Posts tagged ‘weather’

Cold Weather Doesn’t Disprove Climate Change

One common misconception about global warming is that it’ll impact each part of the globe in the same way. If it’s a global warming than why are some places getting cold winters? As it turns out, climate change is a bit more complicated than the Earth simply heating up in a uniform way. Climate change is exactly what it sounds like—a general change in the climate, not necessarily a single change that affects the entire planet evenly.

spring snow

Modern climate change, which scientists agree is largely caused by human activities, is a global change in climate. Although often called “global warming”, some scientists are shying away from the term because it makes people think that the entire Earth is heating up uniformly. In reality, while most of the planet is heating up (2016 was the hottest recorded year since 1880—the third year in a row to set this record), climate change doesn’t mean that every single part of the world will get hot immediately. Parts of the globe that are already hot, however, will begin to experience extremely high temperatures and serious droughts. This is not only unsafe for humans but will affect crops and livestock. Global warming is technically a correct term since temperatures are increasing overall but it doesn’t mean that every region will be affected the same way—weather is a bit more complex than that.

As the planet heats up, there are changes in jet stream patterns and precipitation. Heat is energy and moist warm air can fuel intense tropical storms and other weather anomalies. This can cause extreme lows and extreme highs—snow in Egypt and temperatures above 125 degrees Fahrenheit in Iran. Jet stream patterns shift as Arctic ice melts; this can actually lead to colder temperatures in certain areas, as intensely cold Arctic air hits regions that aren’t normally exposed to such low temperatures. This explains some of the recent record low winters in parts of the United States. There are also plenty of weather events that aren’t directly caused by global warming—sometimes a cold winter is just a cold winter!

Cold weather happens, regardless of global warming or other types of climate change. A single event, whether it’s a drought or a blizzard, isn’t enough to prove or disprove climate change. Instead, scientists look at overall trends; the current analysis is that we are experiencing a global warming—and the global temperature is going up fast.

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Photo: Fort Wainwright Public Affairs (cc)

Sources: noaa.gov, yaleclimateconnections.org, usa today

December 4, 2018 at 4:01 am Leave a comment

Your GPS Will Disable Itself If It’s Going Too Fast

By Chad Upton | Editor

Whether it’s your windshield mounted Garmin or your pocket slung smartphone, your GPS device is programmed to disable itself under certain conditions.

If it’s travelling faster than 1200 MPH or above 65,000 feet in altitude, the GPS function will shutdown.

These restrictions were put in place to help ensure the technology could not be used for malicious intentions by foreign governments or terrorists.

Modern commercial airplanes do not typically approach this speed or altitude, so you can’t test this unless you build your own missile or weather balloon.

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Photo: avlxyz (cc)

Sources: wikipedia, gizmodo

August 20, 2011 at 2:00 am 3 comments

Google Search Tricks

By Chad Upton | Editor

Google is an amazing search engine. Most of us use it to find websites with information, but it can do so much more than show you websites with answers. There are hundreds of built in features that can give you the information directly, without having to go to another site.

Movies Times

Enter “movies” followed by your town/city/postal or zip code and you’ll see some movie times for a couple popular movies along with a link to get the full list of movie times for your area.

Track Packages

Just type in a FedEx, UPS or USPS tracking number and Google will give you a link to see the shipping details.

Track Flights

Enter the airline and flight number and search. No more clicks, the info will be right there.

Find the Best Price

Enter the model name or number of a product you’d like to buy. Then click the “shopping” link at the top and Google will show prices at online retailers. To ensure you get the lowest price, you can sort by price (including shipping). There will likely be some retailers that you’ve never heard of, so you can read retailer reviews and sort by their rating as well.

Define a Word

Lets say some fancy pants uses the word “noetic” and you don’t know what it means. You could go to your favorite dictionary site, or you could type “define:noetic” into Google search. It’ll give you a list of definitions from various sites.

Unit Conversion

Whether you need to convert cups to gallons or go between metric and imperial units, Google’s conversion engine can help.

Currency Conversion

Just type in the value and the currency to convert from and to, example: 100 Euros in Australian dollars

Time

You think you’re doing a nice thing, calling somebody far away to make sure they’re well and give them a familiar voice to talk to. Then they answer the phone as if you woke them up in the middle of the afternoon, but you forgot that’s 4am in Tokyo. You can easily avoid this by checking the local time before calling.

Weather

Should you pack shorts or pants for your weekend getaway? Get a 5 day forecast in seconds (and easily switch between F/C).

Stock Quotes

Just enter the stock symbol and search.

There are many more of these features and I’ll be sure to share more later.

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Search a Specific Site

Some websites do not have good search functions on them. Sometimes I’ll read something on a site and then I go back to find it later and the site search is horrible. Otherwise, you might use google as your homepage, so it could be easier to initiate the search from there.

For example, you may remember reading why some knives have serrated blades on BrokenSecrets.com. But, you want to read it again or send the link to someone who was interested in it. You can type in google, “serrated site:brokensecrets.com” and it will only show results from BrokenSecrets.com.

Using Google as a Time Machine

Because Google’s spiders are constantly crawling the web, storing pages of data so they can resolve accurate and timely information for your search requests. Google actually lets you view the last set of data that was captured.

This information is helpful is a website cannot be reached, but you still want information from it. It’s also useful if information has changed, moved or been removed, you can potentially look at a previous version of the information.

October 13, 2010 at 2:00 am 5 comments

Some Palm Trees Can Survive Freezing Winters

Palm trees usually symbolize warm and tropical climates. From Hollywood, we know the streets of Los Angeles and Miami are lined with beautiful palm trees. Hollywood portrays New York and Chicago as cold and windy, which they are for part of the year. But, there are real palm trees in both New York and Chicago.

New York has had palm trees in the Brooklyn Botanic Garden since the 1980s. Chicago has palms at the beach on Lake Michigan.

Although we closely associate palms trees with warm climates, there are a some palm species that can survive freezing winters.

Any variety of palm that can survive colder geographies that are not usually considered palm regions, are called “hardy palms.” Many of them are native to higher elevations in Asia and survive freezing weather with little or no damage. (more…)

May 5, 2010 at 12:13 am 5 comments


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