Archive for the ‘climatology’ category: Page 3

Jun 9, 2024

Toshiba unveils new fast-charging, cobalt-free battery

Posted by in categories: climatology, sustainability

Japanese electronics company Toshiba has developed a new kind of cobalt-free battery that could lead to cheaper, more sustainable EVs in the future.

The challenge: Road transportation is a significant contributor to climate change, accounting for 12% of global greenhouse gas emissions, so transitioning from fossil fuel-powered cars and trucks to electric vehicles (EVs) is crucial to meeting our climate goals.

The lithium-ion batteries used in most of today’s EVs have several problems, though, and a big one is that their cathodes are made of cobalt, a rare and expensive metal often mined using child labor and environmentally destructive practices.

Jun 9, 2024

Why a new method of growing food on Mars matters more on Earth

Posted by in categories: climatology, space

Turns out growing food in the dry, rocky dirt of Mars holds valuable insights for growing crops in the climate-ravaged soil here on Earth.

Jun 6, 2024

Study of photons in quantum computing reveals that when photons collide, they create vortices

Posted by in categories: climatology, computing, quantum physics, space

Vortices are a common physical phenomenon. You find them in the structure of galaxies, tornadoes and hurricanes, as well as in a cup of tea, or water as it drains from the bathtub.

Jun 6, 2024

The Researcher Trying to Glimpse the Future of AI

Posted by in categories: climatology, robotics/AI, sustainability

Imagine if the world’s response to climate change relied solely on speculative predictions from pundits and CEOs, rather than the rigorous—though still imperfect—models of climate science. “Two degrees of warming will arrive soon-ish but will change the world less than we all think,” one might say. “Two degrees of warming is not just around the corner. This is going to take a long time,” another could counter.

This is more or less the world we’re in with artificial intelligence, with OpenAI CEO Sam Altman saying that AI systems that can do any task a human can will be developed in the “reasonably close-ish future,” while Yann LeCun, Chief AI Scientist at Facebook, argues that human-level AI systems are “going to take a long time.”

Jaime Sevilla, a 28-year-old Spanish researcher, is trying to change that. It is far from clear whether and how the capabilities of the most advanced AI systems will continue to rapidly progress, and what the effects of those systems will be on society. But given how important AI already is, it’s worth trying to bring a little of the rigor that characterizes climate science to predicting the future of AI, says Sevilla. “Even if AI innovation stopped, this is already a technology that’s going to affect many people’s lives,” he says. “That should be enough of an excuse for us to get serious about it.”

Jun 5, 2024

Improving Assessments of Climate Tipping Points

Posted by in category: climatology

Statistical properties of fluctuations of certain parameters describing a complex system can reveal when that system is approaching a tipping point.

Jun 3, 2024

Necessity of Sustainability on the Moon and Mars

Posted by in categories: biological, climatology, space, sustainability

As humanity travels back to the Moon in the next few years and potentially Mars in the next decade, how much of a role should planetary protection play regarding the safeguarding of these worlds? This is what a recent study published in Space Policy hopes to address as a team of international researchers discuss prioritizing planetary protection and sustainability could not only aid in space exploration but also sustainability on Earth, as well.

For the study, the researchers propose the expansion of current planetary protection policies to help safeguard against security, orbital debris, and crowding, as current policies only focus on preventing biological contamination from human activities. While biological contamination might not be a concern on the Moon given it lacks the necessary conditions to support life, the planet Mars is hypothesized to have once possessed microbial life deep in its ancient past and could potentially be hosting life beneath its surface.

“Sustainability must become a core principle of human space exploration,” said Dr. Dimitra Atri, who is an investigator in the Center for Astrophysics and Space Science at NYU Abu Dhabi and lead author of the study. “Just as we view climate change as the great challenge facing our terrestrial human society, the space community should begin to address space sustainability with the same urgency.”

