I hope you’ll join me this weekend for Puppy Mill Awareness Day! Reception/Party is Saturday night, main event Sunday at Scholz Garten. Come to both if you can! CLICK HERE for details.
Sorry Ashton fans, we’re not talking about the movie. Rather, an event that had NWS members scratching their heads. Meteorological minds were bending to figure out what could possibly be the cause of a blue “blob” that was showing up on their St. Louis radar. Eventually, they figured it out. The came to the conclusion that it wasn’t rain, snow, sleet, or hail. Here’s the article explaining their theory of the mysterious blue blob from USA Today.
A swarm of butterflies, winging its way south for the winter, was “spotted” as large blue blobs on weather radar last week over southern Illinois and central Missouri.
“We think these targets are Monarch butterflies,” the National Weather Service in St. Louis noted on its Facebook page, which also includes a technical explanation of how the weather service came to this conclusion.
The monarchs were flapping their way south toward their winter home in Mexico. As noted earlier this year, the colorful insects were under stress this spring because of ongoing drought, an unusually cold winter and a lack of milkweed, their primary food source.
This isn’t the first time weather radar has “seen” bugs this year: Both grasshoppers in New Mexico and mayflies in Wisconsin were spotted on radar.
Scientists are finding that weather radar is proving useful to track birds, bats and insects. While this information is just clutter to the weather folks, it is just the thing biologists need to study the activities of flying creatures, a science newly christened “aeroecology.”
As for the butterflies, the weather service in St. Louis wished “good luck and a safe journey to these amazing little creatures on their long journey south!”
BEIJING, Sept. 15 (UPI) – It is no secret China has a serious air pollution problem, but less known are proposed solutions, the results of brainstorming in the press.Residents are encouraged to think of resolutions, and some require less technology than others. Ideas are encouraged, and some are evidence to observers that China is not ready to resolve its smog issues. The city of Los Angeles was similarly swamped with silver-bullet approaches to its smog issues in the 1950s.
“We’re seeing the exact same thing in China that we saw in L.A. — crazy ideas coming out of the woodwork,” says Chip Jacobs, co-author of a book about the history of smog in Los Angeles.
Hundreds of world leaders including President Barack Obama and U.N. Secretary General Ban-Ki Moon are gathering this week at the U.N. to discuss climate change, and build momentum for a new internationally binding agreement that can be enacted in 2015.
CLICK HERE to visit the TakePart website, and be sure to watch the opening film!
The Austin Animal Center, in partnership with several animal welfare groups, will host the first-ever Austin Pittie Limits event from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sept. 27. The Austin Animal Center is located in east Austin at 7201 Levander Loop.
Austin City Limits Music Festival is scheduled for the beginning of October, which is also Pit Bull Awareness Month, and we want to kick the festivities off in style by teaming up with other local animal welfare partners for an event that celebrates the diversity of “bully type dogs” and helps our community to better understand them and meet their needs.
Austin Pittie Limits will include live music and fun activities for the entire family, lots of adoptable dogs, plus informational booths about animal welfare resources available in our area, effective and positive dog training, prizes, goodie bags for adopted dogs, dog agility demos, games to play with your dog, and even a chance to make your own dog toys for active dogs! The event is free and open to the public, and pizza will be available for purchase.
(NASA) Before the Industrial Revolution, Earth’s climate changed due to natural events such as volcanic activity and solar energy variations. These natural events still contribute to climate change today, but their impact is very small compared to the growing levels of greenhouse gases added to the atmosphere by humans burning fossil fuels. NASA’s ongoing Earth science missions, research and computer models help us better understand the long-term global changes occurring today through both natural and manmade causes.
(Courtesy of EMPA)
NASA’s MAVEN orbiter has entered Martian orbit after a journey of 10 months and 442 million miles, mission managers reported Sunday. The bus-sized spacecraft executed a crucial engine burn that lasted slightly longer than the expected 33 minutes. “Congratulations, Maven is now in Mars orbit,” Dave Folta, mission design and navigation lead, told the mission control team. That sparked an eruption of applause at Maven’s mission operations center near Denver.
Over the next several weeks, additional maneuvers will put the orbiter in position for a yearlong mission to monitor Mars’ upper atmosphere. Maven’s observations are expected to help scientists figure out how Mars lost its air over the course of billions of years and was transformed from a warmer, wetter world to the cold, dry planet we see today. The name of the $671 million mission is an acronym that stands for Mars Atmosphere andVolatile EvolutioN.
The summer of 2014 is officially the hottest since the modern instrumental record began more than 130 years ago, according to the latest state of the climate report from NOAA’s National Climatic Data Center.
August 2014 also was the hottest August worldwide in records dating back to 1880, the report adds, as the combined average temperature across global land and ocean surfaces was 1.35 degrees F above the 20th century average of 60.1 degrees F, breaking the previous record set in 1998.
Warmer-than-average temperatures abounded across most of the world’s land surfaces, except for parts of the eastern United States, western Europe and parts of Asia and Australia.
Both the U.S. and Russia had weather stations that reported record warm temperatures as well as at least one record cold temperature, the report adds, while the United Kingdom and Austria had their coolest Augusts since 1993 and 2006, respectively. In the U.K., the unusually cool August ended a streak of eight consecutive warmer-than-normal months.
There was no cooldown for the world’s oceans, however. NOAA reports that the average August temperature for the world’s oceans was 1.17 degrees F above the 20th century average, topping the previous record set in 2005.
NOAA notes that the oceans were “a major contributor to the global average” warmth in August, as the departure from average for the world’s oceans during the June-August period this year was also highest on record, at 1.13 degrees F above the 20th century average.
We’ve enjoyed a much wetter September than average thus far. In fact, parts of Austin have added up as much rain in the past 14 days as we typically would in 3-4 months!
Check out the following 2-week rainfall totals courtesy of the LCRA Hydromet — also available on KXAN.com here.