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Archive for the ‘climatology’ category

Oct 11, 2019

From cosmic rays to clouds

Posted by in categories: climatology, particle physics

CERN’s colossal complex of accelerators is in the midst of a two-year shutdown for upgrade work. But that doesn’t mean all experiments at the Laboratory have ceased to operate. The CLOUD experiment, for example, has just started a data run that will last until the end of November.

The CLOUD experiment studies how ions produced by high-energy particles called cosmic rays affect aerosol particles, clouds and the climate. It uses a special cloud chamber and a beam of particles from the Proton Synchrotron to provide an artificial source of cosmic rays. For this run, however, the cosmic rays are instead natural high-energy particles from cosmic objects such as exploding stars.

“Cosmic rays, whether natural or artificial, leave a trail of ions in the chamber,” explains CLOUD spokesperson Jasper Kirkby, “but the Proton Synchrotron provides cosmic rays that can be adjusted over the full range of ionisation rates occurring in the troposphere, which comprises the lowest ten kilometres of the atmosphere. That said, we can also make progress with the steady flux of natural cosmic rays that make it into our chamber, and this is what we’re doing now.”

Sep 29, 2019

How Tech Can Help Curb Emissions

Posted by in categories: climatology, sustainability

Wangari Maathai for years told people to plant trees. She is the reason Kenyans plant trees in protected forests, and will continue for a very long time.


Trees are a low-tech, high-efficiency way to offset much of humankind’s negative impact on the climate. What’s even better, we have plenty of room for a lot more of them.

A new study conducted by researchers at Switzerland’s ETH-Zürich, published in Science, details how Earth could support almost an additional billion hectares of trees without the new forests pushing into existing urban or agricultural areas. Once the trees grow to maturity, they could store more than 200 billion metric tons of carbon.

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Sep 29, 2019

Hurricane Lorenzo Became a Category 5 Saturday Night, Strongest on Record in Eastern Atlantic Ocean; Threat to Azores

Posted by in category: climatology

Hurricane Lorenzo intensified into a Category 5 hurricane Saturday night, smashing a record for the easternmost Atlantic hurricane to attain such a strong intensity, and poses a danger to the Azores this week.

Lorenzo rapidly deepened Saturday from Category 3 status with estimated maximum sustained winds of 115 mph at 11 a.m. EDT to Category 5 status with winds of 160 mph just 12 hours later.

This is by far the farthest east in the Atlantic Ocean any of the previous 35 Category 5 hurricanes have occurred in records dating to the 1920s.

Sep 22, 2019

With Food Security Becoming One Of Our Biggest Challenges For Humankind’s Survival, What’s On The Menu For The 9 Billion People Inhabiting The World By 2050?

Posted by in categories: bioengineering, biological, climatology, security

Food security is one of the biggest challenges we’re facing as we move further into this century. Changing climate, pests, stress on water and land are all limiting our ability to produce sufficient amounts of food. making food production an issue.

Synthetic biology offers ways to help produce and supply enough safe and nutritious food sustainably for the estimated 9 billion people that will inhabit the planet by 2050.

Here are a few ways how.

Sep 21, 2019

Greta Thunberg: Most Important Message Ever

Posted by in categories: climatology, education, energy, environmental, existential risks, geopolitics, government, homo sapiens, lifeboat, policy, treaties

If you are a Lifeboat subscriber or have been reading these pages for awhile, you may know why it’s called “Lifeboat”. A fundamental goal of our founder, board, writers and supporters is to sustain the environment, life in all its diversity, and—if necessary—(i.e. if we destroy our environment beyond repair, or face a massive incoming asteroid), to prepare for relocating. That is, to build a lifeboat, figuratively and literally.

But most of us never believed that we would face an existential crisis, except perhaps a potential for a 3rd World War. Yet, here we are: Burning the forests, killing off unspeakable numbers of species (200 each day), cooking the planet, melting the ice caps, shooting a hole in the ozone, and losing more land to the sea each year.

Regading the urgent message of Greta Thunberg, below, I am at a loss for words. Seriously, there is not much I can add to the 1st video below.

Information about climate change is all around us. Everyone knows about it; Most people understand that it is real and it that poses an existential threat, quite possibly in our lifetimes. In our children’s lives, it will certainly lead to war, famine, cancer, and massive loss of land, structures and money. It is already raising sea level and killing off entire species at thousands of times the natural rate.

