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.




Special observations of airplanes and contrails are being collected by a select few as part of a pilot project the GLOBE Clouds team has been working on for a year. The project asks students to use an app that tracks aircrafts, then note if the airplane is or is not creating a contrail. The airplane tracker app suggested notes the height of the airplanes, giving the opportunity to note the altitude of the contrails if present. The GLOBE Clouds team was able to present a first look at the data collected by students at Alpena Elementary/Middle School (Mr. Roger Rose teacher), Treadway...


Posted in: Curriculum: Science and Math STEM Event Topics: Campaigns and Projects (IOPs, etc) Other Science Symposia and Fairs GLOBE Science Topics: Backyard Science Climate Data Included General Science GLOBE Protocols Earth as a System Scientist Skills Meetings/Conferences GLOBE Working Groups: Science Working Group Learning Activities: Atmosphere and Climate Primary Audience: Alumni Country Coordinators Partners Scientists Students Teachers Trainers Student Research Reports: Standard Research Report International Virtual Science Symposium Report U.S. Student Research Symposia (SRS)

The GLOBE Fall Cloud Observation Challenge brought in more than 45,000 observations from citizen scientists in more than 17,000 locations in 93 countries on every continent — including Antarctica. This influx of cloud observations is super helpful to NASA scientists who work with geostationary satellites and the suite of satellite instruments known as the Clouds and the Earth's Energy Radiant System (CERES). By comparing geostationary and CERES observations from a particular area to data submitted by citizen scientists, scientists can differentiate between wispy cirrus clouds and...


Posted in: Curriculum: Education Research Science and Math Technology STEM Event Topics: Campaigns and Projects (IOPs, etc) Other Competitions GLOBE Science Topics: Backyard Science Climate Climate Change Data Included General Science General Science @es GLOBE Protocols Earth as a System Earth System Science Scientist Skills GLOBE Working Groups: Evaluation Working Group Science Working Group Education Working Group Technology Working Group Investigation Areas: Atmosphere Earth As a System Learning Activities: Atmosphere and Climate Earth as a System News Topics: Competitions Video IOPs Regions Primary Audience: Alumni Country Coordinators Partners Scientists Students Teachers Trainers Student Research Reports: Standard Research Report International Virtual Science Symposium Report U.S. Student Research Symposia (SRS) Teacher's Guide: Time Requirement Standards Requirement Grade Level Protocol Specific Documents Language Investigation Area Documents

  A new article is now available on the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) Science Scope journal geared for middle school teachers on ways to integrate using the GLOBE Observer app in the classroom and take cloud observations. The article titled " Making Science Come Alive with Clouds " features GLOBE superstar educators Mr. Jeffrey Bouwman (Shumate Middle School in Gibraltar, Michigan, USA) and Dr. Caryn Smith-Long (Montverde Academy, Montverde, Florida, USA) as they share their classroom technology expertise and how they use the app with their...


Posted in: Curriculum: Assessment and Evaluation Education Research Science and Math Technology STEM Event Topics: Campaigns and Projects (IOPs, etc) Science Symposia and Fairs Competitions Workshops GLOBE Science Topics: Backyard Science Climate Climate Change Data Included General Science General Science @es GLOBE Protocols Earth as a System Earth System Science Scientist Skills Meetings/Conferences GLOBE Working Groups: Evaluation Working Group Science Working Group Education Working Group Technology Working Group Investigation Areas: Atmosphere Earth As a System Learning Activities: Atmosphere and Climate Earth as a System News Topics: Training Primary Audience: Alumni Country Coordinators Partners Scientists Students Teachers Trainers Student Research Reports: Standard Research Report International Virtual Science Symposium Report U.S. Student Research Symposia (SRS) Teacher's Guide: Standards Requirement Grade Level Investigation Area Documents

Story published on  https://spaceweather.com/  on 10/29/2019. A sharable version of this story is available  here . You can also look at  Realtime Sprite Photo Gallery . Image Credit - Chris Holmes.   This is the picture that captured everyone's attention! It is a photograph of a gigantic jet as observed by pilot Chris Holmes as he traveled at 35,000 ft over the Gulf of Mexico near the Yucatan Peninsula. He noticed the big thunderstorm (or cumulonimbus cloud) producing lots of lightning with sprites and jets.    ...


