Places like Arizona and California experienced below-freezing temperatures, which can have potential impacts on the crops grown in these typically balmy regions. In contrast, cities in the Southeast U.S., such as Atlanta, Georgia,...


Posted in: GLOBE Science Topics: Climate Climate Change Investigation Areas: Atmosphere

Blog originally posted on The GLOBE Scientists' Blog: http://blog.globe.gov/sciblog/2013/01/11/globe-at-ams-sharing-our-community/ This week I attended the 93rd Annual Meeting of the American Meteorological Society (AMS) in Austin, TX.  I started attending eight years ago as a senior undergraduate meteorology major at Millersville University.  That first year, I'll admit, was very overwhelming - great minds from various expertises within the Earth Sciences came together to share ideas and present their recent research.  The meeting brings many opportunities for...


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Most trees obtain water through their massive root systems, but did you know that some trees can absorb water through their leaves as well? This ability is called foliar uptake. Scientists recently discovered that trees in cloud forests use foliar uptake to obtain water. A cloud forest is a forest that has persistent or seasonally persistent fog or low-level cloud cover. Cloud forests are usually in the tropics or subtropics, have evergreen trees (trees that don’t lose their leaves) and tend to have a lot of mosses and vegetation in the understory of the trees. Cloud Forest located...


Posted in: GLOBE Science Topics: Earth System Science Investigation Areas: Earth As a System Biosphere

GLOBE’s Earth as a System investigation area cultivates students’ awareness of an intricate web of global connections. Similar to real world scientists, students explore life science concepts, learning that “organisms can only survive where their needs are met.”  The Earth as a System investigation area encourages students to observe patterns and connections, such as through phenology. Phenology is the study of how living organisms respond to seasonal changes in their environment. Only through observing and measuring can we notice if changes are occurring and how they occur. For...


Posted in: GLOBE Science Topics: Earth System Science Investigation Areas: Earth As a System Biosphere » Ruby-Throated Hummingbirds

Blog originally posted on the GLOBE Scientists' Blog: http://blog.globe.gov/sciblog/2012/12/19/the-chicken-and-egg-story-of-global-warming-and-extreme-droughts-a-lesson-on-climate-feedbacks/ I recently read that the extreme drought in western North America during 2000-2004 actually resulted in more carbon dioxide being released into the atmosphere. In the article in Nature Geoscience, it explained that such droughts can further enhance global warming. When a drought occurs, the plants wither and die and no longer uptake carbon dioxide (normally living plants serve as a carbon sink...


Posted in: GLOBE Science Topics: Climate Climate Change

Storm Coming Across US If you live in the United States, you probably have heard of the snow storm crossing the country right now. There will be mountain snow in the Rockie Mountains, a potential for a blizzard from Nebraska to Wisconsin and then some snow to the Great Lakes states. The National Weather Service (NWS) definition of a blizzard is: "A blizzard means that the following conditions are expected to prevail for a period of 3 hours or longer: Sustained wind or frequent gusts to 35 miles an hour or greater; and Considerable falling and/or blowing snow (i.e.,...


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Blog originally posted on The GLOBE Scientists' Blog: http://blog.globe.gov/sciblog/2012/12/12/the-common-thread-between-science-and-art-creativity/ When you examine a seashell, a crystal, the skin of a snake or the wings of a butterfly, what do you think about?  Art?  Science? Or the obvious connection between the two?  At the fall meeting of the American Geophysical Union (AGU) in San Francisco, CA last week, thousands of scientists, including myself, found ourselves examining the intersection of science and art through a wide variety of presentations and...


Posted in: Curriculum: Language Culture and Arts Science and Math

Lane Community College will be embarking on a comprehensive water quality study for Russel Creek Watershed.  It owns property near the headwaters of the creek and it passes through sensitive wetlands that LCC also owns.  We will monitor water quality monthly upstream and downstream from the campus as instruments are acquired.  Russel Creek is an ephemeral stream.  First measurements 12-07-12 at the upstream sampling site near the LCC Learning Garden (our SWS-06 site).  


