Provided by MSNBC News Web site, the Earths Timeline interactive activity chronicles the history of the earth. The main page describes how radiometric dating and fossils have been used to develop the contemporary geologic timescale. Users can click on one of four major geologic time divisions, including the Precambrian, Paleozoic, Mesozoic, and Cenozoic, to get specific information on the individual subdivisions of geologic time and to see how the continents have shifted. These sections then tell how many years ago they
occurred and what was occurring on the earth at that time. The Holocene Epoch, for example, which spans from 10,000 years ago to the present, has experienced the retreat of the last glaciers, the rise of sea levels, and human existence.
Climate of 2002 Preliminary Annual Review
The National Climatic Data Center of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric administration (NOAA) has made available the Climate of 2002 Preliminary Annual Review Web site. Visitors will find numerous charts; graphs; tables; and descriptions of global temperatures, temperature trends, regional temperatures, and global precipitation. AUS climate summary, as well as information on significant events, the Atlantic hurricane season, and the western US wildfire season, is also available. The site has something for those interested in a quick look and for anyone wanting to delve a little deeper into the weather of 2002.
The Sky and Telescope Web site, which is the companion site to the long running magazine of the same name, hosts the online interactive Sky Chart. Users can choose from any location on earth by inputting a city or a latitude and longitude, after which they then choose the direction they want to view in the sky. The tool allows anyone to view
an image of the sky from any location on earth, which is pretty darn cool. The ease of use is another highlight of the Sky Chart, making it easily accessible to non-technical people and for learners of all ages.
Environmental News Network
The Environmental News Network (ENN) has as its primary goal to educate the world
about environmental issues facing our Earth. People can freely read articles that change daily on the latest news that effects our planet, read stories from major environmental organizations, search past stories, learn about upcoming events on the provided calendar, listen online to EarthNews Radio, and more. An example of a current in-depth article describes how fossil fuels today are depleted 100,000 times faster than they form and how, by 2010, world energy consumption is expected to increase almost 50 percent. Although the site may be slightly biased, it does provide easy access to a wealth of
environmental news and information; those interested can even subscribe for email delivery of the latest ENN articles.
Web Geological Time Machine
The University of California-Berkeley Museum of Paleontology (last mentioned in the June 16, 1995 Scout Report) has recently updated its Web Geologic Time Machine, an online feature that helps users learn about the geologic timeline and explore related museum exhibits. The familiar geologic timeline appears on the main page of the Web site, with hypertext links for each division of time. Every page of the Web Geologic Time Machine site is liberally sprinkled with links to related UCMP Web pages; think of it as a portal to all online information available from the museum. Altogether, this Web site
provides a well-organized and comprehensive resource for learning how the planet has changed over time, and would be a great addition to earth or life sciences classroom material for a broad range of grades.
Biological Soil Crusts
Biological soil crust probably isn't the first thing that springs to mind when snapping that photo of the Delicate Arch at Arches National Park. However, without the algae, mosses, cyanobacteria, and other tiny organisms that inhabit the surface of desert soils, places like Arches and other arid environments would be quite different. The US Geological Survey provides an online guide to biological soil crusts in this easy-to-navigate Web site. Crust 101 contains a detailed introduction to soil crust ecology, and the Advanced feature offers an extensive technical reference. The Web site also includes a photo gallery, list of related references, and a short list of links.
Oceanography Distributed Active Archive Center
Part of the Earth Observing System Data Information System, the Physical Oceanography Distributed Active Archive Center is responsible for archiving and distributing data relevant to the
physical state of the ocean. The data, which are intended for use in oceanographic and other interdisciplinary scientific research, is freely available. Products include sea surface height, ocean wind, and sea surface temperature data. Recently added datasets include BYU High Resolution
Images of ERS Sigma0 Measurements and ATSR-2 Gridded Brightness Temperature.
Antarctic Meteorology Online
The Antarctic Meteorology Online Web site is provided by the British Antarctic Survey and the Natural Environment Research Council. Visitors will find weather reports provided by the dozens of stations located in the Antarctic. The Web master has made these data accessible by each
specific station; by a clickable map; by a list of all land, ship, or buoy stations; or by an oracle database interface. The reports are at least 10 minutes old and are normally not more than six
hours old. The information provided includes a graph of pressure and temperature, as well as links to previous reports, which make the site a good and easily accessible resource.
US Global Change Research Information Office: Ask Dr. Global Change
If you're interested in finding information on global change, then the Ask Dr. Global Change Web site is for you. Provided by the US Global Change Research Information Office, the site gives visitors the chance to review and search dozens of questions and related answers to various
global warming questions. Example questions include What is Global Warming and What is the Greenhouse Effect. It also allows visitors to submit question of their own and explore other provided links.
Temperature World.com gives in-depth and varied information on temperature. The site offers links to a temperature converter, world city temperatures, a printable temperature conversion table,
temperature forecasts, temperature related product recalls, and information on metal temperature by color. It also contains explanations of earth temperature issues, temperature sensors and controls, organizations and standards, temperature tools, and more. A unique and thorough site, it can be enjoyed by visitors of any age.
Drought Resources and Information
The Drought Resources and Information Web site is maintained by the Utah State University Extension Water Resource Issues Team, which was created to "address information needs related to water conservation and quality in agriculture and urban settings." The site provides information on several subjects including landscape irrigation, agricultural water uses, home water conservation, drought and weather monitoring, and more.