Posted in: Curriculum: Education Research Science and Math Technology STEM Event Topics: Campaigns and Projects (IOPs, etc) Other Science Symposia and Fairs GLOBE Science Topics: Backyard Science Climate Climate Change Data Included General Science General Science @es GLOBE Protocols Earth as a System Earth System Science Scientist Skills GLOBE Working Groups: Science Working Group Education Working Group Investigation Areas: Atmosphere Earth As a System Learning Activities: Atmosphere and Climate Earth as a System News Topics: Competitions Meetings IOPs Regions SCRC Research Virtual Science Fair Primary Audience: Alumni Country Coordinators Partners Scientists Students Teachers Trainers Student Research Reports: Standard Research Report International Virtual Science Symposium Report U.S. Student Research Symposia (SRS) Teacher's Guide: Grade Level Protocol Specific Documents Investigation Area Documents

Purple Skies observed Dallas, TX on October 27, 2019. Purple skies during sunsets and sunrises ( blog explaining science ) have been observed by our GLOBE participants! Thank you to all those sending in their observations and participating of the Fall Clouds Challenge !    Educator Angie Rizzi , part of the Science Education team at NASA Langley Research Center in Hampton, VA, created this lesson for teachers who want to use this event to talk about aerosols and sky color. The activity incorporates the Elementary GLOBE Sky Observers activity with photographs...


Posted in: Curriculum: Education Research Science and Math Technology STEM Event Topics: Campaigns and Projects (IOPs, etc) Other GLOBE Science Topics: Backyard Science Climate Climate Change Data Included General Science General Science @es GLOBE Protocols Earth as a System Earth System Science Scientist Skills GLOBE Working Groups: Science Working Group Education Working Group Investigation Areas: Atmosphere Earth As a System Learning Activities: Atmosphere and Climate Earth as a System News Topics: Competitions IOPs Regions Primary Audience: Alumni Country Coordinators Partners Teachers Trainers Student Research Reports: Standard Research Report International Virtual Science Symposium Report U.S. Student Research Symposia (SRS) Teacher's Guide: Time Requirement Standards Requirement Grade Level Protocol Specific Documents Language Investigation Area Documents

Picture by Jan Curtin @ Vail, AZ ( https://spaceweathergallery.com/indiv_upload.php?upload_id=156718 ) Raikoke Volcanic Eruption Have you noticed purple sunrises or sunsets where you live? Submit your photographs to GLOBE or GLOBE Observer, especially as we get ready to start the Fall Cloud Challenge: What's Up in Your Sky  (Oct 15 - Nov 15, 2019)! People around the world have been noticing purple skies at dawn and at dusk, calling it the Raikoke Sunsets  (see photographs submitted ). The purple color is because of  sulfurous gas...


Posted in: Curriculum: Education Research Language Culture and Arts Science and Math Technology STEM Event Topics: Campaigns and Projects (IOPs, etc) Science Symposia and Fairs Competitions GLOBE Science Topics: Backyard Science Climate Climate Change Data Included General Science General Science @es Earth as a System Earth System Science Scientist Skills GLOBE Working Groups: Evaluation Working Group Science Working Group Education Working Group Technology Working Group Investigation Areas: Atmosphere Earth As a System Learning Activities: Atmosphere and Climate Earth as a System News Topics: Competitions Calendar IOPs Primary Audience: Alumni Country Coordinators Partners Scientists Students Teachers Trainers Student Research Reports: Standard Research Report International Virtual Science Symposium Report U.S. Student Research Symposia (SRS)

