Virtual Conference Winners 2010

Students and teachers submitted videos via following the guidelines for the SATELLITES projects. A group of scientists from the AmericaView Remote Sensing consortium reviewed the projects and rated them. Students will receive a trophy for their school.

1st place Fred Jordan and Joshua Kenton, Indian Lake High School, A physical comparison of the two Logan County watersheds: the Mad River and Great Miami
2nd place Jakob Myers, Highlands Elementary School, Does temperature affect plant growth?
3rd place Kristen Fink, McTigue Middle School, Which is Colder Virginia or Kentucky?

Congratulations to these students and their teachers. You can view the projects on

You can view all of the videos at:

Here is a fun video from the students at Bowsher High School in Toledo, Ohio.

Online Professional Development Workshop: Enrichment Problems in Space and Earth Science XXI

May 19, 2010 by  
Filed under NASA

John Ensworth at the Institute for Global Environmental Strategies and the NASA Science Mission Directorate invite you to attend an upcoming online professional development workshop.

Topic: Enrichment Problems in Space and Earth Science XXI

In the 21st bi-monthly installment of these mission- and inquiry-oriented mathematics problems, Dr. Sten Odenwald will supply background for and lead participants through problems from his “Problems in Space and Earth Science” series. The goal of these problems is to teach students about space weather by using mathematics. Each problem begins with real world questions, missions and situations, and applies the necessary mathematics for a solution. Participants may ask questions and work along in this fully interactive Webinar environment.

Date: Friday, May 21, 2010

Time: 3:00 p.m., EDT (Greenwich Mean Time -04:00, New York)

You will need a computer, a good internet connection and a telephone to participate.

Participants must first register for this meeting. There is no cost for this event.

Note: Only the first 150 registrants will be accepted. Register ASAP!

If this meeting is full, you will receive an e-mail that reads:

“Your registration for this meeting is denied.”

In that case, we ask you to please join us in the next workshop!

If you do miss this event, we will send you the link to a video archive of the workshop so you will still be able to benefit from the exercises.

Please join the meeting 10-15 minutes before start to make sure your computer is prepared to run the Webex software. You may also pre-install the Webex plug-in following the instructions at the bottom of this e-mail.

Where to register for this meeting
1. Go to
2. Register for the meeting.
Once the host approves your request, you will receive a confirmation e-mail with instructions for joining the meeting.

Closed Captioning is available during the Webinar. A link to this will be provided closer to meeting time.
For assistance

1. Go to
2. Click “Assistance”.
3. Click “Support”.

For more information, contact John Ensworth by e-mail at or by telephone at 703-312-0563.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: This WebEx service includes a feature that allows audio and any documents and other materials exchanged or viewed during the session to be recorded. By joining this session, you automatically consent to such recordings. If you do not consent to the recording, do not join the session. This video and earlier product videos will be available via a Web-based archive tool will soon be located at:


To check the setup of your computer and pre-install the plug-in software, use the following links:


WebEx will automatically setup Meeting Manager for Windows the first time you join a meeting. To save time, you can setup prior to the meeting by clicking this link:

The host requests that you check for compatibility of rich media players for Universal Communications Format (UCF) before you join the session. UCF allows you to view multimedia during the session. To check now, click the following link:

Meeting Manager for Microsoft® Windows® – MSI Installer

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Download Meeting Manager Installer for Mac OS X (PowerPC)

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February 26, 2010 by  
Filed under Dr. C's Blog

Hi All,
Today my wife and kids had a snow day from school. I had to go to work of course. But, they got the day off. It was a big surprise. We ended up getting about 4 inches of snow in Toledo, OH. That’s not a lot of snow, but I think school was closed because of the drifting of snow. The winds were fairly strong and the snow drifted over the roads. Where did this snow come from? It came from the coastal storm that was affecting New England. The weather forecast models predicted the storm. I was emailing back and forth yesterday with Art Samel who is a professor at Bowling Green State University. The models were showing between 3 and 5 inches of snow for this area. We did not believe it. But, it ended up being correct. I don’t think the weather forecasters for the National Weather Service or on TV believed the models either. Well, the new snow has given me a chance to take my kids sledding today.
You can see in this radar image the snow echoes coming across Michigan down into Ohio.

2-20-2010: A new snowstorm coming across the US

February 20, 2010 by  
Filed under Dr. C's Blog

2-21-2010 Here comes the next snowstorm across the US after a little lull in the pattern. In the Toledo area, our snow has been slowly melting. There are places that the ground is bare and others with only a few inches (about 5 cm) of snow. There are only a few drifts and piles of snow where it is deeper than 2 inches (5 cm). I had the chance to get out on my cross country skiis this afterrnoon. I joked to my familiar that I won the 2 K cross country skiing race on Rauch Rd. in Temperance, MI. Of course, I was the only one in the race. This next snowstorm could get us pretty good in the Toledo area. It will all depend on how much freezing rain, sleet and just plain rain that we get. The storm is forecast to come right over Toledo so the rain/snow line will be close. In Columbus, OH it is likely to be only rain. Then, the low pressure system is expect to develop off of the east coast which is very common with this type of winter storm. The question for Washington, DC will be whether there is enough cold weather in place to support snow.











Snow cover is quite extensive around the world (see the figures below).


Snow cover in Europe and Asia and sea ice cover in the Arctic Ocean. Note that the snow cover is pretty extensive. Also, I have highlighted with arrows where ice is growing fast 1. in the Sea of Okhotsk near eastern Russia and in the Barents Sea north of Scandanavia. The Barents Sea has had trouble freezing up for about a decade now possibly due to warmer than average currents coming up that way.


You can see in this figure from the National Snow and Ice Data Center that the area of the Arctic of northeastern Canada including the St. Lawrence Seaway is not very ice covered. It will be interesting to see if this area gets ice before the melt season starts around March 1.
















El Nino

El Nino seems to be slowly on the decline. The figure below shows that the warm pool of water in the equatorial Pacific is about 2.23 C warmer than the long-term mean. This is less than it has been in several months though. I had seen forecasts from NOAA that predict El Nino to dissipate by the summer. It looks like El Nino brought us a very warm January. According to some accounts, it was the second warmest January worldwide. Jeff Masters wrote about it in his blog on the Weather Underground


This has certainly been a memorable winter for many areas of the United States (but maybe not Toledo). We have had cold temperatures go all the way down to Florida that threatened strawberries and oranges in January. Several Mid-Atlantic cities saw two blizzards in one week and have broken the all-time snow records for the total amount of snow. And, at one point last week, 49 out of the 50 states had snow in them, all but Hawaii.

So, are the snowstorms in the south due to Global Warming? A friend of mine from graduate school, Jeff Masters, writes a blog for the Weather Underground He says that the snow is consistent with climate models. And, some scientists have published research that shows that under global warming, the stratosphere cools and that leads to stronger jet stream and stronger storms. I’m not sure I agree with this. Not using a climate model but using basic science concepts, I would expect storms to be weaker with global warming. The storms in the mid-latitudes are due to the temperature difference between the poles and equator. With a warmer Earth, the poles will warm more than the equator. That would make storms not as strong. It is an interesting scientific discussion. Dr. C