Archive for the ‘climatology’ category: Page 97

May 23, 2018

Atomic-scale manufacturing now a reality

Posted by in categories: climatology, particle physics, robotics/AI

Scientists at the University of Alberta have applied a machine learning technique using artificial intelligence to perfect and automate atomic-scale manufacturing, something which has never been done before. The vastly greener, faster, smaller technology enabled by this development greatly reduces impact on the climate while still satisfying the insatiable demands of the information age.

“Most of us thought we’d never be able to automate atomic writing and editing, but stubborn persistence has paid off, and now Research Associate Moe Rashidi has done it,” said Robert Wolkow, professor of physics at the University of Alberta, who along with his Research Associate has just published a paper announcing their findings.

“Until now, we printed with about as efficiently as medieval monks produced books,” explained Wolkow. “For a long while, we have had the equivalent of a pen for writing with atoms, but we had to write manually. So we couldn’t mass produce atom-scale devices, and we couldn’t commercialize anything. Now that has all changed, much like the disruption following the arrival of the printing press for those medieval monks. Machine learning has automated the atom fabrication process, and an atom-scale manufacturing revolution is sure to follow.”

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May 23, 2018

Beams of antimatter spotted blasting towards the ground in hurricanes

Posted by in categories: climatology, particle physics, space

Although Hurricane Patricia was one of the most powerful storms ever recorded, that didn’t stop the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) from flying a scientific aircraft right through it. Now, the researchers have reported their findings, including the detection of a beam of antimatter being blasted towards the ground, accompanied by flashes of x-rays and gamma rays.

Scientists discovered terrestrial gamma-ray flashes (TGFs) in 1994, when orbiting instruments designed to detect deep space gamma ray bursts noticed signals coming from Earth. These were later linked to storms, and after thousands of subsequent observations have come to be seen as normal parts of lightning strikes.

The mechanisms behind these emissions are still shrouded in mystery, but the basic story goes that, first, the strong electric fields in thunderstorms cause electrons to accelerate to almost the speed of light. As these high-energy electrons scatter off other atoms in the air, they accelerate other electrons, quickly creating an avalanche of what are known as “relativistic” electrons.

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May 18, 2018

Ghostly ‘Lightning’ Waves Discovered Inside a Nuclear Reactor

Posted by in categories: climatology, nuclear energy

Weird waves that whisper through the ionosphere have also been discovered inside the plasma of nuclear fusion reactors. They could help stop runaway electrons.

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May 8, 2018

America’s water infrastructure is failing—but here’s how we could start to fix it

Posted by in categories: climatology, life extension, sustainability

America’s water is under threat from many sides. It faces pollution problems, outdated infrastructure, rising costs, and unprecedented droughts and rainfall patterns as the climate changes. Yet at a recent event hosted by the Columbia Water Center, the tone was cautiously optimistic, and the conversation centered on solutions.

“If we have aging that’s falling apart, and we’re dealing with climate variability and change, isn’t that a good opportunity to actually do something?” suggested Upmanu Lall, director of the Columbia Water Center.

For decades, the U.S. has been a leader in . Now we’re falling behind; in the latest infrastructure report card, dams, drinking water and wastewater all received D ratings. But Lall thinks the country could get an A. Here are some of the solutions, presented at the event, that could help to get us there.

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May 8, 2018

Gigantic Waves That Control Earth’s Weather Have Once Again Been Detected Roaring Across The Sun

Posted by in categories: climatology, space

Astronomers have speculated for decades that the giant waves that meander through the Earth’s atmosphere and oceans, driving the weather, might also exist on the Sun. Now those waves have been unambiguously detected inside the Sun, and found to be very similar to those on Earth.

These Rossby waves, or planetary waves, naturally occur in rotating fluids. It is the rotation of the Earth that causes Rossby waves to propagate through the atmosphere and ocean, affecting the climate and weather.

The Sun rotates, too — so, theoretically at least, a similar phenomenon should be taking place in the gases and plasma that make up its layers. Indeed, it should be taking place in all rotating fluid systems.

Continue reading “Gigantic Waves That Control Earth’s Weather Have Once Again Been Detected Roaring Across The Sun” »

May 6, 2018

Massive dust storms are robbing Mars of its water

Posted by in categories: climatology, space

Additional challenges for those who want to colonize Mars…

Mars was once lush with water. A new analysis of Martian climate data shows a mechanism that might have helped dehydrate the planet.

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May 1, 2018

Twin spacecraft to weigh in on Earth’s changing water

Posted by in categories: climatology, health

A pair of new spacecraft that will observe our planet’s ever-changing water cycle, ice sheets and crust is in final preparations for a California launch no earlier than Saturday, May 19. The Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment Follow-On (GRACE-FO) mission, a partnership between NASA and the German Research Centre for Geosciences (GFZ), will take over where the first GRACE mission left off when it completed its 15-year mission in 2017.

GRACE-FO will continue monitoring monthly changes in the distribution of mass within and among Earth’s atmosphere, oceans, land and ice sheets, as well as within the solid Earth itself. These data will provide unique insights into Earth’s changing climate, Earth system processes and even the impacts of some human activities, and will have far-reaching benefits to society, such as improving water resource management.

“Water is critical to every aspect of life on Earth—for health, for agriculture, for maintaining our way of living,” said Michael Watkins, GRACE-FO science lead and director of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California. “You can’t manage it well until you can measure it. GRACE-FO provides a unique way to measure water in many of its phases, allowing us to manage water resources more effectively.”

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Apr 26, 2018

Many low-lying atoll islands could be uninhabitable

Posted by in categories: climatology, habitats, sustainability

Sea-level rise and wave-driven flooding will negatively impact freshwater resources on many low-lying atoll islands in such a way that many could be uninhabitable in just a few decades. According to a new study published in Science Advances, scientists found that such flooding not only will impact terrestrial infrastructure and habitats, but, more importantly, it will also make the limited freshwater resources non-potable and, therefore, directly threaten the sustainability of human populations.

Most of the world’s atolls are in the Pacific and Indian oceans. The scientists focused on Roi-Namur Island on Kwajalein Atoll in the Republic of the Marshall Islands for their site study from November 2013 to May 2015. The Republic of the Marshall Islands has more than 1,100 low-lying on 29 atolls, is home for numerous island nations and hundreds of thousands of people.

Scientists from the U.S. Geological Survey, Deltares, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and the University of Hawai?i at Mānoa used a variety of climate-change scenarios to project the impact of sea-level rise and wave-driven flooding on atoll infrastructure and freshwater availability. The approach and findings in this study can serve as a proxy for atolls around the world, most of which have a similar morphology and structure, including, on average, even lower land elevations.

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Apr 22, 2018

New studies suggest Atlantic Ocean currents are slowing and this could mean climate extremes

Posted by in category: climatology

According to two new studies, an Atlantic Ocean current that helps regulate the global climate, has reached a more than 1,000-year low. This could mean more extreme weather across the Northern hemisphere as well as increased sea level along the U.S East Coast.


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Apr 22, 2018

Japanese volcano Mount Io erupts for the first time in 250 years

Posted by in category: climatology

TOKYO – A volcano in southern Japan has erupted for the first time in 250 years, and authorities set up a no-go zone around the mountain.

Mount Io spewed smoke and ash high into the sky Thursday in its first eruption since 1768. Japan’s Meteorological Agency on Friday expanded a no-go zone to the entire mountain from previously just around the volcano’s crater.

Explosions have briefly subsided Friday, but officials cautioned residents in nearby towns against falling volcanic rocks and ash.

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