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West Asian environment – Little Ice Age to global warming

By |2018-04-25T23:04:59+00:00September 11th, 2017|Environment, West Asia|

Iraqi oil production (2000s AD) In the 1500s AD, a global cooling period known as the Little Ice Age affected people all over the world, from the Navajo and Iroquois in North America to the French in Europe and the Mongols in Central Asia. West Asia was no exception. In the Ottoman Empire, after the death of Suleiman the Magnificent, it was very cold and there [...]

What are hurricanes? Weather science

By |2018-09-10T10:05:35+00:00August 20th, 2017|Physics|

A hurricane in Cuba What is a hurricane? A hurricane (also called a typhoon or a cyclone) is basically a huge spinning wind. Okay, then why is there wind? How do hurricanes get started? Hurricanes form in the summer and especially in the fall, because they can only form where there is cold air high over warm [...]

What’s the atmosphere? Weather science

By |2018-09-23T20:18:36+00:00August 19th, 2017|Physics|

Earth's atmosphere: Did the Earth look like this right after it cooled down? What is the atmosphere? The atmosphere is the air that is wrapped all around a planet. Read more about planets Do all planets have atmospheres? Not all planets have atmospheres. In order to have an atmosphere, the planet has to have [...]

Oil – American science

By |2018-04-24T11:06:04+00:00August 15th, 2017|North America, Science|

A homemade oil lamp Oil is a kind of liquid made out of hydrocarbon molecules. It is mostly fat. Lots of plants and animals make oil. In North America, people got most of their oil from salmon, bison, and sunflowers. In Central America, it was avocados and nuts. In Europe, it was butter and lard from cows and pigs. In North Africa and West Asia, it was olives, and [...]

American environmental change

By |2018-04-08T11:21:52+00:00August 11th, 2017|Environment, North America|

Hunting Passenger Pigeons, about 1800 AD The story of the environment of North America after 1500 AD is one terrible change after another. Shortly after 1500 AD, most of the people living in North America seem to have died. They caught diseases from European people who had been trading with them. By 1700 AD almost nobody lived [...]

Ancient Greek weather

By |2018-04-22T18:44:29+00:00July 6th, 2017|Environment, Greeks|

Greek weather and environment: a map of Greece The weather in ancient Greece, like the weather in most places, changed with the seasons. Greek weather also depended on whether you were in Northern Greece (near Thermopylae) or in Southern Greece (near Sparta). In the spring, it would be pretty rainy, especially in Northern [...]

Where are the Alps? Mountains in Europe

By |2018-04-21T11:56:39+00:00June 25th, 2017|Geology, Northern Europe|

The Alps The Alps are a long row of mountains dividing southern Europe from northern Europe.  France and Germany are on one side of the Alps, and Italy is on the other side. The Alps formed about 34 to 23 million years ago, in the Tertiary era. The African tectonic plate bumped into [...]

What happened in the Cretaceous Period?

By |2018-04-21T11:56:37+00:00June 24th, 2017|Geology|

Volcano erupting During the Cretaceous period, beginning about 145 million years ago, the continents continued to drift away from each other, so that the mammals, birds, and dinosaurs on different continents evolved separately and got more and more different from each other. As the continents separated, the climate got cooler and rainier, and [...]

Farming and famine – Climate change

By |2018-04-19T14:44:11+00:00June 20th, 2017|Environment|

Climate change: Hunters, bison and aurochs Cave painting from Lascaux, ca. 15,000 BC Climate change encouraged the evolution of the first humans, who probably evolved in Africa as the climate got drier and grasslands replaced jungles. People came down from the trees and evolved to swim and fish. They learned to walk upright [...]