Earth Song


Pope Francis’ edict on climate change will anger deniers and US churches

Pope Francis: “An economic system centred on the god of money needs to plunder nature to sustain the frenetic rhythm of consumption that is inherent to it.
“The system continues unchanged, since what dominates are the dynamics of an economy and a finance that are lacking in ethics. It is no longer man who commands, but money. Cash commands.
“The monopolising of lands, deforestation, the appropriation of water, inadequate agro-toxics are some of the evils that tear man from the land of his birth. Climate change, the loss of biodiversity and deforestation are already showing their devastating effects in the great cataclysms we witness,…”

How hot does it get inside your car?

Recently I said to someone

“I believe the scientific basis of global warming is very simple: if you put more heat (energy) into something than comes out, the temperature will go up. A commonly shared experience we can all relate to is getting into your car on a 90-degree day only to find that the inside temperature is around 120-degrees, due to the trapped heat.”

I wanted to check my statement about the 120 degree Fahrenheit (48.9 degree C) temperature inside the car to see if it was true.  I used a small automated weather station to get the inside and outside air temperatures and an infrared thermometer to measure surface temperatures.  Here is what I found (in degrees C):

12:15 PM, Location Mayaguez, Puerto Rico, Sept. 22, 2014, 2001 Honda Accord, Black.

Air temperature outside 31.6 C

Air temperature inside car 49.1 C (My statement was very close!)

Surface temperatures inside car: Dashboard 88.9 C (192 F  !!!!), driver seat 50C, front floor 39 C, Radio 51.6 C, steering wheel 53 C, trunk floor 56.9 C.

Pavement outside of car 52.1

Grass area near car 33.9

My office chair 17.7 C.  🙂


Daily Reference Evapotranspiration (ETo) for Haiti and the Dominican Republic


Daily reference evapotranspiration (ETo) is now available for Haiti and the Dominican Republic.  CLICK HERE to visit the new pragwater page, which provides a link to the daily image data and the method background information.  The page also provides information related to the practical application of the results for scheduling irrigation in Haiti and the Dominican Republic.


ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS: This research received partial funding from the following sources: NOAA-CREST (grant NA06OAR4810162) and USDA Hatch Project (Hatch-402). Special thanks to Dr. John Mecikalski for providing the solar radiation data, and Alejandra Rojas for providing various GIS maps used in this research. I would like to thank my student, Victor Reventos, who made this possible through his Python programming skills.

DISCLAIMER: The information is provided “as is”. The authors and publishers of this information disclaim any loss or liability, either directly or indirectly as a consequence of applying the information provided herein, or in regard to the use and application of said information. No guarantee is given, either expressed or implied, in regard to the accuracy, or acceptability of the information.

Course offerings this semester at UPRM: Farm Irrigation and Agroclimatology (TMAG)

I will be offering the following two courses this semester at UPR-Mayaguez. Please click the following links for the course fliers.

TMAG 5017 Agroclimatology

TMAG 4019 Farm Drainage and Irrigation Systems

Please feel free to contact me if you would like additional information about either course.

Eric Harmsen, Professor
University of Puerto Rico
Dept. of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering
Mayaguez, Puerto Rico 00681
phone: 787-955-5102
websites: ,