Archive for the ‘climatology’ category

Nov 14, 2020

A Norwegian Startup Is Turning Dry Deserts Into Fertile Cropland

Posted by in categories: climatology, sustainability

The UN population forecast predicts that by 2050 there will be almost 10 billion people on the planet. They’ll live mostly in cities and have an older median age than the current global population. One looming questions is, what will they eat?

The Green Revolution of the 1960s used selective breeding to double crop yields of rice and wheat in some areas of the world, rescuing millions of people from food shortages and even famine. Now, the fast-growing global population combined with the impact of climate change on our ability to produce food—increased droughts and extreme weather events many crops can’t withstand—points to the need for another green revolution.

Luckily there’s already one underway. It’s more decentralized than the last, which makes sense given there are different challenges surfacing in different parts of the world. A Norwegian startup called Desert Control has a running start on solving a problem that’s only likely to get worse with time.

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Nov 11, 2020

Coalition for a $4 Trillion National Infrastructure Bank

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

National infrastructure projects that are “shovel ready” for 2021. The projects included everything from fixing the Hudson River railroad tunnels to building a nationwide system of new passenger and High Speed Rail, along with extending broadband, fixing our subway System, constructing hurricane prevention dikes and canals, replacing the aged drinking and wastewater systems, and repairing our crumbling bridges and roads. These projects and more would be funded by HR 6422, The National Infrastructure Bank Act of 2020,” by investing $4 trillion into infrastructure and creating over 25 million new high-paying jobs.

The Coalition is an organization of individuals and groups dedicated to one common purpose: To get legislation enacted by the U.S. Congress to create a $4 Trillion National Infrastructure Bank. The Bank will finance infrastructure projects that will create 25 million new, good-paying industrial jobs in America.

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Nov 9, 2020

“Fifth state of matter” used to make new type of superconductor

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

Superconductors – materials in which electricity flows without any resistance whatsoever – could be extremely useful for future electronics. Now, engineers at the University of Tokyo have managed to create a superconductor out of a state of matter called a Bose-Einstein condensate (BEC) for the first time ever.

Sometimes called the fifth state of matter, behind the more commonly known solids, liquids, gases and plasmas, Bose-Einstein condensates are what happens when you cool a gas of bosons right down to almost the coldest temperature possible. Experiments have shown that at this point, quantum phenomena can be observed at the macro scale. Scientists have used BECs as a starting point to create exotic states of matter like supersolids, excitonium, quantum ball lightning, and fluids exhibiting negative mass.

“A BEC is a unique state of matter as it is not made from particles, but rather waves,” says Kozo Okazaki, lead author of the study. “As they cool down to near absolute zero, the atoms of certain materials become smeared out over space. This smearing increases until the atoms – now more like waves than particles – overlap, becoming indistinguishable from one another. The resulting matter behaves like it’s one single entity with new properties the preceding solid, liquid or gas states lacked.”

Nov 6, 2020

Hurricanes: Evolution, Risk Reduction, Tracking and Simulation

Posted by in categories: climatology, evolution

Dr. Frank Marks, Director of the Hurricane Research Division, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), discussing improved forecasting technologies.

Ira Pastor, ideaXme life sciences ambassador and founder of Bioquark interviews Dr. Frank D. Marks, MS, ScD, Director of Hurricane Research Division, at NOAA.

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Nov 5, 2020

Crystals reveal the danger of sleeping volcanoes

Posted by in categories: climatology, futurism

Most active volcanoes on Earth are dormant, meaning that they have not erupted for hundreds or even thousands of years, and are normally not considered hazardous by the local population. A team of volcanologists from the University of Geneva (UNIGE), working in collaboration with the University of Heidelberg in Germany, has devised a technique that can predict the devastating potential of volcanoes. The scientists used zircon, a tiny crystal contained in volcanic rocks, to estimate the volume of magma that could erupted if Nevado de Toluca volcano (Mexico) wakes up from its dormancy. Up to 350 km3 of magma —about four times the volume of water stored in Lake Geneva— are currently lying below Nevado de Toluca and an eruption could bring devastation. The new technique, applicable to most types of volcanoes across the globe, is described in the scientific journal Nature Communications.

The largest volcanic eruptions in the last 100 years were sourced from volcanoes that do not erupt frequently and therefore fly under the radar of scientists. Yet today, 800 million people around the world live close to volcanoes and are potentially at risk. A determining factor for the dangerousness of volcanoes is the volume of eruptible stored in their bellies, as this is related to the magnitude of future eruptions. Unfortunately, this magma is stored at inaccessible depths of 6 to 10 km and cannot be directly measured.

