Archive for the ‘research’ Category


Not what some might have imagined perhaps. Researchers found that temperature difference between the surface and the liquid was less important than ‘the difference in pressure between the liquid surface and the ambient vapor’.

For the first time, MIT scientists have analyzed the evaporation process in detail at a molecular level and determined the physics of evaporation, reports Tech Explorist.

Evaporation is the process by which water changes from a liquid to a gas or vapor. The process is the primary path for water to move from the liquid state back to the water cycle as atmospheric water vapor.

Evaporation commonly occurs in everyday life. When you get out of the shower, the water on your body evaporates as you dry. If you leave a glass of water out, the water level will slowly decrease as the water evaporates.

For the first time, MIT scientists have analyzed the evaporation process in detail at a molecular level. For this, they used a new technique to control and detect temperatures at the surface of an evaporating liquid. Doing this, they were able to identify a set of universal characteristics involving time, pressure and temperature changes that determine the details of the evaporation process.

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Hebridean islands of Scotland


So it is believed at least. Researchers say a more detailed underwater survey is needed.

Evidence for the ancient, 1.2 billion years old, meteorite strike, was first discovered in 2008 near Ullapool, NW Scotland by scientists from Oxford and Aberdeen Universities.

The thickness and extent of the debris deposit they found suggested the impact crater—made by a meteorite estimated at 1km wide—was close to the coast, but its precise location remained a mystery.

In a paper published today in Journal of the Geological Society, a team led by Dr. Ken Amor from the Department of Earth Sciences at Oxford University, show how they have identified the crater location 15-20km west of a remote part of the Scottish coastline.

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The Curious Case of Dr. Miskolczi

Posted: June 8, 2019 by oldbrew in censorship, climate, research

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Curious indeed. A case of what can happen when the message becomes more important than the science that is supposed to lead to it.

[Note: this post was written in 2017]

Science Matters

Update May 18 below

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button relates the story of a fictional character who is estranged from the rest of humanity because of a unique personal quality. He alone was born an old man, grew younger as he aged, before dying as an infant. Living in contradiction to all others, he existed as an alien whose relations were always temporary and strained.

Recently I had an interchange with a climatist obsessed with radiation and CO2 as the drivers of climate change. For me it occasioned a look back in time to rediscover how I came to some conclusions about how the atmosphere warms the planet. That process brought up an influencial scientist whose name comes up rarely these days in discussions of global warming/climate change. So I thought a tribute post to be timely.

Dr. Ferenc Mark Miskolczi (feh-rent mish-kol-tsi) was not born estranged, but alienation…

View original post 1,886 more words


Still plenty of work for scientists to do to gain a better understanding of our rotating Earth’s electromagnetic processes.

Scientists assumed Earth’s mantle, the layer stretching from the crust to a depth of 255 miles, was magnetically dead. New research suggests they were mistaken, reports Phys.org.

Most scientists thought Earth’s magnetism was powered by materials in the crust and core, but according to a new study published this week in the journal Nature, hematite, a common iron oxide, retains its magnetic qualities at high temperatures.

“This new knowledge about the Earth’s mantle and the strongly magnetic region in the western Pacific could throw new light on any observations of the Earth’s magnetic field,” Ilya Kupenko, mineral physicist and researcher from the University of Munster in Germany, said in a news release.

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‘The coronal heating problem in solar physics relates to the question of why the temperature of the Sun’s corona is millions of kelvins higher than that of the surface. Several theories have been proposed to explain this phenomenon but it is still challenging to determine which of these is correct’ — Wikipedia.

It’s one of the greatest and longest-running mysteries surrounding, quite literally, our sun—why is its outer atmosphere hotter than its fiery surface?

University of Michigan researchers believe they have the answer, and hope to prove it with help from NASA’s Parker Solar Probe, says Phys.org.

In roughly two years, the probe will be the first manmade craft to enter the zone surrounding the sun where heating looks fundamentally different than what has previously been seen in space.

This will allow them to test their theory that the heating is due to small magnetic waves travelling back and forth within the zone.

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Main solar system planets [image credit: Wikipedia]


No s**t Sherlock! Numerous independent researchers, some featured at the Talkshop, have been working along such lines for years with little apparent recognition and even a certain amount of negative reaction (like this), let’s say.

H/T Miles Mathis

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HZDR press release of May 27, 2019: New study corroborates the influence of planetary tidal forces on solar activity.

One of the big questions in solar physics is why the Sun’s activity follows a regular cycle of 11 years. Researchers from the Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR), an independent German research institute, now present new findings, indicating that the tidal forces of Venus, Earth and Jupiter influence the solar magnetic field, thus governing the solar cycle.

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A computer-generated image of Apple’s first Irish data centre [credit: Apple]


Data centres consume a lot of electricity so this could be a big deal if scalable as claimed here.

Superfast data processing using light pulses instead of electricity has been created by scientists, reports Phys.org.

