A day in the life of earth & weather. (Earth Science).
Talk about the ultimate workaholic. Earth is on the move 24/7, spinning, shaking, heating up, and cooling down. So just what goes on in a day in the life of Earth and weather? Check out the next four pages, and sleuth out the facts to answer the questions below.
1. In 24 hours, Earth rotates on its axis to create one day. One Earth day is longer than one "day" on A. Venus. B. Mars. C. Jupiter. D. Pluto. 2. How low can cold go? The lowest temperature recorded on Earth in a single day: A. -79.62[degrees]F B. -97.82[degrees]F C. -105.8[degrees]F D. -128.56[degrees]F 3. Earth gives you plenty of freshwater to drink every day. Where's the largest supply of freshwater? A. oceans B. underground C. reservoirs D. ice 4. How many lightning bolts strike Earth each day? A. 30,000 B. 580,000 C. 3.7 million D. 8.6 million 5. When do tornadoes only happen? A. spring. B. summer. C. fall. D. anytime 6. Earth's surface is made up of tectonic plates. Which of the following is not located on the Pacific Plate? A. Australia B. Hawaii C. Fiji D. Samoa
All answers to questions in this article are in the Teacher's Edition
A DAY IN THE LIFE OF EARTH
You think you're busy? Check out planet Earth.
PLATES ON THE GO
It's not a fiddle: You're always in motion when you're standing still. That's because Earth's crust (surface) is broken into giant moving slabs of rock called tectonic plates. And every day the plates--between 15 to 200 kilometers (9 to 124 miles) thick--slide past or grind against each other at an average rate of 0.027 cm (0.01 in.).
Each day, nearly 50 earthquakes are detected globally. But the U.S. Geological Survey estimates thousands of quakes go unnoticed--they're too weak to detect or they occur in remote areas. What triggers a quake? Moving tectonic plates elbow each other; over time pressure builds up at the faults, or fractures in Earth's crust marking the boundary between plates. When pressure exceeds the strength of the rocks, the rocks on either, or both, fault sides buckle. Then a sudden wave of energy jolts to the surface and causes the ground to rumble.
RESEARCH: Scientists believe what factor is the leading cause of deaths in earthquakes?
True or false: Mountains can grow or shrink in a day.
* Earth's highest summit continues to rise. The 8,850 meter (29,035 foot)-high Mount Everest grows about 4 millimeters (0.16 inch) per year. That's because the Himalayas, the range that includes Everest, was formed 50 million years ago when the Eurasian and Indian plates collided. Today, the plates continue to press against each other, causing the mountains to rise.
* Mount St. Helens, a volcano in Washington State, really blew its lid when it erupted on May 18, 1980. The mountaintop was blasted into volcanic ash and other debris, shrinking the summit height from 2,950 m (9,677 ft) to 2,550 m (8,364 ft).
RESEARCH: What causes a volcano to erupt, and why do scientists find the plate tectonics beneath Mount Etna unusual?
How are tap and toilet water similar? They both come from the 1 percent of water on Earth available for daily human use. Freshwater comes from aquifers (underground water-storage units) and surface water sources, like lakes and rivers. And while oceans contain 97 percent of Earth's water, it's undrinkable saltwater. The remaining 2 percent of global water is trapped in icecaps, glaciers, and icy mountaintops.
The average American uses 303 to 379 liters (80 to 100 gallons) of freshwater daily, flushing most down the toilet. Bathing ranks second. As for drinking, health experts suggest eight glasses per day, but most people ignore the advice.
ANSWER THESE QUESTIONS--THEN READ "WATER WORLD"
Q: What percentage of Earth's water is available for human use?
A. 1 B. 34 C. 97
Q: On average, you use the most amount of water for which purpose?
A. drinking B. bathing C. flushing toilet
EARTH'S WATER Saltwater 97% Freshwater (lakes, rivers, streams, underground aquifers) 1% Ice 2% Note: Table made from pie chart. WHAT'S A DAY? One day on Earth lasts just under 24 hours. That's the amount of time it takes for the planet to rotate once on its axis. How fast does Earth spin? About 1,670 km (1,038 mi) per hour! Below are the hours that make up one "day" for all the planets in the solar system. Calculate the number of Earth days on each planet. EQUALS HOW MANY LENGTH OF DAY DAYS ON (IN HOURS) EARTH? MERCURY 1,407.6 VENUS 5,832.5 EARTH 23.934 1 MARS 24.62 JUPITER 9.92 SATURN 10.5 URANUS 17.24 NEPTUNE 16.11 PLUTO 153.3
A DAY IN THE LIFE OF WEATHER
It's pouring one moment and sunny the next. But that's normal in the crazy world of weather.