NASA está solicitando tu ayuda para determinar “¿Qué ves en tu cielo?” El equipo NASA GLOBE nube quiere estudiar diferencias en nubes y aerosoles. La data colectada durante este reto del otoño en el hemisferio norte o primavera en el hemisferio sur  será comparada con los resultados obtenidos durante el reto de primavera del 2018. Puedes ayudar sometiendo observaciones de nubes, polvo atmosférico, calina, o humo (límite 10 por día) a GLOBE usando cualquiera de las opciones de entrada de datos, incluyendo la aplicación móvil GLOBE Observer. Los participantes GLOBE...


Posted in: Curriculum: Assessment and Evaluation Education Research Language Culture and Arts Science and Math Technology STEM Event Topics: Campaigns and Projects (IOPs, etc) GLOBE Learning Expeditions Other Science Symposia and Fairs Competitions Meetings Workshops GLOBE Science Topics: Backyard Science Climate Climate Change Data Included General Science General Science @es GLOBE Protocols Earth as a System Earth System Science Scientist Skills Meetings/Conferences GLOBE Working Groups: Evaluation Working Group Science Working Group Education Working Group Technology Working Group Investigation Areas: Atmosphere Earth As a System News Topics: Competitions Meetings Video Calendar IOPs Regions SCRC Research Training Virtual Science Fair Primary Audience: Alumni Country Coordinators Partners Scientists Students Teachers Trainers Student Research Reports: Standard Research Report International Virtual Science Symposium Report U.S. Student Research Symposia (SRS) Teacher's Guide: Grade Level Protocol Specific Documents Language Investigation Area Documents

Tú puedes reportar el cielo como 100% cubierto u obscurecido usando el protocolo de nubes en GLOBE y en la aplicación GLOBE Observer. ¿Cuál es la diferencia? Este blog tiene consejos para ayudarte. Todas las fotografías en este blog fueron colectadas por observadores como tú. ¡Gracias! Al principio encontré la diferencia entre cubierto y obscurecido algo confuso, pero cuando entendí el significado de ambas, pude mejorar mis observaciones. Empecemos con definir ambos términos:   Cubierto – Noventa por ciento o más del cielo está cubierto por nubes. En esta situación vez...


Posted in: Curriculum: Assessment and Evaluation Education Research Science and Math Technology STEM Event Topics: Campaigns and Projects (IOPs, etc) Other Science Symposia and Fairs Competitions GLOBE Science Topics: Backyard Science Climate Climate Change Data Included General Science General Science @es GLOBE Protocols Earth as a System Earth System Science Scientist Skills GLOBE Working Groups: Science Working Group Education Working Group Technology Working Group Investigation Areas: Atmosphere Earth As a System Learning Activities: Atmosphere and Climate Earth as a System News Topics: Competitions Meetings Regions Training Virtual Science Fair Primary Audience: Alumni Country Coordinators Partners Scientists Students Teachers Trainers Student Research Reports: International Virtual Science Symposium Report U.S. Student Research Symposia (SRS) Teacher's Guide: Standards Requirement Grade Level Protocol Specific Documents Language Investigation Area Documents

Audience : Everyone! (Students and teachers all grade levels, informal educators, and the general public) Dates : October 15, 2019 - November 15, 2019 Observations : Clouds and aerosols (dust storms, haze, smoke). Limit 10 per day. NASA is requesting your help to determine “What’s up in your Sky”. The GLOBE Clouds team wants to study differences in clouds and aerosols. The data collected during this fall challenge will be compared to results from the 2018 Spring Clouds Challenge. Help by submitting clouds, dust, haze or smoke observations ( limit of 10 per day ) to...


