Tag Archives: computer model

Familiar yet strange: Water’s ‘split personality’ revealed by computer model

Seemingly ordinary, water has quite puzzling behavior. Why, for example, does ice float when most liquids crystallize into dense solids that sink?

Using a computer model to explore water as it freezes, a team at Princeton University has found that water’s weird behaviors may arise from a sort of split personality: at very cold temperatures and above a certain pressure, water may spontaneously split into two liquid forms. (more…)

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New Sensor Array to Monitor Impacts of Changing Gulf of Maine Conditions on New England Red Tide

Scientists from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) are kicking off an innovative NOAA-funded pilot program using robotic instruments and computer modeling analysis to shed light on changing ocean conditions in the Gulf of Maine as they relate to the harmful algal bloom (HAB) phenomenon commonly known as the New England red tide.

The red tide is caused by the germination of dormant cysts of alga called Alexandrium fundyense, which produces a toxin that can cause paralytic shellfish poisoning (PSP). These cysts are found in bottom sediments and near-bottom waters, accumulating in “seedbeds” that serve as the source of swimming, rapidly dividing cells that form the blooms each spring. (more…)

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Amazon Carbon Dynamics: Understanding the Photosynthesis-Climate Link

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. — Researchers at the U.S. Geological Survey, the University of Michigan, the University of Arizona, and the University of Technology, Sydney (Australia) are collaborating with scientists in Brazil on a three-year research project that investigates a basic yet unanswered question in Earth-system and global carbon-cycle science: What controls the response of photosynthesis in Amazon tropical forests to seasonal variations in climate?

Results of the study will help improve the reliability of global climate forecasts by guiding improvements in the treatment of tropical forest photosynthesis and related water-cycle processes in Earth-system models. (more…)

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New Tool Available to Help Track Spilled Oil

Computer model can help with current, future clean-up efforts

St. Petersburg, Fla. – A newly developed computer model holds the promise of helping scientists track and predict where oil will go after a spill, sometimes years later.  U.S. Geological Survey scientists developed the model as a way of tracking the movement of sand and oil found along the Gulf of Mexico since the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.  The new tool can help guide clean-up efforts, and be used to aid the response to future oil spills.  (more…)

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El Niño tied to melting of Antarctica’s Pine Island Glacier

Pine Island Glacier is one of the biggest routes for ice to flow from Antarctica into the sea. The floating ice shelf at the glacier’s tip has been melting and thinning for the past four decades, causing the glacier to speed up and discharge more ice.

Understanding this ice shelf is a key for predicting sea-level rise in a warming world. A paper published Jan. 2 in the advance online version of the journal Science shows that the ice shelf melting depends on the local wind direction, which is tied to tropical changes associated with El Niño. (more…)

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Culling vampire bats to stem rabies in Latin America can backfire

ANN ARBOR — Culling vampire bat colonies to stem the transmission of rabies in Latin America does little to slow the spread of the virus and could even have the reverse effect, according to University of Michigan researchers and their colleagues.

Vampire bats transmit rabies virus throughout Latin America, causing thousands of livestock deaths each year, as well as occasional human fatalities. Poison and even explosives have been used since the 1960s in attempts to control vampire bat populations, but those culling efforts have generally failed. (more…)

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Could a Milky Way Supernova Be Visible from Earth in Next 50 Years?

Advances in cameras, new strategies for detection make it possible

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Astronomers at The Ohio State University have calculated the odds that, sometime during the next 50 years, a supernova occurring in our home galaxy will be visible from Earth.

The good news: they’ve calculated the odds to be nearly 100 percent that such a supernova would be visible to telescopes in the form of infrared radiation. (more…)

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Maths predicts rise and fall of empires

Researchers have developed a new mathematical model that accurately describes the evolution of ancient empires.

The computer model can predict with 65% accuracy where and when the largest complex societies arose in human history.

The research, which suggests that intense warfare is the evolutionary driver of large complex societies, is published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS). It was carried out by researchers from the University of Exeter in collaboration with University of Connecticut and the National Institute for Mathematical and Biological Synthesis (NIMBioS) in the US. (more…)

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