Category Archives: History
Permafrost is ground that has a temperature below freezing for at least two consecutive years.
Permafrost varies in thickness from less than a couple of feet to more than 4,000 feet thick. Permafrost is mostly located in polar regions, although it also occurs in some high mountains where it is called alpine permafrost. Much of the permafrost in Alaska is tens of thousands of years old. Continue reading
Sixty-four years ago the Soviet Union launched Sputnik, the first artificial satellite. This was not welcome news in the United States as it confirmed that the Soviets were well ahead of us in the development of rocket technology. In fact, … Continue reading
New England dealt with Tropical Storm Henri over the past weekend — nearly the first hurricane to make landfall in New England in 30 years.
As it turns out, that long interval between landfalling hurricanes in that region is unusually long. Continue reading
The National Ocean and Atmosphere Administration’s National Climatic Data Center (or NCDC) calculates the average weather conditions over a 30-year period for more than 7,500 locations in the United States.
A reliable estimate of an average requires at least 30 years. These 30-year averages are referred to as the U.S. Climate Normal. They provide a baseline that allows everyone to compare a location’s current weather to the average weather that location would expect to see — whether a particular day’s temperature is cooler or warmer than normal, or if a particular month is wetter than normal. Continue reading
Space contains tons of dust. When dust particles approach Earth, they can be captured by gravity and enter the atmosphere at very high speeds.
Particles with diameters larger than about 2 millimeters undergo very rapid heating through collisions in our atmosphere. As they heat up, they can produce a short-lived trail of light known as “shooting star.” Most dust particles entering the atmosphere are estimated to be much smaller than this and don’t provide a visible trail. Continue reading