Did you know that our planet needs hurricanes?
· Hurricanes, typhoons and tropical cyclones are all the same storm but located in different oceans. Hurricanes are in the Atlantic, typhoons are in the Pacific and tropical cyclones are in the Indian Ocean. We will call all of these storms “hurricanes” in this report. Hurricanes start small but when conditions are right they quickly escalate to a tropical storm. The storm continues over the hot and humid ocean and it grows. When the winds become 119 kmh (74 mph) then it is called a hurricane. Hurricanes thrive when temperature of the ocean is 27 degrees Celsius (80 degrees Fahrenheit) or higher. .
· Hurricanes cool things down. They redistribute hot air from tropical areas to cooler areas.
· Hurricanes break droughts. They take the salt water in the oceans and desalinize (remove the salt) the water. Although, when the hurricane makes landfall, it causes much devastation, the rain that falls is fresh water. If there has been a drought in the area, this will fill reservoirs and water the land.
Did you know that our planet needs forest fires?
· New research is revealing how plant seeds depend on smoke and even heat from fires to get them to sprout. If weeds and grass have been burned to the ground, the ground will be fertile with new ash. Also, a new seed will have little competition. Forest fires improve the health of our forests.
How important is wind to our planet?
· Wind is important for several reasons. We need wind to move air around so that we can have a constant supply of oxygen. Plants need wind to carry their pollen to other plants so they can reproduce. We need wind to move weather to different regions. Without wind everything would be stagnant.
Does snow and ice have a purpose or is it just for fun and recreation?
· Snow and ice are integral parts of the global climate system and have a cooling effect on the earth. White surfaces stay cooler than black surfaces when they are hit by sun radiation.
· One major benefit of a good snow cover is snow functions as an excellent insulator of the soil. Without snow, very cold temperatures can freeze the soil deeper and deeper. This could lead to damage of root systems of trees and shrubs. The insulation effect of snow also helps protect perennials, bulbs, ground covers, and other plants from alternating freezing and thawing cycles. Without snow, milder temperatures and the sun could warm the soil surface, leading to damage from soil heaving, which can break roots and dry out plant parts. Snow also helps conserve soil moisture over the winter.
· There is something else that happens when it snows - nitrogen is deposited by the snow. Rain also contains nitrogen compounds that were suspended in air as they formed. It is estimated that 2 to 12 pounds of nitrogen are deposited per acre as a result of snow and rain.
What about lightning, does it have a purpose?
· Lightning produces materials critical to life itself. All living things depend on the chemical element nitrogen. Your body contains molecules known as proteins which are made up of several elements, including nitrogen.
· When lightning slices through the atmosphere, it knocks electrons from the nitrogen atoms. The atoms then combine with oxygen and hydrogen forming nitrates. Rain carries this new compound to the earth enriching the soil with nitrates. Plants synthesize these nitrates into proteins which can be used by animals and by us.
God considered every detail when He created this planet that we call Earth and this universe. This information makes us realize that everything has a purpose whether we know it or understand it. What a fascinating world God created for us to enjoy.