Earth science is a well-established area of knowledge that studies the Earth from various scientific perspectives. Earth scientists often employ investigative approaches that more properly belong to the disciplines of biology, chemistry, physical geography, physics, and mathematics. Earth science can also study the nature phenomena of our planet from either reductionist or holistic vantage points. Some sub-disciplines of earth science include: environmental science, geology, geophysics, glaciology, hydrology, meteorology, climatology, oceanography, physical geography, and soil science.
This article, written by Charles W. Schmidt, a freelance writer specializing in science, medicine and technology, appeared first in Environmental Health Perspectives—the...
Improving access to and use of earth science dataLast Updated on 2013-10-22 23:34:26USGS Helps Debut New Technology to
Improve Access and Use of Earth Science Data
Researchers investigating global issues now have an easy method for finding and using earth science data through a new technology developed by the Data Observation Network for Earth, or DataONE.
Understanding broad and complex environmental issues, for example climate change, increasingly relies on the discovery and analysis of massive datasets. But the amount of collected data—from historical field notes to real-time satellite data—means that researchers are now faced with an onslaught of options to locate and integrate information relevant to the issue at hand.
DataONE, a ten-institution team with several hundred Investigators, including researchers from the United States Geological Survey (USGS), is addressing this data dilemma with a number of cyberinfrastructure and... More »
AERMOD Last Updated on 2013-10-05 15:00:30AERMOD is the latest generation air dispersion model designed for short-range (up to 50 kilometers) dispersion of air pollutant emissions from stationary industrial sources. It is a steady-state plume model incorporating dispersion based on planetary boundary layer (PBL) turbulence structure and scaling, and it accomodates surface and elevated emission sources as well as simple or complex terrain.
As of December 9, 2005, the U.S. EPA designated AERMOD as the preferred model to be used for compliance with any federal and state air pollution dispersion modeling requirements. As of November 9, 2006, AERMOD completely replaces the previous preferred model known as the Industrial Source Complex (ISC) model.
The AERMOD system integrates three modules:
A steady-state Gaussian dispersion model designed for short-range dispersion of continuous emissions from stationary... More »
General GlossaryLast Updated on 2013-10-02 09:39:36This general glossary compiles definitions of specialized terms used throughout the Encyclopedia of Earth. Each term listed below has had a blue link created to allow authors to link to the given term in any article without having the reader leave the page. The terms below are words or phrases for which an entire article on the Encylopedia of Earth is not necessarily envisioned:
Allohexaploidcells holding six copies of each chromosome: Cells holding six copies of each chromosome
AnuranAn amphibian that has limbs but no tail (includes all frogs and toads): An amphibian that has limbs but no tail (includes all frogs and toads)
ArheicRegion which generates no significant surface water runoff: Region that generates no significant surface water runoff
Atomic numberThe number of protons in the nucleus of a given atom: The number of protons in the nucleus of a given... More »
Aerial Exploration of the AntarcticLast Updated on 2013-09-30 23:07:04
Exploration of the Antarctic - Part 10
In the late 1920s, exploration of the Antarctic was revolutionized by the advent of aircraft.
At the turn of the century, the Discovery and Gauss expeditions included balloons. Robert Falcon Scott became the first "aeronaut" when he spent an hour, 800 feet over the edge of the Ross Ice Shelf on February 4, 1902. As soon as he descended Earnest Shackleton went up and took the first aireal photographs. Six weeks later, Eric von Drygalski and Emile Philippi repeated the experience at higher altitude on a different part of the Antarctic coast. This was a year before the Wright Brothers had their first sucessful flight with an aircraft.
Douglas Mawson included an aircraft in the Australasian Antarctic Expedition (1911-14) but it was damaged during trials in Australia and went to... More »
National Forest System (NFS) Roadless Area InitiativesLast Updated on 2013-09-30 17:30:22
Roadless areas in the U.S.National Forest System (NFS) have received special attention for decades. Many want to protect their relatively pristine condition; others want to use the areas in more developed ways.
Two different roadless area policies have been offered in the last decade. On January 12, 2001, the Clinton Administration’s roadless area policy established a nationwide approach to managing roadless areas in the National Forest System to protect their pristine conditions. The Nationwide Rule, as it will be called in this report, generally prohibited road construction and reconstruction and timber harvesting in 58.5 million acres of inventoried roadless areas, with significant exceptions. The Bush Administration initially postponed the effective date of the Nationwide Rule, then issued its own rule that allowed states to plan how roadless areas were managed. It issued a... More »
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