Jun 3, 2024

Observations of Jupiter’s Moon, Io, with SHARK-VIS

Posted by in categories: climatology, space

“Sharper images at visible wavelengths like those provided by SHARK-VIS and LBT are essential to identify both locations of eruptions and surface changes not detectable in the infrared, such as new plume deposits,” said Dr. Imke de Pater.

Can ground-based telescopes obtain the same image resolution of planetary objects as space-based telescopes, or even spacecraft directly orbiting other worlds? This is what a recently submitted study to Geophysical Research Letters hopes to address as a team of international researchers investigated volcanic activity on Jupiter’s innermost Galilean Moon, Io, using a high-resolution ground-based telescope. This study holds the potential to help researchers gain insights into Io’s volcanic activity along with developing new methods in studying planetary bodies throughout the solar system using ground-based telescopes, as well.

For the study, the researchers used the SHARK-VIS instrument on the Large Binocular Telescope (LBT), which is located on Mount Graham in southeastern Arizona, to analyze images of Io obtained in January 2024 with the goal of learning more about the geological processes responsible for Io’s incredible volcanic activity, specifically tidal heating, as Io is the most volcanically active body in the solar system. in the end, the team was able to identify recent resurfacing events, specifically how volcanic eruptions from one site is covering another volcano on Io.

Continue reading “Observations of Jupiter’s Moon, Io, with SHARK-VIS” »

Jun 3, 2024

Introducing Aurora: The first large-scale AI foundation model of the atmosphere

Posted by in categories: climatology, robotics/AI, sustainability

When Storm Ciarán battered northwestern Europe in November 2023, it left a trail of destruction. The low-pressure system associated with Storm Ciarán set new records for England, marking it as an exceptionally rare meteorological event. The storm’s intensity caught many off guard, exposing the limitations of current weather-prediction models and highlighting the need for more accurate forecasting in the face of climate change. As communities grappled with the aftermath, the urgent question arose: How can we better anticipate and prepare for such extreme weather events?

A recent study by Charlton-Perez et al. (2024) underscored the challenges faced by even the most advanced AI weather-prediction models in capturing the rapid intensification and peak wind speeds of Storm Ciarán. To help address those challenges, a team of Microsoft researchers developed Aurora, a cutting-edge AI foundation model that can extract valuable insights from vast amounts of atmospheric data. Aurora presents a new approach to weather forecasting that could transform our ability to predict and mitigate the impacts of extreme events—including being able to anticipate the dramatic escalation of an event like Storm Ciarán.

Aurora’s effectiveness lies in its training on more than a million hours of diverse weather and climate simulations, which enables it to develop a comprehensive understanding of atmospheric dynamics. This allows the model to excel at a wide range of prediction tasks, even in data-sparse regions or extreme weather scenarios. By operating at a high spatial resolution of 0.1° (roughly 11 km at the equator), Aurora captures intricate details of atmospheric processes, providing more accurate operational forecasts than ever before—and at a fraction of the computational cost of traditional numerical weather-prediction systems. We estimate that the computational speed-up that Aurora can bring over the state-of-the-art numerical forecasting system Integrated Forecasting System (IFS) is ~5,000x.

May 29, 2024

Increasing use of renewable energy in US yields billions of dollars of benefits

Posted by in categories: climatology, health, sustainability

They found emissions of SO2 and NOx – both linked to increased asthma risk and a variety of other health issues – decreased by a total of 1m metric tons over that three-year period.

To determine the impact of that reduction on public health, the authors “used air quality models to track the population exposed to pollution from power plants”, Millstein said. They also employed epidemiological research to examine the effects of those emissions, and quantified the benefits by using an Environmental Protection Agency dollar value establishing the value of reducing the risk of early death across the population, he said.

All told, the emission reductions from SO2 and NOx provided $249bn of climate and health benefits to the US, the authors found – a figure Millstein said he found was “noteworthy”

May 29, 2024

NOAA predicts above-normal 2024 Atlantic hurricane season

Posted by in category: climatology

La Nina and warmer-than-average ocean temperatures are major drivers of tropical activity.

Page 3 of 14312345678Last