Archive for the ‘research’ Category

Volcanic eruption


Interesting results from this research into where and how volcanoes might fit into the oceans/climate picture.

Volcanic eruptions are among the most important natural causes of climate change, playing a leading role over the past millennium, says Phys.org.

Injections of sulfate aerosols into the lower stratosphere reduce the incoming solar radiation, in turn cooling the surface.

As a natural external forcing to the Earth’s climate system, the impact of volcanic aerosols on the climate has been of great concern to the scientific society and the public.

In recent years, scientists have found that there is a relationship between volcanic eruptions and the El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) based on reconstructions and model simulations, which is manifested in increased/decreased sea surface temperature (SST) gradient over the equatorial Pacific.

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The highly tilted orbit of Eris compared to the orbits of Ceres (light blue), Jupiter (maroon), Saturn (orange, Uranus (green), Neptune (blue), Pluto (olive, and MakeMake (red) [image credit: Fandom]


Could a ‘rogue’ star passing nearby have disturbed outer parts of the early solar system? Beyond Neptune things become somewhat different.

The outer reaches of our solar system harbor a number of mysterious features. Astrobites reports on whether a single stellar fly-by could help explain them all.

A star is born from the gravitational collapse of a cloud of gas and dust. Yet not all of the material ends up in the star, and instead forms a flat protoplanetary disk that surrounds the new star. Over time, the materials in this disk coalesce to form planets, moons, asteroids, and most other objects you might expect to find near a typical star.

Since protoplanetary disks are flat, the expectation is that all of the planets and objects orbiting a star that formed out of a protoplanetary disk should orbit on a single plane. So when we find stars with planets that orbit at multiple different inclinations, this raises questions.

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Many believe the forces of climate alarm got Professor Peter Ridd fired for saying what he thought about the recovery powers of the GBR.

NOT A LOT OF PEOPLE KNOW THAT

By Paul Homewood

A new study finds that coral bleaching on the Great Barrier Reef is nothing new.

From the Evening Express:

image

Large-scale coral bleaching has raised concern about the future of the ecosystems and the impact their loss could have on biodiversity.

Dr Sebastian Hennige, researcher

The teams found the frequency of bleaching has increased since the 1800s and, despite corals’ ability to recover, there are fears they could now be approaching a “critical threshold”.

Dr Nick Kamenos from Glasgow’s School of Geographical and Earth Sciences said: “It’s clear in the core data we examined that bleaching has been occurring on the Great Barrier Reef for at least 400 years, but the frequency of bleaching events has increased markedly since the early 1800s and those events have affected 10% more corals since the late 1700s.

“We can see that corals have been able to acclimate and recover from past…

View original post 328 more words

Antarctica


Researchers describe this as ‘a major challenge to our current understanding’. The global carbon cycle model may have to be revisited.

More than 100 oceanic floats are now diving and drifting in the Southern Ocean around Antarctica during the peak of winter, reports Phys.org.

These instruments are gathering data from a place and season that remains very poorly studied, despite its important role in regulating the global climate.

A new study from the University of Washington, the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute, Princeton University and several other oceanographic institutions uses data gathered by the floating drones over past winters to learn how much carbon dioxide is transferred by the surrounding seas.

Results show that in winter the open water nearest the sea ice surrounding Antarctica releases significantly more carbon dioxide than previously believed.

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Solar flare [image credit: NASA/SDO]


Quoting from the research article’s plain language summary: ‘We find that some aspects of the space weather climate are in fact reproducible, they can be inferred from that of previous solar maxima. This may help understand the behaviour of future solar maxima.’ Solar wind variation is highlighted.

Historic space weather may help us understand what’s coming next, according to new research by the University of Warwick, says Phys.org.

Professor Sandra Chapman, from Warwick’s Centre for Fusion, Space and Astrophysics, led a project which charted the space weather in previous solar cycles across the last half century, and discovered an underlying repeatable pattern in how space weather activity changes with the solar cycle.

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The world has more natural carbon dioxide absorbers in the shape of trees than was thought, to the tune of an extra 2.2 million kilometers² relative to 1982.

A team of researchers from the University of Maryland, the State University of New York and NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center has found that new global tree growth over the past 35 years has more than offset global tree cover losses, reports Phys.org.

In their paper published in the journal Nature, the group describes using satellite data to track forest growth and loss over the past 35 years and what they found by doing so.