Oct 30, 2020

Think Big, Move Fast, Build Capacity and Resilience: Disaster Management

Posted by in categories: climatology, health, robotics/AI, security

The future of disaster management, using artificial intelligence, machine learning, and a bit of Waffle House and Starbucks 🙂

Ira Pastor, ideaXme life sciences ambassador interviews Craig Fugate Chief Emergency Management Officer of One Concern and former administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

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Oct 29, 2020

A NASA spacecraft circling Jupiter has captured the planet’s colorful electrical outbursts — ‘sprites’ and ’elves’ — for the first time

Posted by in categories: climatology, space

Jupiter’s lightning seems to produce brilliant flashes of light high above its water clouds — alien versions of Earth’s red sprites and elves.

Oct 26, 2020

Why the sky is no limit for RAF’s space ambitions

Posted by in categories: climatology, finance, military, space

Like its key allies, the UK is increasingly reliant on space-based assets for daily life in ordinary civil society and for the perfornance of its military forces. So, the Royal Air Force’s operating domain now extends from the ground to far beyond the atmosphere.

In a lockdown summer of downbeat aviation news, it is perhaps fitting that a highlight was a model aeroplane in a windtunnel. In turbulent times for aerospace, that aircraft is even named after a storm. But in showing some detail of the external shape of the Tempest future fighter, BAE Systems has also emphasised the UK’s determination to ride out the technological, financial and geopolitical hurricanes which are set to shape the national defence challenges of the next few decades.

Those late August images from BAE’s Warton, Lancashire test facility reveal an external profile designed for stealth at Mach 2, to carry a wide range of payloads and to cope with the internal heat from enough onboard electric power to anticipate exotic technologies like laser directed-energy weapons.

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Oct 26, 2020

First Habitable-Zone, Earth-Sized Exoplanet Discovered With Planet-Hunter TESS

Posted by in categories: climatology, space

TESS, the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite, was launched in 2018 with the goal of discovering small planets around the Sun’s nearest neighbors, stars bright enough to allow for follow-up characterizations of their planets’ masses and atmospheres. TESS has so far discovered seventeen small planets around eleven nearby stars that are M dwarfs — stars that are smaller than the Sun (less than about 60% of the Sun’s mass) and cooler (surface temperatures less than about 3900 kelvin). In a series of three papers that appeared together this month, astronomers report that one of these planets, TOI-700d, is Earth-sized and also located in its star’s habitable zone; they also discuss its possible climate.

CfA astronomers Joseph Rodriguez, Laura Kreidberg, Karen Collins, Samuel Quinn, Dave Latham, Ryan Cloutier, Jennifer Winters, Jason Eastman, and David Charbonneau were on the teams that studied TOI-700d, one of three small planets orbiting one M dwarf star (its mass is 0.415 solar masses) located one hundred and two light-years from Earth. The TESS data analysis found the tentative sizes of the planets as being approximately Earth-sized, 1.04, 2.65 and 1.14 Earth-radii, respectively, and their orbital periods as 9.98, 16.05, and 37.42 days, respectively.

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Oct 25, 2020

Extreme events in quantum cascade lasers

Posted by in categories: biological, climatology, computing, neuroscience, quantum physics

Extreme events occur in many observable contexts. Nature is a prolific source: rogue water waves surging high above the swell, monsoon rains, wildfire, etc. From climate science to optics, physicists have classified the characteristics of extreme events, extending the notion to their respective domains of expertise. For instance, extreme events can take place in telecommunication data streams. In fiber-optic communications where a vast number of spatio-temporal fluctuations can occur in transoceanic systems, a sudden surge is an extreme event that must be suppressed, as it can potentially alter components associated with the physical layer or disrupt the transmission of private messages.

Recently, extreme events have been observed in quantum cascade lasers, as reported by researchers from Télécom Paris (France) in collaboration with UC Los Angeles (USA) and TU Darmstad (Germany). The giant pulses that characterize these extreme events can contribute the sudden, sharp bursts necessary for communication in neuromorphic systems inspired by the brain’s powerful computational abilities. Based on a quantum cascade laser (QCL) emitting mid-infrared light, the researchers developed a basic optical neuron system operating 10,000× faster than biological neurons. Their report is published in Advanced Photonics.

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