As the climate warms and sea ice retreats, the North is changing. An ice-covered expanse now has a season of increasingly open water that is predicted to extend across the whole Arctic Ocean before the middle of this century. Storms thus have the potential to create Arctic swell – huge waves that could add a new and unpredictable element to the region. (more…)
Tag Archives: models
Research also helps unravel the mystery of retreating glaciers in the Pacific Ocean’s western tropics
Using a cutting-edge research technique, UCLA researchers have reconstructed the temperature history of a region that plays a major role in determining climate around the world.
«Ich will meiner Tochter zeigen, warum die allgegenwärtigen Models mit der Realität nichts zu tun haben», sagt eine Mutter. In knapp 40 Sekunden zeigt dieses Video, wie ein normaler Frauenkörper mit Photoshop in ein unrealistisches, nicht existierendes Schönheits-Vorbild verwandelt wird. *Source: Infosperber
A unique housing arrangement between a specific group of tree species and a carbo-loading bacteria may determine how well tropical forests can absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, according to a Princeton University-based study. The findings suggest that the role of tropical forests in offsetting the atmospheric buildup of carbon from fossil fuels depends on tree diversity, particularly in forests recovering from exploitation.
Tropical forests thrive on natural nitrogen fertilizer pumped into the soil by trees in the legume family, a diverse group that includes beans and peas, the researchers report in the journal Nature. The researchers studied second-growth forests in Panama that had been used for agriculture five to 300 years ago. The presence of legume trees ensured rapid forest growth in the first 12 years of recovery and thus a substantial carbon “sink,” or carbon-storage capacity. Tracts of land that were pasture only 12 years before had already accumulated as much as 40 percent of the carbon found in fully mature forests. Legumes contributed more than half of the nitrogen needed to make that happen, the researchers reported. (more…)
A roughly 3.5-mile high Martian mound that scientists suspect preserves evidence of a massive lake might actually have formed as a result of the Red Planet’s famously dusty atmosphere, an analysis of the mound’s features suggests. If correct, the research could dilute expectations that the mound holds evidence of a large body of water, which would have important implications for understanding Mars’ past habitability.
Researchers based at Princeton University and the California Institute of Technology suggest that the mound, known as Mount Sharp, most likely emerged as strong winds carried dust and sand into the 96-mile-wide crater in which the mound sits. They report in the journal Geology that air likely rises out of the massive Gale Crater when the Martian surface warms during the day, then sweeps back down its steep walls at night. Though strong along the Gale Crater walls, these “slope winds” would have died down at the crater’s center where the fine dust in the air settled and accumulated to eventually form Mount Sharp, which is close in size to Alaska’s Mt. McKinley. (more…)
*Berkeley Lab Researchers Developing Promising Treatment for Safely Decontaminating Humans Exposed to Radioactive Actinides*
The New York Times recently reported that in the darkest moments of the triple meltdown last year of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, Japanese officials considered the evacuation of the nearly 36 million residents of the Tokyo metropolitan area. The consideration of so drastic an action reflects the harsh fact that in the aftermath of a major radiation exposure event, such as a nuclear reactor accident or a “dirty bomb” terrorist attack, treatments for mass contamination are antiquated and very limited. The only chemical agent now available for decontamination – a compound known as DTPA – is a Cold War relic that must be administered intravenously and only partially removes some of the deadly actinides – the radioactive chemical elements spanning from actinium to lawrencium on the periodic table – that pose the greatest health threats. (more…)
Structural studies at Berkeley Lab’s Advanced Light Source could point to reduced carbon emissions and stronger cements
It’s no surprise that humans the world over use more water, by volume, than any other material. But in second place, at over 17 billion tons consumed each year, comes concrete made with Portland cement. Portland cement provides the essential binder for strong, versatile concrete; its basic materials are found in many places around the globe; and, at about $100 a ton, it’s relatively cheap. Making it, however, releases massive amounts of carbon dioxide, accounting for more than five percent of the total CO2 emissions from human activity.
“Portland cement is the most important building material in the world,” says Paulo Monteiro, a professor of civil and environmental engineering at the University of California at Berkeley, “but if we are going to find ways to use it more efficiently – or just as important, search for practical alternatives – we need a full understanding of its structure on the nanoscale.” To this end Monteiro has teamed with researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Advanced Light Source (ALS) at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. (more…)
*Berkeley Lab scientists help automate the search for hurricanes and other storms in huge datasets*
You’d think that spotting a category 5 hurricane would never be difficult. But when the hurricane is in a global climate model that spans several decades, it becomes a fleeting wisp among mountains of data.
That’s a problem. As scientists develop ever-more sophisticated computer models to predict the effects of climate change, one of the things they’ll look for are changes in the frequency of extreme weather events such as hurricanes and heavy precipitation. The more data generated by models, however, the more difficult it is to quantify these rare but potent events. (more…)