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Ring of Fire earthquake zone [image credit: BBC]


The understanding of the processes may be lacking, but the evidence is there according to researchers.

New research shows that a big earthquake can not only cause other quakes, but large ones, and on the opposite side of the Earth, reports ScienceDaily.

The findings, published today in Scientific Reports, are an important step toward improved short-term earthquake forecasting and risk assessment.

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This appears to be based around the same technology as used in car insurance tracking devices. In effect every road would potentially be a toll road, with variable charges according to whatever factors are applied.

In the current issue of Nature, economists Peter Cramton, Axel Ockenfels (both University of Cologne) and R. Richard Geddes (Cornell University) propose having drivers pay a dynamic fee for the use of roads, reports Green Car Congress.

This would contribute to avoiding traffic jams and protecting the environment, the researchers argue.

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Stirling engine model [image credit: Wikipedia]


‘A Stirling engine is a closed-cycle regenerative heat engine with a permanently gaseous working fluid’ – Wikipedia.

GLENN RESEARCH CENTER, Ohio — If you are wanting to perform some science at Neptune, or Pluto, or beyond in the dark depths of the outer solar system, your spacecraft is going to need power for a very long time, says Spaceflight Insider.

Engineers at NASA’s Glenn Research Center in Cleveland, Ohio, are working to make that happen, and have been at it for a very long time.

The engineering team in NASA Glenn’s Thermal Energy Conversion Branch recently set a run-time record for a free-piston Stirling engine at full power.

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The blueprint for El Niño diversity

Posted: July 27, 2018 by oldbrew in ENSO, Ocean dynamics, research

Credit: concernusa.org


How much this research can aid ENSO predictions remains to be seen, but any advance in understanding is welcome.

A new study isolates key mechanisms that cause El Niño events to differ, says ScienceDaily.

Researchers found that the complexity and irregular occurrence of El Niño and La Niña events can be traced back to the co-existence of two coupled atmosphere-ocean oscillations, with different spatial characteristics and different frequencies.

A new research study, published this week by an international team of climate scientists in the journal Nature, isolates key mechanisms that cause El Niño events to differ amongst each other.

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Siberian permafrost [image credit: Julian Murton / BBC]


One small wriggle for a worm, one giant…etc. This discovery has novelty value and should stir the imaginations of sci-fi writers, whatever its real significance may be.

The Siberian Times reports: Nematodes moving and eating again for the first time since the Pleistocene age in major scientific breakthrough, say experts.

The roundworms from two areas of Siberia came back to life in Petri dishes, says a new scientific study.

‘We have obtained the first data demonstrating the capability of multicellular organisms for longterm cryobiosis in permafrost deposits of the Arctic,’ states a report from Russian scientists from four institutions in collaboration with Princetown University.

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Clouds are climate wildcards says Phys.org. This study focuses on tropical convective clouds. It seems that ‘the product of the number of clouds and their perimeter remains constant, a mathematical law known as scale invariance.’

Quoting from the ‘plain language summary’ of the study:
‘Narrowing uncertainty in forecasts of climate change has been hindered by the difficulty of representing the extraordinary complexity of clouds. Here, we show how the numbers and sizes of clouds, and their total amount, can be derived thermodynamically knowing just the atmospheric temperature and humidity profile.’

As usual an assumption of future warming is built-in, but we have to live with that approach even if we question it.

Take a look at the clouds, if there are any in your sky right now. Watch the billows, the white lofty tufts set against the blue sky. Or, depending on your weather, watch the soft grey edges smear together into blended tones that drag down through the air to the ground.

They’re an inspiration to most of us, but a nightmare for climate scientists. Clouds are exceptionally complex creatures, and that complexity makes it difficult to predict how and where they’ll form—which is unfortunate, since those predictions are essential to understanding precipitation patterns and how our climate will change in the future.

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Venus


The apparent length of day on Venus (116.75 days) is nothing like its rotation time (~243 days), due to its retrograde spin. It can be stated as the time in which the sum of the number of Venus orbits (~0.52) and spins (~0.48) in the period equals 1.

As ScienceNewsforStudents reports, the thick atmosphere on Venus can change by a few minutes every day how long it takes the planet to rotate.

Time gets tricky on Venus. The planet has extremely thick air, which flows much more rapidly than the rate at which the solid planet spins.

