Archive for the ‘climatology’ category

Mar 19, 2023

Artificial leaf can produce 40 volts of electricity from wind or rain

Posted by in categories: climatology, health, robotics/AI

This process of harvesting energy from rain is new.

Researchers in Italy have engineered an artificial leaf that can be embedded within plants to create electricity from raindrops or wind. It functions extremely well under rainy or windy conditions to light up LED lights and power itself, according to a report by IEEE Spectrum.

Fabian Meder, a researcher studying bioinspired soft robotics at the Italian Institute of Technology (IIT) in Genoa, Italy, told the science news outlet that the system could be practical for agricultural applications and remote environmental monitoring in order to observe plant health or monitor climate conditions.

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Mar 19, 2023

Bees learn to dance and to solve puzzles from their peers

Posted by in categories: biological, climatology, neuroscience

Social insects like bees demonstrate a remarkable range of behaviors, from working together to build structurally complex nests (complete with built-in climate control) to the pragmatic division of labor within their communities. Biologists have traditionally viewed these behaviors as pre-programmed responses that evolved over generations in response to external factors. But two papers last week reported results indicating that social learning might also play a role.

The first, published in the journal PLoS Biology, demonstrated that bumblebees could learn to solve simple puzzles by watching more experienced peers. The second, published in the journal Science, reported evidence for similar social learning in how honeybees learn to perform their trademark “waggle dance” to tell other bees in their colony where to find food or other resources. Taken together, both studies add to a growing body of evidence of a kind of “culture” among social insects like bees.

“Culture can be broadly defined as behaviors that are acquired through social learning and are maintained in a population over time, and essentially serves as a ‘second form of inheritance,’ but most studies have been conducted on species with relatively large brains: primates, cetaceans, and passerine birds,” said co-author Alice Bridges, a graduate student at Queen Mary University of London who works in the lab of co-author Lars Chittka. “I wanted to study bumblebees in particular because they are perfect models for social learning experiments. They have previously been shown to be able to learn really complex, novel, non-natural behaviors such as string-pulling both individually and socially.”

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Mar 13, 2023

Surviving An Apocalypse

Posted by in categories: asteroid/comet impacts, climatology, cosmology, existential risks, robotics/AI

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Mar 9, 2023

Record room-temperature superconductor could boost quantum computer chips

Posted by in categories: chemistry, climatology, computing, particle physics, quantum physics, sustainability

Companies could one day make superconductive quantum computer chips that function at room temperature thanks to a new material from researchers in the US. Ranga Dias from the University of Rochester and colleagues made a material superconductive at 21°C and pressures less than 1% of those used for existing high-temperature superconductors. ‘The most exciting part is the pressure,’ Dias tells Chemistry World. ‘Even I didn’t think this was possible.’

Together with Ashkan Salamat’s team at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, the scientists say that electrical resistance in their nitrogen-doped lutetium hydride falls to zero at room temperature. Making room-temperature zero-resistance materials is a chemistry ‘holy grail’ and could fight climate change by reducing the 5% of electricity lost as heat while flowing through the grid.

However, Dias and Salamat’s team hasn’t been able to fully confirm the new material’s structure. As hydrogen atoms are so small they don’t easily diffract the x-rays used to work out the material’s composition. And this is an important reservation, considering the publisher of the team’s previous high-temperature superconductor paper retracted it.

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Mar 4, 2023

The Gravettian Culture that Survived an Ice Age

Posted by in category: climatology

New research sheds lights on the resilient and technologically advanced Gravettian culture, which dominated Ice Age Europe and left a 20,000-year mark.

Mar 3, 2023

Most detailed geological model reveals Earth’s past 100 million years

Posted by in category: climatology

Climate, tectonics and time combine to create powerful forces that craft the face of our planet. Add the gradual sculpting of the Earth’s surface by rivers and what to us seems solid as rock is constantly changing.

However, our understanding of this dynamic process has at best been patchy.

Scientists today have published new research revealing a detailed and dynamic model of the Earth’s surface over the past 100 million years.

Mar 1, 2023

Japan’s new supercomputer will forecast heavy rains 6 hours in advance

Posted by in categories: climatology, supercomputing, sustainability

The new supercomputer system can predict the occurrence of linear rainbands, which are clouds that trigger heavy rain, leading to natural disasters.

Trust Japan to get a supercomputer to predict heavy rain and other natural disasters like landslides and flooding.

Japan has always had to deal with natural disasters as the island is located along an area where several tectonic plates meet. The country is highly vulnerable to natural disasters such as earthquakes, tsunamis, and natural disasters. These have only been exacerbated due to climate change.

Mar 1, 2023

Water is Behind the Electrification of Sand

Posted by in categories: climatology, particle physics

The results of new experiments indicate that surface-adsorbed water molecules are responsible for contact electrification in granular matter, a finding that challenges established models of this phenomenon.

When two surfaces come into contact, they can exchange electrical charge. This fundamental phenomenon is linked to some of humankind’s earliest scientific experiments—reports suggest that the ancient Greeks uncovered static electricity after rubbing various materials together. Numerous physical processes are at play when two objects touch. But the mechanism underpinning charge exchange—which is known as contact electrification—has bedeviled scientists for centuries [1]. New experiments by Galien Grosjean and Scott Waitukaitis of the Institute of Science and Technology Austria now bring welcome clarity in this field [2]. By levitating a single particle and measuring its charge after consecutive collisions with a surface, the researchers were able to uncover a connection between contact electrification and water molecules on the particle and the surface.

When large numbers of insulating particles, such as grains of sand or particles of flour, collide or rub past each other, enormous electric potentials can build up. Such potentials can have dramatic consequences, leading to spectacular discharges, such as the lightning flashes seen during a sandstorm or a volcanic-ash eruption. Closer to home, such discharges can ignite flammable dusts or disrupt powder flows [3, 4]. But a mystery surrounds this contact electrification: How can identical particles exchange charge? In other words, Why does one of the particles become a donor of charge and the other an acceptor?

Feb 22, 2023

Trailer: The Future With Hannah Fry

Posted by in categories: business, climatology, finance, robotics/AI, sustainability

Our new series The Future with Hannah Fry explores the science, tech and people on the cusp of the most transformative breakthroughs of our age – from AI to clean energy. Watch the first episode on Bloomberg Originals on Feb. 22.

Do you want to know what your future holds? A life beyond 150 years old? A world where computers can read our emotions? A planet transformed by unlimited clean energy? Mathematician Hannah Fry will explore these questions and more in the new series The Future With Hannah Fry, debuting on Bloomberg Originals on Feb. 22.

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Feb 19, 2023

West’s growing cleantech is denting Chinese dominance over green energy

Posted by in categories: business, climatology, habitats, policy, sustainability

Climate change policy has entered a new era. The growing row between the United States and the European Union over the impacts of the new American green subsidy regime makes that all too clear. Yet, in many ways, this story is ultimately about China.

For the last 20 years, developed countries have used three main types of policies to cut their greenhouse gas emissions. Renewable energy mandates have required electricity generators to invest in solar, wind, hydro, and geothermal power. Emissions trading schemes for energy and industrial businesses put a price on carbon. And energy efficiency standards have been progressively improved on a whole range of products, from vehicles and white goods to homes.

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