Historical Climate Change, Weighing Galaxies, Great Lakes Water Rights. April 27, 2018, Part 1
It’s not uncommon these days to hear scientists and journalists say that our planet is experiencing record-setting temperatures due to climate change. But they’re talking about a small part of Earth’s history—human history. The story of the earth’s climate contains much more than what human beings have recorded. In their new book, Weather: An Illustrated History, longtime climate reporter Andrew Revkin and co-author Lisa Mechaley track the incredible range of climate history. They condense that history—from the formation of Earth’s early atmosphere to the invention of temperature, the tracking of tornados and the discovery of greenhouse gases—into a digestible timeline of 100 weather-related events.
Science Friday is partnering with citizen science platform Zooniverse to help a team of astrophysicists identify galaxies showing an astronomical phenomenon known as gravitational lensing. Gravitational lensing occurs when the light coming from a galaxy, quasar, or other bright object is bent and distorted by a massive object in front of it, giving the light the appearance of passing through a “lens,” like how an image appears through a magnifying glass. These lenses are rare, but incredibly neat. So, a gravitational lens essentially allows us to weigh a galaxy. Pretty cool, right? But, we need your help to find more lenses! With the aid of the citizen science website Zooniverse, everyone can take part in this real, cutting-edge area of research. You can help contribute to making a real discovery!
Plus, on this week's State of Science, Foxconn's Lake Michigan bid raises questions about interpreting a young law—when water is public and when it isn't.