Archive for the ‘climatology’ category: Page 4

Sep 8, 2020

Plant protein discovery could reduce need for fertilizer

Posted by in categories: chemistry, climatology, nanotechnology, sustainability

Researchers have discovered how a protein in plant roots controls the uptake of minerals and water, a finding which could improve the tolerance of agricultural crops to climate change and reduce the need for chemical fertilizers.

The research, published in Current Biology, shows that members of the blue copper proteins family, the Uclacyanins are vital in the formation of Casparian strips. These strips are essential structures that control mineral nutrient and water use efficiencies by forming tight seals between cells in plants, blocking nutrients and water leaking between.

This is the first evidence showing the implications of this family in the biosynthesis of lignin, one of the most abundant organic polymers on earth. This study reveals that the required for Casparian strip lignin deposition is highly ordered by forming nano-domains which can have a huge impact on plant nutrition, a finding that could help in the development of crops that are efficient in taking in the nutrients they need.

Sep 2, 2020

Gravity wave insights from internet-beaming balloons

Posted by in categories: climatology, internet, physics

Giant balloons launched into the stratosphere to beam internet service to Earth have helped scientists measure tiny ripples in our upper atmosphere, uncovering patterns that could improve weather forecasts and climate models.

The ripples, known as waves or buoyancy waves, emerge when blobs of air are forced upward and then pulled down by gravity. Imagine a parcel of air that rushes over mountains, plunges toward cool valleys, shuttles across land and sea and ricochets off growing storms, bobbing up and down between layers of stable atmosphere in a great tug of war between buoyancy and gravity. A single wave can travel for thousands of miles, carrying momentum and heat along the way.

Although lesser known than —undulations in the fabric of space-time— are ubiquitous and powerful, said Stanford University atmospheric scientist Aditi Sheshadri, senior author of a new study detailing changes in high-frequency gravity waves across seasons and latitudes. They cause some of the turbulence felt on airplanes flying in and have a strong influence on how storms play out at ground level.

Aug 29, 2020

This Week At NASA

Posted by in categories: climatology, space

This week:

🚀 The first piece of NASA’s Orion Spacecraft #Artemis III pressure vessel arrived in New Orleans
👩🏿‍🚀 Astronaut Jeanette Epps is assigned to The Boeing Company’s Starliner crewed mission
🌀 Hurricane Laura observed from space.

Aug 26, 2020

60Fe deposition during the late Pleistocene and the Holocene echoes past supernova activity

Posted by in categories: climatology, cosmology, particle physics, space travel

Nearby supernova explosions shape the interstellar medium. Ejecta, containing fresh nucleosynthetic products, may traverse the solar system as a transient passage, or alternatively the solar system may traverse local clouds that may represent isolated remnants of supernova explosions. Such scenarios may modulate the galactic cosmic-ray flux intensity to which Earth is exposed. Varying conditions of the traversed interstellar medium could have impacts on climate and can be imprinted in the terrestrial geological record. Some radionuclides, such as 60 Fe, are not produced on Earth or within the solar system in significant quantities. Their existence in deep-sea sediments demonstrates recent production in close-by supernova explosions with a continued influx of 60 Fe until today.

Nuclides synthesized in massive stars are ejected into space via stellar winds and supernova explosions. The solar system (SS) moves through the interstellar medium and collects these nucleosynthesis products. One such product is 60 Fe, a radionuclide with a half-life of 2.6 My that is predominantly produced in massive stars and ejected in supernova explosions. Extraterrestrial 60 Fe has been found on Earth, suggesting close-by supernova explosions ∼2 to 3 and ∼6 Ma. Here, we report on the detection of a continuous interstellar 60 Fe influx on Earth over the past ∼33,000 y. This time period coincides with passage of our SS through such interstellar clouds, which have a significantly larger particle density compared to the local average interstellar medium embedding our SS for the past few million years. The interstellar 60 Fe was extracted from five deep-sea sediment samples and accelerator mass spectrometry was used for single-atom counting.

Aug 26, 2020

US announces $1 billion research push for AI and quantum computing

Posted by in categories: climatology, economics, government, military, quantum physics, robotics/AI, sustainability

It’s extremely difficult to make a fair comparison of US and Chinese spend on technology like AI as funding and research in this area is diffuse. Although China announced ambitious plans to become the world leader in AI by 2030, America still outspends the country in military funding (which increasingly includes AI research), while US tech companies like Google and Microsoft remain world leaders in artificial intelligence.

