Diane Hope

Earth Notes
2:33 pm
Wed November 19, 2014

Earth Notes: Pacific Fall Hurricanes Affect Arizona’s Ecosystems

Credit NASA/NOAA GOES Project

It’s unusual for the southwestern states to be affected by hurricanes. Most years, predominant wind patterns in the Eastern Pacific Ocean steer storms away from the region. But about once every five years – like this year – the ocean winds change direction.

And those shifting winds steer hurricanes closer to northwestern Mexico, making them more likely to head northwards and track across the southwestern U.S.

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Earth Notes
3:40 pm
Wed October 1, 2014

Earth Notes: A Sad Obituary for an Ancient Tree

Credit Grant Harley

Reporter John Fleck wrote an unusual obituary in the Albuquerque Journal in September – on the death of a 650-year old Douglas-fir.

Known as “Yoda,” the tree was an icon for climate scientists. Growing out of a lava flow at El Malpais National Monument and measuring barely 7 feet high, Yoda was tiny for a Douglas-fir—which can grow 150 feet tall in moist southwestern canyons. But despite its diminutive size, an annual growth ring count showed that the tree had been alive since at least 1406.

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Earth Notes
9:02 am
Wed September 24, 2014

Earth Notes: Monitoring One of North America’s Rarest Mammals

Every fall Arizona Game and Fish conducts a spotlighting event where rare black-footed ferrets are located counted, measured, tagged and vaccinated against bubonic plague near Seligman.

Arizona’s Aubrey Valley just west of Seligman is home to an animal until recently considered one of the most endangered mammals in the world.

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Earth Notes
7:33 am
Wed December 4, 2013

Measures of Drought

A scene of Southwestern drought
Credit University of Arizona Climate Assessment of the Southwest

Drought is a universally understood phenomenon — especially here in the arid Southwest. But what does drought really mean? To help define the term, and the concept, scientists use several commonly used drought indices. Each summarizes thousands of data points on rainfall and other information into a single handy number.

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Earth Notes
5:03 am
Wed February 20, 2013

Earth Notes: Protecting The Plateau's Ancient Walls

Far View House, Mesa Verde National Park

In the latest installment of KNAU's environmental series, Earth Notes, we hear about some of the best practices for preserving ancient rock buildings on the Colorado Plateau.

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Earth Notes
5:00 am
Wed November 14, 2012

Earth Notes: The Crown Fire - Carbon Connection

Credit BigDogGraphics

Forests constitute an important part of the “Carbon World Bank.” The organic matter in their leaves, wood, roots and soil stores a great deal of carbon absorbed from the atmosphere.

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-Arizona Centennial
4:00 am
Tue August 28, 2012

100 Years of Ranching in Arizona

Casey Murph
Scott Baxter

As we look back over 100 years of Arizona's statehood this year, it would be a serious omission not to consider one of the traditional cornerstones of Arizona's economy - ranching.

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Earth Notes
4:00 am
Wed July 25, 2012

Earth Notes: Arizona Mountain Tree Frog

Arizona Treefrog
Randy Babb reptilesofaz.org

In 1986, after a statewide vote by thousands of school children, the Arizona Tree Frog became Arizona’s official state amphibian. Beating out better-known rivals like the spadefoot toad by a wide margin, this small and seldom-seen frog might seem an unlikely candidate for top spot. But it makes sense when you realize how much they love to climb.

Rarely more than two inches long, with smooth green skin and a dark stripe running from eye to rear, these amphibians live mostly above 5,000 feet in the forests of central-northern Arizona, close to streams and wet meadows.

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Earth Notes
12:00 am
Wed December 28, 2011

Earth Notes: Honoring the Sun IV--Using Solar Ovens

Solar Cooker

This week Earth Notes concludes its series on the sun with a look at how to use a backyard solar oven. You can use one anywhere there’s a few square feet of sunny exposure on a backyard or balcony.

And yes, you can use a solar oven on some winter days. Even when it’s cold and the ground is covering with snow, a cooker will work if you have enough sunshine and your solar oven is well insulated. But you’ll need to use the midday hours when the sun is at least 45 degrees above the horizon—that means your shadow is shorter than your height.

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Earth Notes
12:00 am
Wed December 21, 2011

Earth Notes: Honoring the Sun III--Developing Solar Ovens.

Barbara Kerr and Sherry Cole

This week Earth Notes continues its series on the sun, with a look at turning your backyard into a kitchen

Just as the inside of a parked car heats up on a sunny day, a solar cooker traps the sun’s rays in its enclosed interior, causing water, fat and protein molecules in the food to heat up. The molecules vibrate vigorously, and the food cooks.

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