On May 13, 2013, the sun emitted an X2.8-class flare, peaking at 12:05 p.m. EDT. This is the the strongest X-class flare of 2013 so far, surpassing in strength the X1.7-class flare that occurred 14 hours earlier. It is the 16th X-class flare of the current solar cycle and the third-largest flare of that cycle. The second-strongest was an X5.4 event on March 7, 2012. The strongest was an X6.9 on Aug. 9, 2011.
Given a legitimate need to protect Earth from the most intense forms of space weather -- great bursts of electromagnetic energy and particles that can sometimes stream from the sun -- some people worry that a gigantic "killer solar flare" could hurl enough energy to destroy Earth, but this is not actually possible.
New insights into two factors that are creating a potentially volatile Southern California wildfire season come from an ongoing project using NASA and Indian satellite data by scientists at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif.; and Chapman University, Orange, Calif.
Hawaii, fortunately, has been largely free from hurricanes, only two having made landfall in more than 30 years. Now a new study shows that Hawaii could see a two-to-three-fold increase in tropical cyclones by the last quarter of this century.
Details are emerging from a recent research expedition to the Sub-Tropical North Atlantic. The objective of the expedition was to study the salt concentration (salinity) of the upper ocean. Scientists explored the essential role of the ocean in the global water cycle.
As temperatures warm, plants release gases that help form clouds and cool the atmosphere, according to new research. The new study identified a negative feedback loop in which higher temperatures lead to an increase in concentrations of natural aerosols that have a cooling effect on the atmosphere.
A NASA-funded sounding rocket mission will launch from an atoll in the Pacific in the next few weeks to help scientists better understand and predict the electrical storms in Earth's upper atmosphere These storms can interfere with satellite communication and global positioning signals.
Researchers have developed a new metric to measure seasonal Atlantic tropical cyclone activity that focuses on the size of storms in addition to the duration and intensity, a measure that may prove important when considering a hurricane’s potential for death and destruction. Just ask the survivors of Hurricane Sandy.
For much of Asia, the pace of life is tuned to rhythms of monsoons. Its variations can mean the difference between drought and flood. Now a new study reports on a crucial connection that could drastically improve the ability of forecasters to reliably predict the monsoon a few months in advance.
Precision agriculture promises to make farming more efficient and should have an important impact on the serious issue of food security, according to a new study. A scientist assesses how there is potential to manage land more effectively to improve the farming economy and crop quality, and to ensure food security.
A new report on potential effects of climate change uses existing observations and science-based expectations to identify how climate change could affect habitats, plants and animals within the sanctuary and adjacent coastal areas.
Projections of rainfall changes from global warming have been very uncertain because scientists could not determine how two different mechanisms will impact rainfall. The two mechanisms turn out to complement each other and together shape the spatial distribution of seasonal rainfall in the tropics, according to a new study.
As anyone who has ever been caught in a sudden and unexpected downpour knows, gaps still exist in our knowledge about the behavior and movement of precipitation, clouds and storms. An upcoming satellite mission from NASA and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) aims to fill in those gaps both in coverage and in scientists' understanding of precipitation.
For scientists studying summer sea ice in the Arctic, it's not a question of "if" there will be nearly ice-free summers, but "when." And two scientists say that "when" is sooner than many thought -- before 2050 and possibly within the next decade or two.
Through developing a statistical model of Arctic temperature and how it relates to instrumental and proxy records derived from trees, ice cores, and lake sediments, scientists have shown that the warmest summers in the last two decades are unprecedented in the previous six centuries.
Researchers have developed the first method to map evaporation globally using weather stations, which will help scientists evaluate water resource management, assess recent trends of evaporation throughout the globe, and validate surface hydrologic models in various conditions.