Forest fires occur in Texas each year. Here are pictures of this year fires.
There have been volcanic eruptions thousands of times more powerful than Mt. St. Helens. Recent storms have redefined the ranking systems for wind speeds. The hottest place on Earth has hit temperatures 288 degrees hotter than the coldest place on earth.Yep, it’s an amazing world. Here is a compilation of the most extreme conditions that add a little spice (and devastation) to the planet Earth and its inhabitants.
The Fastest Recorded Wind Speed Near Earth’s Surface
Oklahoma, United States - 318 MPH
Scientists measured the fastest wind speed ever recorded, 318 mph, in one of the tornadoes that hit the suburbs of Oklahoma City on May 3, 1999.
The record-setting wind occurred about 7 p.m. near Moore, where the tornado killed four people and destroyed about 250 houses.
Joshua Wurman of the University of Oklahoma says he and his research team were about a half-mile away when they measured the record wind. Wurman says the actual speed in the part of the tornado measured could have been nine or 10 mph slower or faster than 318 mph.
Wurman’s group used a truck-mounted Doppler radar, one of the two used in the Doppler On Wheels (DOW) project at the University of Oklahoma in Norman.
The fastest speed previously measured was 286 mph clocked by a portable Doppler radar April 26, 1991, in a tornado near Red Rock, Okla.
Most photographers do not feel comfortable in taking photographs in bad weather. Yet bad weather sometimes presents the perfect opportunity to get most out of our skills. In particular, in the beginning of autumn rain can provide the perfect opportunity to capture wonderful photos.
Shooting in rain produces dramatic atmosphere and soft romantic scenes. Whether you are after lightning strikes or water drops, alone the incredible cloud formations can produce quite exciting and impressive photos. Reflections can occasionally produce mirrors or blurs of dancing colors, making the photography in rain beautiful and unpredictable.
The Black Sea, which is an inland sea located in Europe, is usually calm due to the nature of the region but it saw a major sea storm that will have a very long recovery period for the area.
In Black Sea, storm highlights maritime-safety issues
An oil spill from a Russian tanker, one of up to 10 vessels shipwrecked since early Sunday, presents a ‘very serious’ environmental disaster.
NOVOROSSIISK and ROSTOV-ON-DON, Russia - Russian authorities on Monday launched a major rescue operation at the northern mouth of the Black Sea to save missing seamen and contain environmental damage after a storm sank up to 10 ships and split open a small oil tanker.
The Volganeft-139, anchored outside the Ukrainian port of Kerch, spilled at least 1,300 tons of fuel oil (364,000 gallons) after high waves broke it in two Sunday morning.
Birds seeking shelter on the shore near the centre of the storm were covered in a treacly mixture of oil and seaweed in the region’s worst environmental disaster in years.
The spill raised questions about maritime safety in the Kerch Strait, a busy waterway that separates Ukraine and Russia.
Minister Viktor Yanukovich said that at the moment the slick was moving away from Ukraine, but measures should be taken to prevent future disasters.
“In the Borsphorous Straits, it’s not possible to use tankers which have no double hulls. How is the Kerch Strait different? It isn’t,” he said at a news briefing in Kiev.
The 18-foot waves also sank at least four freighters in the nearby Strait of Kerch, a narrow waterway linking the Black Sea and the smaller Sea of Azov to the northeast. Two of them were carrying a combined cargo of 7,150 tons of sulfur. Official and expert opinions about the environmental impact of sulfur vary, but Sergei Baranovsky, president of the Green Cross environmental group, contended that sulfur could be potentially even more hazardous to nature than the fuel oil.
Maxim Stepanenko, a regional prosecutor, told Vesti 24 that captains had been warned Saturday about the stormy conditions. He said the sunken oil tanker — designed during Soviet times to transport oil on rivers — was not built to withstand a fierce storm.
The vessel was carrying 4,000 tons of fuel oil when it was hit, and officials were concerned that the spill would continue even as cleanup efforts were already under way.
At the coastal settlement of Ilyich, halfway between Kavkaz and Novorossiisk, about 100 workers were on the beach using shovels and a bulldozer to scrape globules of oil off the sand.
“This oil came in last night, along a 13-km [8 mile] stretch,” said Alexander Mikhalkov, a cleanup crew foreman.