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Sep 21, 2019

MAVEN has been in orbit at Mars for 5 years

Posted by in categories: climatology, space

After a 10-month journey from Earth, the MAVEN spacecraft entered Mars orbit on September 21, 2014. The mission €”originally planned to gather data for one-Earth-year €”continues to provide unique insight into the history of #Mars ’ atmosphere and climate, liquid water, and planetary habitability.

It is a tremendous credit to the entire MAVEN team that the instruments and spacecraft continue to operate well and that the science continues to provide exciting results related to the #Martian upper atmosphere, ionosphere, and interactions with the Sun and solar wind.

Sep 20, 2019

Venus was potentially habitable until a mysterious event happened

Posted by in categories: climatology, space

Venus likely maintained stable temperatures and hosted liquid water for billions of years before an event triggered drastic changes in the planet, according to a new study.

Now, Venus is a mostly dead planet with a toxic atmosphere 90 times thicker than ours and surface temperatures that reach 864 degrees, hot enough to melt lead. It’s often called Earth’s twin because the planets are similar in size. But the modern comparisons stop there.

However, a recent study compared five climate simulations of Venus’ past and every scenario suggested that the planet could support liquid water and a temperate climate on its surface for at least three billion years. Like the other planets in our solar system, Venus formed 4.5 billion years ago.

Sep 16, 2019

Viewpoint: Surfing on a Wave of Quantum Chaos

Posted by in categories: climatology, particle physics, quantum physics

A model based on Brownian motion describes the tsunami-like propagation of chaotic behavior in a system of quantum particles.

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In daily life, “chaos” describes anything messy. In physics, the term has a more specific meaning: It refers to systems that, while subject to deterministic laws, are totally unpredictable because of an exponential sensitivity to initial conditions—think of the butterfly flapping its wings and causing a distant tornado. But how does the chaos observed in the classical, macroscopic world emerge from the quantum-mechanical laws that govern the microscopic world? A recently proposed explanation invokes quantum “information scrambling” [1, 3], in which information gets rapidly dispersed into quantum correlations among the particles of a system. This scrambling is a memory-loss mechanism that can cause the unpredictability of chaos. Developing a theory that fully describes information scrambling remains, however, a daunting task.

Sep 13, 2019

Scientists Fact Check Natural Disasters In Movies | Vanity Fair

Posted by in categories: business, climatology, entertainment, space travel

Environmental scientists Morgan Page, Michael Angove and Peter Gleick review the scientific validity of scenes from “San Andres,” “2012,” “The Day After Tomorrow,” “Volcano,” “Twister,” “Geostorm,” “The Core,” “Interstellar,” “Sharknado,” “The Perfect Storm,” “Pompeii,” “Noah,” “The Impossible,” “The Happening,” “Hard Rain,” and “Into the Storm”.
Environmental Experts:
Michael Angove — Tsunami Program Manager, NOAA
Dr. Morgan Page — Geophysicist, USGS
Peter Gleick — Hydrologist & Climatologist, Pacific Institute (www.gleick.com)
Tornado Safety info: https://www.weather.gov/safety/tornado
Tsunami Safety info: https://www.weather.gov/safety/tsunami
California Tsunami Safety info: https://www.tsunamizone.org
More about the UN/IOC Tsunami Program here: http://www.ioc-tsunami.org
The Pacific Institute: www.pacinst.com
Can my boat outrun a tsunami?
https://www.conservation.ca.gov/cgs/Documents/Tsunami/Can-my…sunami.pdf
NOAA’s influence on Twister: https://www.noaa.gov/stories/noaa-tornado-scientists-inspire…-years-ago

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Sep 10, 2019

Can Frogs Survive Being Frozen?

Posted by in category: climatology

Warm weather brings thoughts of spring peepers and leaping bull frogs. But what happens to frogs in the winter? If they can’t dig down far enough into the soil to avoid the ice or aren’t lucky enough to live in warmer climates, some actually freeze.

Fortunately for them, they don’t freeze to death: Most survive to mate another spring.

There are five known species of freeze-tolerant frogs in North America, including the well-studied wood frog, as well as Cope’s gray tree frog, the eastern gray tree frog, spring peepers and the western chorus frog. In the fall, these frogs bury themselves under the leaves on the forest floor — but not deeply enough to escape the icy fingers of Jack Frost.

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