Posted in: Curriculum: Education Research Language Culture and Arts Science and Math Technology STEM Event Topics: Campaigns and Projects (IOPs, etc) Other Competitions GLOBE Science Topics: Backyard Science Climate Climate Change General Science General Science @es GLOBE Protocols Earth as a System Earth System Science Scientist Skills GLOBE Working Groups: Science Working Group Education Working Group Technology Working Group Investigation Areas: Atmosphere Earth As a System Learning Activities: Atmosphere and Climate Earth as a System News Topics: Competitions Calendar IOPs Regions Primary Audience: Alumni Country Coordinators Partners Scientists Students Teachers Trainers Student Research Reports: Standard Research Report International Virtual Science Symposium Report U.S. Student Research Symposia (SRS) Teacher's Guide: Grade Level Investigation Area Documents

In the GLOBE Clouds protocol and GLOBE Observer app, you can report if your sky is “overcast” or “obscured”. But what’s the difference? Below are some tips to help! All the photographs featured were collected by observers just like you - Thank you! I found “obscured” and “overcast” very confusing at first, but when I understood what they meant, things made much more sense. Let’s start by defining them: Overcast – The sky is completely covered by clouds (cloud cover greater than 90%). This means that you will see little or no blue sky. When it’s overcast, you are looking at...


Posted in: Curriculum: Education Research Science and Math Technology STEM Event Topics: Campaigns and Projects (IOPs, etc) GLOBE Learning Expeditions Other GLOBE Science Topics: Backyard Science Climate Climate Change General Science General Science @es GLOBE Protocols Earth as a System Earth System Science Scientist Skills GLOBE Working Groups: Science Working Group Education Working Group Technology Working Group Investigation Areas: Atmosphere Earth As a System Learning Activities: Atmosphere and Climate Earth as a System News Topics: Competitions Primary Audience: Alumni Country Coordinators Partners Scientists Students Teachers Trainers

NASA GLOBE Clouds team with summer intern (from left to right: Tina Rogerson, Kevin Ivey, Marilé Colón Robles. The NASA GLOBE Clouds team has been delighted to have recent high school graduate Kevin Ivey this summer as our intern through NASA's Internships and Fellowships program [ link ]. Read about his experience this summer as he tackled big data!     I’m Kevin Ivey and I’ve been interning with NASA GLOBE Clouds at NASA Langley Research Center this summer. I graduated high school in June and I’ll be a first-year at the University of Virginia this fall...


Posted in: Curriculum: Assessment and Evaluation Education Research Language Culture and Arts Science and Math Technology STEM Event Topics: Campaigns and Projects (IOPs, etc) GLOBE Science Topics: Climate General Science Scientist Skills GLOBE Working Groups: Science Working Group Education Working Group Investigation Areas: Atmosphere Learning Activities: Atmosphere and Climate Earth as a System Primary Audience: Alumni Country Coordinators Partners Scientists Students Teachers Trainers

  ¿Vives en un área que tiene tormentas de polvo atmosférico? Nos gustaría que fotografíes el evento y envíes tus fotos usando el app GLOBE Observer. ¿Ya has estado enviando datos sobre tormentas de polvo atmosférico? ¡MUCHAS GRACIAS! Ahora queremos que todos sepan que pueden enviar datos sobre estas tormentas con GLOBE Observer usando los siguientes pasos.   Conoce a los científicos Daniel Tong es un pronosticador de polvo atmosférico con el Programa Nacional de Capacidades de Pronóstico de Calidad del Aire de la NOAA y el Equipo de Ciencias...


Posted in: Curriculum: Education Research Science and Math STEM Event Topics: Campaigns and Projects (IOPs, etc) GLOBE Science Topics: Climate Data Included General Science General Science @es GLOBE Protocols Earth as a System Earth System Science Scientist Skills GLOBE Working Groups: Science Working Group Education Working Group Technology Working Group Investigation Areas: Atmosphere Earth As a System Learning Activities: Atmosphere and Climate News Topics: Regions Primary Audience: Alumni Country Coordinators Partners Scientists Students Teachers Trainers Teacher's Guide: Investigation Area Documents

# 19 August 2019 Prepared by Helen Amos, helen.m.amos@nasa.gov   How to Download Dust Observations Reported through GLOBE Dust event on 10 July 2019. Photo credit: GLOBE                             Citizen scientists from around the world have been reporting dust events using the  NASA GLOBE Observer app . You can learn about  how to get involved  here. This blog offers step-by-step instructions on how to download GLOBE dust...