The invention uses magnets to record computer data which consume virtually zero energy, solving the dilemma of how to create faster data processing speeds without the accompanying high energy costs.

Today’s data centre servers consume between 2 to 5% of global electricity consumption, producing heat which in turn requires more power to cool the servers.

The problem is so acute that Microsoft has even submerged hundreds of its data centre services in the ocean in an effort to keep them cool and cut costs.

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The Great Ocean Conveyor Belt – blue = deep cold and saltier water current, red = shallower and warmer current
[credit: NWS / NOAA]


Researchers put forward the idea that the role of the global ocean conveyor belt may be overrated in the grand scheme of ocean dynamics, and offer alternative ideas.

Far from the vast, fixed bodies of water oceanographers thought they were a century ago, oceans today are known to be interconnected, highly influential agents in Earth’s climate system, says Phys.org.

A major turning point in our understanding of ocean circulation came in the early 1980s, when research began to indicate that water flowed between remote regions, a concept later termed the “great ocean conveyor belt.”

The theory holds that warm, shallow water from the South Pacific flows to the Indian and Atlantic oceans, where, upon encountering frigid Arctic water, it cools and sinks to great depth.

This cold water then cycles back to the Pacific, where it reheats and rises to the surface, beginning the cycle again.

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View from the Moon [credit: NASA]


Moons don’t generally ‘shrink’, so what’s going on here? The abstract of the research paper speaks of compressional stresses, but the only potential source of compression would seem to be the Earth. It’s known that ‘the crust on the far side is a lot thicker than it is on the near side’, as discussed here.

The moon is still tectonically active, like Earth, generating moonquakes as our planet creates earthquakes, a new study based on Apollo mission data found.

These moonquakes likely happen because the moon is quivering as it shrinks, researchers added.

On Earth, tectonic activity, such as earthquakes and volcanism, results from shuffling of the crust’s tectonic plates driven by the churning of the planet’s molten interior, says Charles Quoi at Space.com.

However, the moon is much smaller than Earth and therefore largely cooled off long ago, so one might not expect much, if any, tectonic activity.

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Credit: Seung Joon Yang @ Wikipedia


This natural phenomenon is over 100,000 square miles in area, typically persists for about 200 days per year and is strongly linked to monsoons, but is not well understood.

Researchers have found a new way to use satellites to monitor the Great Whirl, a massive whirlpool the size of Colorado that forms each year off the coast of East Africa, they report in a new study.

Using 23 years of satellite data, the new findings show the Great Whirl is larger and longer-lived than scientists previously thought, reports Phys.org.

At its peak, the giant whirlpool is, on average, 275,000 square kilometers (106,000 square miles) in area and persists for about 200 days out of the year. Watch an animation of the Great Whirl’s evolution here.

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Omega blocking highs can remain in place for several days or even weeks [image credit: UK Met Office]


Atmospheric blocking is a well-known weather phenomenon. The report below says ‘In recent years, the scientists observed a clear increase of these patterns’. But scientists have also reported a 20 year decline in solar magnetic fields and solar wind micro-turbulence levels. Coincidence, or possibly not?

Record breaking heatwaves and droughts in North America and Western Europe, torrential rainfalls and floods in South-East Europe and Japan – the summer of 2018 brought a series of extreme weather events that occurred almost simultaneously around the Northern Hemisphere in June and July, says IOP Publishing.

These extremes had something in common, a new study published today in Environmental Research Letters by an international team of climate researchers now finds.

The events were connected by a newly-identified pattern of the jet stream encircling the Earth. The jet stream formed a stalled wave pattern in the atmosphere, which made weather conditions more persistent and thus extreme in the affected regions.

The same pattern also occurred during European heat waves in 2015, 2006 and 2003, which rank among the most extreme heatwaves ever recorded. In recent years, the scientists observed a clear increase of these patterns.

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Antarctica


Growth of polar sea ice is of course mainly a winter phenomenon, each polar region being continuously dark for several months during that period. The researchers here looked at the role of clouds during the dark Antarctic winter and as one said, “Fewer clouds mean more heat is lost from the ocean.” This then led to higher summer sea ice in some areas.
Which begs the question: why were there fewer winter clouds?

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H/T The Global Warming Policy Forum (GWPF)

BEIJING, April 26 (Xinhua) — Researchers have discovered that lower cloud coverage in the Antarctic can promote sea ice growth.

Unlike the rapid decline of Arctic sea ice in the warming climate, Antarctic sea ice witnessed a modest extension over the past four decades, according to the paper published in the Journal of Geophysical Research-Atmospheres. […]

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Methane flames on Mount Chimaera, Turkey


They now accept that the fossil fuel theory of methane is only part of the story. Its presence in large amounts on Titan (for example) had made the fossil argument look somewhat inadequate, let’s say. One of the puzzles now is how rocks make the hydrogen that gets incorporated into abiotic methane.

Turkey’s Mount Chimaera is on fire, and has been for millennia says Discover Magazine.

