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11
votes
1answer
444 views

What would happen if we could revert $\mathrm{CO}_2$ production but took it too far?

So recently, scientists managed to produce fuel basically out of thin air (water, air and sunlight). And in a discussion I had with a friend, the question came up, what would happen if you took that ...
9
votes
2answers
365 views

Is the Arctic sea ice volume increasing?

According to the graph below, Arctic sea ice volume has been decreasing from 1979-2012: Though this graph from the ESA’s CryoSat satellite show that the volume of Arctic sea ice increased 50% from ...
28
votes
8answers
3k views

Is earthquake prediction possible?

After the Tohoku and East Coast quakes, I skimmed over several books discussing the validity of earthquake prediction as a discipline, yet found no significant breakthroughs. What should change in our ...
13
votes
1answer
584 views

Where can I obtain ocean wave data of the Southeast Asian region?

I am interested in obtaining ocean wave data (preferably from actual measurements), such as wave height, period, and direction, in the Southeast Asian region. Where can I obtain them?
41
votes
6answers
97k views

Are Richter-magnitude 10 earthquakes possible?

The largest earthquake since 1900 according to the United States Geological Survey (USGS) was Richter-9.5 magnitude quake in Chile in 1960. Are magnitude 10 earthquakes possible? If so, what is the ...
22
votes
1answer
2k views

Why do Earth and Venus have different atmospheres?

Venus appears to be the closest to Earth in mass, density, size, etc. - though they clearly have different atmospheres. Why do Earth and Venus have different atmospheres?
8
votes
1answer
569 views

How is the radiative efficiency of a given gas (like a given CFC) analytically calculated?

E.g. the gases listed at http://www.ipcc.ch/publications_and_data/ar4/wg1/en/tssts-2-5.html . Do they calculate them analytically or theoretically?
22
votes
1answer
557 views

Why are most peninsulas oriented north-south?

Weird question, bear with me. Most large peninsula on Earth are oriented southwards (and most of the rest northwards), much fewer east or west. Some examples: Florida, Californa peninsula, Yucatan, ...
10
votes
1answer
171 views

How would a Mars rover identify a microbialite fossil?

I recently read of a company in Canada using robotic technology to study freshwater microbialites. Their claim is that greater understanding of terrestrial microbialites could help in the search for ...
11
votes
1answer
200 views

How can scientists be confident of isotope ratios in past eras and varied locations, used for radiometric dating?

Radiometric dating relies on past isotope ratio predictions being very reliable. However, this is not necessarily so. For example, in Uranium forensics, 235U and 238U ratios are about the same for ...
12
votes
1answer
97 views

Why are methane spectroscopic parameters harder to determine and relatively poorly known, compared to other Earth trace gases?

In atmospheric remote sensing of methane, a dominant source of error is the uncertainty in spectroscopic parameters. For example, in the retrieval algorithms described by Batchelor et al. (2009), the ...
12
votes
1answer
93 views

What lithologies are deemed most suitable for the storage of nuclear waste

I have visited storage- and test facilities that are within salt and clay (Opalinuston) lithologies. What are other lithologies that are considered for the storage of nuclear waste and what are their ...
23
votes
0answers
414 views

Is it possible for a sting jet to form over a continental landmass?

Sting jets are thought to be responsible for some of the most damaging winds associated with extratropical cyclones in the mid-latitudes. So far they have only been confirmed in the European region, ...
17
votes
3answers
8k views

If 75% of radioactive material remains, how many half-lives have elapsed?

Radioactive element A radioactively decays into material B. If 75% of A and 25% of ...
16
votes
6answers
731 views

Does volcanic activity fluctuate?

According to this person's surmises, volcanic activity appers to be increasing. However, according to this report, volcanic activity is probably not increasing. My question is: Does Volcanic activity ...
7
votes
1answer
218 views

What definition of “seamount” is used by the largest utilised databases of seamounts?

