30 facts about natural phenomena | Scientific Discoveries Series

What was the strongest earthquake in history? What is the difference between a hurricane and a typhoon? How does human action affect the climate and the environment? In this post from the series “Scientific discoveries”, discover these and other curious facts about natural phenomena and the Earth’s climate. Share discoveries with children and stimulate an interest in science from an early age!

Why stimulate interest in science?

Science is so present in everyday life that we often don’t even realize it. For example, when we observe the sky, when we observe the changes of the seasons, when we eat and/or take medicine. Science is part of ourselves, but also of the world around us, and connects us to it.

That is why it is so important to stimulate children’s interest in science. Practicing the scientific method stimulates curiosity, reasoning and critical ability. The habit of seeking knowledge, regardless of the subject, must arise very early and remain present in adult life. This happens when we, as children, are encouraged to recognize that science goes far beyond textbooks: it is in everything and has a direct impact on our lives.

Discover interesting facts about the natural and climatic phenomena of the earth

Learning about the phenomena of nature is not only essential for staying safe and understanding the environmental impacts of human actions, but can also be a lot of fun!

Then check facts about natural and climatic phenomenato share with the little scientists you have at home and learn even more together!

Checking out:

  1. There are about 1,500 active volcanoes all over planet Earth.
  2. The largest volcano in the world on land surface is Mauna Loa, 4,169 meters high and 90 km wide, located in Hawaii.
  3. The countries with the highest number of active volcanoes are Chile, Japan, Indonesia, the United States (including Hawaii), and Russia. These countries are located in the Pacific Ring of Fire, an area where most of the seismic and volcanic areas occur.
  4. The world’s largest earthquake ever recorded occurred on May 22, 1960 near Valdivia in southern Chile. It was assigned a magnitude of 9.5 by the US Geological Survey, which considers it the “largest earthquake of the 20th century”.
  5. Usually there are smaller earthquakes before and after a major earthquake. The ones that happen first are called shocks. The ones that happen later are called aftershocks. Scientists don’t really know if an earthquake is a previous earthquake until the larger earthquake happens.
  6. The movement of tectonic plates formed large mountain ranges such as the Himalayas and the Andes.
  7. The first wave of a tsunami is usually not the strongest, successive waves get bigger and stronger.
  8. Tsunamis can reach speeds of about 805 kilometers per hour, almost as fast as a jet plane.
  9. In 2004, the Indian Ocean tsunami was caused by an earthquake with the energy of 23,000 atomic bombs.
  10. Hurricanes are giant tropical storms that produce heavy rainfall and super strong winds and form over the warm ocean waters near the equator.
  11. Hurricanes are also called cyclones and typhoons, depending on where they occur. In the Atlantic and Pacific Northwest they are hurricanes, in the Northwest Pacific they are typhoons, and in the South Pacific and Indian Oceans they are cyclones.
  12. The largest hurricane on record is Tip, which occurred in 1979 in the Pacific Northwest. About 2,220 km in diameter, it was almost half the size of the United States!
  13. Floods are the most common natural disaster after wildfires. More than 90% of all natural disasters in the United States involve some form of flooding.
  14. A car can be washed away by a flood of only 60 centimeters deep.
  15. Flash flooding in high-risk areas can raise water volumes from 3 to 6 meters in a matter of minutes.
  16. Climatic conditions can contribute directly to lightning forest fires, or indirectly through prolonged drought.
  17. Lightning strikes the earth more than 100,000 times a day. 10-20% of these lightning strikes can cause a fire.
  18. A major wildfire can alter local weather conditions (also known as its own weather).
  19. Without greenhouse gases, the average temperature on Earth would be close to -18°C, too cold to support much of current life.
  20. Most of the increase in global temperature since 1950 has been caused by human activity.
  21. In 1910, the National Park in Montana, United States, had about 150 glaciers. When the glaciers were counted in 2017, that number dropped to 26.
  22. The average sea level is expected to rise between 0.5 and 1.5 meters before the end of this century. This will have consequences in many countries, especially in low-lying areas with a high flood risk.
  23. Trees are known as “carbon sinks” because they store carbon dioxide as they grow. When people cut down rainforests or they are destroyed by wildfires, large amounts of carbon dioxide are released into the atmosphere.
  24. Composting and recycling is a great way to help the environment, but it also reduces greenhouse gases because it keeps extra waste out of landfills, which can produce methane.
  25. Heat waves caused by global warming carry a higher risk of heat-related illness and even death, usually in people with diabetes, the elderly or infants.
  26. Global warming puts coral reefs at risk as the ocean warms.
  27. According to climate studies, the past two decades were the warmest in the past 400 years.
  28. The polar ice is melting quickly. By 2040, the region is expected to have a completely ice-free summer.
  29. More than 1 million species have become extinct due to the disappearance of habitats, ecosystems and changes in ocean conditions, all caused by global warming.
  30. Scientists agree that rising temperatures on Earth are leading to longer, hotter heat waves, more frequent droughts, heavier rainfall and more powerful hurricanes.

Which of these curiosities about natural phenomena did you like the most to know? Tell us here in the comments.

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