Located above the surface of our planet is a complex mixture of gases and suspended liquid and solid particles known as the atmosphere. Operating within the atmosphere is a variety of processes we call weather. Some measurable variables associated with weather include air temperature, air pressure, humidity, wind, and precipitation. The atmosphere also contains organized phenomena that include things like tornadoes, thunderstorms, mid-latitude cyclones, hurricanes, and monsoons. Climate refers to the general pattern of weather for a region over specific period of time. Scientists have discovered that human activities can influence Earth’s climate and weather producing problems like global warming, ozone depletion, and acid precipitation.
Antarctic Ice: An 800,000 Year Record of Climate Change provides an extraordinary opportunity for scientists to reconstruct climate events of the past. Scientists have recently...
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), United StatesLast Updated on 2014-06-30 19:00:15
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is a federal agency within the United States Department of Commerce. As a science-based operational agency tasked with monitoring climate and changes in the environment, NOAA is responsible for the study of the atmosphere and the oceans. The agency issues daily weather forecasts and storm warnings, restores coastline, aids the flow of marine commerce, and manages fisheries. NOAA's activities facilitate weather- and climate-sensitive economic activity that account for roughly one-third of the country's gross domestic product (GDP). The agency also responds to natural and man-made maritime disasters, operates a complex network of oceanographic, meteorological and atmospheric data-collecting products and services, and manages marine mammals, marine endangered... More »
Miguasha National Park, Quebec, CanadaLast Updated on 2014-06-20 14:56:50Miguasha National Park is a paleontological site on the southern coast of the Gaspé peninsula in southeastern Québec, Canada, is considered the most outstanding fossil site in the world for its picture of the Devonian Period Age of Fishes. The Upper Devonian Escuminac Formation there, dating from 370 million years ago, contains five of the six fossil fish groups known from the period and the highest number and best-preserved fossils of the lobe-finned fishes that gave rise to the first four-legged, air-breathing terrestrial vertebrates, the tetrapods.
Miguasha National Park (Parc National de Miguasha) was inscribed on the World Heritage List under Natural criterion viii. in the year 1999. Its IUCN Management Category is designated as a National Park.
Canadian Taiga (1.2.3)
On the southern coast of the Gaspé peninsula in southeastern... More »
Pacific Coastal Mountain icefields and tundraLast Updated on 2014-05-13 19:12:00
WWF Terrestrial Ecoregions Collection
The Pacific Coastal Mountain Icefields and Tundra ecoregion consists of a steep, very rugged range of mountains that stretches from the Kenai Penninsula along the Gulf of Alaska Coast and the Canadian/Alaskan border to the southern end of the Alaska panhandle. In Canada, this ecoregion encompasses the extreme southwestern corner of the Yukon Territory and parts of the coastal mountains in British Columbia south to Portland Inlet.
Elevations range from sea level to over 4,500 meters (m), and slopes generally are steeper than seven degrees, ranging to over 20 degrees. The landscape of this ecoregion is dominated by mountains of great height. Most peaks reach between 2,100 m and 3,050 m, but some are over 5000 m (Mount Logan is 5,959 m, and King Peak is 5,175 m). In this high, extreme northern part of the... More »
Coral bleachingLast Updated on 2014-05-12 12:51:51Coral bleaching is the reduction of intracellular endosymbionts in living coral reefs either via loss or expulsion of algal pigmentation. The symbiotic relationship between coral and zooxanthellae is directly related to coral bleaching. When this relationship fails, and the zooxanthellae do not receive required inputs from the coral or vice-versa, the zooxanthellae will pale and turn white or be expelled into the water.
The resultant decline in coral health from bleaching is deleterious to the coral ecosystem. Chief drivers for coral bleaching are freshwater dilution, change in pH, marine water pollution, increase in sunlight or alteration of seawater temperature. Particularly widespread water pollution is in the form of marine sedimentation from excessive runoff and discharge of untreated sewage. In addition to these abiotic causes of coral bleaching, the phenomenon of overfishing... More »
Handling summer heatLast Updated on 2014-05-01 17:13:08
If you plan on being out and about in summer, chances are you’ll be exposed to a lot of sun and higher temperatures.
Each year, heat kills 1,500 people on average in the United States — more than tornadoes, hurricanes, floods, lightning, or any other weather event combined.
“Heat can be a silent killer because it doesn’t topple trees or rip roofs off houses like tornadoes and hurricanes,” says Eli Jacks, chief of fire and public weather services with NOAA’s National Weather Service. “Nevertheless, it’s a dangerous weather condition for which people should prepare.”
How much heat can a person safely endure? It depends.
Certain groups of people should be especially careful during hot weather conditions. For example, city-dwellers and those living in the upper floors of tall buildings or in heat-prone regions are most at-risk... More »
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