Posted in: Field Campaigns: Watersheds Investigation Areas: Hydrosphere Learning Activities: Hydrology

The GLOBE surface temperature field campaign started this week with some record warm temperatures in the United States. Students in much of the United States enjoyed short sleeve weather for several days. Schools have started to post observations on the GLOBE website. The GLOBE website has been changed dramatically over the last year. The GLOBE Program Office will be adding all teachers in a bulk transfer from the old database in the near future. Many teachers have also signed up on the GLOBE webpage http://www.globe.gov and the help desk has set them up so they can enter data. The help...


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Blog originally posted on the GLOBE Scientists' Blog: http://blog.globe.gov/sciblog/2012/11/28/enso-basics-whats-up-with-the-weather/ In the first post in this series, we looked at what ENSO is. Remember that the atmosphere and oceans are always moving, and in general, those movements follow a specified pattern. When the movement deviates from normal, to either an El Niño or La Niña, weather conditions in different regions of the world will respond. But who feels these effects first? Usually, equatorial countries that border the Pacific Ocean. But even these countries can...


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Blog originally posted on the GLOBE Scientists' Blog: http://blog.globe.gov/sciblog/2012/11/20/globe-and-adaptation-to-climate-change/ One of the most significant technology improvements in modern life is our ability to accurately forecast future events. Weather forecasts now routinely extend for five days. The recent flooding on the East Coast of the United States was forecast days in advance. The cause was an unusual merger of two storms to create a super storm – Super Storm Sandy. Atmospheric models correctly predicted that a winter storm coming from the north and a weakening...


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Blog originally posted on The GLOBE Scientists' Blog: http://blog.globe.gov/sciblog/2012/11/14/esno-basics-what-is-it/ Through many posts here on the Scientists’ Blog, we, in one way or another, discuss ENSO.  ENSO, or El Niño-Southern Oscillation, is a quasi-periodic climate pattern that occurs in the tropical Pacific Ocean.  When the conditions change, the atmosphere responds in many different ways.  In certain locations, it is cloudier and it rains more, while in others it’s clear and dry.  Through our “ENSO Basics” series, we’ll take a look at ENSO in many...


Posted in: GLOBE Science Topics: General Science Climate Climate Change

Blog originally posted on The GLOBE Scientists' Blog: http://blog.globe.gov/sciblog/2012/11/08/non-stationarity-new-vocabulary-for-a-changing-climate/ A few years ago I attended a workshop for early career scientists to discuss frontiers in integrated water-climate-society vulnerability and adaptation science. This interdisciplinary area of science focuses on the need for using scientific information to not only identify communities that are vulnerable to climate change, but to also help create effective approaches for communities to adapt to climate change. Since every society...


Posted in: GLOBE Science Topics: Climate Climate Change

Blog originally posted on the GLOBE Scientists' Blog: http://blog.globe.gov/sciblog/2012/11/01/full-circle-superior-part-iv-changing-superior-changing-industry/ This week we pick back up on our Full Circle Superior Series.  In 2010 Mike Link and Kate Crowley chose to walk around the largest fresh water lake in the world – Lake Superior which has shoreline in both Canada and the United States. This 1555 mile/145 day walk was the first ever by a couple and the first to attempt to stay on the shoreline. Because Mike and Kate are educators in their sixties they wanted to deliver...


Posted in: GLOBE Science Topics: Backyard Science Climate Climate Change

Blog originally posted on the GLOBE Scientists' Blog: http://blog.globe.gov/sciblog/2012/10/24/as-the-last-leaf-falls/ This was my first year doing the Green-Down Protocol with GLOBE. I am trained as an atmospheric scientist, so I have taken many atmospheric measurements over the course of my career. I had not ventured into the world of phenology until I joined GLOBE. More so, I am intrigued by this field of Earth Science, since it is closely connected to climate and can be a very good indicator of a climate change. This year, as part of the GLOBE Phenology and Climate Project,...


Posted in: GLOBE Science Topics: GLOBE Protocols

Blog originally posted on the GLOBE Scientists' Blog: http://blog.globe.gov/sciblog/2012/10/19/supercomputing-and-climate-research-high-resolution-long-time-simulations-to-improve-our-understanding/ Have you ever watched a newscast and the on-air meteorologist mentions “according to our weather models, our best chances for rain will occur between the hours of 6 and 9 pm”? Have you wondered what exactly are those models they’re talking about? A weather model is a series of equations that take a look at an initial state of the atmosphere (such as the temperature, pressure, and...


