Environment

Global Temperature Extremes

The week’s hottest temperature was 121 degrees Fahrenheit (49.4 degrees Celsius) in Port Augusta, South Australia.

The week’s coldest temperature was minus 63.0 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 52.8 degrees Celsius) at Toko, Siberia.

Temperatures were tabulated from the more than 10,000 worldwide synoptic weather stations. The United Nations World Meteorological Organization sets the standards for weather observations, and provides a global telecommunications circuit for data distribution.

Environment

Global Temperature Extremes

The week’s hottest temperature was 118 degrees Fahrenheit (47.8 degrees Celsius) in Port Augusta, South Australia.

The week’s coldest temperature was minus 70.0 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 56.7 degrees Celsius) at Olenek, Siberia.

Temperatures were tabulated from the more than 10,000 worldwide synoptic weather stations. The United Nations World Meteorological Organization sets the standards for weather observations, and provides a global telecommunications circuit for data distribution.

Space Events

Tiny Cotton Sprouts China Grew on the Moon

A handful of cotton seedlings poked themselves up from the dirt inside a small biosphere on China’s lunar lander, Chang’e-4.

Yes, the plants were stunted compared with the earthbound control plants. But they had just survived a space launch and difficult journey to the moon, and were growing in the low gravity and high radiation of extraterrestrial space. They were the first plants ever to grow on the lunar surface. None of the other species that made the trip with them showed any similar signs of life.

Now they’re dead. And it’s all the moon’s fault. As night fell on the region of the far side of the moon where Chang’e-4 sits, temperatures plunged in the 5.7-lbs. (2.6 kilograms) mini biosphere. Hanlong reportedly said that the temperature inside the chamber had fallen to minus 62 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 52 degrees Celsius), and could continue to plunge to minus 292 degrees F (minus 180 degrees C).

Environment

Global Temperature Extremes

The week’s hottest temperature was 114 degrees Fahrenheit (45.6 degrees Celsius) in Learmonth, Western Australia.

The week’s coldest temperature was minus 63.0 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 52.8 degrees Celsius) at Oimyakon, Siberia.

Temperatures were tabulated from the more than 10,000 worldwide synoptic weather stations. The United Nations World Meteorological Organization sets the standards for weather observations, and provides a global telecommunications circuit for data distribution.

Nature – Images

Interesting Images

Awe-inspiring though it is, this is not a sight you want to see from your kitchen window.

This towering structure is known as a pyrocumulus cloud – a sure sign that a bushfire has morphed into a full firestorm, complete with its own devastating effects.

These firestorms create their own weather with lightning, strong winds, and even tornadoes that spread fire in multiple directions. These ingredients make them impossible for firefighters to put out.

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Nature – Images

Interesting Images

Sometimes, at sunset, the sun appears to suddenly and briefly change color. Blink, and you’ll miss it.

A green flash is a phenomenon in which part of the sun appears to suddenly change color for about 1 or 2 seconds. The brief flash of green light is seen more often at sunset than at sunrise.

This fleeting spectacle is caused by the refraction of sunlight, which is particularly significant at sunset and sunrise, when the light travels through more of the Earth’s atmosphere. The atmosphere bends the sunlight passing through it, separating the light into its different colors, much like a prism bends and splits sunlight into rainbows.

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Space Events

China Makes 1st-Ever Landing on Moon’s Mysterious Far Side

China’s robotic Chang’e 4 mission touched down on the floor of the 115-mile-wide (186 kilometers) Von Kármán Crater Wednesday night (Jan. 2), pulling off the first-ever soft landing on the mysterious lunar far side.

Chang’e 4 will perform a variety of science work over the coming months, potentially helping scientists better understand the structure, formation and evolution of Earth’s natural satellite.

Nature – Images

Interesting Images

The amazing spiral-shaped hive of the Australian stingless bee, Tetragonula carbonaria.

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A daredevil racoon slowly climbed the vertical concrete wall of a skyscraper in Minnesota. The small, masked acrobat took breaks at various window ledges, but the expert climber kept going up, and after about 20 hours, reached the roof of the 23-story building, where it was safely captured and returned to the ground.

