Archive for the ‘climatology’ category

May 26, 2022

Giant magnetic wave found in Earth’s core

Posted by in categories: climatology, satellites

Volcanic eruptions remind us that the inside of our planet isn’t exactly tranquil, but there’s plenty of completely unknown stuff happening beneath our feet.

ESA’s Swarm satellite mission has detected a completely new type of magnetic wave that sweeps across the outermost part of Earth’s outer core every seven years.

The finding could help us to understand more about Earth’s magnetic field, without which life as we know it could not exist.

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May 20, 2022

Scientists discover ‘ghost’ fossils beneath a microscope

Posted by in categories: climatology, sustainability

The unexpected discovery of “ghost” fossils belonging to tiny, ancient organisms could provide insights about how life reacts to climate change in Earth’s oceans.

Looking through a powerful microscope, researchers were stunned to see the impressions left by single-celled plankton, or fossilized nannoplankton, that lived millions of years ago – especially since they were analyzing something else.

A study detailing the findings published Thursday in the journal Science.

May 18, 2022

NASA Detects Bright Flashes of Light on Jupiter

Posted by in categories: climatology, space

A team of NASA scientists has spotted strange flashes of light known as “transient luminous events” (TLEs) in the upper atmosphere of Jupiter.

Events like these have never been observed on another world until now — though here on Earth, scientists have observed similar flashes of light that occur far above lightning storms here on Earth, triggered by discharges of electricity in the upper atmosphere.

For a while, astronomers have theorized their existence in Jupiter’s massive, turbulent atmosphere. Thanks to new data collected by the ultraviolet spectrograph instrument (UVS) attached to NASA’s Juno spacecraft, a small space probe that’s been orbiting the gas giant since 2016, the team was finally able to confirm their presence, as detailed in a new paper published in the Journal of Geophysical Research: Planets.

May 16, 2022

A Flip of Earth’s Magnetic Poles 42,000 Years Ago May Have Led to Mass Extinctions

Posted by in categories: climatology, existential risks

A new study is revealing that a reversal in the Earth’s magnetic poles 42,000 to 41,000 years ago may have led to environmental crises that resulted in mass extinctions. The period is called the Laschamps excursion and the research used precise carbon dating obtained from ancient tree fossils to study its effects.

The team details how they created a precise radiocarbon record around the time of the “Laschamps geomagnetic reversal about 41,000 years ago from the rings of New Zealand swamp kauri trees.”

“This record reveals a substantial increase in the carbon-14 content of the atmosphere culminating during the period of weakening magnetic field strength preceding the polarity switch.” The team concluded that the “geomagnetic field minimum caused substantial changes in atmospheric ozone concentration that drove synchronous global climate and environmental” with their model investigating the consequences of this event.

May 12, 2022

Huge Groundwater System Discovered Under Antarctica

Posted by in category: climatology

Geophysicists used remote sensing to see reservoirs beneath the surface. That water could speed up the loss of ice as the climate warms.

May 12, 2022

Costa Rica declares state of emergency over ransomware attack

Posted by in categories: climatology, computing, finance, government

Costa Rica has declared a state of emergency after ransomware hackers crippled computer networks across multiple government agencies, including the Finance Ministry.

The official declaration, published on a government website Wednesday, said that the attack was “unprecedented in the country” and that it interrupted the country’s tax collection and exposed citizens’ personal information.

The hackers initially broke into the Finance Ministry on April 12, it said. They were able to spread to other agencies, including the Ministry of Science, Technology and Telecommunications and the National Meteorological Institute.

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May 12, 2022

Will your existing data infrastructure support ESG reporting?

Posted by in categories: business, climatology, finance

I’ve noticed a tremendous change in how companies invest in their ESG initiatives. No longer is it just their peers or employees holding them accountable; it’s also national and international governing bodies. In 2020, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission created an ESG disclosure framework for consistent and comparable reporting metrics, and just recently the organization amended that framework to deepen the level of reporting required from organizations. And in March of this year, the U.K. Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures mandated U.K.-registered companies and financial institutions to disclose climate-related financial information.

It’s this very shift that has convinced organizational leaders that just having ESG initiatives isn’t enough anymore. It’s the ability to accurately and consistently report ESG metrics that may ultimately make the difference for a company to thrive in the next era of sound business practices.

When you look at this new challenge for ESG reporting, there’s simply no denying it: The single most important factor in successfully adhering to ESG standards is data.

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May 11, 2022

Gravity signals could detect earthquakes at the speed of light

Posted by in categories: climatology, computing, information science, physics

Algorithm set for deployment in Japan could identify giant temblors faster and more reliably.

Two minutes after the world’s biggest tectonic plate shuddered off the coast of Japan, the country’s meteorological agency issued its final warning to about 50 million residents: A magnitude 8.1 earthquake had generated a tsunami that was headed for shore. But it wasn’t until hours after the waves arrived that experts gauged the true size of the 11 March 2011 Tohoku quake. Ultimately, it rang in at a magnitude 9—releasing more than 22 times the energy experts predicted and leaving at least 18,000 dead, some in areas that never received the alert. Now, scientists have found a way to get more accurate size estimates faster, by using computer algorithms to identify the wake from gravitational waves that shoot from the fault at the speed of light.

“This is a completely new [way to recognize] large-magnitude earthquakes,” says Richard Allen, a seismologist at the University of California, Berkeley, who was not involved in the study. “If we were to implement this algorithm, we’d have that much more confidence that this is a really big earthquake, and we could push that alert out over a much larger area sooner.”

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May 11, 2022

Satellite mission finds that Tonga volcanic eruption effects reached space

Posted by in categories: climatology, satellites

When the Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha’apai volcano erupted on Jan. 15, 2022, it sent atmospheric shock waves, sonic booms, and tsunami waves around the world. Now, scientists are finding the volcano’s effects also reached space.

Analyzing data from NASA’s Ionospheric Connection Explorer (ICON) mission and ESA’s (the European Space Agency) Swarm satellites, scientists found that in the hours after the eruption, hurricane-speed winds and unusual electric currents formed in the —Earth’s electrified upper atmospheric layer at the edge of .

“The volcano created one of the largest disturbances in space we’ve seen in the modern era,” said Brian Harding, a physicist at University of California, Berkeley, and lead author on a new paper discussing the findings. “It is allowing us to test the poorly understood connection between the lower atmosphere and space.”

May 7, 2022

Making Electricity Cheaper: A Cellphone-Sized Device Automatically Adjusts a Home’s Power Use to Save Money

Posted by in categories: climatology, economics, mobile phones, sustainability

A cellphone-sized device automatically adjusts a home’s power use up or down to save the consumer money and increase the resiliency of the electric grid.

The effects of climate change are pushing electrical grids around the world to their limits. Last year, unprecedented cold weather caused people in Texas to turn up their thermostats, which overwhelmed the power grid and caused days-long power outages. And in California, the power is turned off before there is a high possibility of a fire.

To combat the electric grid’s vulnerabilities and cut down on the use of non-renewable sources of energy, researchers at the Department of Energy’s SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory have developed technology that automatically adjusts a home’s power use up or down in response to fluctuating prices that are established by real-time market demand.

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