Posted in Amphibians, Astronomy, Birds, Brooklyn, clouds, Edible Plants, Fall, Flowers, Fresh Water, Fungi, Gardens, Geology, Grasses, Insects, Invertebrates, Lakes, Mammals, Parks, Plants, Ponds, Recreation, Reptiles, Snakes, Streams, Trees, Vertebrates, volunteer, Water, tagged audubon center, Birds, children, education, environment, forests, habana outpost, meadow, nature calendar, nyc audubon, prospect park alliance, soil, teachers, urban ecology, Winter, winter warm up on October 22, 2008|
Leave a Comment »
NYC’s greenest restaurant, Habana Outpost, is hosting a “Winter Warm Up” talk and happy hour. Learn about Prospect Park and the Audubon Center while mixing with fun and friendly teachers. Oh yeah, and enjoy Habana Outpost’s delicious food, party atmosphere, and ecological model before it shuts on Oct 31!
More info through this link:
And read the details below!
I hope to see you there!
Time and Place
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
5:00pm – 7:00pm
757 Fulton Street
Next Winter Warm Up: Prospect Park Alliance!
The happy hour for teachers continues…with a presentation from our neighbors in Prospect Park about their Audubon Center!
Here are the details from our series calendar:
“Located in the historic Boathouse, the Prospect Park Audubon Center is a unique place where talented Park staff challenge students to actively explore the natural world around them. Audubon Center staff teach by asking questions, engaging students, and exploring Prospect Park’s 585 acres of meadows, ponds, waterfalls, and woodlands. All Programs at the Audubon Center support New York State Learning Standards and New York City Performance Standards to promote student achievement in science, math, and language arts. Our programs offer exciting learning opportunities for each season, to complement any environment- or science-based curricula. Programmatic themes for Nature and Science include: Birding, Meadow, Winter, Water, Soil, and Forest.”
Read Full Post »
Posted in Astronomy, Atlantic Ocean, Bronx, Brooklyn, clouds, Estuary, Fall, Geology, Manhattan, New York Harbor, Queens, Spring, Staten Island, Summer, Uncategorized, Water, Weather, Winter, tagged Astronomy, atmosphere, chaos theory, complexity theory, david grinspoon, denver museum, dog days, erik baard, funky science, heat, heat wave, isothermic, Joe Rao, nature, nature calendar, naturecalendar, new york city, new york times, science, solstice, Summer, sunlight, urban ecology, urban environment, urban heat, USA Today, venus on June 24, 2008|
1 Comment »
by Erik Baard
A kid waiting to kayak at the Clearwater Festival last Solstice weekend asked me, “If this is the longest day of the year, then why isn’t it the hottest?” It’s a logical question, and I guess a common one. The incomparable Joe Rao addressed it in his New York Times astronomy blurb last week, and USA Today explored the question as well. The graphic above comes from USA Today.
In short, if Earth lacked an atmosphere, then surface temperature, apart from heat retained by rocks, would correlate with sun exposure. But our relatively stable atmosphere slowly and steadily receives energy from sunlight over the course of the spring and summer, as days lengthen. That energy, which we feel as heat, builds higher and higher until reaching its peak in July and early August.
I suppose an economist might call day length a leading indicator of summer, whereas as temperature is a lagging indicator. Swimmers and boaters (who are perpetually potential swimmers) know that this phenomenon of delay is even more pronounced with water temperatures.
Of course both air and water move around, so there’s a good bit of chaos and complexity to the fluid dynamics that make for summer weather and those late night skinny dips in open water that feel as warm as a bathtub. But the principle of heat retention is a far more powerful truth than its exceptions.
I’m also reminded of my good friend, David Grinspoon (with whom, for the record, I’ve never skinny-dipped), who joined us with comments about the Orion Nebula for the very first essay on Nature Calendar. He’s an astrobiologist (with an Earthly incarnation as a rhythm guitarist) with prestigious Mars and Venus robotic probe science assignments from both NASA and the European Space Agency, and serves as the curator of astrobiology at the Denver Museum of Science and Nature. He’s devoted much of his career to the planet Venus. He notes that if there was intelligent groundling life on Venus, it won’t see dominant temperature zones as we see them, corresponding to latitude, but instead look skyward to temperate altitudes. This is because Venus has an atmosphere that’s so dense, and therefore conductive, that heat overloads long ago seeped across all geographic areas. The surface is now isothermic, meaning that temperatures at the poles and the equator are the same. It’s gotten so hot there, due to a greenhouse effect gone into overdrive, that David postulates Venusian life would prefer a cloud habitat.
Of course, our cities perversely punish themselves, with air conditioners dumping extra heat into the dense local ecosystem through their exhaust, building electrical wires, regional transmission lines, and the power plants required to power them. Makes you wonder if there’s intelligent life on Earth.
Read Full Post »