A flock of about 1,000 rails, a species of wetland bird, were huddled on the beach, unable to fly because their feathers were coated with oil. Some were unable to stand.
The polluted area is at the heart of the migration route from central Siberia into the Black Sea of red-throated and black-throated Siberian diver birds. Officials said that in the cold winter temperatures the fuel oil may sink to the bottom of the sea rather than float on the surface, making it harder to find and disperse.
“This problem may take a few years to solve. Fuel oil is a heavy substance and it is now sinking to the seabed,” Oleg Mitvol, deputy head of Russia’s environment agency Rosprirodnadzor told state-run Vesti-24 television channel on Sunday. “This is a very serious environmental disaster.”
Environmental campaign group Greenpeace said the oil spill revealed the shortcomings of shipping safety in the region.
“In Russia we do not have 100 percent of our ships maintained in a suitable condition as is the practice in the West,” said Alexei Kiselyov, coordinator of Greenpeace Russia’s antipollution campaigns.
In total, as many as 10 ships ran aground in the area. Viktor Beltsov, a spokesman for the Russian Emergencies Ministry, said 165 rescuers had already saved 35 crew members and were hunting for five other missing seamen.
Cool pictures of rare clouds on Planet Earth. Clouds fill the skies above us and are part of our every day lives, often going unnoticed. However, there are some clouds that are so rare that you will be very lucky to see them in your lifetime. This is a list of the top 10 most rarest cloud formations (in no particular order) that for those lucky enough to see them, were caught on camera.
1. Nacreous Clouds
These rare clouds, sometimes called mother-of-pearl clouds, are 15 - 25km (9 -16 miles) high in the stratosphere and well above tropospheric clouds.
They have iridescent colours but are higher and much rarer than ordinary iridescent clouds. They are seen mostly but not exclusively in polar regions and in winter at high latitudes, Scandinavia, Alaska, Northern Canada. Lower level iridescent clouds can be seen anywhere.
Cannas not only feature pretty blossoms, but also beautiful leaves (often likened to that of the banana plant) that come in a variety of stunning colors. Popularized in Victorian times, Cannas are popular garden plants.
The unofficial flower of Japan, the spectacular display of blossoms that arrive in the spring are celebrated by festivals both in Japan and the U.S. The most popular colors are white and pink. They are beautiful while on
For the lovers of astronomy, here is the compilation of digital photos of nebulas.
“A place rich with all the strange beauty of your nighttime dreams…
In this place where time stands still it seems like everything is moving.”
~ Heinrich Harrer, Seven Years in Tibet
Finnish photographer Ilkka Halso’s photographic series ‘The Museum of Nature’ intelligently challenges how we can imagine the natural environment of the future. This collection of images capture a series of man-made structures that enclose nature, protecting it like a relic of the past. Using images of landscapes and 3D digital manipulation, this photographic collection captures a future vision of nature as a rare display. Challenging the audience’s interaction with the natural environment as endangered artifact, Halso manages to truly visualize a future we so desperately do not want to see become a reality.
Halso’s work is a thoroughly engaging project that takes us into a future world where nature is a museum-like place and experience is controlled. We do appreciate BLDGBLOG’s pessimistic suggestion as to how appropriate these images would be as illustrations in some form of eco-catastrophic novel. However, we also think that these thought-provoking portents could stand-alone in any urban environment to remind us how truly precious our natural world is becoming.
Conserving Energy - At Home
1. When using an oven, minimize door opening while it is in use; it reduces oven temperature by 25 to 30 every time you open the door.