More than 8.6 million lightning bolts strike Earth each day--approximately 100 per second. Pictured here is the world's most lightning-plagued nation. Last year, a scientist at the Institute for Space Studies in this largest and most populous country in South America used satellite data to map lightning occurrences. He found that his country--also home to Amazon rainforests and the 2002 World Cup soccer championship team--receives approximately 70 million bolts a year. That's twice as many as the U.S., which is geographically similar in size. Lightning also claims about 100 lives each year here--approximately 10 percent of all lightning-related deaths in the world.
Name the country: --
Tornado season in the U.S. usually takes place between early spring and late fall. But the fast-blowing twisters can occur anytime. Last November, an outbreak of 88 tornadoes ripped through Arkansas, Tennessee, Alabama, Mississippi, Georgia, Ohio, and Pennsylvania over one weekend, claiming more than 30 lives. Despite the deadly disasters, 2002 had the lowest number of tornadoes in at least a decade. (The U.S. government has yet to finalize the year-end count.) There were 1,213 twisters in 2001.
FASTEST WIND SPEED: The fastest wind ever measured is inside a tornado. It blew in at 512 kilometers per hour (318 miles per hour) on May 3, 1999, near Moore, Oklahoma.
THE WORLD'S WINDIEST PLACE: Port Martin, Antarctica, is buffeted by an average wind speed of 64 km/h (40 mph).
TWISTER TIME Use the data below to find the average annual number of tornadoes in the U.S. for the five years featured. YEAR NUMBER OF TORNADOES 1960 616 1970 653 1980 866 1990 1133 2000 1071 Note: Table made from bar graph.
WIND SWEPT What do places in the northwest Pacific Ocean west of the international dateline, like Guam (below), call tropical cyclones with winds over 74 mph?
Scientists estimate that at any given moment 1,800 thunderstorms soak Earth with rain. Of the approximate 16 million annual storms, 100,000 splatter the U.S. mainland. Check out these rainy facts:
RAINIEST SPOT ON EARTH: Scientists can't seem to agree on the official winner. That's because storms vary in number and strength from year to year. Here are the top contenders and their annual average on record:
HIGHEST AVERAGE LOCATION ANNUAL RAINFALL ON RECORD Lloro, Colombia 13.30 m (43.63 ft) Mawsynram, India 11.87 m (38.95 ft) Mt. Waialeale, Kauai, HI 11.68 m (38.33 ft)
RAINIEST DAY: The wettest 24-hour period ever recorded began on January 7, 1966. Tropical cyclone Denise pelted Foc-Foc on Reunion, a small island in the Indian Ocean, with 182.5 centimeters (72 inches) of rain.
RAINIEST MOMENT: In one minute on November 26, 1970, 3.8 cm (1.5 in.) of rain pounded Barot, a town on the Caribbean island of Guadeloupe.
DRIEST SPOT ON EARTH: Parts of Arica, Chile, have not seen rain for decades. This city average yearly rainfall, based on data over 59 years, is a mere 0.73 mm (0.03 in.).
DRIEST SPOT IN THE U.S.: For the past 42 years, the average annual rainfall in Death Valley, Calif., drips in at 1.63 in. (4.14 cm).
Every moment, there's a spot on Earth cold enough to make your teeth chatter or hot enough to make you sweat. Below are some record-setting temperatures. Use these formulas to calculate the temperatures in both degrees Fahrenheit and Celsius:
CELSIUS: FAHRENHEIT: ([degrees]F - 32) / 1.8 ([degrees]C x 1.8) + 32 HIGHEST 58[degrees]C RECORDED WORLD TEMPERATURE: Al Aziziyah, Libya September 13, 1922 HIGHEST 134[degrees]F RECORDED U.S. TEMPERATURE: Death Valley, California July 10, 1913 HOTTEST SPOT 34.4[degrees]C ON EARTH: Dallol, Ethiopia (Average temperature): COLDEST SPOT -57.8[degrees]C ON EARTH: Polus Nedostupnosti, Antarctica (Average temperature): LOWEST -80[degrees]F RECORDED U.S. TEMPERATURE: Prospect Creek, Alaska January 23, 1971 LOWEST -89.2[degrees]C RECORDED TEMPERATURE: Vostok, Antarctica July 21, 1983
Did You Know?
