As we prepare to start a new year, we can also expect to find ourselves in a changed world. The old dream of living off the land in a quiet cottage is giving way to an ever-increasing worldwide trend: the megacity.
In the debate about rising atmospheric CO2 levels, it's rarely mentioned that there's a host of unknown factors. That's not a reason to lay back and continue business as usual.
The 2012 climate conference in Doha, Qatar, on the Persian Gulf concluded without strong measures to control carbon dioxide emissions.
The simplest form of airplane flight is found in the glider. It uses only pockets of rising air, and the movement of air past its wings, to fly above the surface.
In places where there are water-related problems, engineering is often touted as the solution. As an example for what happens when you tinker with natural waterways, the river Rhine in Germany, often visited by Americans, stands out.
The water discussions in the Gainesville and Atlanta areas often bring up the term "drainage basin," which is the same thing as a "watershed."
With so many changes going on in our natural environment, you may be wondering what to expect in the months ahead. An earthquake in Guatemala 10 days ago killed 48, and another severe one happened in Myanmar last Sunday.
It gets dark an hour earlier now than it did last month. As we head for the shortest days of the year, outdoor and indoor lighting are very important.
It's rare for a hurricane like Sandy to bypass most of the East Coast and then enter the continent that far north.
Fall is the season for enjoying colors in North Georgia. But it's not just the colors of tree leaves that are changing. The sky shows a much greater variety of hues than we get at other times of the year.
In this country, the automobile is the most common form of transportation. You don't need to go far to observe the problems that come with it.
Sunshine. Then more than 6 inches of rain, setting an all-time record for Gainesville. Then sunshine again.
When you look at the most common type of air conditioning system used in homes, you see a conspicuous part of it outside. That's the condenser. Its job is to take the heat delivered to it from inside the house, and vent it off into the atmosphere.
Phoenix, Ariz., is a fascinating city. Completely surrounded by some of the driest, hottest desert in America, it's a flourishing trade and convention center.
Sub-Saharan Africa appears in the news regularly with reports of human losses and suffering. This month, flooding hit the northern part of Nigeria hard. The Kano and Wudil rivers flow at the southern edge of the Sahara Desert, providing fertile agricultural land with their water and sediment.
When Germany's Elbe River flooded in May this year, Hamburg and other communities along the waterway felt reminded of the catastrophic storm flood of February 1962. I remember TV images of people clinging to rooftops that were the only portions of houses still above the water.
Back in the 1950s, most hospitals were eerie places: Tiled walls, dimly lit hallways, gruff personnel. It would be tough to find such an old-style, stark facility in this country today.
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