728 Answered Questions for the topic physical science
What is the difference between qualitative and quantitative forecasting?
Are the "polar vortex" and "cut-off lows" over/near the Great Lakes new phenomena?
In recent years, I've heard weather reporters describe "cut-off" low pressure systems which park over Southern Ontario for days at a time. In summer months, they bring us long stretches of cool... more
Why is the diurnal temperature range on the Cascade volcanoes so small?
Ski-mountaineering in the Pacific Northwest I am frustrated that the snow pack isn't refreezing at night. There is about a 20F difference between the day and night temperatures in Seattle. Looking... more
Propagation of sound after lightning?
In an area of frequent thunderstorms, I notice a 'crack or whoosh' sound if a strike is nearby but little or no thunder. Yet I can hear for 30 seconds or so after a distant flash when the thunder... more
Is there a seasonal difference in the average cloud floor?
It always looks like clouds are so much higher in the sky (altitude) in the summer than in the winter. Is that true? If not, is there some sort of optical illusion? If so, why is that? I live in... more
The grains of the parabolic dunes?
My text book says that parabolic dunes consist of consolidated limestone grains, but I wondered if they have sand grains too, so I googled this issue and found that they consist of sands, but I am... more
The position of magma chambers?
Where do magma chambers exist? Is it necessary that they exist in the asthenosphere where the circumstances of temperature and pressure are suitable for the rocks to be molten? Or they exist in... more
Are there any quantities defined analogically to the virtual temperature, but for other gases?
The [virtual temperature](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Virtual_temperature) is a pseudo-temperature taking into account water vapour in the atmosphere in such a way, that the resulting quantity... more
Why are there different vertical gradients of temperature in different layers of the atmosphere?
The temperature of the troposphere decreases with altitude whereas it is opposite in the stratosphere and again fluctuates. Why is this so?
What is the difference between an inertial instability and a symmetric instability?
Inertial and symmetric instabilities are fluid instabilities present in atmosphere and ocean. What are the difference between an inertial instability and a symmetric instability?
St. Elmo's Fire not dangerous?
I know that St. Elmo's Fire is a form of plasma that occurs during thunderstorms that is similar to lightning because it is formed by a difference in charges. But why isn't it dangerous if St.... more
Why does every tsunami travel differently?
Tsunamis are quite interesting, as they only happen after a large displacement of water. Usually, the waves travel quite weirdly. Sometimes there are waves which bounce off of land and go back to... more
Is the urban heat island effect stronger during a particular season or part of the year?
It is known that cities tend to be warmer than the surrounding landscapes, and this is known as the "urban heat island effect". In the summer there is greater heat output from air conditioning... more
Is there any case that changed from earthquake safe zone to danger zone?
Is there any case that changed from earthquake safe zone to danger zone? As plates move, I think that earthquakes belt will change over time. But is there really a case in which the earthquake-safe... more
Do our continents lay on the mantle because solid silicon dioxide is less dense than its liquid form?
I don't know whether quartz behaves like ice or not, but could it be because silicon dioxide, which the continents are made of for a big part, is less dense - so the continents lay on top like ice... more
Upon breaking apart andesite, what do you get?
I'm aware that andesite consists of about 60 percent silica and as for minerals, pretty sure it's usually pyroxene and plagioclase. What form would these take on if they were to be separated?... more
scientific notation mulitpication help
(2.0*10^3) + (3.0*10^2) = (0.30* 10^3)= 2.3 *10^3 . How did they get 0.30 *10 ^3 from 3.0*10^3
Impression and pseudomorphism in fossils?
In a book on invertebrate paleontology I have (Treatise on Invertebrate Palaeontology, A) there is a diagram showing possible fates of a shell after the death of the organism. One of the possible... more
Radon is a naturally occurring radioactive gas. How does this work?
Radioactive rocks can release a gas called radon when they decay, which can build up in the basements of buildings with serious effects on people's health. Does anybody have information on how... more
Is porphyritic texture always indicative of a 2 stage cooling process?
Is porphyritic texture always indicative of a 2 stage cooling process? Can't the phenocrysts and groundmass be formed at the same time depending upon the chemical constituents forming the rock? The... more
Presence of cross stratified conglomerates in fan deltas?
Why are cross stratified conglomerates found in deposits of fan deltas? I know that fan deltas are alluvial fans that deposit directly into the sea, hence they are poorly sorted.But could not... more
Is there an estimation how much organic matter there is still in the ground?
Oil, gas and coal are produced from organic matter. But is there an estimation how much is there still under the Earth's surface?