First Alert Weather Alert: Flood Warning expires at 10:04 PM on 4/24, issued at 10:04 PM Blackshear, GA | Bristol, GA | Mershon, GA | Millwood, GA

Dreary Weekend, "Local" Nor'easter Sunday... "Earth Gauge": Nat. Environmental Education Week, Warm Summers

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Updated: 4/19/2013 10:53 pm

Well....the weekend won't be very nice.  Lots of clouds Sat. with some rain at times & cool temps.  A "local" Nor'easter Sunday will make for a windy, cool day with plenty of clouds & scattered showers.  Winds will be particularly strong at the coast with a high rip current risk at area beaches.
Back to slow warming early in the week as easterly onshore winds gradually decrease.

Earth Gauge: National Environmental Education Week 2013
National Environmental Education (EE) Week takes place from April 14-20, 2013. EE Week is the nation’s largest celebration of environmental education held each year the week before Earth Day.  This year, the EE Week theme Taking Technology Outdoors is exploring how technology can enhance environmental learning.

You can take technology outdoors where you live by joining a citizen science program and sharing your own observations about nature and weather with scientists. Citizen science volunteers can collect far more data than science researchers can alone, playing an important role in scientific discovery!

Get started with these apps and websites:

Project Noah - click here: Document local wildlife by uploading photos via mobile phone or tablet. Not sure what that plant or animal is? Don’t worry – Project Noah’s global community can help I.D. your spottings, which in turn help scientists uncover and track wildlife populations.

Creek Watch - click here: Snap photos of a local waterway and report how much water or trash there is. The app aggregates the data and shares it with local water agencies to help the track pollution and water resources.

What’s Invasive! - click here. Help scientists locate invasive species by making geo-tagged observations and taking photos in local natural areas. The information you collect can help stop the spread of invasive species which destroy native habitats.

Nature’s Notebook - click here: Observe and record plant and animal lifecycle events (also known as phenology), such as flowering and bird migration. The observations help scientists understand how species respond to environmental changes.

PING Project - click here: Tell scientists at NOAA’s Severe Storms Laboratory what kind of precipitation is occurring where you are. They will compare your observations with what the radar detected and use the results to develop new technologies and techniques for determining where and what kind of precipitation is falling.

EE Week is a sister program of Earth Gauge at the National Environmental Education Foundation.


Climate Fact: You Can Help Scientists Bring Climate Change into Focus

In order to understand what the weather will do in the future, scientists need to understand what the weather did in the past. That’s a challenging endeavor because reliable, historical weather observations can be difficult to find. Information is especially sparse where few people live to collect it, like the middle of the ocean. In the past half-century, modern technologies like satellites, buoys and planes have allowed scientists to get around this problem, but they only shed light on a tiny chapter of Earth’s climate history.  So how do scientists know what the weather was like before modern times for nearly 71 percent of the earth’s surface?

Weather data, particularly air temperatures and pressures, were recorded by mariners in their ship’s logbooks as they traversed the globe in the last few centuries.  There are at least 250,000 logbooks sitting in U.S. libraries alone, but many more can be found in Asia, South America and elsewhere which collectively represent billions of individual weather observations from around the world. And these data are trustworthy. The sailors and officers who made these observations were well educated, and it was an offense to falsify a log.  If scientists could put this data into their modern computer model simulations, they could generate approximate weather maps based on their understanding of ocean and atmospheric physics.  By lengthening their record of weather observations, scientists may be able to refine their estimates about how likely future weather patterns may be.

While this may sound like music to a climatologist’s ears, there is one monumental barrier to using these data: they’re not in the digital format that scientists require. So, how can you help? An international team of scientists has created -- click here, a project that invites people from all walks of life to pour through these logbooks and enter the information into a database. By “crowdsourcing,” scientists can dramatically reduce the amount of time it takes to transcribe a logbook, and having more than one set of eyes reduces the chances for human error. So far, volunteers have transcribed more than 20,000 pages of logbooks, and data from the first oldWeather ship, Royal Navy 1914-22, will be included in the next update of the International Comprehensive Ocean-Atmosphere DataSet (ICOADS). (Source: oldWeather, 2012, “Why Scientists Need You.”  Accessed Online April 12, 2013.)


Climate in the News: “Warmest Summers in Last Two Decades in Northern Latitudes Were Unprecedented in Six Centuries” – ScienceDaily, April 11, 2013 - Using proxy records from trees, ice cores and lake sediments, Harvard researchers looked at how modern and historical temperatures compare.

Have a great & safe weekend -- stay dry & warm!
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