Midnight In The Desert — nature

You May Have Never Heard Of These Crazy Natural Phenomena

Posted by K R on

You May Have Never Heard Of These Crazy Natural Phenomena

Nature never ceases to stun, confuse, impress, and even scare people around the world every day. There are plenty of natural phenomena out there that you you may have never even heard of that are out of this world. Fire whirls, for example, are literal tornadoes of fire. These rare events occur when when a tornado spins too closely to a forest fire, or when there is a heavy concentration of heat in a small area. A cooler example is the snow roller. Another rare event, these giant mounds of snow occur when a chunk is broken off and rolls...

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A New Explanation for One of the Strangest Occurrences in Nature: Ball Lightning

Posted by K R on

A New Explanation for One of the Strangest Occurrences in Nature: Ball Lightning

Every so often, given the proper conditions, a small and roughly spherical piece of the atmosphere around us will briefly catch fire. As they are best viewed late into the night and have no obvious natural explanation, it’s perhaps no wonder they’ve inspired a rich mythology. Names for balls of fire include ignis fatuus, will-o’-the-wisp, ghost lights, and ball lightning. They’ve been said to hover above graves, dance along the banks of rivers, signal the imminent arrival of an earthquake, and stalk the aisles of airplanes. Even today, we don’t have a crystal-clear understanding of how they form and do...

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Saving Half the Planet for Nature Isn't As Crazy As It Seems

Posted by K R on

Saving Half the Planet for Nature Isn't As Crazy As It Seems

It’s hard to be an optimist these days. We are living through what biologists call the sixth mass extinction, a time of dramatic depletion of species, from frogs to rhinos and butterflies. By the end of the century, it is estimated that one in six species will be extinct. The causes—human population growth, habitat loss, climate change—are complex and interlocking, fueling each other in an ever faster destructive spiral. But E.O. Wilson, the esteemed biologist and National Geographic Hubbard Award winner, believes we can still save what is left of the planet. And in his new book, Half Earth: Our...

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New Evidence Suggests Human Beings Are a Geological Force of Nature

Posted by K R on

New Evidence Suggests Human Beings Are a Geological Force of Nature

For years, the term “Anthropocene” has been used to informally describe the human era on Earth. But new evidence suggests there’s nothing informal about it. We’re a true force of nature — and there’s good reason to believe we’ve sparked a new and unprecedented geological epoch. A team of international geoscientists say the time has come for us to formally recognize the Anthropocene as a new epoch, one as significant as previous geological eras like the Holocene and Pleistocene. According to the new study, which appears in the latest issue of Science, it began sometime around the midpoint of the...

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'Ringing' rock arches recorded for study

Posted by K R on

'Ringing' rock arches recorded for study

Scientists are listening to the hum of America's great rock arches to keep a check on their integrity. These geological wonders adorn the Colorado Plateau in the southwestern US - not to mention the desktop wallpapers of countless computers worldwide. By attaching seismometers to the sandstone structures, researchers can measure their modes of resonance. Tracking changes through time could highlight any new weaknesses in the rock that might herald a collapse. There is nothing anyone can do about this - the arches are created and destroyed by erosion. It's the natural order. But an alert to potential danger might be...

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