Water covers three-fourths of the surface of our "Blue Marble." The water cycle keeps it moving from the air to the ground and back again. Too much water coming down too soon can trigger floods, while not enough of it for too long brings drought. While most of the hydrosphere's water is found in the oceans, it's also in lakes, rivers, streams, aquifers, and even puddles and cracks in rocks. Wherever its found, much of our precious "liquid gold" has been polluted by runoff from cities, farms, and factories. Planet Diary chronicles the battle to restore our oceans and waterways to good health.
Planet Diary Activities
- Drought in Your State
Students explore current and long-term drought conditions in their state.
- How Tsunamis Form
Tracks the spread of the deadly Indonesian tsunami in 2004, then traces the the steps in the formation of a tsunami.
- Tsunami Waves
Students interpret tsunami wave amplitude and arrival time data to understand the pattern of destruction of these powerful waves.
- Monitoring River Levels
A look at current streamflow conditions across the United States and in the student's local area to explore today's flood danger.
- Hurricane Katrina's Floods
Students analyze satellite photos to explore the impact of floods from Hurricane Katrina.
A look at the role of phytoplankton in marine ecosystems, and the links between temperature, pollution, and plankton levels.
- Oil Spill ESI Maps
Explores how ESI (Environmental Sensitivity Index) maps are use to determine how vulnerable a coastline is to an oil spill.
- El Niño
Examines the cause and global impact of El Niño.
JPL Ocean Surface Topography
This sites has lots of cool pics and graphics of the planet's oceans as seen from space.
JPL Sea Level Viewer
Check out this awesome interactive view of current sea level and other ocean data.
Monterey Bay Aquarium
Monterey Bay Aquarium has some eye-popping online exhibits!
Find tons of information about the water planet.
Learn what this organization is doing to protect the world's oceans.
Learning adventures about the seas and their inhabitants.
NOAA Coral Reef
Get the latest updates on efforts to protect the world's coral reefs.
Real-time river and stream data from across the United States. This is a great site for checking current flood danger anywhere in the country.
NWS Flood Warnings
View an interactive map of flood and other weather-related warnings for the United States.
U.S. Water News
This site includes information on water use, water conservation, hydroelectric power, and water quality.
National Weather Service Flood Warnings
These flood and flash flood warnings are up to the minute.
Surf Your Watershed
What is the name of your watershed? Is it urban or forested? This EPA resource is useful for water quality or flood investigations.
What should you do before and after a flood? This site lists pages with useful advice.
U.S. Drought Monitor
See what drought conditions look like today across the United States.
Earth Observatory Drought
NASA'S Earth Observatory provides current drought satellite images and reports.
Extreme Weather and Climate Events
The National Climatic Data Center (NCDC) offers frequently updated information on drought and other global climate extremes.
Drought Indicator Maps
View a variety of animated maps of recent drought conditions, courtesy NCDC.