# All Questions

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### What would be the effect of bringing seawater pipes to the Sahara desert?

This is a childhood dream. What would happen if pipes were installed (similar in principle to the Great Man-Made River, but for seawater) to continuously pump seawater into the Sahara desert. Let'...
849 views

### How is carbon distributed among the atmosphere, the oceans, the biomass and the unburnt fossil fuels?

In relation to my other question about carbon cycle and climate change, i would like to know some estimates of the carbon distribution among the atmosphere, the oceans, the biomass and the unburnt ...
287 views

### What is likely to have happened with these newly discovered antarctic volcanos below the ice?

The Guardian article Scientists discover 91 volcanoes below Antarctic ice sheet highlights a recently published University of Edinburgh School of Geosciences discovery and cataloging of over ninety ...
2k views

### What causes these banded clouds?

A set of banded clouds can be seen in MODIS imagery during several days in January and February over the Gulf of Maine. They tend to occur with very cold winds from the NW following storms. There are ...
1k views

### What is the formula used for atmospheric visibility?

I am working on NCEP GFS data to plot various maps. One such plot I would like to have is visibility. I have seen some of the sites showing visibility charts and the source of the data was shown as ...
121 views

### How to predict when contrails are likely to form over a specific location using public data?

I saw the image below used as a click-attractor to an unrelated story about tourism, but found a larger version here. Contrails, or water condensation trails happen when planes pass through the ...
162 views

### What is the appropriate vertical datum to use globally?

When studying sea level changes, it is normal to analyze water level with respect to a common vertical datum. The most used datum is Mean Sea Level (MSL), which NOAA defines as "The arithmetic mean of ...
1k views

### Impact craters under water

What would be the resulting impact crater of a meteorite hitting bodies of water on Earth? Let's take for example the impactor that resulted in Meteor Crater, Arizona. What would the impact look like ...
3k views

### How did tectonic plates originally come to form?

Plate tectonics is a theory which describes Earth's lithosphere as being composed of distinct plates which are able to move atop of the underlying asthenosphere. At plate boundaries, this movement ...
25k views

### (Why) Is there more landmass on Earth's Northern hemisphere than the Southern Hemisphere?

This Question on Worldbuilding is based on the presumption that there is a greater amount of landmass on the Earth's Northern Hemisphere than there is on the Southern Hemisphere. While researching ...
2k views

### Characterizing earthquakes using accelerometer data

Is there a way to use accelerometer data to characterize earthquake intensity, e.g., on Richter scale?
6k views

### Can we really travel through earth's core?

Inspired by the movie, "The Core". Can we really travel through earth's core? I will provide 2 sub questions: Is there any substance that can resist the heat of earth's core? Between the crust and ...
291 views

### Is this a former volcano in the Hamad Plateau, in the Syrian desert?

On my random explorations of google maps, I came across this interesting terrain: (link to map here) Apparently, this is part of the so-called Hamad Plateau, in the Syrian desert. If so, the rock ...
9k views

### What is the tallest fully underwater seamount in the world?

I am wondering what is the tallest fully underwater seamount in the world ? When I say the tallest, I mean the one that is the nearest of the sea level. EDIT : The highest that I found would be at ...
443 views

### Why would volcano eruption cause cardiac arrest?

Following recent eruption of Mt Ontake and the sad news of over 30 people found in 'cardiac arrest', why would the eruption cause it? My initial thought would be that the cause of death would ...
1k views

### Why does the “Ring of Fire” pretty much define “Pacific Rim”

The Pacific Rim is pretty much defined by the so-called "Ring of Fire." It consists of the "stomping ground" for a disproportionate number of earthquakes and volcanoes, and the affected territory ...
3k views

### Source of water for the Great Artesian Basin in Australia

The Great Artesian Basin in Australia covers 23% of the continent and contains 64,900 cubic kilometres of water. Many years ago it was claimed on a TV science show I saw that some of the water in the ...
1k views

### How do Rossby Waves in the ocean form?

So on land, I believe that one factor in their formation is due to inhomogeneities in surface heating between land and ocean (and also inhomogeneities in surface heating due to terrain effects like ...
522 views

### What exactly is a model grid?

I have just begun reading some notes about modelling and can't seem to understand what a 1°x1° grid or a 2.5° grid or 1/4° grid is. I know it is something related to the resolution of the area over ...
4k views

### Can we reduce the scale of volcanic eruptions by drilling some canals or bombing some holes in the crater?

As we know, when large scale volcanic eruptions occurs, large amounts of ashes and lava rushed out at short time, is it possible to drill some canels or bomb some holes in the crater so that the gas ...
764 views

### Are coral cays and coral atolls just volcanic islands?

Are coral cays and coral atolls just a different type of volcanic island? When I hear: "volcanic island" I think at places like Moorea or Hawaii, but ultimately, coral cays and coral atolls lay their ...
987 views

### Was the filling of the Three Gorges Dam's impact on the Earth's rotation rate detectable?

I'm a big fan of Vsauce and the video How Earth Moves is just one example of science related to the Earth available there (there's plenty more). But the statement in this video starting at ...
286 views

### What is the current equilibrium surface temperature of Earth, i.e. without the sun?

Without the sun to keep the Earth's temperature topped up to something comfortable, what would be the equilibrium surface temperature range. It would obviously be a balance between outgoing radiation ...
956 views

### What causes a rainbow, its colours and its shape?

What is the cause of rainbows? Do they appear due to rainfall or any other natural phenomenon. What makes it form a semi-circle in the atmosphere and its colours?
178 views

