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Overview

Introduction
Have You Ever Wondered…
by Geoffrey Giller

 

SECTION 1: Today’s Forecast: Weather

 

1.1    Why Do Clouds Always Appear to Form in Distinct Clumps?
         by Paul A. Deck, Steven A. Ackerman, Harvey Wichman, and Jeffrey S. Peake

1.2    Why Do Clouds Turn Gray before It Rains?
         by Richard C. Brill

1.3    Why Do Clouds Float when They Have Tons of Water in Them?  
         by Douglas Wesley

1.4    How Do Water Droplets in Clouds Cohere? 
         by Donald H. Lenschow

1.5    What Causes Thunder?          
         by Richard C. Brill

1.6    What Causes Humidity?        
         by Jeffrey Hovis

1.7    What Is El Niño and Why Does It Affect the Weather all over the World? 
         by Tom K. Priddy

1.8    Why Are Snowflakes Symmetrical? How Can Ice Crystallizing on One Arm "Know" the Shape of the Other Arms on the Flake?
         by Miriam Rossi and Howard T. Evans, Jr.

1.9    What Is the Meaning of the Phrase, "It’s too cold to snow"?
         by Matt Peroutka and Fred W. Decker

1.10  Where Does Wind Come from?         
         by Chris Weiss

                       

SECTION 2: Natural Disasters

 

2.1    Why Twisters Hammer Tornado Alley        
         by Harold Brooks and David Biello

2.2    What Makes Kansas, Texas, and Oklahoma so Prone to Tornadoes?          
         by Harold Brooks

2.3    Why Don't Tornadoes Hit Cities More Often?        
         by Joshua Wurman

2.4    How Does an Earthquake Trigger a Tsunami Thousands of Kilometers Away?
         by Greg Valentine and Larry Greenemeier

2.5    What Causes a Volcano to Erupt and How Do Scientists Predict Eruptions?          
         by Attila Kilinc

2.6    How Do Volcanoes Affect World Climate?  
         by Karen Harpp

2.7    Why Do Hurricanes Hit the East Coast of the U.S. But never the West Coast? Why Don't Any of the Hurricanes that Form in the Pacific Ocean Reach the Continental U.S.?  
         by Chris W. Landsea and Kerry Emanuel

2.8    Why Do We Have a Hurricane Season?        
         by Jose Maliekal

                                   

SECTION 3: Earthly Energy: Resources 

 

3.1    Is "All of the Above" the Right Strategy for U.S. Energy?   
         by Steven Chu and David Biello

3.2    Why is Oil Usually Found in Deserts and Arctic Areas?     
         by Roger N. Anderson

3.3    Ooze-Down Economics: Will Opening Global Oil Reserves Stimulate the World Economy?
         by Jim Burkhard and Sophie Bushwick

3.4    How Does Geothermal Drilling Trigger Earthquakes?          
         by David Oppenheimer and Katherine Harmon

3.5    Why Don't We Get More Drinking Water from Desalinating the Ocean?    
         by Peter H. Gleick

3.6    Is Salt Bad for Us?     
         by Marion Nestle and Michael Moyer

                       

SECTION 4: Climate Change      

 

4.1    How Can Global Warming Be Traced to CO2?         
by Pieter Tans

4.2    What Role Does Climate Change Play in Tornadoes?           
         by Kevin Trenberth and David Biello

4.3    Could the Increase in the Sun's Brightness Be a Reason for Global Warming?         
         by Anne M. Waple

4.4    Chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) Are Heavier than Air, So How Do Scientists Suppose that These Chemicals Reach the Altitude of the Ozone Layer to Adversely Affect It?  
         by Jean M. Andino and F. Sherwood Rowland

4.5    Why Is There an Ozone Hole in the Atmosphere, Whereas There Is Too Much Ozone at Ground Level? Why Doesn't Stratospheric Ozone Sink, and Why Doesn't Ground Level Ozone Rise?           
         by Ross J. Salawitch

                       

SECTION 5: Extreme Measurements     

 

5.1    Why is the Earth's Core So Hot? How Do Scientists Measure Its Temperature?    
         by Quentin Williams and Gregory Lyzenga

5.2    How Can the Weight of Earth Be Determined?         
         by Michael Wysession

5.3    How Are Past Temperatures Determined from an Ice Core?
         by Robert Mulvaney

5.4    How Are Temperatures Close to Absolute Zero Achieved and Measured? 
         by Wolfgang Ketterle

5.5    Why Is the South Pole Colder than the North Pole?
         by Robert Bindschadler

5.6    If Heat Rises, Why Does the Temperature Decrease at Higher Elevations? 
         by Paul Shepson and Michael Tinnesand

5.7    What Causes the Periodic Reversals of the Earth's Magnetic Field? Have There Been Any Successful Attempts to Model the Phenomenon?    
         by Gary A. Glatzmaier and Edwin S. Robinson

5.8    Is It True that the Strength of the Earth's Magnetic Field Is Decreasing? What's the Effect?
         by Richard C. Brill

5.9    Why Does a Regular, Wavelike Pattern Form on Beach Sand when It’s Windy? And What Determines the Spacing (Frequency) of These Waves?
         by Daniel M. Hanes, Robert S. Anderson and Walt Hoagman

                       

SECTION 6: Phenomena  

 

6.1    Why is Most of the Ground Brown?
         by Steven Allison

6.2    Why Is the Sky Blue?
         by Anthony D. Del Genio

6.3    What Is a Geyser?     
         by Karen Harpp

6.4    Why Are Impact Craters Always Round?    
         by Gregory A. Lyzenga

6.5    Does the "Green Flash" Said to Occur at Sundown in the Tropics Exist? If so, What Causes It?
         by Jerry Nelson, Jay M. Pasachoff and Andrew T. Young

6.6    What Do We Know about the Origin of the Earth's Oceans?           
         by Tobias C. Owen and James C.G. Walker

6.7    What Causes the High-Speed Wind, or "Jet Stream," in the Stratosphere? And Why Does the Path of the Jet Stream Wander?   
         by James Partain

6.8    How Can Graphite and Diamond Be So Different if They Are Both Composed of Pure Carbon?
         by Miriam Rossi

6.9    Why Are Rainbows Curved?
         by Robert Greenler

6.10  What Determines the Size of a Rainbow?     
         by William Ducker

Ask the Experts: The Environment

The fourth eBook in our Ask the Experts series, The Environment tackles questions about the world around us. In these pages, our experts field queries on the weather, natural disasters, natural resources, climate change and unusual phenomena. 

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