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The smell of rain

With all the rain we’ve had this week, the smell of rain has been on my mind.  EarthSky had a blog entry on petrichor, the official term for the smell of rain (here).  I was surprised to learn that the word was created by the Australian National Science agency, CSIRO,…
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California’s recent heat shatters all records

One of the consequences of the continuing drought in California has been the unprecedented string of extremely high temperatures that have occurred in the last few years.  Normally a portion of the sun’s energy that hits the earth goes to evaporating water from the surface, either from soils or water…
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Is the Pacific Decadal Oscillation entering a new positive phase?

The Pacific Decadal oscillation, or PDO, is a long-term oscillation in Pacific Ocean temperatures.  It is one of several known swings in ocean temperature between two phases, a “cold” phase and a “warm” phase.  The most well-known natural oscillation like this is the El Nino-Southern Oscillation, which changes phase every…
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