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19
votes
3answers
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?
18
votes
2answers
800 views

Why are minerals found in “large” quantities and not scattered throughout the earth as individual atoms?

Heavier elements are created in stars. After stars die they scatter these heavier elements throughout the universe. These elements eventually gather to form planets. But why do we find "chunks" of ...
15
votes
1answer
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 ...
15
votes
2answers
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 ...
14
votes
1answer
529 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 ...
14
votes
2answers
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.
14
votes
3answers
10k 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 ...
14
votes
3answers
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 ...
13
votes
3answers
701 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?
13
votes
1answer
378 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....
13
votes
3answers
504 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 ...
12
votes
1answer
777 views

How deep was the Vredefort Crater when it happened?

The Vredefort Crater is one of the biggest known impact craters on earth. How deep would it have been, relative to the original ground height, immediately after the dust settled, and before any ...
12
votes
4answers
2k 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?
12
votes
2answers
462 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 ...
11
votes
3answers
6k views

How does Antarctica stay frozen?

Antarctica receives heat from the Sun every day, so how does it stay frozen? I have some thoughts about the answer but I'm unsure of whether it is correct; I hope people here can clarify. My idea: ...
11
votes
2answers
321 views

Change in earth mass since the time of the dinosaurs

Is there a significant difference in the mass of the Earth between now and the time of the dinosaurs (250 - 75 million years ago)? I was just wondering if the force of gravity on dinosaurs would have ...
11
votes
3answers
3k views

Why does Earth's outer-core rotate in the opposite direction to the inner-core?

Is it true that Earth's outercore rotates in the opposite direction to Earth's inner-core? Is there a plausible explanation for why this phenomenon occurs and what is the available evidence ...
11
votes
1answer
1k views

How much water is the atmosphere losing to space?

Up until recently, I was under a (wrong) impression that the amount of planetary cumulative water resources was finite as I believed its escape from the atmosphere was impossible. I believed that, ...
11
votes
1answer
782 views

How much energy is needed to alter the path of a hurricane?

Suppose we spot an Atlantic hurricane very early. How much energy should we expend to alter its track: with nuclear detonations (let's forget about the side effects for the moment)? with a large ...
11
votes
2answers
13k views

How do I derive the formula for lithostatic (overburden) pressure?

The title pretty much says it. I have the formula: $P = \rho g h$ where $\rho$ is the density, $h$ is how deep the pressure is in the Earth and $g$ is the gravitational acceleration(?). I don't get ...
11
votes
2answers
169 views

Water on Mars and Earth

If water on Earth came from meteorites, why doesn't Mars have substantial water? What made it more highly probable on Earth than on Mars?
10
votes
4answers
814 views

How could humans alter storm intensity or direction other than cloud seeding?

I am familiar with the concept of cloud seeding, where precipitation can be induced with aerosols, thereby altering storm intensity further downwind. Are there methods that could be used to ...
10
votes
6answers
5k views

Can living where (rare) earth magnetic ore is abundant provide any protection from cosmic radiation?

Can living in a region that is rich in (rare) earth metal that has an inherently strong magnetic field provide any protection from cosmic radiation? Where are the strongest magnetic field other than ...
10
votes
2answers
251 views

Snowing when the actual temperature is around $\small\sf9^o$ Celsius

In Paris, actually, it is snowing smoothly and the temperature, according to many sources, is around $\small\sf{9^o}$ Celsius. I had always the feeling that snow is possible when temperature ...
10
votes
3answers
48k views

How is heat transferred from the core through the mantle to the crust?

So, there are three main methods of transferring heat: radiation, convection/mass transfer, and conduction. Presumably radiation is not a major method of heat transport between the core and the crust, ...
9
votes
2answers
228 views

Is there a hemisphere where there's more land than ocean?

From a previous question, around 40% of the northern hemisphere is land. Would there be a plane splitting the earth into two equal parts, where in one part there are more land than ocean?
9
votes
1answer
201 views

What is the current status of geophysical global cooling theory?

Plate tectonics effectively rubbished the theory of geophysical global cooling as a means of explaining many surface features on the Earth. However, this wiki says that the same process is responsible ...
9
votes
1answer
1k views

Was volcanic activity more prevalent when the dinosaurs roamed?

Popular film culture often depicts much volcanic activity during the time of the dinosaurs. Assuming "time of the dinosaurs" as the Jurassic (200 million years ago) until the end of the Cretaceous (...
8
votes
1answer
213 views

Does the amount of energy released from burning of fossil fuels have a measurable impact on global warming? [duplicate]

I understand that the main issue of global warming is greenhouse gases that trap solar energy instead of allowing it to bounce back into space. That being said, I've always had this impression or idea ...
8
votes
2answers
456 views

What are these Gizmos at Izaña Atmospheric Research Center in Spain?

This tweet from the account of the Centro de Investigación Atmosférica de Izaña (AEMET) http://izana.aemet.es Izaña Atmospheric Research Center (AEMET) shows images of meteorological instruments ...
8
votes
2answers
858 views

Will global warming lead to agriculture in the Arctic?

