Tag Archives: dynamics

Klimaforschung mit HALO über dem brasilianischen Regenwald

Gewitterwolken über dem Regenwald sind ein wichtiges Element im Klimasystem. Von Anfang September bis Anfang Oktober 2014 war das vom Deutschen Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt (DLR) betriebene Forschungsflugzeug HALO in Manaus im Amazonasgebiet in Brasilien, um die Entstehung, Entwicklung und Eigenschaften von tropischen Wolken zu vermessen. Mit der Mission ACRIDICON (Aerosol, Cloud, Precipitation and Radiation Interactions and Dynamics of Convective Cloud Systems) wollen die Forscher die mikrophysikalischen Vorgänge in den Wolkentürmen genauer verstehen, die für ihre Klimawirkung bestimmend sind. Zudem untersuchen die Forscher, wie Spurenstoffe durch hochreichende Wolken nach oben transportiert werden und wie Brandrodungen die Wolkeneigenschaften und den Niederschlag beeinflussen. Die wissenschaftliche Leitung der Messflüge lag beim Max-Planck-Institut für Chemie (MPIC) und der Universität Leipzig. Insgesamt sind an der HALO-Flugkampagne 23 wissenschaftliche Institutionen beteiligt. Das Forschungsflugzeug HALO ist eine Gemeinschaftsinitiative deutscher Umwelt- und Klimaforschungseinrichtungen. (more…)

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Scholars and scientists explore factors underlying serendipitous discoveries

What do Velcro, Tang, penicillin, the structure of DNA and the World Wide Web have in common?

They all involved serendipitous discoveries—chance discoveries made by alert, curious scientists who were looking for other things when they happened across a fortuitous finding. Rather than ignoring their accidental discoveries, these curious, open-minded scientists harnessed their luck. “Chance favors only the prepared mind,” as Louis Pasteur put it. (more…)

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‘Life as Research Scientist’: Grant Connette, Population Biologist

Grant Connette received a Bachelor’s of Science in Biology from Davidson College in 2008.  In the Fall of 2009 he began a Ph.D. program in Biology at the University of Missouri.  His general research interests include various aspects of the population ecology, movement behavior, and landscape-scale distributions of animals.  Much of his current research focuses on the behavior, population dynamics, and landscape ecology of terrestrial salamanders in forest landscapes managed for timber production.

Recently we asked Mr. Connette about his research, why it is important and so on. Here is what we learned from him:

Q. Let us start with your research topic. What is your research area? Will you please tell us a bit more on this? What did you find?

Grant Connette: I study the dynamics of salamander populations in forests of the eastern United States.  Much of my current research focuses on how salamander populations respond to timber harvest (i.e. logging).  In a recent study, Dr. Raymond Semlitsch and I found that salamanders are less common in “young” forest (even areas harvested 80-100 years ago) than in more mature forest.  We also found that salamander species which differ in their ability to disperse, or move across the landscape, recovered from timber harvest at different rates.  Species that naturally tend to move more may have recovered faster because there is emigration from surrounding areas that helps rebuild populations after a disturbance like timber harvest. (more…)

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Ultracold Big Bang experiment successfully simulates evolution of early universe

Physicists have reproduced a pattern resembling the cosmic microwave background radiation in a laboratory simulation of the Big Bang, using ultracold cesium atoms in a vacuum chamber at the University of Chicago.

“This is the first time an experiment like this has simulated the evolution of structure in the early universe,” said Cheng Chin, professor in physics. Chin and his associates reported their feat in the Aug. 1 edition of Science Express, and it will appear soon in the print edition of Science. (more…)

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Whirlpools on the Nanoscale Could Multiply Magnetic Memory

At the Advanced Light Source, Berkeley Lab scientists join an international team to control spin orientation in magnetic nanodisks

“We spent 15 percent of home energy on gadgets in 2009, and we’re buying more gadgets all the time,” says Peter Fischer of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab). Fischer lets you know right away that while it’s scientific curiosity that inspires his research at the Lab’s Advanced Light Source (ALS), he intends it to help solve pressing problems.

“What we’re working on now could make these gadgets perform hundreds of times better and also be a hundred times more energy efficient,” says Fischer, a staff scientist in the Materials Sciences Division. As a principal investigator at the Center for X-Ray Optics, he leads ALS beamline 6.1.2, where he specializes in studies of magnetism. (more…)

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The Black Sea is a Goldmine of Ancient Genetic Data

New Study Reconstructs the Past Ocean ‘Paleome’

When Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) marine paleoecologist Marco Coolen was mining through vast amounts of genetic data from the Black Sea sediment record, he was amazed about the variety of past plankton species that left behind their genetic makeup (i.e., the plankton paleome).

The semi-isolated Black Sea is highly sensitive to climate driven environmental changes, and the underlying sediments represent high-resolution archives of past continental climate and concurrent hydrologic changes in the basin. The brackish Black Sea is currently receiving salty Mediterranean waters via the narrow Strait of Bosphorus as well as freshwater from rivers and via precipitation. (more…)

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World’s Longest-Running Plant Monitoring Program Now Digitized

Data from the research plots on Tumamoc Hill reveal changes in the Sonoran Desert and have been important to key advances in the science of ecology.

Researchers at the University of Arizona’s Tumamoc Hill have digitized 106 years of growth data on individual plants, making the information available for study by people all over the world.

Knowing how plants respond to changing conditions over many decades provides new insights into how ecosystems behave. (more…)

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NASA’s HyspIRI Sees the Forest for the Trees and More

To Robert Green, light contains more than meets the eye: it contains fingerprints of materials that can be detected by sensors that capture the unique set of reflected wavelengths. Scientists have used the technique, called imaging spectroscopy, to learn about water on the moon, minerals on Mars and the composition of exoplanets. Green’s favorite place to apply the technique, however, is right here on the chemically rich Earth, which is just what he and colleagues achieved this spring during NASA’s Hyperspectral Infrared Imager (HyspIRI) airborne campaign.

“We have ideas about what makes up Earth’s ecosystems and how they function,” said Green, of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., who is principal investigator of the campaign’s Airborne Visible/Infrared Imaging Spectrometer (AVIRIS) instrument. “But a comprehensive understanding requires us to directly measure these things and how they change over landscapes and from season to season.” (more…)

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