Science in the news

There’s lots of interesting stuff in the news that I’d love to blog about, but just won’t have time to cover (I’m working on an in-depth article and a podcast episode right now, so the rest will have to slide). Anyway, I’ll just recommend them as good reading material:

Hinode: new insights on the origin of solar wind

Data from Hinode, a Japanese (JAXA) mission with ESA participation, shows that magnetic waves play a critical role in driving the solar wind into space. The solar wind is a stream of electrically charged gas that is propelled away from the Sun in all directions at speeds of almost 1.5 million km/h. … How the solar wind is formed and powered has been the subject of debate for decades.

Quantum-dot displays could outshine their rivals

The brightest quantum-dot LEDs yet made could provide lighting for displays that are clearer and richer in colour, as well as being cheaper to make, than existing ones. The devices could be used to make better displays for mobile phones and PDAs, and to light larger flat-panel TV screens, say researchers based in China and the US.

Scientists Discover How to Make Robots Bounce on Water

The way water striders walk on water was discovered years ago. The insect uses its long legs to help evenly distribute its tiny body weight. The weight is distributed over a large area so that the fragile skin formed by surface tension supports the bug on the water. However, the ability of water striders to jump onto water without sinking has baffled scientists, until now.

Current melting of Greenland’s ice mimicks 1920s-1940s event

Two researchers here spent months scouring through old expedition logs and reports, and reviewing 70-year-old maps and photos before making a surprising discovery: they found that the effects of the current warming and melting of Greenland ‘s glaciers that has alarmed the world’s climate scientists occurred in the decades following an abrupt warming in the 1920s.

Their evidence reinforces the belief that glaciers and other bodies of ice are exquisitely hyper-sensitive to climate change and bolsters the concern that rising temperatures will speed the demise of that island’s ice fields, hastening sea level rise. The work, reported at this week’s annual meeting of the American Geophysical Union in San Francisco , may help to discount critics’ notion that the melting of Greenland ‘s glaciers is merely an isolated, regional event.

This entry was posted in Astronomy, Climate, Physics, Space, Technology and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Science in the news

  1. Eurotrash says:

    Any idea what caused the spike in global warming in the 20’s? And also what deminished it?

  2. Sam Wise says:

    The temperature spike in the 20’s wasn’t a global thing, it was a spike in local (to Greenland) temperatures. I couldn’t tell you what caused it — maybe a change in ocean currents, maybe something else (local temperatures can be pretty variable). The press release, at least, doesn’t go into depth on this.

    Then the end of this “spike” in the 40’s was probably a mix of the local fluctuation going away, combined with the global leveling out of temperatures that hit around then (driven by a couple of big volcanic eruptions, and a big up-tick in industrial pollution).

    The point of the article is that a slight increase in local temperature back in the 1920’s caused a big loss of ice cover. That being the case, the current warming is likely to do some serious damage to the Greenland ice cap.

Comments are closed.