This year’s winter “will definitely not be normal,” NASA has said. It is, however, awfully familiar.
NASA's Earth Observatory has spent over fifteen years using satellites to collect hordes of real-time data across our planet's surface. They reveal everything from temperature and energy use, to how much radiation we beam into space. Here's how to understand satellite data maps to understand our planet's vital signs.
Here you can see a composite satellite photo of two cyclones hitting northern Australia within six hours of each other this week. In the upper left is Cyclone Lam, and in the lower right is Cyclone Marcia. It's beautiful but also terrifying.
If you've ever experienced the overwhelming "flash snowstorm" that is lake effect snow, you know that the sudden white-out conditions can disappear just as quickly as they came, a giant pile of freshly fallen snow the only evidence they were there at all. But how does it work? Here it is, explained in one picture.
Every snowflake is different. But while each snowflake itself may be different from the one that came before it, the crystalline shapes that make up all these special little snowflakes are actually remarkably uniform.
This snow storm is so intense that it looks like a thick, dense cloud has blanketed part of the city of Buffalo. And that's what's extraordinary about it. This is an intensely localized storm, which dumped several feet of snow on just one narrow slice of the city.
The ABC is reporting an incredible sight in the skies over east Victoria, in the Gippsland area. It looks like a UFO, but it's entirely natural.
Last year at this time, it looked like we were about to be hit by an alarmingly intense hurricane season. Instead, we had the smallest hurricane season since 1982. So what happened? An unusual — and unpredictable — wind pattern showed up and scattered all the previous predictions.
America has more tornado touchdowns on average than anywhere else in the world, but those touchdowns are not at all evenly distributed. These maps, which break down the coordinates of each tornado, illustrate exactly where the danger falls the heaviest. [UPDATE]
It's looking more and more likely that we're going to have another El Niño year starting this summer — one that could possibly rival 1997's infamously bad event. But just what does that mean? As this map demonstrates, it can mean very different things around the globe.
NASA's Earth Observatory posted these two comparison images of sea surface patterns in May of 1997, before that year's infamously terrible El Niño, and this month. The images are startlingly similar, suggesting we might be on the precipice of another tough El Niño year.
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has this morning a landmark report which places the blame for climate change squarely at the feet of humankind.
The fight against pollution is often a piecemeal, nation-by-nation affair, which is problematic because pollution knows no national boundaries. But what's spreading isn't quite what everyone thought. Astudy published this month in Science tracked the movement of aerosal particles from around the world using the …
A massive storm has been lashing the Arctic, and its fury is so great that it's actually breaking up the remaining ice at the pole and whipping it into a substance that one scientist called "slushy." Over at the awesome DotEarth blog, Andrew Revkin has been keeping tabs on the storm, which is incredibly unusual for…