Appears that answering what seamounts are is a non-trivial question. My take is what matters is data, since authoritative opinions on the topic are at best subjective. As such, my position is the ...
3
votes
2answers
3k views

What is a seamount? [closed]

Per Oxford Dictionary of Earth Sciences: Seamounts are isolated, submarine mountain rising more than 1000m above the ocean floor. The sharp, crested summits of seamounts are usually 1000-2000m ...
13
votes
3answers
10k 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 ...
37
votes
3answers
39k views

What would be the temperature of earth if there was no atmosphere?

I do know that the atmosphere protects life on Earth by absorbing ultraviolet solar radiation, warming the surface through heat retention (greenhouse effect),and reducing temperature extremes between ...
6
votes
1answer
89 views

What, if any, scientific value do global soundscapes have?

Seems like the Earth Day related crowd sourcing project to create the first global soundscape by encouraging smartphone owners around the world to download and use an app developed to record the ...
15
votes
1answer
541 views

What constitutes a blizzard in meterological terms?

Blizzards are most commonly associated with a large amount of snowfall and low visibility. However, snow squalls can induce low visibility whereas a 12" snowfall doesn't have to induce low visibility. ...
14
votes
2answers
3k views

Why is the Atlantic Hurricane Season defined as being between June 1 and November 30?

Historically, the Atlantic Hurricane Season has shifted, as close as June 15 to October 31, but since 1965, it has been between June 1 and November 30(1). Why is the Atlantic Hurricane Season defined ...
13
votes
1answer
2k views

How accurate are climate proxies in giving us a clear picture of global average temperatures throughout Earth history?

Since reliable modern records of climate only began in the 1880s, proxies provide a means for scientists to determine climatic patterns before record-keeping began, though it appears that the the ...
11
votes
1answer
644 views

What is the motivation of using the Enhanced Fujita Scale in place of the Fujita Scale?

In 2007, the US started using an Enhanced Fujita Scale in place of the Fujita Scale. From a "civilian's" perspective, the Fujita Scale seemed to measure wind whereas the Enhanced Fujita Scale measures ...
8
votes
1answer
8k views

What is the difference between a “flood” and a “flash flood”?

Whenever weather warnings come up, I have heard of both a flood watch/warning and a flash flood watch/warning. What is the difference between a "flood" and a "flash flood"? Are there any specific ...
7
votes
1answer
2k views

Is this graph showing the average temperature on Earth going back millions of years accurate?

Looking for a historic record of the average temperature on Earth going back millions of years, and this 2002 graphic the from the PALEOMAP Project is currently the best I am able to find. Is it ...
10
votes
3answers
2k views

What geophysical instruments should I use to detect water without drilling?

How can one detect (preferably artesian) aquifers nowadays that a lot of sensors are available? Should I use ground-penetrating radars, neutron detectors, or any other advanced devices? Can seismic ...
7
votes
1answer
805 views

Is a billion years of Earth's history missing?

Appears that a 4.4 billion-year-old crystal is oldest piece of Earth, and the crystal's chemistry -- specifically, the ratio of oxygen isotopes within it -- suggests that the temperatures on Earth 4.4 ...
19
votes
1answer
3k views

Why do more tornadoes happen late in the day?

According to the graph below, which appears to be sourced from the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, more tornadoes happen late in the day - why is this?
13
votes
1answer
1k views

Cloud-to-ground lightning in Florida?

I was looking into the odds of getting hit by lightning and ran across this map: My first thought for this was due to a higher number of thunderstorms in Florida. However, the map for that doesn't ...
10
votes
1answer
252 views

How to determine the transmissivity of a system of rocks and faults from the stationary drawdown pattern?

I have a dataset containing high frequency measurements of the hydraulic head at different locations in a 5x6km area. Also known are the precipitation, evaporation, and pumped discharges from a number ...
10
votes
2answers
263 views

Is it possible to find the magma chambers that produce supervolcanos?

Supervolcanos have occurred in the recent geological past, but not within the past 74,000 years. Is it possible to find the magma chambers with no previous history of supervolcanic activity that are ...
13
votes
1answer
1k views

Is there a piece of upside down foreign crust in the USA?

When I studied earth science, a lecturer mentioned that one of the anomalies that earth science hasn’t been able to explain is a piece of crust in the USA. This piece of crust appeared to match very ...
-5
votes
2answers
207 views

Is there another explanation than an asteroid/volcano for the extinction event on Earth millions of years ago?

