That's what it looks like, doesn't it? In reality this is Sydney, Australia, Earth, shrouded in a severe dust storm that has covered much of the country's eastern coast for the last few days. And while breathing is hard and transportation has ground to a standstill, the photos are spectacular.
Since we're now on the same team as far as corporate ownership goes, we're excited to begin featuring some of Popular Photography's amazing work here PopSci.com, starting with this piece on weather-junkie Jim Reed and the story behind his beautiful photographs. --Eds.
Jim Reed's passion for extreme weather photography has put him in harm's way more than once. Getting fantastic images of nature's most incredible tricks involves a lot more than running head-on into a storm. It takes patience, science and surprisingly few new camera bodies.
Researchers from Tel Aviv University believe they've found a way to detect the severity of an oncoming flood in any given location using date from the area's network of cell towers. But it doesn't make use of human to human communications; instead, it revolves around measuring humidity in the air.
If scientists can’t accurately predict the weather next week or the week after, how can they predict the climate in 10 or 20 years? Good question. The answer lies in apples and oranges.
By Dr. Bill ChameidesPosted 03.20.2009 at 2:37 pm 11 Comments
PopSci.com welcomes back Dr. Bill Chameides, dean of Duke's Nicholas School of the Environment. Dr. Chameides blogs at The Green Grok to spark lively discussions about environmental science, keeping you in the know on what the scientific world is discovering and how it affects you – all in plain language and, hopefully, with a bit of fun. Now, PopSci.com partners with The Green Grok to bring you exclusive new blog posts a week before they hit the Grok's blog. Give it a read and get in on the discussion!
A Category 4 hurricane approaches New Orleans, yet “When the Saints Go Marching In” continues to spill out of clubs on Bourbon Street. No one’s worried, because two F4 Phantom fighter jets have just taken off from the nearby Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base to kill the storm before it hits land.
When Kai Grundt announced his decision to build the ultimate snowblower from a discarded V8 engine, a friend of his just laughed. So a year later, instead of showing his buddy the finished product, Grundt showed him what it could do. He buried the man's truck under a seven-foot-tall pyramid of snow. From two houses away.
Nearly every summer rainstorm comes with thunder and lightning. Yet during even the blusteriest blizzard, there's nary a spark in the air. It can occur (although snow lightning strikes just six times a year on average in the U.S.), but winter air doesn't make for prime lightning-forming conditions, says meteorologist Robin Tanamachi of the University of Oklahoma.
Nearly four years after a series of disastrous tsunami waves struck coastlines bordering the Indian Ocean, a new Tsunami Early Warning System is up and running in Indonesia. Using a series of buoys linked to detectors that sit on the ocean floor, the new high-tech warning system will be able to detect an undersea earthquake and predict within minutes whether it will cause a tsunami.
John Pavlus and Christopher Mims, also known as Small Mammal, are here again with the latest episode of The Science of YouTube, the Popular Science video series that humanely anesthetizes YouTube videos, dissects them deftly, and labels their exposed organs for all to enjoy.
What happens when lightning strikes? A lot of bad language, for starters.
In a Mars exploration milestone, a laser remote sensing instrument on the Phoenix Mars lander has detected snow falling on the red planet. Data from the light detection and ranging (lidar) instrument—designed to gather information about interactions between the Martian atmosphere and ground surface—showed the snow falling from clouds about 4 kilometers (2.5 miles) above the spacecraft's landing site.