From what I understand, global warming will make growing food a lot harder in areas like the American Midwest because temperatures will become too high for most crops. At the same time, Arctic (and ...
8
votes
1answer
362 views

The giant 6,000 km$^2$ iceberg A-68; will ground-truth telemetry supplement satellite tracking data?

update 2: FIRST images of A-68 iceberg not taken from a satellite in space but from the air are out. On this NASA Earth Observatory web page are areal images from NASA's Operation IceBridge taken from ...
8
votes
2answers
770 views

Where can we see the noctilucent clouds?

I saw many pictures of noctilucent clouds in the UK. Is it a phenomenon only visible in the UK or we can see it somewhere else?
7
votes
1answer
858 views

Is the Principle of Original Horizontality a good indicator?

Still reading a course on datation over multiple stratums that may have setting up the Earth's crust, I'm meeting for the first time the principle of original horizontality Steno. Is this theory safe?...
7
votes
1answer
135 views

Does over-cropping large areas really change the amount of rainfall?

I heard that at one time the Sahara desert was cropped in wheat for the Roman Empire, and that cropping without adding back to the soil was what caused the desert to form. I also heard that this is ...
6
votes
0answers
436 views

How much of Earth's surface would be covered by water if all ice melted? [duplicate]

I'm trying to find how much water would be on the surface of Earth and how much surface would it cover (how much land will remain) if all the ice at the North and South Poles (and everywhere else) ...
6
votes
0answers
168 views

Basalt vs. columnar basalt

I recently visited a cliff on the south coast of Ulva in the Inner Hebrides where there are ~10m thick flows of columnar basalt. The columnar basalt forming most of the cliff is sandwiched between ...
6
votes
1answer
123 views

What is the evidence it is feasible to reverse ocean acidification by adding large quantities of a base (bicarb soda)?

A commenter made the following reflection: Ocean acidification is different than sea level rise and global warming, however. With ocean acidification, we're making an excursion unlike anything the ...
6
votes
2answers
669 views

What was the likely composition of Earth's early crust (how did crustal composition evolve)?

Was the first crust entirely mafic (oceanic) crust which was later distilled via volcanic arcs along subduction zones to make felsic rocks or did the earth start with bits of felsic crust? Are the ...
6
votes
1answer
5k views

Does earth itself emit electromagnetic waves?

(.... and if so, of what frequency and amplitude)? This Skeptics.SE question about nonsense called 'geopathic stress' made me wonder if and how earth itself emits electromagnetic waves. We need ...
6
votes
1answer
696 views

If ALL the ice melted, what percentage of the Earth's surface would be water?

At the present time, about 70% of the earth's surface is liquid water (perhaps that includes floating ice around Antarctica, and the Arctic Ice cap). What percentage of the Earth's surface would be ...
6
votes
2answers
198 views

Why are pole reversals not more detrimental to life?

This question is linked to the following question, and has two parts. Mars interdicts approximately 40% of the radiation (per square meter) of the sun that Earth does. It has been claimed that Mars ...
6
votes
1answer
72 views

What is meant by controlling and reacting factor?

I'm interested in issues related to Global warming and therefore started to read about it from this website --> Link As I was reading I got stuck in the third paragraph of ...
5
votes
3answers
12k views

Why silicon is abundant in earth surface?

What is the reason for having silicon in so large quantity on earth surface?
5
votes
1answer
81 views

What is the characteristical time of the loss of the Earth atmosphere, how can it be calculated?

Somewhere I've read it is in the order of some tens of billions of years, but unfortunately I can't find any reference with it in Google. I suspect, the losses are coming mainly from analyzing the ...
4
votes
1answer
68 views

The effect of CO2 concentration on the pH of the ocean

I'm confused about how increased $\ce{CO2}$ concentration in the atmosphere affects the pH of the ocean. The increase in $\ce{CO2}$ concentration means the pH of the ocean will decrease (by several ...
4
votes
1answer
185 views

How did a tropical storm starting with “D” end up next to a typhoon starting with “T”?

While keeping a close eye on typhoon Talim, I noticed that tropical storm Doksuri is also on the map and has caused serious damage and loss of life. I had thought that the naming of tropical storms is ...
4
votes
1answer
229 views

If all the world's ice were to melt, would this shift the earth's centre of gravity with consequential effects on sea levels?

This question on Maths SE asked how we might calculate the effect on sea level if all the world's ice (ie including the whole Antarctic ice sheet) were to melt. I posted an answer containing ...
4
votes
1answer
90 views

What is the second thermometer in the image from the Esperanza Antarctic temperature record?

Today, the Argentinian meteorological service tweeted about a new temperature record for Antarctica of 18.3°C, made on the Espezanza peninsula. This was subsequently reported by many other sources. ...
4
votes
1answer
234 views

What (if anything) can be learned from accurately recording tilt motion during seismic events?

The Rotational Motions in Seismology (ROMY) instrument is a giant laser gyroscope used to generate extremely precise 3D rotation measurements of planet Earth. However at the end of the video below ...

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