This idea keeps on appearing in my mind, once in a million years the Sun's gravity will pull Earth near and eliminate every living in the earth due to the increased heat, and in another million years ...
16
votes
2answers
51k views

Are the processes of the rock cycle currently in dynamic equilibrium?

The standard representation of the rock cycle usually looks like this: Does each stage of the rock cycle currently balance? That is, are the various processes in dynamic equilibrium, so that the ...
14
votes
1answer
873 views

Do ringwoodite minerals point to an “ocean's worth” of water, or a true subterranean ocean?

Appears that the answer is that it is highly likely that the water that the ringwoodite minerals point to is an "ocean's worth" of water, not a true subterranean ocean. Do ringwoodite minerals ...
12
votes
1answer
254 views

How to interpret the use of late and early Tertiary from older literature?

When reading older papers how should I interpret the use of "Late Tertiary" and "Early Tertiary"? Would these periods equate to Paleogene and Neogene, or was there a different accepted boundary age ...
13
votes
2answers
29k views

Transfer precipitation forecast in mm to expected snowfall in cm

What conversion functions exist to transfer precipitation forecast in mm to expected snowfall in cm? Simple rules of thumbs as well as more advanced methods would be of interest.
34
votes
3answers
2k views

How would plate tectonics differ if Earth had no water?

Water plays a crucial role in plate tectonics by easing the brittle and ductile deformation of the Earth's lithosphere. Water lowers the Mohr-Coulomb for brittle fractures. During ductile deformation, ...
8
votes
2answers
2k views

What are some options for online and offline particle tracking in ocean models?

I am looking for a few options of particle tracking for ocean modeling to try to do a comparison of different codes.
4
votes
2answers
565 views

What Keeps the Earth Cooking?

If radioactive decay supplies only about half the Earth’s heat, what are the remaining sources of heat?
12
votes
1answer
192 views

Do seismic travel times from one location to another differ based on factors other than distance?

Bit puzzled why it appears that seismic travel times from one location to another appears to just be a function of the distance, and not any other factors. Do seismic travel times from one location ...
1
vote
1answer
175 views

Is the majority of Earth not unique?

Realize that comparing planets is hard, but is Earth really that unique? More to the point, if everything say 20-km below sea-level up into the exosphere disappeared (and the moon too) - what would ...
21
votes
2answers
5k views

Does Earth's air leak into space over time?

From my current understanding, Earth's atmosphere and air are held by the balance of two forces: 1. Earth's gravity and 2. Air pressure from air out to space. Is my understanding correct? So, do ...
12
votes
2answers
1k views

How do we know graptolites were pelagic?

How do we know that graptolites were pelagic, and not benthic, creatures? I understand it has something to do with their being found in black shale, but I'm not sure why that is particularly relevant.
19
votes
2answers
43k views

How do seismologists locate the epicenter and focus of an earthquake?

I know the focus of an earthquake is where the earthquake originated from, but what I could never figure out is, how to scientists find out where exactly the focus (and epicenter) are located?
27
votes
2answers
3k views

Why does El Niño only exist in the Pacific Ocean and not the Atlantic/Indian Oceans?

El Niño is associated with the weakening of the ‘normal’ pressure/temperature gradients between the western and eastern Pacific Oceans. My question is this: why does it only exist in the Pacific ...
14
votes
1answer
265 views

Recharge a dry aquifer?

Aquifers have a natural recharge rate. However, some aquifers rely on fossil water for their primary (or even sole) water supply. When water in a well is pulled from these aquifers faster than they ...
17
votes
2answers
14k views

What determines a mineral's hardness?

Mohs Hardness Scale is basically a measurement of the hardness of a material, or more specific, a rock or mineral. But I have never been able to figure out why some minerals are harder than others.
10
votes
2answers
195 views

Why does the rising of high clouds due to climate change impart positive radiative feedback on radiative forcing?

As seen in the figure below. The larger the temperature difference between surface and cloud, the more positive the radiative forcing is from the cloud. So as the cloud moves up, it supposedly ...

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