### Prompt gravity signal induced by the 2011 Tohoku-Oki earthquake - could this really be useful for warnings?

Edit: Two new items may shed more light on this question: BBC: Gravity signals rapidly show true size of giant quakes links to: Science: Observations and modeling of the elastogravity signals ...
1k views

### Axial Obliquity and Climate Change

The Wikipedia page for Earth's Axial tilt says: Earth's obliquity oscillates between 22.1 and 24.5 degrees on a 41,000-year cycle. It is currently 23.44 degrees and decreasing. My Questions are: ...
288 views

### Is non-randomly-sampled historical data representative?

I'm a global warming skeptic, and one of my concerns is the accuracy of historical global temperatures. Since these temperatures weren't sampled at random locations or gridded points, can they be ...
268 views

### Are there any seasonal or diurnal trends in earthquakes?

Though I imagine it's unlikely there is any significant correlation because daily and annual temperature variation really only impact a fairly shallow layer of the crust, I wondered whether the actual ...
989 views

### Definitions of tidal harmonic constituents…?

Does anyone know where there is a detailed definition for tidal harmonic constituents? There is loads of stuff on $M_2$, $S_2$, $N_2$, etc. (all the common ones), but there are a great many more, some ...
796 views

### What are the implications of the recent discovery that huge oceans exist close to the mantle of the Earth? [duplicate]

I was of the notion that as we get deeper into the Earth, it gets hotter and hotter. If so, how can there be huge oceans (they seem bigger than our Pacific) exist at such a place? If so, what are the ...
2k views

### Identification needed for possible iron meteorite [closed]

Available information: Location found: Unknown. Weighs 2.2 lbs. Passed a liquid volume mass ratio test used for identifying meteorites Highly magnetic Density is extremely high, between quartz and ...
125 views

### Does being under water provide any protection from a asteroid?

Does being under or on water provide any protection from an asteroid hitting the opposite side of the Earth over being in or on land or in air? Why? Will the shock wave follow the curvature of the ...
1k views

### Academic but accessible defense of the scientific understanding of anthropogenic climate change?

I'm an intelligent and well-educated guy, but all of my schooling has been in economics, statistics, and public policy. I'm interested in reading a thorough explanation/defense of the scientific ...
3k views

### Why is March colder than September in Northern Hemisphere?

Forgive my ignorance of the subject but I was always wondered about the exact reason of this phenomenon. Vernal equinox happens around March 20, whereas autumnal equinox happens around September 22, ...
788 views

### How does one measure what causes earthquakes?

I know that they occur when energy that was previously stored is released in seismic waves. But how is the energy stored in the earth in the first place, and what can trigger the release of such ...
1k views

### Why does Volcano Lightning occur?

There are many pictures I've seen of lightning coming out of the plume of smoke caused by a volcano (Often called 'Volcano Lightning'). Example: Why does this happen?
2k views

### Can impact events cause widespread volcanic activity on the other side of the planet?

The currently accepted theory for P-T mass extinction is environmental change triggered by the Siberian Traps volcanic activity. A paper(1) suggests that the Siberian Traps were caused by a hotspot ...
2k views

### How much of earth's molecular oxygen in the atmosphere is due to plants?

I know plants form a critical part of the earth's biosphere, including molecular oxygen production. Molecular oxygen makes up ~20% of our atmosphere. How much of the earth's molecular oxygen in the ...
5k views

### Effect on sea level if the Earth stopped rotating

Would sea level change at the equator if the Earth stopped spinning? I am assuming it is currently bulging around it due to centrifugal force.
6k views

### July/August hottest months (northern hemisphere): because of continued warming or other effects?

In the northern hemisphere, July and August are the hottest months statistically1, but the days start shortening after June 21st. Is this just because the Northern Hemisphere keeps heating up after ...
4k views

### Why are weather service atmospheric pressures systematically different from those I measure in Johannesburg?

I live in the northern suburbs of Johannesburg in South Africa. I have noticed while working with synoptic weather charts in geography class that the isobars indicate that Johannesburg should have ...
479 views

### What, if any, paleoclimate data can be derived from igneous rocks?

Paleoclimate data often derives from sedimentary rocks. Metamorphic rocks can also contribute to paleoclimate information in a wide variety of ways. What about igneous rocks? I guess that this can ...
359 views

### Which are the biggest methodological differences between the archaeological and geological approaches to stratigraphy?

Stratigraphy, or study of rock or soil layers (strata), was originally introduced as a branch of geology. However, it is often applied in other disciplines, especially in archaeology and paleonthology....
9k views

### Why is earth not a sphere?

We've all learned at school that the earth was a sphere. Actually, it is more nearly a slightly flattened sphere - an oblate ellipsoid of revolution, also called an oblate spheroid. This is an ellipse ...
622 views

### Ozone gas (O₃) endurance in the atmosphere

If I release some ozone gas (O3) to the atmosphere, for how much time will it stay there in its original form? Does it change to some other form by reacting with other atmospheric constituents?
455 views

### Who are the 3% in the often cited “97% of climate scientists”?

The media have variously reported that: Ninety-seven percent of climate scientists agree that climate-warming trends over the past century are very likely due to human activities. Based on this ...
1k views

### Would it be geographically feasible to store water on land to counteract sea level rise?

Based on a misunderstanding of another post, I prepared an estimate of how much water would be required to lower sea level by one meter. the main question would be: could this be stored on land?
429 views

### Determining the paleoelevation of mountain ranges

In New Delhi, a lot of people say that the Aravali range used to be as tall as the Himalayas. How do scientists know that some mountain range used to be a lot taller millions of years ago, and what ...