Dozens of campfire-sized flames burst straight of the mountain’s rocky, sea-facing slope. These eternal flames are fueled by methane, the odorless, colorless substance that provides much of our natural gas for fuel, as well as a potent greenhouse gas*. [*Talkshop comment: so they like to claim].

Most methane (a single carbon atom surrounded by four hydrogens) forms from the decay of ancient plants, animals and other life. But the Earth itself can create methane, too.

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Saturn seen across a sea of methane on Titan by Huygens probe 2005


Not sure they mean Earth also has eerie lakes – apart from Lake Erie perhaps. Titan, billed here by a researcher as ‘the most interesting moon in the solar system’, has some observed similarities with Earth, plus some quirks of its own.

There’s one other place in the solar system where liquid rains, evaporates, and seeps into the surface to create deep lakes: Saturn’s moon Titan, says Tech Times.

In this alien world, the Earth-like hydrologic cycle does not take place with water, but with liquid methane and ethane. In Titan’s ultra-cold environment, these gases behave just like water.

Two new papers published in the journal Nature Astronomy detailed the findings of the concluded Cassini mission, particularly the details on Titan’s lakes and their composition.

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Coral reef [image credit: Toby Hudson / Wikipedia]


Researchers call it ‘an important counterpoint’ to some of the negative reports about coral bleaching, which are often used to promote climate alarm. At least some of the usual doom and gloom is overdone, to say the least.

Researchers at Scripps Institution of Oceanography and engineers at UC San Diego have used new imaging software to detect dramatic recovery after a bleaching event on the reefs surrounding remote Palmyra Atoll in the tropical Pacific, reports Phys.org

The research was published April 5 in Coral Reefs.

In 2015, Palmyra experienced its warmest water in recorded history, prompting a widespread bleaching event that affected over 90 percent of the corals surrounding the island.

Researchers found that despite the widespread bleaching, most of the corals recovered, with less than 10 percent dying.

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As the professor quoted below says: “Despite over 250 years of research, how lightning begins is still a mystery.” Tesla had a few ideas though (video).

In a first-of-its-kind observation, researchers from the University of New Hampshire Space Science Center have documented a unique event that occurs in clouds before a lightning flash happens, says Phys.org.

Their observation, called “fast negative breakdown,” documents a new possible way for lightning to form and is the opposite of the current scientific view of how air carries electricity in thunderstorms.

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Credit: British Antarctic Survey


The EPICA ice cores clearly showed CO2 lagging behind temperature increases – probably by centuries. But observed effects aren’t supposed to precede alleged causes.

European scientists from 10 countries have spent years scouring the Antarctic ice sheet with one ambition in mind: to drill for the oldest-ever ice core.

Now, they have zeroed in on just the spot says IFL Science.

The team have chosen Little Dome C – one of the coldest, most barren places on Earth. For the next five years, they will drill for a 1.5-million-year-old ice core – a frozen timepiece of Earth’s climatic past.

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Coronal rain [image credit: NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory]


We’re told “The physics is literally the same” for the Earth’s rain and the Sun’s plasma showers, except that on the Sun the scale is much bigger than the entire Earth.

It’s one of the most enduring mysteries of the Sun: why the superheated surface of this great ball of glowing plasma is actually cooler than its outer atmosphere, called the corona.

Scientists now have a new explanation for this hotly debated topic says ScienceAlert, and the answer was hidden in a strange solar phenomenon that’s never been observed quite like this before: a deluge of plasma rain falling within newly discovered magnetic structures called Raining Null Point Topologies.

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1989 Loma Prieta earthquake damage [image credit: H.G. Wilshire, U.S. Geological Survey]


Smaller quakes seem to have taken over, for the time being at least. The Loma Prieta earthquake of 1989 in Northern California had a magnitude of 6.9 but was not considered to be ‘major’, despite some deaths and billions of dollars worth of damage.

There have been no major ground rupturing earthquakes along California’s three highest slip rate faults in the past 100 years, reports ScienceDaily.

A new study concludes that this current ‘hiatus’ has no precedent in the past 1000 years.

U.S. Geological Survey researchers Glenn Biasi and Kate Scharer analyzed long paleoseismic records from the San Andreas, San Jacinto and Hayward Faults for the past 1000 years, to determine how likely it might be to have a 100-year gap in earthquakes across the three faults.

They found that the gap was very unlikely — along the lines of a 0.3% chance of occurring, given the seismic record of the past 1000 years.

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Intertropical Convergence Zone [image credit: University of New Mexico]


Another aspect of natural variability in weather and climate patterns emerges.

A new study led by Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory researcher Suzana Camargo and Université du Québec à Montréal’s Francesco Pausata provides deeper insight into how large volcanic eruptions affect hurricane activity, says Phys.org.

Previous studies could not clearly determine the effects of volcanic eruptions on hurricanes, because the few large volcanic eruptions in the last century coincided with El Niño-Southern Oscillation events, which also influence hurricane activity.

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