* The strongest earthquake ever recorded measured 9.5 on the Richter scale. It struck Chile on May 22, 1960, killing more than 5,000 people. But the deadliest earthquake of the 20th century measured 7.8. It shook Tianjin, China, on July 28, 1976, and claimed more than 255,000 lives.
* Mount Washington in North Conway, New Hampshire holds two weather records. Not only is it the windiest spot in the U.S., where wind speed averages 35.3 miles per hour, it's also the coldest place on the U.S. mainland. Last year, its temperature averaged 26.5[degrees]F.
* The single deadliest tornado in U.S. history ripped through Illinois, Indiana, and Missouri on March 18, 1925. Dubbed the Tri-State Tornado, it whipped with an average wind speed of 65 mph. And in 3.5 hours of continuous destruction, the twister killed 695 people and destroyed 15,000 homes.
Social Studies: Research and report on the aftermath of a natural disaster. How does it impact the life, economy, and health of a community?
Come up with 10 methods to conserve household freshwater.
CHECK FOR UNDERSTANDING
A Day in the Life of Earth and Weather
Answers will vary but should include the following concepts:
1. Earth's crust is broken into giant moving slabs of rock called tectonic plates. And faults are the fractures in the crust marking the boundaries between plates. Antarctica is 98 percent covered in ice, which holds 70 percent of all Earth's freshwater.
2. Brazil, in South America, is the most lightning-plagued nation on Earth. It receives 70 million bolts per year. The lowest recorded temperature on Earth took place on July 21, 1983 in Vostok, Antarctica. It measured -89.2[degrees]C.
Directions: Write a paragraph using the words provided.
1. You've been invited to write an action movie for a famous director. Write a synopsis of the story. (tectonic plates, faults, Antarctica)
2. You're a meteorologist. Present a global weather report. (South America, lightning, lowest recorded temperature)
1. c 2. d 3. d 4. d 5. d 6. a (also c: While not featured on the map, Fiji is actually located on a small place called Fiji plate, sometimes called Fijian platelet.)
Plates on the Go:
Afghanistan sits on the Eurasian plate.
The pacific is a major plate, while the Arabian is often considered a minor one. Also, the Pacific plate is covered mostly by an ocean.
Building collapse is the factor that causes most death in earthquakes.
Left: a Right: c
What's in a Day?
Mercury: 58.81 Venus: 243.69 Earth: 1 Mars: 1.03 Jupiter: 0.41 Saturn: 0.44 Uranus: 0.72 Neptune: 0.67 Pluto: 6.4
For a great explanation, visit: abcnews.go.com/sections/science/DailyNews/mtetna991020.html
Fast Flash: Brazil
Twister Time: 867.8
In most cases, an area must receive less that 25 cm (10 in.) of rain each year to be classified a desert.
U.S.: Mojave Desert
Chile: Atacama Desert
Highest Recorded World Temperature: 136.4[degrees]F
Highest Recorded U.S. Temperature: 56.66[degrees]C
Hottest Spot on Earth: 93.92[degrees]F
Coldest Spot on Earth: -72.04[degrees]F
Lowest Recorded U.S. Temperature: -62.22[degrees]C
Lowest Recorded Temperature: -128.56[degrees]F
For more on tectonic plates, check out "This Dynamic Earth: The Story of Plate Tectonics" at pubs.usgs.gov/publications/text/dynamic.html
For a fun and interesting site to help students learn about volcanoes, visit Volcano World at www.volcanoworld.org
The U.S. Geological Survey's National Earthquake Information Center offers a wide variety of earthquake information, including record-breaking facts and background. See: neic.usgs.gov
National Weather Services sites:
Tornado: www.nssl.noaa.gov/NWSTornado/ Hurricane: www.nhc.noaa.gov/
National Climatic Data Center's Extreme Weather and Climate Events:
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|Title Annotation:||planet Earth|
|Date:||Jan 24, 2003|
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