Archive for the ‘climatology’ category

May 27, 2023

Engineers harvest abundant clean energy from thin air, 24/7

Posted by in categories: climatology, computing, engineering

A team of engineers at the University of Massachusetts Amherst has recently shown that nearly any material can be turned into a device that continuously harvests electricity from humidity in the air. The secret lies in being able to pepper the material with nanopores less than 100 nanometers in diameter. The research appeared in the journal Advanced Materials.

“This is very exciting,” says Xiaomeng Liu, a graduate student in electrical and computer engineering in UMass Amherst’s College of Engineering and the paper’s lead author. “We are opening up a wide door for harvesting clean from thin air.”

“The air contains an enormous amount of electricity,” says Jun Yao, assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering in the College of Engineering at UMass Amherst, and the paper’s senior author. “Think of a cloud, which is nothing more than a mass of water droplets. Each of those droplets contains a charge, and when conditions are right, the cloud can produce a lightning bolt—but we don’t know how to reliably capture electricity from lightning. What we’ve done is to create a human-built, small-scale cloud that produces electricity for us predictably and continuously so that we can harvest it.”

May 27, 2023

Ford EV drivers will get access to 12,000 North American Tesla Superchargers next spring

Posted by in categories: climatology, sustainability

Last February, the Biden administration unveiled its $5 billion plan to expand EV charging infrastructure across the country. Not only with the Department of Transportation help states build half a million EV charging stations by 2030, the White House also convinced Tesla to share a portion of its existing Supercharger network with non-Tesla EVs. On Thursday, Ford became the first automaker to formalize that pact with Tesla, announcing during a Twitter Spaces event that “Ford electric vehicle customers access to more than 12,000 Tesla Superchargers across the U.S. and Canada,” starting in Spring 2024, per the company release.

Because Teslas uses a proprietary charger port design for its vehicles, Ford owners will initially need to rely on a Tesla-developed adapter connected to the public charging cable in order to replenish their Ford F-150 Lightning, Mustang Mach-E and E-Transit vehicles. Ford also announced that, beginning with the 2025 model year, it will switch from the existing Combined Charging System (CCS) port to Tesla’s now open-source NACS charge port. These 12,000 additional chargers will join Ford’s 84,000-strong Blue Oval charging station network.

“Tesla has led the industry in creating a large, reliable and efficient charging system and we are pleased to be able to join forces in a way that benefits customers and overall EV adoption,” Marin Gjaja, chief customer officer of Ford Model e, said in the release. “The Tesla Supercharger network has excellent reliability and the NACS plug is smaller and lighter. Overall, this provides a superior experience for customers.”

May 27, 2023

Rocket Lab’s Electron delivers TROPICS constellation to orbit

Posted by in categories: climatology, satellites

Electron, Rocket Lab’s small satellite launch vehicle, launched twice, just ~2 weeks apart from the companies Launch Complex 1 in Mahia, New Zealand to deliver the 4 CubeSat constellation to orbit.

Payload deployment confirmed! Congratulations to the launch team on our 37th Electron launch, and to our mission partners at @NASA @NASA_LSP @NASAAmes: the TROPICS constellation is officially on orbit!

The two missions, dubbed ‘Rocket Like a Hurricane’ and ‘Coming to a Storm Near You,’ contain two 11.8-lb (5.34 kg) CubeSats each delivered to a 30-degree orbital inclination in order for the constellation to monitor tropical systems forming in the Atlantic and Pacific Ocean and will be capable of performing scans about once every hour.

May 24, 2023

A first step to designing better solid-state batteries

Posted by in categories: chemistry, climatology, sustainability

Electrifying transportation is an essential step towards mitigating climate change. To improve the power, efficiency and safety of electric vehicles, researchers must continue to develop better batteries.

All-solid-state lithium batteries (SSBs), which have a solid electrolyte instead of a liquid, are safer than traditional lithium-ion batteries because they are less flammable and more stable at higher temperatures. They could also have higher energy densities than lithium-ion batteries, allowing for longer lasting batteries in smaller sizes for portable electronics and other applications.

A research team led by Joshua Gallaway of Northeastern University in Boston and scientists at the Department of Energy’s (DOE) Argonne National Laboratory recently tested how the composition of thick cathodes affected electrochemical reactions in SSBs. The team used the resources of the Advanced Photon Source (APS), a DOE Office of Science user facility at Argonne. Their discoveries were published in the journal ACS Energy Letters.

May 23, 2023

Jupiter’s lightning is strikingly similar to Earth’s

Posted by in categories: climatology, space

Cool photo 📸 📷 🖼 🤳 😎

NASA’s Juno spacecraft has spotted short bursts that make up lightning bolts on Jupiter, showing that Jovian lightning works in much the same way as it does on Earth.

May 23, 2023

Record-breaking Tonga undersea volcano disrupted satellite signals in space

Posted by in categories: climatology, space

An underwater volcanic eruption last year was powerful enough to generate plasma bubbles that disrupted radio communications in outer space, a new study finds.

The new results could lead to ways to avoid satellite and GPS disruptions on Earth, and to learn more about volcanoes on alien worlds, scientists added.

May 20, 2023

Why this beautiful rainbow sea slug is such an incredible scientific find

Posted by in categories: climatology, sustainability

The slug may be vibrant and rare, but experts believe we’ll be seeing more of them as they adapt to warming waters thanks to climate change.

May 19, 2023

Modified NASA space tech provides sustainable batteries that last 30 years

Posted by in categories: climatology, satellites, sustainability

It “lasts more than three times as long” as lithium-ion, according to EnerVenue CEO Jorg Heinemann.

With the advent of space tourism for the world’s wealthiest and a looming global recession, there has been a predictable increase in arguments against public spending on space technologies.

However, those calling to halt space operations often ignore the immense benefits space technologies bring us here on Earth. Obvious examples come in the form of GPS and the many satellites used to investigate the effects of climate change.

May 16, 2023

Compression algorithms run on AI hardware to simulate nature’s most complex systems

Posted by in categories: climatology, information science, robotics/AI, space

High-performance computing (HPC) has become an essential tool for processing large datasets and simulating nature’s most complex systems. However, researchers face difficulties in developing more intensive models because Moore’s Law—which states that computational power doubles every two years—is slowing, and memory bandwidth still cannot keep up with it. But scientists can speed up simulations of complex systems by using compression algorithms running on AI hardware.

A team led by computer scientist Hatem Ltaief are tackling this problem head-on by employing designed for (AI) to help scientists make their code more efficient. In a paper published in the journal High Performance Computing, they now report making simulations up to 150 times faster in the diverse fields of climate modeling, astronomy, seismic imaging and wireless communications.

Previously, Ltaief and co-workers showed that many scientists were riding the wave of hardware development and “over-solving” their models, carrying out lots of unnecessary calculations.

May 11, 2023

Crops evolved

Posted by in category: climatology

Comparing individual cells across corn, sorghum and millet reveals evolutionary differences among these important cereal crops, according to a new study led by New York University researchers.

The findings, published in Nature, bring researchers closer to pinpointing which control important agricultural traits such as drought tolerance, which will help scientists faced with a changing climate adapt crops to drier environments.

Corn, sorghum, and millet provide food for humans and animals around the world. Corn and sorghum are ancient relatives that evolved into two different species roughly 12 million years ago, and millet is a more distant relative.

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