Meteorologist and climatologist Barbara Mayes Boustead has loved the Little House books since she was a little girl
. At her blog Wilder Weather, Barbara makes "connections between weather and climate concepts, events during Laura’s time and in her books, and present or future weather and climate concerns
." For example, in October of 1880, a storm is brewing.
"The initial shot of cold air brought near-freezing temperatures and a little bit of precipitation up north on the 14th. The low pressure system deepened on the 15th as it got spinning in eastern Nebraska, pulling cold air around behind it while it brought moisture up from the south. Then, the low pressure just sat there for a while and deepened. As it got deeper, the winds behind it – in eastern South Dakota – got stronger. The storm stayed in the area of northwest Iowa to southern Minnesota
through the 16th, then pulled away into northern Michigan on the 17th, leaving cold air and breezy conditions behind it." And in De Smet, South Dakota, Laura Ingalls and her family settle in for the beginning of the Long Winter
. [more inside]
In 1987, the Caltech biomagnetist and paleomagnetist Joe Kirschvink gave undergraduate Dawn Sumner a rock sample [from South Australia] to study for her senior thesis.
The apparent glacial origin of this rock lead directly to the theory that periodically the Earth has been thoroughly glaciated from the poles to the Equator: the so-called Snowball Earth
events. A website
dedicated to this theory includes detailed teaching slides
, a FAQ
, and many other resources on this interesting period in Earth's history.
Ever think about drought? The National Drought Mitigation Center (NDMC)
"helps people and institutions develop and implement measures to reduce societal vulnerability to drought. The NDMC, based at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, stresses preparation and risk management rather than crisis management." Lots of interesting things in here, like the drought maps
that stretch back to 1895, and the Standardized Precipitation Index Maps
. You can also check the Drought Monitor
to see how dry things are as of last Thursday. [via the excellent j-walk blog]