GFM Network News


Weather school: Insolation and the solar constant

Equatorial regions get about 2.5 times more incoming solar energy than polar regions

In my last article, we gently stuck our toes into the idea of going back to school with our first weather school class. In that class we discussed how the sun creates energy and then how that energy travels from the sun to Earth. Today we will start to look at how that energy is

Inside the sun, the pressure of all the hydrogen causes the temperature to rise, and when it is hot enough the hydrogen starts to fuse into helium.

Weather school: Let’s start with the basics

The majority of the radiation we get from the sun comes in the form of visible light

At this time of the year, unless the weather is particularly bad, there are not a lot of “new” weather topics to discuss. We still have a month or two of winter left, and a lot can happen in that time that will affect our spring. I’ve spent more than enough time looking at long-range


Coleus for the sun

Coleus have long been an important component of shade plantings; whether planted in the ground or grown in containers, they have traditionally been popular plants for those spots in the garden that receive little direct sun. The older varieties, such as the “Rainbow” series, are all suitable for use in the shade and in fact,

Weaker sun will not delay global warming

London/ Reuters / A weaker sun over the next 90 years is not likely to significantly delay a rise in global temperature caused by greenhouse gases, a report said Jan. 23. The study, by Britain’s Meteorological Office and the University of Reading, found that the sun’s output would decrease up until 2100 but this would

Sun’s magnetic field could jinx GPS

Don’t blame the manufacturers — or even the gremlins — if your GPS system goes a little wonky in 2012. It’s likely solar flares will wreak havoc with at least some systems this coming year as the sun flips its magnetic field, says Pam Wilson, a precision agriculture instructor with Assiniboine Community College. “Basically the sun’s


Solar Dimming Can Trigger Freezing Winters

Acyclical drop in the sun s radiation can trigger unusually cold winters in parts of North America and Europe, scientists say, a finding that could improve long-range forecasts and help countries prepare for blizzards. Scientists have known for a long time that the sun has an 11-year cycle during which radiation measured by sunspots on

In Brief… – for Aug. 25, 2011

Correction:Due to an editing mistake, an opinion piece from Lydia Johnson which appeared in the Aug. 11 issue, contains the erroneous statement: “They did this fully knowing that they were going to ‘stuff’ this water into the already overcapacitated Lake Manitoba, which does have a proper outlet drain for the extra diverted waters to go

CWB Working On Open-Market Model

The Canadian Wheat Board is working on a model for converting the single-desk seller of western barley and wheat into an open-market grain company. But for this “new entity” to survive the federal government must make major concessions, including assuming CWB employees’ pension liability, says chair Allen Oberg. “It’s our view that it’s the government’s


La Niña And Sunspots

From a weather and agricultural point, I find this time of year to be the most difficult. Winter is still holding on, but historically we don’t see much in the way of severe weather during the second half of February. Spring is on the horizon, but is still at least three to four weeks away

Don’t Shoot The Messenger

If you happen to be one of those people who likes to complain about the weather, and you spent the summer in the western Prairies, chances are you hit the mother lode. For producers trying to “mud in” late crops, or bale soggy forages, the challenges were many. In many areas, it was just one