As that thick atmosphere pushes against the planet’s mountains, it can change how quickly Venus spins, scientists now report.

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During a total solar eclipse, the Sun’s corona and prominences are visible to the naked eye [image credit: Luc Viatour / https://Lucnix.be ]


Perhaps the probe will be able to shed some light, so to speak, on the Sun’s famous coronal heating problem.

On Aug. 6, the Parker Solar Probe will launch from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida for one extremely intense mission: to fly closer to the sun than any spacecraft before, reports CBC News.

The probe will fly through and study the sun’s atmosphere, where it will face punishing heat and radiation. At its closest, it will come within 6.1 million kilometres of the sun.

“A lot of people don’t think that’s particularly close,” said Nicola Fox, the project scientist for the Parker Solar Probe. “But if I put the sun and the Earth in the end zones in a football field, the Parker Solar Probe will be on the four-yard line in the red zone, knocking on the door for a touchdown.”

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Antarctica


A spot of light reading during the current UK heatwave…how does minus 98 degrees Celsius at Earth’s surface sound? This study of Antarctic data finds that ‘the air needs to be extremely dry to get temperatures this far below zero. Any water vapour in the air tends to heat it up, albeit slightly.’

So cold it would be painful to breathe says ScienceAlert.

Just how cold can it get on Earth? Colder than we thought, apparently. A new study of satellite data reports that valleys in Antarctica’s ice sheets can reach close to minus 100 degrees Celsius (or minus 148 degrees Fahrenheit).

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Image credit: sanibelrealestateguide.com


US researchers who accurately forecast last year’s busy Atlantic hurricane season are not expecting a similar level of activity this year, partly due to lower sea surface temperatures as El Niño effects fade away.

Hurricane season didn’t officially start until June 1, but Subtropical Storm Alberto made an appearance early, causing more than $50 million in damage as it made its way inland and up the coast in late May, reports Phys.org.

Twelve people—seven in Cuba and five in the U.S.—died as Alberto’s fallout included flooding, landslides, tornados and mudslides.

Is Alberto’s early-season appearance an indicator of another active Atlantic hurricane season? Not necessarily, according to predictions by researchers at the University of Arizona.

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Has the media been trying to bury bad news here? Embarrassingly bad news for its enthusiasm for supposed man-made global warming, that is.

Last week a team of researchers from the UK Met Office, the University of East Anglia, the University of Gothenburg, the University of Southern Queensland and the Sorbonne published in the journal Science Advances an interesting paper showing that the recent much debated and researched 21st century “slowdown” in global surface temperatures was real and could be explained by reduced solar activity and increased volcanic counteracting climate forcing from greenhouse gases.

It achieved almost no media coverage despite being published in a high profile journal, writes Dr David Whitehouse @ The GWPF.

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If ‘slowdowns’ in global average temperatures can be natural, why not ‘speed-ups’ as well? Recent global temperature patterns correlate very poorly, if at all, with changes in the trace gas CO2 as required by IPCC-supporting climate theorists.

A team of researchers from the U.K., Sweden and Australia has found that three periods of global warming slowdown since 1891 were likely due to natural causes rather than disruptions to the factors causing global warming, reports Phys.org.

In their paper published on the open access site Science Advances, the group describes their study of global mean surface temperatures (GST) since the late 19th century and what they found.

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Nepal Earthquake [image credit: BBC]


Back to the drawing board for earthquake forecasting, by the sound of it.

A new study questions previous findings about the value of foreshocks as warning signs that a big earthquake is coming, instead showing them to be indistinguishable from ordinary earthquakes, reports Science Daily.

No one can predict when or where an earthquake will strike, but in 2011 scientists thought they had evidence that tiny underground tremors called foreshocks could provide important clues. If true, it suggested seismologists could one day warn people of impending temblors.

But a new study published in the online June 4 issue of Nature Geoscience by scientists at Stanford University and Bogaziçi University in Turkey has cast doubt on those earlier findings and on the predictive value of foreshocks.

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Of course this may sound ‘far out’, but let’s have a look at the short video from VoA News anyway.

In today’s energy-hungry world, scientists are constantly revisiting every renewable resource looking for ways to increase efficiency.

One researcher in the Netherlands believes even gravity can be harnessed to produce free electricity on a scale sufficient to power small appliances.

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