Posted in: Curriculum: Science and Math Technology STEM Event Topics: Campaigns and Projects (IOPs, etc) GLOBE Science Topics: Backyard Science Climate Data Included General Science GLOBE Protocols Earth System Science Scientist Skills GLOBE Working Groups: Science Working Group Education Working Group Investigation Areas: Atmosphere Earth As a System Learning Activities: Atmosphere and Climate Earth as a System News Topics: Competitions Training Primary Audience: Alumni Country Coordinators Partners Scientists Students Teachers Trainers Teacher's Guide: Investigation Area Documents

Do you live in an area that has dust storms? The Global Learning and Observations to Benefit the Environment Program (GLOBE) team would like you to photograph dust events in your area and submit your photos using the  GLOBE Observer app .   Join NASA GLOBE Clouds Project Scientist, Marilé Colón Robles, to learn more about how to collect your observations and educational resources you can use with formal and informal audiences. Your observations will be used by scientists to verify satellite observations and see if their models have successfully predicted these...


Posted in: Curriculum: Education Research Science and Math Technology Event Topics: Campaigns and Projects (IOPs, etc) GLOBE Science Topics: Backyard Science Climate Climate Change Data Included General Science GLOBE Protocols Earth as a System Scientist Skills GLOBE Working Groups: Science Working Group Education Working Group Investigation Areas: Atmosphere Pedosphere (Soil) Learning Activities: Atmosphere and Climate Soil News Topics: Calendar Training Primary Audience: Alumni Country Coordinators Partners Scientists Students Teachers Trainers Teacher's Guide: Grade Level Investigation Area Documents

  Do you live in an  area that has dust storms?  We would like for you to photograph the dust event and submit your photos using the GLOBE Observer app. Have you already been reporting dust storms? We noticed and what to say THANK YOU! Now we want to get the word out that anyone can report dust storms with the app following the steps below.   Watch the recorded webinar on how to submit your observations using the NASA GLOBE Observer app and learn about educational resources you can use in your classroom or in an informal setting...


Posted in: Event Topics: Other GLOBE Science Topics: Climate General Science General Science @es GLOBE Protocols Earth as a System Scientist Skills GLOBE Working Groups: Science Working Group Education Working Group Technology Working Group News Topics: Calendar Regions Primary Audience: Alumni Country Coordinators Partners Scientists Students Teachers Trainers

The NASA GLOBE Clouds team is looking for members of the GLOBE International STEM Network (GISN) or any researcher that would be interested in publishing research (as lead or co-author) using the GLOBE Clouds data.  We are looking for researchers that are interested in: Cryosphere that would be willing to use cloud observations over the Arctic/Antarctica. Satellite validation studies with collocated observations, particularly those collected during GLOBE Clouds Data Challenge (March 15-April 15, 2018). Natural hazards to explore...


Posted in: Event Topics: Other GLOBE Science Topics: Backyard Science Climate Climate Change Data Included GLOBE Protocols Earth System Science GLOBE Working Groups: Science Working Group Primary Audience: Scientists

  The 2019 GLOBE International Virtual Science Symposium important dates and rubrics are now available! The GLOBE Clouds team at NASA Langley Research Center would love to see you use cloud observations in your research!  Do you need some ideas? Here are a few. Also, don't forget about the blog on how to come up with a good research question .  K-2nd grade: - What is the cloud type observed the most during Fall/Spring/Summer (choose one or a different period of time)? - Which cloud type, nimbostratus or cumulonimbus, produces the most...


