At The Poor Man’s Math Blog a look at how much standard time varies from solar time.
“It turns out, there are many places where the sun rises and sets late in the day, like in Spain, but not a lot where it is very early (highlighted in red and green in the map, respectively).”
Very cool map.
The Winter Solstice, the moment when the Earth’s axial tilt is fully 23º26′ from the Sun, is tomorrow, Friday, December 21st, at 4:12 AM MT in the northern hemisphere. It is, of course, the Summer Solstice in the Southern Hemisphere.
The Earth’s orbit is elliptical not circular. The earliest sunset (in the northern hemisphere) was around two weeks ago. The latest sunrise is in about two weeks.
But Friday is the shortest time between the two, the shortest daylight of the year in the northern hemisphere.
For more than 1600 years in western Europe the northern winter solstice was celebrated on December 25th, though astronomically it increasingly came later than that due to errors in the Julian calendar.
“This week’s news that the National Park Service has O.K.ed a ban on the sale of small disposable water bottles at the Grand Canyon National Park, reportedly over the objections of the Coca-Cola Company, a major donor, put me in mind of Edward Abbey. . . . ”
Read more from The New Yorker.
In the natural world, scientists have documented a vast range of shifts in biological behavior related to climate change, from birds laying their eggs earlier to bears emerging earlier from hibernation in time for the first blossom of spring.
As it turns out, humans are not excluded from such behavioral changes. Over the last 30 years, a new study has found, peak park attendance has shifted by about four days, probably in response to climate change.
Green — A Blog About Energy and the Environment has more.
pourmecoffee says this is the video clip of the year. No dispute here.
Here’s the background.