2. Wash clothes with warm or cold water instead of hot.
3. Purchase appliances and office equipment with the Energy Star Label
4. Turn off lights, computers and other appliances when not in use.
5. Plant trees to shade your home.
6. Replace old windows with energy efficient ones.
7. Install weather stripping around all doors and windows.
8. Keep your thermostat at 68 in winter and 78 in summer.
9. Use compact fluorescent light bulbs to save money and energy.
10. Use a microwave when- ever you can instead of a conventional oven or stove.
11. Clean the lint filter in your dryer after every load so that it uses less energy.
12. Clean or replace air filters on your air conditioning unit at least once a month.
13. If you have central air conditioning, do not close vents in unused rooms.
14. Lower the thermostat on your water heater to 120.
15. Wrap your water heater in an insulated blanket.
16. Turn off unneeded lights even when leaving a room for a short time.
17. Set your refrigerator temperature at 36 to 38 and your freezer at 0 to 5 .
18. Unplug seldom used appliances.
19. Reverse your indoor ceiling fans for summer and winter operations as recommended.
20. Only use electric appliances when you need them.
21. Keep your thermostat higher in summer and lower in winter when you are away.
22. Insulate your home as best as you can.
23. Shut off electrical equipment in the morning before leaving for work and in the evening before going to bed.
24. Shade outside air conditioning units by trees or other means.
25. Use cold water instead of warm or hot water when possible.
26. Connect your outdoor lights to a timer.
27. Buy green electricity - electricity produced by low - or even zero-pollution facilities
28. Unplug electrical items such as video game systems and plasma TV’s when not in use.
Reduce Toxity - At Home
1. Learn about alternatives to household cleaning items that do not use hazardous chemicals.
2. Review labels of household cleaners you use. Consider alternatives like baking soda, scouring pads, water or a little more elbow grease.
3. Use traps instead of rat and mouse poisons and insect killers
4. Use cedar chips or aromatic herbs instead of mothballs.
5. Buy the right amount of paint for the job.
6. Eliminate mercury from your home by purchasing items without mercury, and dispose of items containing mercury at an appropriate drop-off facility when necessary.
7. If you have an older home, have paint in your home tested for lead. If you have lead-based paint, cover it with wall paper or other material instead of sanding it or burning it off.
8. Have your home tested for radon.
9. When no good alternatives exist to a toxic item, find the least amount required for an effective, sanitary result.
In Your Yard
1. Avoid using leaf blowers and other dust-producing equipment.
2. Leave grass clippings on the yard-they decompose and return nutrients to the soil.
3. Use recycled wood chips as mulch to keep weeds down, retain moisture and prevent erosion.
4. Water grass early in the morning.
5. Take actions that use non hazardous components (e.g., to ward off pests, plant marigolds in a garden instead of using pesticide).
6. Put leaves in a compost heap instead of burning them or throwing them away.
7. Use an electric lawn- mower instead of a gas-powered one.
8. Create a wildlife habitat in your yard.
9. Rent or borrow items like ladders, chain saws, party decorations and others that are seldom used.
10. Minimize pesticide use.
11. Use only the required amount of fertilizer
At The Office
1. Copy and print on both sides of paper.
2. Reuse items like envelopes, folders and paper clips.
3. Set up a bulletin board for memos instead of sending a copy to each employee.
4. Use e-mail instead of paper
5. Use mailer sheets for interoffice mail instead of an envelope.Use mailer sheets for interoffice mail instead of an envelope.
6. Use recycled paper.
7. Use discarded paper for scrap paper.
8. Encourage your school and/or company to print documents with soy-based inks, which are less toxic.
9. Use a ceramic coffee mug instead of a disposable cup.
Protect Our Air
1. Ask your employer to consider flexible work schedules or telecommuting.
2. Recycle printer cartridges.
3. Report smoking vehicles to your local air agency.
4. Don’t use your wood stove or fireplace when air quality is poor.
5. Avoid slow-burning, smoldering fires. They produce the largest amount of pollution.
6. Burn seasoned wood - it burns cleaner than green wood.
7. Use solar power for home and water heating.
8. Purchase radial tires and keep them properly inflated for your vehicle.
9. Ignite charcoal barbecues with an electric probe or other alternative to lighter fluid.
10. Walk or ride your bike instead of driving, whenever possible.
11. Join a carpool to get to work.
Use Less Water - Here’s What You Do
1. Check and fix any water leaks.
2. Install water-saving devices on your faucets and toilets.
3. Don’t wash dishes with the water running continuously.
4. Wash and dry only full loads of laundry and dishes.
5. Follow your community’s water use restrictions or guidelines.
6. Install a low-flow shower head.
7. Replace old toilets with new ones that use a lot less water.
8. Turn off washing machine’s water supply to prevent leaks.
Ways to Protect Our Water Sources
1. Revegetate or mulch disturbed soil as soon as possible.
2. Never dump anything down a storm drain.
3. Have your septic tank pumped and system inspected regularly.
4. Check your car for oil or other leaks, and recycle motor oil.
5. Take your car to a car wash instead of washing it in the driveway.
6. Learn about your watershed.
How About Less Trash - Reduce Your Waste
1. Buy items in bulk from loose bins when possible to reduce the packaging wasted.
2. Avoid products with several layers of packaging when only one is sufficient. About 33 of what we throw away is packaging.