Posted in: Curriculum: Education Research Science and Math Technology STEM Event Topics: Science Symposia and Fairs GLOBE Science Topics: Backyard Science Climate General Science GLOBE Protocols Earth System Science Primary Audience: Alumni Country Coordinators Partners Scientists Students Teachers Trainers

Clouds are amazing to observe and always seem to capture the attention of all, from little ones to the young at heart. The GLOBE Clouds team would like to help all of those that would be interested in doing research with clouds. A good research question is always tricky so here are some tips and ideas to get you started! What is a good research question? It is not always easy to come up with a research question, but GLOBE has a good checklist to help you out! You can even assign points and see how many points does your question total as a good research question. A...


Posted in: Curriculum: Education Research Science and Math STEM Event Topics: Campaigns and Projects (IOPs, etc) Science Symposia and Fairs GLOBE Science Topics: Backyard Science Climate Data Included General Science GLOBE Protocols Scientist Skills Investigation Areas: Atmosphere » Clouds Learning Activities: Atmosphere and Climate News Topics: Virtual Science Fair Primary Audience: Alumni Partners Students Teachers Trainers Teacher's Guide: Grade Level Investigation Area Documents

I just updated HoloGLOBE to v1.0.2. For those of you new to this app, HoloGLOBE brings NASA and NOAA visualizations of the Earth to the palm of your hand through augmented reality (AR). You can read more about the app here: http://www.palmyracove.org/InstituteforEarthObservations/HoloGLOBE.aspx In this latest release, I have added play/pause functionality to the MyNASAData module. The MyNASAData is essentially an augmented reality version of GLOBE's Earth System Poster. In addition the new ICESat-2 module has been added. The ICESat-2 module was built by Emme Wiederhold, a student...


Posted in: Curriculum: Assessment and Evaluation Education Research Language Culture and Arts Science and Math Technology STEM Event Topics: Campaigns and Projects (IOPs, etc) GLOBE Learning Expeditions Other Science Symposia and Fairs Competitions Meetings Workshops Field Campaigns: FLEXE SCRC SCUBAnauts Seasons and Biomes Watersheds Carbon Cycle GGIC SCRC - Phase 1 SCRC - Phase 2 SMAP El Niño Surface Temperature GPM GLOBE Science Topics: Backyard Science Climate Climate Change Data Included General Science General Science @es GLOBE Protocols Earth as a System Earth System Science Scientist Skills Meetings/Conferences GLOBE Working Groups: Evaluation Working Group Science Working Group Education Working Group Technology Working Group Investigation Areas: Atmosphere Hydrosphere Earth As a System Pedosphere (Soil) Biosphere Learning Activities: Atmosphere and Climate Earth as a System Hydrology Land Cover/Biology Soil News Topics: Competitions Meetings Video Web Maintenance / Enhancements Calendar IOPs Regions SCRC Research Training Virtual Science Fair Primary Audience: Alumni Country Coordinators Partners Scientists Students Teachers Trainers Teacher's Guide: Time Requirement Standards Requirement Grade Level Protocol Specific Documents Language Investigation Area Documents

Bill Smith, left, along with Kris Bedka. The NASA GLOBE Clouds team is excited to share with you this recent news article about two NASA scientists that help match your observations with satellite data - Bill Smith and Kris Bedka. They, along with Louis Nguyen lead SatCORPS, at team at NASA Langley Research Center that use expertise in clouds to make better weather predictions.  Read more about their work at  https://www.nasa.gov/feature/langley/how-cloud-data-is-improving-weather-forecasts    


Posted in: Curriculum: Science and Math Technology STEM Event Topics: Other GLOBE Science Topics: Climate General Science GLOBE Protocols Earth as a System Scientist Skills Investigation Areas: Atmosphere Primary Audience: Alumni Country Coordinators Partners Scientists Students Teachers Trainers

Satellites can detect and collect a lot of observations in very short amount of time. It is simple to think that anything that is white in an image is a cloud. Well, not always.  Look at these beautiful images taken by the GOES 16 satellite of the recent "Winter Weather Bomb" that left a blanket of snow from South Georgia to New England on January 4, 2018. Click here and watch a loop of images from the GOES 16 satellite for January 4, 2018. GOES 16 Image taken on January 4, 2018 at 171720Z GOES 16 Image taken on January 4, 2018 at 201720Z   ...


