Category Archives: Earth Facts

Watch – NASA Explorers: Permafrost

In this episode of NASA Explorers (Season 1 Episode 7), the scientists go back in time – by going underground. In the Arctic, a frozen layer of soil – permafrost, the “permanently” frozen earth – trapped dead plants and animals for thousands of years. As the climate warms, that soil is beginning to thaw, releasing carbon dioxide and methane – two harmful greenhouse gases which contribute to global warming.

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Locations of North Magnetic Pole since 1590

An interesting map showing the locations of North Magnetic Pole since 1590. The North Magnetic Pole moves over time due to magnetic changes in the Earth’s core. Today, the Geographic North Pole (the point in the Northern Hemisphere where the Earth’s axis of rotation meets its surface, the northernmost point on the Earth) differs from the North Magnetic Pole by about 500 kilometers (311 miles).

If a magnetic compass needle is allowed to rotate about a horizontal axis, it would point straight down at the North magnetic pole.

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Polar Vortex is the reason why the winter is so harsh in North America

The polar vortex is a large area of low pressure and cold air surrounding the Earth’s north and south poles. It is the reason why extreme winter conditions are bringing record-breaking cold temperatures to parts of North America.

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Earth without Moon – what would it be like?

The Moon is the Earth’s only natural satellite. It is also the fifth-largest natural satellite in the Solar System and the largest among planetary satellites relative to the size of the planet that it orbits. It formed about 4.51 billion years ago from the debris left over after a giant impact between Earth and a Mars-sized body called Theia (this is known as the Giant Impact Hypothesis and is the most widely accepted explanation of the formation of the Moon). This impact happened not long after the Earth has been formed. But, what if that giant impact never happened? What would the Earth without Moon be like?

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Dinosaurs were already doomed as the frequency of Asteroid Impacts increased 290 million years ago

By studying lunar craters, scientists have discovered that the asteroid impacts became more frequent about 290 million years ago. So was just a matter of time for dinosaurs to becoming extinct.

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Global Warming: Three bad (very bad!) news

Our planet is getting warmer, with an increasing pace. This month, there were three bad, very bad news about global warming. According to a study published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Antarctica is losing six times more ice mass annually now than 40 years ago. Another study, published in the scientific journal Advances in Atmospheric Sciences concluded that 2018 was the hottest year ever recorded for the Earth’s oceans. And, according to research released in the online journal Nature Communication, Permafrost is warming at a global scale – the temperature of the frozen ground in continuous permafrost zones rose by an average of 0.3 degrees Celsius between 2006 and 2017.

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The urbanization of the world

The world has been urbanizing rapidly in recent decades. In 1950, only 30 percent of the world’s population lived in urban areas, a proportion that grew to 55 percent by 2018. The global urbanization rate masks important differences in urbanization levels across geographic regions.

Northern America is the most urbanized region, with 82 percent of its population residing in urban areas, whereas Asia is approximately 50 percent urban, and Africa remains mostly rural with 43 percent of its population living in urban areas in 2018 (United Nations, 2018).

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