3. Buy products that you can reuse.
4. Maintain and repair durable products instead of buying new ones.
5. Check reports for products that are easily repaired and have low breakdown rates.
6. Reuse items like bags and containers when possible.
7. Use cloth napkins instead of paper ones.
8. Use reusable containers to store food instead of aluminum foil and cling wrap.
9. Shop with a canvas bag instead of using paper and plastic bags.
10. Buy rechargeable batteries for devices used frequently.
11. Reuse packaging cartons and shipping materials. Old newspapers make great packaging material.
12. Compost your vegetable scraps.
13. Buy used furniture - there is a surplus of it, and it is much cheaper than new furniture.
These are only 95 tips to getting starting. I’m positive there are more ideas and tips out there on ways to staying green and improving your lifestyle.
Explanation: Sometimes, after your eyes adapt to the dark, a spectacular sky appears. Such was the case earlier this month over Ontario, Canada, when part of a spectacular sky also became visible in a reflection off a lake. To start, the brightest objects visible are bright stars and the planet Jupiter, seen as the brightest spot on the upper left. A distant town appears as a diffuse glow over the horizon. More faint still, the disk of the Milky Way Galaxy becomes apparent as a dramatic diffuse band across the sky that seems to crash into the horizon far in the distance. In the foreground, a picturesque landscape includes trees, a lake, and a stone wall. Finally, on this serene night in July when the lake water was unusually calm, reflections appear. Visible in the lake are not only reflections of several bright stars, but part of the Milky Way band itself. Careful inspection of the image will reveal, however, that bright stars leave small trails in the lake reflections that do not appear in the sky above. The reason for this is because the above image is actually a digital composite of time-consecutive exposures from the same camera. In the first set of exposures, sky images were co-added with slight rotations to keep the stars in one place.
Copyright:(Weather and Sky Photography)
Angel waterfall in South America is the highest waterfall on Earth
Set in Canaima National Park, Venezuela, Angel is also one of the most beautiful falls on the planet. It’s a clear 802 meter drop right into the Kerep River flowing at the base of the falls. The water falls from so high an altitude that it’s turned into mist by the powerful winds, before it even reaches the bottom.
This incredible place was unknown to the outside world until aviator James Crawford Angel spotted it in 1933, while he was looking for a precious ore bed. He tried to land his plane on Ayuan-tepui in 1937 but it got stuck in the muddy ground, so he and three other companions had to descend by foot. It took them 11 days but they finally made it down and were able to tell the world about their incredible adventure, which eventually became popular and the falls were named Angel in his honor.
’s plane remained there for another 33 years before being lifted out by a helicopter.
’s plane remained there for another 33 years before being lifted out by a helicopter.
You will probably find this weird, but most people have never seen a real cave in their whole lives; still, those who do remain permanently fascinated by this amazing display of natural force. Caves are definitely a wonder of nature themselves, but every once in a while you hear about one that’s so amazing you wouldn’t even believe it’s real. So is the case with the following caves, which I hope you’ll find at least interesting.
Cave of Crystals, Mexico
What more could be said about this cave?? Superheroes would bow down in front of these true giants of crystals, some measuring up to 11 meters. Mexico’s Cueva de los Cristales (Cave of Crystals) is definitely a must see, if you’re interested in caves, or just in seeing something that’s absolutely unbelievable, if you don’t see it for yourself. It’s without a doubt another proof of what wonderful things can appear when water meets limestone.
It was discovered by two brothers, who named its antechamber the Queen’s Eye. The cave itself measures 290 meters underground, but these huge crystals of gypsum are way more fragile than you would probably
Images from the total solar eclipse of August 1st 2008 observed from Siberia. The sun was completed obscured for a few minutes and the solar eclipse was experienced in Canada, Greenland, central Russia, eastern Kazakhstan, western Mongolia and China. The next total solar eclipse only occurs in several years where the next one will be observed in Northern America in 2017, in Europe - in 2026 and in Russia in 2030.