Posted in: Curriculum: Education Research STEM Event Topics: Other GLOBE Science Topics: Backyard Science Climate General Science GLOBE Protocols Scientist Skills Investigation Areas: Atmosphere » Clouds Learning Activities: Atmosphere and Climate Primary Audience: Partners Scientists Students Teachers Trainers

From the start, the measurement of daily maximum and minimum air temperature within one hour of local solar noon has been a key GLOBE protocol. The low cost approach was to use a U-tube thermometer housed in a wooden instrument shelter facing away from the equator. The U-shaped tube contained mercury with pins on either side of the mercury. As the air temperature warmed the pin on one side would move while the other pin stayed in place; when the air cooled, the pin on the other side would be pushed up. The pins were held in place by magnetized strips behind the thermometer tube so that...


Posted in: Curriculum: Technology STEM GLOBE Science Topics: Climate Climate Change GLOBE Protocols Earth as a System Earth System Science GLOBE Working Groups: Science Working Group Investigation Areas: Atmosphere Primary Audience: Alumni Country Coordinators Partners Scientists Students Teachers Trainers

As Earth science has a single uncontrolled object of study, the first rule is to take today’s data today. While ice and sediment cores and fossils can reveal past conditions, the observations that can be made right now cannot be replaced by ones taken later. This goes well with the Native American adage, “You can’t step in the same river twice.” The environment is constantly changing and doing so on a wide range of time and space scales. In a recent video post, Neil deGrasse Tyson said, “One of the great things about science is that it is an entire exercise finding what is true. You...


Posted in: Curriculum: Science and Math Event Topics: Campaigns and Projects (IOPs, etc) GLOBE Learning Expeditions Science Symposia and Fairs Field Campaigns: SMAP El Niño GLOBE Science Topics: Climate Climate Change General Science Earth as a System Earth System Science Investigation Areas: Earth As a System Primary Audience: Alumni Students Teachers

A version of this blog was originally posted on November 14, 2012 .  If you have been listening to the news or following along with weather and climate web pages, you have probably heard the term "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.  Scientists are forecasting El Niño conditions to start...


Posted in: Curriculum: Science and Math GLOBE Science Topics: Climate Investigation Areas: Atmosphere

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...


Posted in: Field Campaigns: Carbon Cycle GLOBE Science Topics: Climate Climate Change General Science 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...


Posted in: GLOBE Science Topics: Climate Climate Change

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...


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...


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


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

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...


Posted in: GLOBE Science Topics: Climate Climate Change

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...


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

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...


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...


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

Blog originally posted on the GLOBE Scientists' Blog:  http://blog.globe.gov/sciblog/2012/10/19/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,...


Posted in: GLOBE Science Topics: Climate General Science

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 ...


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

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...


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

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...


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

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...


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

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...


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

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,...


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

Blog originally posted on The GLOBE Scientists' Blog:  http://blog.globe.gov/sciblog/2012/09/26/xpedition-day-five-moir-hut-to-lava-tower/ Today marks another transition between biomes – from heath zone to alpine desert.  An alpine desert is a harsh, dry, windy region that consists of mostly bare rock and ice.  Temperatures during the day can soar to 38°C, while at night can be below freezing.  The air is very thin, which results in labored breathing as well as more intense solar radiation.  The Lava Tower camp sits at approximately 5,029 m (16,499 ft). ...


