Archive for the ‘climatology’ category: Page 3

Mar 17, 2020

How a small nuclear war would transform the entire planet

Posted by in categories: climatology, existential risks

This grim vision of a possible future comes from the latest studies about how nuclear war could alter world climate. They build on long-standing work about a ‘nuclear winter’ — severe global cooling that researchers predict would follow a major nuclear war, such as thousands of bombs flying between the United States and Russia. But much smaller nuclear conflicts, which are more likely to occur, could also have devastating effects around the world.

As geopolitical tensions rise in nuclear-armed states, scientists are modelling the global impact of nuclear war.

Mar 10, 2020

Confirmed: Lightning Causes Nuclear Reactions in the Sky

Posted by in categories: climatology, nuclear energy, particle physics

Circa 2017 o.o

Lightning is nuts. It’s a supercharged bolt of electricity extending from the sky to the ground that can kill people. But it can also produce nuclear reactions, according to new research.

Scientists have long known that thunderstorms can produce high-energy radiation, like this one from December, 2015 that blasted a Japanese beach town with some gamma radiation. But now, another team of researchers in Japan are reporting conclusive evidence of these gamma rays setting off atom-altering reactions like those in a nuclear reactor.

Continue reading “Confirmed: Lightning Causes Nuclear Reactions in the Sky” »

Mar 6, 2020

Unbelievably epic volcanic lightning captured during eruption in Chile

Posted by in category: climatology

The incredible shot of the rare phenomenon, captured above Calbuco volcano in southern Chile, won first prize in “The Perfect Moment” photo competition.

Mar 3, 2020

How’s this for a remote support fix? Solar storm early-warning satellite repaired with million-mile software update

Posted by in categories: climatology, particle physics, satellites

The Deep Space Climate Observatory – a satellite that warns of incoming space storms that could knacker telecommunications on Earth – is up and running again after being shut down for eight months by a technical glitch.

Launched in 2015 aboard SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket, the bird, known as DSCOVR for short, was sent into orbit between the Earth and the Sun. Circling at a distance of about a million miles away from terra firma, satellite sports instruments designed to detect approaching geomagnetic storms, and alerts us before highly energetic particles from the solar wind pelt our planet.

Feb 27, 2020

Physicists may have accidentally discovered a new state of matter

Posted by in categories: climatology, computing, mobile phones, physics

Humans have been studying electric charge for thousands of years, and the results have shaped modern civilization. Our daily lives depend on electric lighting, smartphones, cars, and computers, in ways that the first individuals to take note of a static shock or a bolt of lightning could never have imagined.

Now, physicists at Northeastern have discovered a new way to manipulate . And the changes to the future of our technology could be monumental.

“When such phenomena are discovered, imagination is the limit,” says Swastik Kar, an associate professor of physics. “It could change the way we can detect and communicate signals. It could change the way we can sense things and the storage of information, and possibilities that we may not have even thought of yet.”

Feb 25, 2020

The Atmosphere as Global Sensor

Posted by in categories: climatology, space travel

Sensors are usually thought of in terms of physical devices that receive and respond to electromagnetic signals – from everyday sensors in our smartphones and connected home appliances to more advanced sensors in buildings, cars, airplanes and spacecraft. No physical sensor or aggregation of electronic sensors, however, can continuously and globally detect disturbances that take place on or above the earth’s surface. But the physical atmosphere itself may offer such a sensing capability, if it can be understood and tapped into.

To that end, DARPA recently announced its Atmosphere as a Sensor (AtmoSense) program, whose goal is to understand the fundamentals of energy propagation from the ground to the ionosphere to determine if the atmosphere can be used as a sensor. A Proposers Day is scheduled for February 14, 2020, in Arlington, Virginia.

It’s well known that energy propagates from the Earth’s surface to the ionosphere, but the specifics of how that happens is not currently known enough to use the atmosphere as a sensor. Scientific literature has clearly documented that events like thunderstorms, tornadoes, volcanos, and tsunamis make big “three-dimensional wakes” that propagate to the upper reaches of the ionosphere and leave a mark there. Since that energy traverses several other layers of atmosphere – the troposphere, stratosphere, and mesosphere – on its way up to the ionosphere, the idea is to try and identify the disturbances the “wake” is making along its way to see if researchers can capture information to indicate what type of event caused it.

Feb 6, 2020

Is a Mini Ice Age Coming? ‘Maunder Minimum’ Spurs Controversy

Posted by in category: climatology

A scientist who claims waning solar activity in the next 15 years will trigger what some are calling a mini ice age has revived talk about the effects of man-made versus natural disruptors to Earth’s climate.

Valentina Zharkova, a professor of mathematics at Northumbria University in the United Kingdom, used a new model of the sun’s solar cycle, which is the periodic change in solar radiation, sunspots and other solar activity over a span of 11 years, to predict that “solar activity will fall by 60 percent during the 2030s to conditions last seen during the ‘mini ice age’ that began in 1645,” according to a statement.

Feb 5, 2020

Scientist Warns Of Mini Ice Age As Sun Hibernates During Solar Minimum

Posted by in category: climatology

An expert warned that Earth might experience a mini ice age when the Sun hibernates due to its solar minimum cycle. According to the expert, the Sun’s hibernation and extremely cold weather could last for over three decades.

The solar minimum is a period in the Sun’s solar cycle that occurs every 11 years. During the solar minimum, sunspots on the Sun’s surface diminishes, leading to a weaker output from the massive star. On the other hand, during a solar maximum, the Sun emits more energy as its sunspots increase.

According to Valentina Zharkhova, a professor at Northumbria University’s department of mathematics, physics and electrical engineering, the Sun is about to enter a Grand Solar Minimum this year, which is like an extended version of the solar minimum. Instead of lasting for only a couple of years, the Grand Solar Minimum could extend for 33 years.

Continue reading “Scientist Warns Of Mini Ice Age As Sun Hibernates During Solar Minimum” »

Jan 30, 2020

Relics washed up on beaches reveal lost world beneath the North Sea

Posted by in category: climatology

Scientists and amateur collectors unite to reconstruct vanished ice age landscape inhabited by Neanderthals, other ancient humans.

Jan 28, 2020

Moss-growing concrete absorbs CO2, insulates and is also a vertical garden

Posted by in categories: biological, climatology, sustainability

Buildings with this concrete can—in regions with a calm mediterranean climate—absorb CO2 and release oxygen with micro-algae and the other “pigmented microorganisms” that coat it. These vertical gardens boast aesthetic appeal, but the biological concrete’s beauty also lies in its clever design.

3_Moss growing concrete CO2

The concrete works in layers. The top layer absorbs and stores rainwater and grows the microorganisms underneath. A final layer of the concrete repels water to keep the internal structure safe. The top can also absorb solar radiation, which insulates the building and regulates temperatures for the people inside.

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