msnbc | February 09, 2013
>>> of snow. this is the second storm that slammed into the northeast and that follows, of course, in the wake of super storm sandy and it's left the entire corridor one big, soggy mess. joining us to make sense of this bill nye the science guy . good to see you.
>> good afternoon.
>> the storm today on a similar trajectory recently taken by super storm sandy, i and want to show these images, very similar images of the two paths. what's behind these massive storm systems in this particular part of the country?
>> well, this particular part of the world. so you get storms that start in -- off the coast of africa and they make their way across the atlantic ocean and the nature of the spin of the earth and the pull of gravity makes these things get a little bit of pressure behind them and it pushes them northward. the thing is and as you observed, both sandy and -- both the rainstorm and the snowstorm follow the same track. it's not a coincidence so when you're there, you may notice that the wind generally come from the northeast and the people in new england refer to it as a nor'easter. when you live on the west coast . i'm sitting right now in los angeles , that same type of storm is called a southwester, so if you go to the sail boat store you can get a nor'easter hat in new england, but if it's a souwester hat in seattle and that's because it has a counter clockwise mouth in the northern hemisphere . it is extraordinary, everybody, that the storm is so big. how big is it? it's so big that the difference in spin at the southern part of the storm versus the northern part of the storm causes it to -- the spin of the earth.
>> causes the storm to spin and here we are. this could be the future, everybody. this could be the new normal. with all of the extra heat energy that's in the atmosphere, climate change, this could be the way it's going to be a lot. now people say it's a blizzard, how can it be global warming ? well, the difference between snow and rain is very small. it's just a few degrees celsius . a few degrees fahrenheit . and when the heat surface has more heat impacted on it there's more evaporation and more moisture in the air and here we are.
>> while i have you i want to talk about this asteroid that's coming dangerously close to us next friday? should we be worried at all?
>> we should be worried, but not about this asteroid. this is 2012 da-14 which was discovered by my colleagues at the planetary site. do you know, i have a day job now. i have the planetary site for people to look for near-earth objects so this asteroid will pass between us and the satellite that msnbc is using right now to broadcast this --
>> uh-oh. uh-oh.
>> to send this message, this broadcast around the world or around the country. understand, this thing is about 45 meters across. it's about the same size as the one that made the big hole in the ground in arizona not too far from flagstaff. it's about the same size as the one that created the tungusta event. this is where the rock comes into the earth so fast that even the atmosphere acts like a solid piece of material. okay.
>> the thing bursts in the sky and destroys everything over about 200 square kilometers . 22 -- 120 -- rather, 1200 miles. square miles . if it lands over new york, paris or tokyo or atlanta. that's it. and now there are about 100,000 of these things that cross the earth's orbit as this one is doing. so we have to look out for them.
>> but again, before i let you go, really quickly. we're not expecting that this time.
>> not this time. absolutely not.
>> i wanted to make sure.
>> definitely miss and that's rocket science . thank you.
>> bill nye , the science guy who now has a day