STEM Professionals' Blog


The GLOBE International STEM professionals Network (GISN) Blog is an online collaborative effort where scientists associated with GLOBE post their thoughts, comments, and philosophies about a variety of science topics.

GLOBE strongly encourages positive and productive discussions to further advance the scientific understanding of all involved with The GLOBE Program.




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: Climate General Science

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...


Posted in: GLOBE Science Topics: Backyard Science Climate Earth System Science

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: Climate General Science

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 Climate Change 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: Climate General Science

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...


Posted in: GLOBE Science Topics: Backyard Science Climate Climate Change Investigation Areas: Earth As a System Biosphere » Arctic Bird Migration

Nitrogen is an important molecule that makes up nearly 78 percent of the atmosphere.  Burning fossil fuels and using fertilizers for agriculture are two ways that this number can increase.  But the atmosphere isn’t the only place that nitrogen is found – it is also found in bodies of water.  Of the nitrogen that is spread in fertilizers, only 25-30 percent is absorbed by plants, so that leaves a lot of nitrogen left to either be absorbed by the atmosphere or into water.  Figure 1 shows the intricacies of the nitrogen cycle, from Physical Geography.net’s Fundamentals...


Posted in: GLOBE Science Topics: Climate Climate Change Investigation Areas: Hydrosphere Hydrosphere » Nitrates

This week we’ll finish our look at the climate summaries for each GLOBE region with a focus on the Near East-North Africa region.  Remember that these annual reports provide a summary of the global climatic conditions and are a great benchmark for monitoring climate. Regional reports provide a tremendous amount of information. The temperature and precipitation climate summaries are highlighted here, but if you are interested, more information about the Near East-North Africa region state of the climate is available from this website: ...


Posted in: GLOBE Science Topics: Climate Climate Change Earth System Science

This week we’ll continue our look at the climate summaries for each GLOBE region, with a focus on the North America region.  These annual reports provide a summary of the global climatic conditions and are a great benchmark for monitoring climate. Regional reports provide a tremendous amount of information. The temperature and precipitation climate summaries are highlighted here, but if you are interested, more information about the North America Region state of the climate is available from this website: ...


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

This week we’ll continue our look at the climate summaries for each GLOBE region, with a focus on the Latin America-Caribbean region.  Remember that these annual reports provide a summary of the global climatic conditions and are a great benchmark for monitoring climate. You can use this data in your own GLOBE climate research projects! Regional reports provide a tremendous amount of information including temperature, precipitation, tropical cyclone activity, and notable events. Temperature and precipitation climate summaries are highlighted here; more information about the...


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

This week we’ll continue our look at the climate summaries for each GLOBE region, with a focus on the Europe-Eurasia region.  Recall that these annual reports provide a summary of the global climatic conditions and are a great benchmark for monitoring climate. Regional reports provide a tremendous amount of information. The temperature and precipitation climate summaries are highlighted here, but if you are interested, more information about the Europe-Eurasia Region state of the climate is available from this website: ...


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

This week we’ll continue our look at the climate summaries for each GLOBE region, with a focus on the Asia-Pacific region.  Recall that these annual reports provide a summary of the global climatic conditions and are a great benchmark for monitoring climate. Regional reports provide a tremendous amount of information. The temperature and precipitation climate summaries are highlighted here, but if you are interested, more information about the Asia-Pacific Region state of the climate is available from this website: ...


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

In a recent blog post , we shared with you the NOAA State of the Climate report for 2010. These annual reports provide a summary of the global climatic conditions and are a great benchmark for monitoring climate. Along with the global summary, the report summarizes regions. The regions very closely overlap with the GLOBE Regions! We will go through the report and provide a summary for each GLOBE Region. A review of the Regional summaries is a great way for you to see how the climate of your region compared with the regions of other GLOBE Schools. We will start off with Africa. All...


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

Recently NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) released the 2010 State of the Climate. The State of the Climate is an annual report that summarizes the climate conditions around the world over the time period of a calendar year. All the reports are available online through the National Climatic Data Center website. [ http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/bams-state-of-the-climate/2010.php ] The annual State of the Climate is a record of the conditions around the globe and provides an excellent reference for beginning studies of climate. If you are participating in the GLOBE...


Posted in: Field Campaigns: SCRC GLOBE Science Topics: Climate Climate Change Earth System Science