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

Blog originally posted on The GLOBE Scientists' Blog:  http://blog.globe.gov/sciblog/2012/09/25/xpedition-day-four-shira-1-camp-to-moir-hut/ Today the team will hike from Shira 1 Camp to Moir Hut (Shira 2 Camp on the map below).  This part of the journey will take the team further into the heath zone.  As discussed yesterday , the heath zone is a zone of sparse vegetation due to lower rainfall amounts.   The route the team is taking: the western approach route The team stops for a discussion about soils Today’s question focuses on...


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

Blog originally posted on The GLOBE Scientists' Blog:  http://blog.globe.gov/sciblog/2012/09/24/xpedition-day-three-forest-camp-to-shira-1-camp/ Today the team heads from 2,438 m to 3,505 m above sea level.  This portion of the journey will take the team from rain forest to heath zone.  A rain forest is characterized by high rainfall, with annual totals ranging from 1750-2000 mm (68-78 in).  A heath zone is above the forest line, where porous soils and lower rainfall result in sparser vegetation. Leaving the rain forest heading to the heath zone ...


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

Blog originally posted on The GLOBE Scientists' Blog:  http://blog.globe.gov/sciblog/2012/09/23/xpedition-day-two-basecamp-to-forest-camp/ Packed and ready for the journey   Today, Sunday, 23 September, the team packs up the vehicles and heads off on their journey.  Their itinerary for the day includes a few hours’ drive from basecamp followed by a 3 hour hike to Forest Camp, located at 2,438 m above sea level. Taking a quick break on the hike   The bloggers were asked the following question as they set off on their...


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

Blog originally posted on the GLOBE Scientists' Blog:  http://blog.globe.gov/sciblog/2012/09/19/students-teachers-and-scientists-explore-mt-kilimanjaro-through-globe-protocols-and-blogs/ Beginning on 23 September, five GLOBE students, teachers and scientists and one GLOBE alum will join commence on a journey through the biomes of Mt. Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, Africa. Known as, “the Xpedidion,” the 2012 trek marks the fifth year of this exciting journey. This year will be bigger than ever as a documentary film crew will join us. In addition, we will be sharing images via ...


Posted in: Field Campaigns: Seasons and Biomes GLOBE Science Topics: Climate Climate Change Earth as a System

Blog originally posted on the GLOBE Scientists' Blog at http://blog.globe.gov/sciblog/2012/08/28/full-circle-superior-part-ii-studying-streams/ We have a guest blogger this week.  Mike Linke is posting his second blog in a series about his walk with his wife, Kate Crowley, around Lake Superior. This is the second in a series about the science of Full Circle Superior; a walk around the world’s largest freshwater lake.  You can read the first blog post here. My wife, Kate Crowley, and I determined that we would be the first couple to walk around this lake, trying...


Posted in: GLOBE Science Topics: Backyard Science Climate Earth as a System Investigation Areas: Hydrosphere Learning Activities: Hydrology Land Cover/Biology

This post is the second in a series called “Trees in Trouble”.  To see the first post in this series click here . Climate impacts so many things on this planet, most notably the types of flora and fauna that live in a specific region.  And for those creatures that have annual cycles tied to the local climate, such as the hibernation of bears, migration of birds, and life cycles of insects, a change in climate can shift their way of life and even have subsequent consequences on the environment they live in. Take the pine beetle (Dendroctonus ponderosae) for...


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

Many of the world’s glaciers, such as the Exit Glacier in Alaska, United States and Pasterze Glacier in Austria, have lost mass due to melting over the past few years. One such glacier, Exploradores in southern Chile, is also disappearing.  This glacier is a sight to behold – a 20 kilometer frozen mass that is filled with cliffs of luminescent blue and indigo ice. A view from inside the Exploradores Glacier, from Nature A view from inside the Exploradores Glacier, from Nature The Exploradores Glacier is one of many glaciers in the Patagonian Ice Fields located...


Posted in: GLOBE Science Topics: Climate Climate Change

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