How do apples turn from green to red?

Question Answered by Alana Jensen, Environmental Educator, INL ESER Program Apples on the tree all start out green. The green color of apples is due to a pigment called chlorophyll. Chlorophyll is also present in leaves and helps the plant convert sunlight into energy so it can grow. At the height of photosynthesis, during the…

What makes a monsoon?

Question Answered by Kurt Buffalo, Meteorologist, National Weather Service-Pocatello We often hear about monsoon moisture or monsoon storms during the summer months. So what exactly is the monsoon, and what causes it? The term “monsoon” refers to a seasonal wind shift, which brings a change in moisture and precipitation patterns. There are several different monsoon…

What makes a heat wave?

Question Answered by Nicole Desmet, Meteorologist, National Weather Service-Pocatello, Idaho A heat wave is simply a period of prolonged period of very hot, uncomfortable temperatures. Typically a heat wave lasts two or more days. Several factors can influence how hot temperatures can get, where temperatures will be warmest and how long it will be that…

Why are bumblebees hairy?

Question Answered by Cory Braastad, Biological Field Technician, INL ESER Program Bumblebees are large, gentle giants of the bee world. They are actually the largest of the bees. Bumblebees are excellent pollinators. It’s actually the females that do most of the pollinating. Their coats are especially furry. This means their coats easily pick up pollen,…

Do bears have whiskers?

Answered by Gregg Losinski, Conservation Educator At first glance, this would appear to be a simple yes or no question, but like many things with bears, the answer is more complex. The simple answer is that most mammals have things that look like whiskers, bears included. The hairs that we would call whiskers are more…

We read that baking a cake involves chemistry. What chemical processes take place during the baking? (Part 2)

Question answered by Dr. Catherine Riddle, Radiochemist, Idaho National Laboratory Baking causes a chemical change in your ingredients from raw batter to cooked cakes, breads, cookies, or biscuits. Since there are multiple reactions depending on what you are baking, let’s look specifically at the chemistry that goes into baking a cake step by step. Last…