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Riled Up is a journal of science, the environment, exploration, new technology, and related commentary.  Contributors include scientists, explorers, engineers, and others who provide perspectives and context not typically offered in general news circulation.  For interested readers, additional resources are included.

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Fire & Ice

Fire & Ice

National temperature map, February 2015 (credit: NOAA)

A repost of Robert Frost's poem is apt:
                     Fire and Ice

Some say the world will end in fire, some say in ice.

From what I’ve tasted of desire, I hold with those who favor fire,

But if it had to perish twice, I think I know enough of hate 

To say that for destruction ice, is also great and would suffice.

In winter of 2015, NASA and NOAA developed composite satellite maps of temperature anomaly measurements across the continental USA. The 'big data' graphic represented temperature data for February 2015. The space agency compared the 2015 data with temperatures averaged over the decade from 2001 to 2010. Regions that were warmer than the average are represented in red; near-normal as white; and cooler temperatures than the base average in blue. Large parts of the American West including Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, and Wyoming experienced temperatures that were more than 18F degrees above the decade average while Midwestern, Mid-Atlantic, and New England states were 18F degrees below that norm.

From the mpas, it doesn't take too much imagination to see which states experienced fire and those which were had ice. WHB



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