Showing posts from 2017

Air & Weather: What Does the State of the Climate in 2016 Report Mean to You?

I've been hearing a lot lately about the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA's) State of the Climate Report for 2016 . This is an international, peer-reviewed, annual report summarizing global climate issues. It's assembled by NOAA at the National Centers for Environmental Information. Nearly 500 scientists from around the world contribute data for the report, including air and sea temperatures, ice pack conditions, humidity, number and strength of storms, drought conditions and more. The comprehensive report is then published as a supplement to the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society (BAMS) . You can download the full report  here, or from the link above you can download individual chapters if you prefer. A summary of the report is available on NOAA's BAMS site , plus copies of all the past reports for the last 27 years. An interesting PowerPoint presentation on the report contains good graphics that visually show the report

Air & Space: Are You Ready for the 2017 Solar Eclipse?

The 2017 total solar eclipse has been generating a lot of excitement! On August 21, 2017, we'll be treated to the first total solar eclipse in the continental U.S. in 38 years. Per NASA, an eclipse is a special type of transit where one planet passes in front of another. For the total solar eclipse, the moon will completely block the sun, leaving its atmosphere, the corona, shining around the perimeter. Everyone in the country will be able to see at least a partial eclipse. The path of totality will range from Madras, Oregon to Columbia, South Carolina. The time of the eclipse depends on where you live, but starts at 9:06 AM Pacific Time in Oregon and ends at 4:06 Eastern Time in South Carolina. Totality only lasts 2 - 3 minutes, but the eclipse from start to finish lasts about 2 1/2 to 3 hours in the path of totality. If you want to watch the eclipse, heed the safety requirement and wear solar eclipse glasses. You may be able to get a pair for free at libraries or events.

Water: Can Smart Water Meters Help Conserve Water?

 Do you try to conserve water at your house or business? Is your bill too high--or are you concerned about this critical resource? Your meter may be able to help you! Many of today's water utilities have either replaced their old meters with new smart meters , or are on track to do so. Not only are newer meters more accurate--"smart" meters are capable of making a continuous record of water usage throughout each 24-hour day. They also transmit water use data to the utility, using radio signals and advanced metering infrastructure (AMI). Smart meters allow the utility to monitor for leaks, pressure problems, and other issues in the system. Leak monitoring saves water and improves revenue to pay for system operation and maintenance. But finding leaks can also save homeowners and businesses money, and prevent property damage if the leak is on the customer's side of the meter. Perhaps one of the best advantages of smart metering is the customer interface. Most s

Earth: Pressing Flowers and Other Bits of Nature

One of the best ways to appreciate the environment is to spend a little time observing and enjoying the outdoors. This doesn't have to mean a big camping trip or an entire day on the nature trail. You can take ten minutes at lunch to walk around, and look at nearby natural beauty--even if that's only a butterfly enjoying some planted flowers! Or sit in your back yard and watch the squirrels climb up the tree, or listen to the birds singing to each other. Don't just look for "pretty" things either. I've even enjoyed looking at wildflowers that some might call "weeds," or mushrooms growing along the sidewalk. I previously took a course in Nature Journaling . Now my instructor, Kelly Johnson, author of Wings, Worms and Wonder   has a new book available. It's a book about flower pressing and nature-inspired art journaling. Pressed  An Herbarium Inspired Art Journal   is an instruction book/herbarium/journal that offers a way to collect