Randy is a member of a team of people that make up the Volcano Disaster Assistance Program (VDAP). They’re usually called the ‘volcano crisis assistance team’ and they were the models for the heroes of the recent popular film, Dante’s Peak. Randy and his team visit volcanoes that have shown recent increases in seismic activity. ‘People call us when they think their local volcano is waking up. That’s when we go into action. Our entire team can be on a plane in 24 hours. That’s probably the main reason we are often called to the scene of a volcano site.’ He visits volcano sites about three or four times a year, but more often if there’s increased volcanic activity. Randy and his team were involved in predicting the eruption of Mt Pinatubo in the Philippines. An estimated 20,000 lives were saved when his team predicted the time, the size, and the place of the eruption, the largest in the world in almost 80 years! Randy says he and his team have successfully predicted several other recent volcanic eruptions in Latin America.
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First steps in planning the House
First steps in planning the House of Ideas were studies of how families want to live, of the geographical conditions, and of suitable materials. Then came many preliminary sketches of plan, interior space, and exterior design in a search for a livable, attractive home. At last came the refinement of the best sketches in the interest of greater efficiency and beauty. Consider the specific ways and means used to make this house attractive. The plan has a feeling of easy movement corresponding to the rhythms of the family live for which it was designed. Notice the pleasant variations in room size and shape, the satisfying relation of each to the others. These qualities are rooted in the living for which the rooms were planned, but they are sensitively refined beyond mere utilitarian requirements because plans, as well as interiors or exteriors, can be beautiful.
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Water vapor – the most essential greenhouse gas
Ninety – nine percent of our atmosphere is made up of two gases: nitrogen and oxygen. Though these gases play a vital role in complex cycles that support life on earth, they play almost no direct role in regulating the climate. The job of climate regulation falls to the remaining 1 percent of the atmosphere, heat – trapping greenhouse gases, which include water vapor, carbon dioxide, nitrous oxide, methane, chlorofluorocarbons, and ozone. The most crucial greenhouse gas – water vapor – is not usually thought of as a gas at al, since we are used to thinking of water in its liquid form. Yet, each molecule of water vapor in the atmosphere is packed with heat energy.
For example, when vapor in a cloud cools and condenses, heat is released, causing powerful convection currents. The dynamic movement of water vapor in our atmosphere plays a critical and complex role in determining both weather and climate.
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Since ancient times Nature was the source of people’s life. For thousands of years people lived in harmony with environment and they thought that natural riches were unlimited. The development of civilization increased man’s harmful interference in nature. Large cities with thousands of smoky industrial enterprises pollute the air we breathe and the water we drink. Every year world industry pollutes the atmosphere with about 1000 million tons of dust and other harmful substances. Many cities suffer from smog. Beautiful old forests disappear forever. Their disappearance upsets the oxygen balance. As a result some rare species of animals, birds, fish and plants disappear forever, a number of lakes and rivers dry up. The pollution of air and destruction of the ozone layer are the results of man’s attitude towards Nature. The protection of the environment is a universal concern. We must be very active to create a serious system of ecological security.