The Trump administration will likely present today’s news as a counterbalance to its dismal reputation for supporting scientific research. For four years in a row, government budgets have proposed broad cuts for federal research, including work in pressing subjects like climate change. Only the fields of artificial intelligence and quantum computing, with their overt links to military prowess and global geopolitics, have seen increased investment.

“It is absolutely imperative the United States continues to lead the world in AI and quantum,” said US Chief Technology Officer Michael Kratsios ahead of today’s announcement, according to The Wall Street Journal. “The future of American economic prosperity and national security will be shaped by how we invest, research, develop and deploy these cutting edge technologies today.”

Continue reading “US announces $1 billion research push for AI and quantum computing” »

Aug 23, 2020

Tesla’s (TSLA) $2k value could be looked at as “low priced,” investor says

Posted by in categories: climatology, economics

Tesla (NASDAQ: TSLA) has reached the $2,000 a share price point, but one investor says that its value could be looked at as “fairly low priced” in a year or two.

It’s hard to imagine that $2,000 for a share of an automaker’s stock could look like a bargain in the current economic climate. However, the CEO of AdvisorShares, Noah Hamman, thinks that TSLA’s price now could very well be looked at as a steal in a year or two.

“It’s possible a year or two from now we think that $2,000 a share was still fairly low priced, but who knows,” Hamman said to The First Trade, which is Yahoo Finance’s opening bell show.

Aug 22, 2020

The Biggest Frog that Ever Lived

Posted by in categories: climatology, materials

Untangling the origins of Beelzebufo — the giant frog that lived alongside the dinosaurs — turns out to be one of the most bedeviling problems in the history of amphibians.

Thank you to these paleoartists for allowing us to use their wonderful illustrations:
Ceri Thomas:
Nobu Tamura:
Julio Lacerda:

Continue reading “The Biggest Frog that Ever Lived” »

Aug 22, 2020

Southeast Asia Megadrought: Previously Unknown Mid-Holocene Event Led to Major Changes in Human Settlement

Posted by in category: climatology

Researchers link end of Green Sahara with Southeast Asia megadrought.

Physical evidence found in caves in Laos helps tell a story about a connection between the end of the Green Sahara — when once heavily vegetated Northern Africa became a hyper-arid landscape — and a previously unknown megadrought that crippled Southeast Asia 4,000 to 5,000 years ago.

In a paper published today in Nature Communications, scientists at the University of California, Irvine, the University of Pennsylvania, William Paterson University of New Jersey and other international institutions explain how this major climate transformation led to a shift in human settlement patterns in Southeast Asia, which is now inhabited by more than 600 million people.

Continue reading “Southeast Asia Megadrought: Previously Unknown Mid-Holocene Event Led to Major Changes in Human Settlement” »

Aug 21, 2020

Mounting Climate Impacts Threaten U.S. Nuclear Reactors

Posted by in categories: climatology, nuclear energy, sustainability

Soaring temperatures, intensified flood risks and heightened water stress will threaten 57 U.S. nuclear plants over the next 20 years, forcing operators to take additional resiliency measures, according to a new report.

“The consequences of climate change can affect every aspect of nuclear plant operations—from fuel handling and power and steam generation to maintenance, safety systems and waste processing,” said the analysis, which was published yesterday by Moody’s Investors Service.

Aug 13, 2020

Revealing the structure of the mysterious blue whirling flame

Posted by in categories: climatology, computing, sustainability

A team of researchers working at the University of Maryland has uncovered the structure of the mysterious blue whirling flame. In their paper published in the journal Science Advances, the group describes using computer simulations to determine the structure of the unique type of flame.

Back in 2016, a team of researchers discovered what they described as a blue whirling flame while they were studying the properties of liquid fuel floating on water. They had added fuel to a tank full of water that was enclosed in a space that generated a vortex. They described a fire that looked at first like a tornado, but then shortly after, settled into what they dubbed a blue whirling flame. They noted at the time that its color suggested it likely was very efficient, burning the fuel without creating soot—a property that might be useful in cleaning up oil spills. Since then, others have looked at the unique type of flame, but no one had tried to understand its . In this new effort, the researchers took a closer look at the flame and found it was actually three types of flames that had merged into one.

To learn more about the nature of the blue whirling flame, the researchers created using conditions known to generate them. They then slowly adjusted the parameters until they were able to generate the flame virtually. They discovered that the flame was actually the result of three known types of flames merging: those with an invisible outer flame, which happens when there is less fuel than oxygen in the mix—and two that had types of visible inner flames in which higher ratios are more common.

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