Posted in: GLOBE Science Topics: General Science Climate

Blog originally posted on The GLOBE Scientists' Blog: http://blog.globe.gov/sciblog/2012/10/05/xpedition-review-reflections-back-and-looking-ahead/ To say that the journey to the summit of Mt. Kilimanjaro was a success would not do justice to the wonderful personal and scientific experiences the team had.  From taking the first steps toward the summit on Sunday 23 September to summiting the following week and boarding flights to return home, each team member gained something that will stay with them forever. Collecting data in the rainforest Collecting hydrology...


Posted in: Field Campaigns: Seasons and Biomes GLOBE Science Topics: Climate Change Climate

Blog originally posted on the GLOBE Scientists' Blog: http://blog.globe.gov/sciblog/2012/10/04/xpedition-day-ten-mweka-camp-to-park-gate/ Monday, 1 October was the final day of The Xpedition. After an exciting summit day, the team continues on their descent and is picked up to head back to Arusha, where they will enjoy a well-deserved meal. Unloading the equipment after a successful trip  Throughout the entire journey, the team relied on the use of porters, who are local Tanzanians who carry equipment up the mountain. These porters are essential to a successful...


Posted in: Field Campaigns: Seasons and Biomes GLOBE Science Topics: Climate Change Climate

Blog originally posted on The GLOBE Scientists' Blog: http://blog.globe.gov/sciblog/2012/10/03/xpedition-day-nine-special-crater-camp-to-summit-to-mweka-camp/ On Sunday, 30 September, the team made it to the summit of Mt. Kilimanjaro. The summit sits at 5,895 m (19,340 ft) above sea level. What a fantastic accomplishment for the team!   Team at the summit Hiking on a glacier near the summit After the team spendt time celebrating their success, they began their descent, stopping at 3,200 m (10,498 ft) at Mweka Camp. To celebrate the summit, the bloggers were...


Posted in: Field Campaigns: Seasons and Biomes GLOBE Science Topics: Climate Change Climate

Blog originally posted on The GLOBE Scientists' Blog: http://blog.globe.gov/sciblog/2012/10/01/xpedition-day-eight-kosovo-camp-to-special-crater-camp/ As you may have noticed, the Scientist Blog was quiet for the past two days.  As is to be expected, things can change rapidly on the mountain and the ability for the team to send us their daily blogs was interrupted.  The team safely continued on their journey, and have sent us their blogs. Day Eight was Saturday, 29 September.  The team journeyed from 4,877 m (16,000 ft) to 5,608 m (18,399 ft).  This portion of...


Posted in: Field Campaigns: Seasons and Biomes GLOBE Science Topics: Climate Change Climate

Blog originally posted on The GLOBE Scientists' Blog: http://blog.globe.gov/sciblog/2012/09/28/xpedition-day-seven-karanga-camp-to-kossovo-camp/ Today the team continues on their journey to the summit of Mt. Kilimanjaro by traveling from the Karanga Camp, situated at 3,962 m (12,998 ft), to the Kossovo Camp at 4,877 m (16,000 ft). This leg of the journey takes the team back to the alpine desert biome. Part of the team stops for a photo While this biome is found on Mt. Kilimanjaro, it is also found in many other mountain ranges, including but not limited to the Rocky...


Posted in: Field Campaigns: Seasons and Biomes GLOBE Science Topics: Climate Change Climate

Blog originally posted on The GLOBE Scientists' Blog: http://blog.globe.gov/sciblog/2012/09/27/xpedition-day-six-lava-tower-to-karanga-camp/ A morning at camp  The team is now over halfway done with their trek to the summit of Mt. Kilimanjaro in Tanzania.  The journey began on Sunday 23 September as the team left Basecamp and hiked to Forest Camp.  You can read all about their journey starting here. A view of Mt. Kilimanjaro from the trail  Today’s part of the trek up Kilimanjaro takes the team back down in elevation, from 4,632 m to 3,962...


Posted in: Field Campaigns: Seasons and Biomes GLOBE Science Topics: Climate Change Climate