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Nature – Images

Interesting Images

Cute:

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This Mary River Turtle happens to be a tiny, green-mohawked turtle living in Australia.

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In November, NASA satellites caught a glimpse of arguably the most poignant possible symbol of Earth’s climate-hobbled future: A lone iceberg, shaped like a coffin, drifting into warm waters to die forever.

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Environment

Global Temperature Extremes

The week’s hottest temperature was 127 degrees Fahrenheit (45.0 degrees Celsius) in Death Valley, California.

The week’s coldest temperature was minus 116.0 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 48.9 degrees Celsius) at Vostok, Antarctica.

Temperatures were tabulated from the more than 10,000 worldwide synoptic weather stations. The United Nations World Meteorological Organization sets the standards for weather observations, and provides a global telecommunications circuit for data distribution.

Nature – Images

Interesting Images

Giant ice-filled crater on Mars – An 82 kilometre-wide crater on Mars that may be topped with snow has been photographed by the ESA’s (European Space Agency) Mars Express.

The stunning untrodden snow scene comes as the mission prepares to celebrate 15-years since it entered the Red Planet’s orbit on Christmas Day. Korolev, as the crater is known, is thought to be 1.8 kilometres deep, filled with around 2,200 cubic kilometres of ice.

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Environment

Global Temperature Extremes

The week’s hottest temperature was 116 degrees Fahrenheit (45.0 degrees Celsius) in Moomba, South Australia.

The week’s coldest temperature was minus 60.0 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 48.9 degrees Celsius) at Oimyakon, Siberia.

Temperatures were tabulated from the more than 10,000 worldwide synoptic weather stations. The United Nations World Meteorological Organization sets the standards for weather observations, and provides a global telecommunications circuit for data distribution.

Environment

Global Temperature Extremes

The week’s hottest temperature was 113 degrees Fahrenheit (45.0 degrees Celsius) in Nullagine, Western Australia.

The week’s coldest temperature was minus 56.0 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 48.9 degrees Celsius) at Tombo, Siberia.

Temperatures were tabulated from the more than 10,000 worldwide synoptic weather stations. The United Nations World Meteorological Organization sets the standards for weather observations, and provides a global telecommunications circuit for data distribution.

Environment

Researchers suggest broiler chicken is the hallmark of the Anthropocene

A team of researchers from several institutions in the U.K. and one in South Africa has come to the conclusion that the broiler chicken offers perhaps the most striking evidence of the rise of the Anthropocene. In their paper published in the journal Royal Society Open Science, the group outlines their reasons for choosing the chicken as a signal of human biosphere reconfiguration.

Scientists have begun suggesting that we are now living in a new epoch, which thehy call the Anthropocene—the age of man-made impacts on the planet. In this new effort, the researchers suggest the broiler chicken is a prime example of the changes we have wrought. They note, for example, that the broiler chicken is now by far the most populous bird on the planet—at any given moment, there are approximately 23 billion of them. The second most populous bird, by comparison, is the red-billed quelea, and there are just 1.5 billion of them.

There are so many chickens that their body mass is greater than all other birds combined. And they are not anywhere close to their initial native state—the modern broiler is unable to survive and reproduce in the wild. It has been bred to eat non-stop, allowing it to grow to a desired size in just five to nine weeks. And as it grows, its meaty parts outgrow its organs, making it impossible for many to survive to adulthood. And all these chickens are being cooked and eaten, and their bones are discarded. Billions of bones wind up in landfills where they are covered over in an oxygen-free environment, making it likely that they will, over time, become fossilized. If we do not survive due to global warming, pandemics or nuclear warfare, the researchers suggest, the next dominant life form will likely dig up our landfills and find evidence of our love for the broiler chicken.

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Space Events

Voyager 2 Spacecraft Reaches Interstellar Space

It’s time to say goodbye to one of the most storied explorers of our age: Voyager 2 has entered interstellar space, NASA announced Dec. 10.

Voyager 2, which launched in 1977, has spent more four decades exploring our solar system, most famously becoming the only probe ever to study Neptune and Uranus during planetary flybys. Now, it has joined its predecessor Voyager 1 beyond the bounds of our sun’s influence, a milestone scientists weren’t able to precisely predict when would occur.

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