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Archive By Author - Rudi Kiefer


Earth Sense: Remember air’s tendencies to keep house comfy

Going from air conditioning to heating, and back again, is common in North Georgia's changeable weather. The problem with this is the fact that chilled air behaves very differently than heated air.

August 25, 2013 | Rudi Kiefer | Columnists


Earth Sense: Atlantic subduction could lead to more quakes

Nov. 1, 1755, started out with a fine morning. Bright sunshine and balmy temperatures greeted churchgoers as they prepared to celebrate All Saints Day.

August 18, 2013 | Rudi Kiefer | Columnists


Earth Sense: Waterspouts can be dangerous when they reach land

Vacationers at the Florida Coast and at the Great Lakes had a good chance to see a waterspout this season. Because of its close resemblance to a tornado, a waterspout can look really frightening. What makes it so distinctly visible is the column of water that's hurled upward by the swirling wind.

August 11, 2013 | Rudi Kiefer | Columnists


Earth Sense: Blueways, water trails new ways to enjoy nature

An emerging trend across the nation is the designation of "blueways." In spring 2012, the Department of the Interior initiated a system of waterways with boat launch points and camping sites, intended to protect the natural landscape while at the same time allowing for recreational uses such as paddling and kayaking.

August 03, 2013 | Rudi Kiefer | Columnists


Earth Sense: Wet summer not directly linked to climate shift

Anybody hoping for another dry, parched summer this season must have been disappointed.

July 27, 2013 | Rudi Kiefer | Columnists


Earth Sense: Floods can result from bad building decisions

Residents of Calgary, Alberta, will be digging out from the mud for weeks to come. Torrential rains resulted in massive flooding that started on June 20. Some areas, including the Saddledome, a popular hockey venue, were submerged to a height of 15 feet.

July 07, 2013 | Rudi Kiefer | Columnists


Earth Sense: Railway travel offers beautiful scenery

Railroads are an excellent means for experiencing the scenic beauty of mountain regions. Suitable for an afternoon excursion, the Great Smoky Mountains Railroad is within two hours' drive from Gainesville. Board the train in Bryson City, N.C., for a trip deep down into Nantahala Gorge.

June 30, 2013 | Rudi Kiefer | Columnists


Earth Sense: Mammatus clouds and hail are signs of severe weather

Among the video footage of the Moore, Okla., tornado of May 20 available online now, some scenes shot while the twisters were touching down are disturbing. You see cars on the road and traffic patterns that look quite normal, except for the huge funnel approaching in the background.

June 23, 2013 | Rudi Kiefer | Columnists


Earth Sense: Proper drainage can prevent basement leaks

Boats leak from the bottom. But a house can leak from the top or the bottom.

June 15, 2013 | Rudi Kiefer | Columnists


Earth Sense: North Georgia's summer pattern can vary

North Georgia's summer climate is often called "hot and humid." But that's not really accurate. There are times when it's warm and humid, and other times when it's hot and dry.

June 09, 2013 | Rudi Kiefer | Columnists


Earth Sense: 9 students lost in tornado is too many

Among reports of the massive destruction that the May 20 tornado unleashed on the towns of Newcastle and Moore, Okla., some stories stand out as a message of encouragement. With a reported width of up to 2 miles, the massive twister destroyed two elementary schools. Nine children died at Plaza Towers Elementary.

June 01, 2013 | Rudi Kiefer | Columnists


Train travel is a cleaner and safer option

May 17 was a day of odd contrasts. At Cornelia's beautiful old railroad station, three train enthusiasts were standing next to the track with top-quality cameras, waiting to take photos of the approaching northbound Norfolk Southern. The familiar mustang logo on the lead engine rolled by, followed by additional locomotives and a very long chain of flatbed cars carrying containers.

May 26, 2013 | Rudi Kiefer | Columnists


Wind power is clean and cheap

California Highway 58, east of Bakersfield, presents some truly astounding sights. It's still a rare occurrence here in Georgia to see more than one wind turbine. At Tehachapi Pass on Cal. 58, there are 5,000 of them.

May 19, 2013 | Rudi Kiefer | Columnists


Earth Sense: Better weather radar is on horizon

Spirits were high but clouds hung low during graduation ceremonies on the Brenau campus a week ago. Commenting on the light rain that was falling, Brenau President Ed Schrader said, jokingly, "according to the weather radar on my computer, these rain clouds don't exist."

May 12, 2013 | Rudi Kiefer | Columnists


Earth Sense: Mulching vegetation better than burning

Our student volunteers were working hard last week, dragging huge piles of privet cuttings and other shrubs down the slope toward the power chipper. More helpers were bringing plant debris out of the bamboo forest, that unique environment at the end of the Brenau campus where bamboo, planted in the 1930s, has grown into huge trees.

May 05, 2013 | Rudi Kiefer | Columnists


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Articles By Author - Rudi Kiefer


Earth Sense: Temperature inversions create bubbles that affect sound, smoke

Atmospheric conditions often influence the course of history.

November 15, 2014 | Rudi Kiefer | Columnists


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