How much does snow cover affect temperatures? Does snow reflect enough sunlight that it makes it colder?

Answered by John Hinsberger Meteorologist, National Weather Service-Pocatello, ID Office Daytime TemperaturesThe amount of incoming radiation from the sun that gets reflected back into space is known as albedo. Higher albedo means more of that radiation gets reflected back. Thus, less radiation can be absorbed by the surface, so temperature is affected. One of the…

Due to the fluctuations of the Earth’s temperature over time, who is to say that we aren’t currently living at the Earth’s natural temperature?

Question Answered by NOAA, Air Resources Laboratory, Field Research Division, Idaho Falls, ID The Earth’s climate does vary over time due to factors such as the movement of continents, large-scale volcanic activity, changes in the Earth’s orbit, and variations in the Sun’s energy output. Because of these changing factors, there is not one fixed temperature…

Do amebelodon really have two sets of tusks (upper and lower) or do they just have big teeth on the bottom?

Question Answered by Sue Miller, Paleontologist “Shovel-tuskers” Way cool! They are ancient, now extinct, cousins of elephants. Their nickname comes from the shape of their large, flat and extended lower incisors and small upper tusks – instead of long and curved upper tusks like mammoths, mastodons, and modern elephants. They were about the size of…

Can sound travel through me?

Question Answered by Dr. Steven Shropshire, Physics Professor, Idaho State University Yes, sound can travel right through you. While some sound is absorbed by your body, all sound waves can pass through you if they are loud enough. Sound is a vibration. It can be a vibration in the air, in water, and even in…

What happens to rain when lightning strikes it?

Answered by Travis Wyatt, Meteorologist, National Weather Service-Pocatello, ID Any rain in the path of lightning will turn to steam. Lightning can heat the air anywhere from 18,000 degrees Fahrenheit to up to 60,000 degrees Fahrenheit. The surface of the sun is about 10,000 degrees Fahrenheit. So, lightning is extremely hot. Lightning traveling down a…