High-pressure systems over oceans, which largely determine the tracks of tropical cyclones and hydrological extremes in much of the northern hemisphere, are likely to intensify this century, according to a new study.
Title: Tornadoes and Global Warming: Is There a Connection?
Author: Robert Kunzig
Main Idea: Global Warming could be a major factor to the development of larger storms
1) Climate change is increasing the Earth's temperature and is decreasing our atmospheric energy
2) The change in climate has the ability to not only strengthen storms, but also make less tornadoes
3) Global Warming might also be the cause to suppressing gases, which cause more dangerous tornadoes to form
Opinion: No, it was based off of scientific theories by researchers and scientists
Question: Can Global Warming be linked to other hazardous weather occurrences?
Is this article important to science?: Yes, because it informs us that since Global Warming may be a key factor to the fact that we have more dangerous weather it can help us to reduce anything that causes Global Warming, like burning fossil fuels.
The high cost of powerful, large-stroke, high-stress artificial muscles has combined with performance limitations such as low cycle life, hysteresis, and low efficiency to restrict applications.
A team of material scientists at the University of Texas at Dallas have just discovered a new way to create powerful artificial muscles—synthetic sinew that forcefully expands and contracts on command—from low-cost, everyday fibers such as fishing line and high-tension sewing thread. In a study published today in the journal Science¸ the researchers described how they're doing it: by twisting the materials into springy and energy-dense coils.
Extreme twisting produces coiled muscles that can contract by 49%, lift loads over 100 times heavier than can human muscle of the same length and weight, and generate 5.3 kilowatts of mechanical work per kilogram of muscle weight, similar to that produced by a jet engine. Woven textiles that change porosity in response to temperature and actuating window shutters that could help conserve energy were also demonstrated. Large-stroke tensile actuation was theoretically and experimentally shown to result from torsional actuation.
The researchers take polyethylene or nylon string, the plastics that can make up fishing line, and twist it under high tension over and over again. Once the plastic can't twist any more, it starts to coil up on itself like a curled telephone cord. This tightly bound coil is then temperature treated so that it's locked into place.
When this coil is heated, the plastic tries to untwist. But this causes the entire thing to compress. "At first it seems confusing, but you can think of it kind of like a Chinese finger-trap," Baughman says. "Expanding the volume of the finger-trap, or heating the coil, actually makes the device shorten." And this is compounded by the fact that the molecules in polyethylene and nylon string also naturally contract lengthwise ever-so-slightly when they're heated. Together these effects make the plastic coil contract with incredible power—like a muscle.
When three continents witnessed food riots in 2007 and 2008, we saw the international food system is not as stable as it looks. There’s unprecedented competition for food due to population growth and changing diets. Experts predict that by 2050, if things don't change, we will see mass starvation across the world.
In this documentary, George Alagiah travelled the world to unravel the complicated web of links that binds the world's food together, bringing it from farm to table. It reveals a growing global food crisis that could affect the planet in the years ahead. What can we do to avert this?
Vast stores of helium are escaping from the steam vents and hot springs of Yellowstone National Park after being trapped within Earth's crust for up to 2 billion years, according to new research.
In fact, researchers say, the escaping helium -- about 60 tons per year -- is enough to fill one Goodyear blimp every week.
They also calculate that this "sudden" release of gas began roughly 2 million years ago, with the advent of volcanic activity there.
"That might seem like a really, really long time to people, but in the geologic time scale, the volcanism is a recent phenomenon," said study coauthor Bill Evans, a research chemist at the USGS office in Menlo Park, Calif.
Helium, or more accurately the isotope helium-4, is produced in Earth's crust as uranium and thorium decay. Often, this nonradioactive, crustal helium is swept away by groundwater, or freed as a result of tectonic movement.
But in areas where there is little groundwater or movement in Earth's crust, helium-4 can remain trapped and build up over time. This is especially true at Yellowstone, where inactive rocks, or what geologists call "craton," have been estimated to be 2.5 billion years old. The park is located primarily in Wyoming.
"The Yellowstone crust is among the oldest on Earth, and for most of its history had been part of the tectonically moribund core of North America," said lead study author Jacob Lowenstern, a research geologist and scientist-in-charge of the Yellowstone Volcano Observatory.
Things began to change roughly 2 million years ago, however, when hot magma intruded on the crustal system from below and triggered several enormous volcanic eruptions, the most recent about 640,000 years ago.
"Think of it this way: You have these old crustal rocks just sitting around for hundreds of millions, perhaps billions of years," Evans said. "They have this boring little existence, and then suddenly somebody puts the heat on under them and they start giving up all their long-held secrets."
Yellowstone's so-called magma "hot spot" still exists, and gives rise to the park's numerous and crowd-pleasing geysers, hot springs and fumaroles.
The researchers said the discovery of high levels of helium was a result of their investigations into volcanic activity at the park, and came as a surprise.
Title: From Human to Cyborg? Custom-designed, Enhanced Prosthetics Are in Our Future
Author: Graham Noble
Main Idea: Prosthetics can not only help to enhance your ability to move but can also enhance it with the help of new technology
1)This article is about limb replacement for people who want to enhance their ability to move better
2)The development of exoskeletons and 'smart' armor were designed to perform better than the originals: faster, stronger, more dexterous and more precise than it’s organic predecessor.
3)3D technology can also help make the prosthetics more affordable, thus more popular
Opinion: The article was mostly based on facts, so I don't think was any opinions.
Questions: How much does it cost to get a prosthetic object? How many people already have this product?
Is this article important to science?: Yes, because it helps improves peoples lives, and results from using this product can help scientists, or researchers, in the future. With all of the information that that receive from the people who use the product, it can help further them into building even better prosthetics.
Main Idea: Many puffins from the UK are being found dead and washed up on the shores of Spain and France
1) Puffins are fighting for survival due to storms in the bay of Biscay
2) The original amount of deaths recorded was only 17 back in 1979
3) The rapid increase of the puffins death has significantly began to affect other animal populations
Opinion: No, it was based purely off of facts
Question: Why is drowning a major cause of death for puffins? How will this affect the UK and other countries?
Is this article important to science?: Yes, because this tells us how much the world is changing and evolving since so many animals, like puffins, are beginning to go extinct or are now few in numbers due to the increase of their deaths.
The advances we’ve seen in the past few years—cars that drive themselves, useful humanoid robots, speech recognition and synthesis systems, 3D printers,Jeopardy!-champion computers—are not the crowning achievements of the computer era. They’re the warm-up acts. As we move deeper into the second machine age we’ll see more and more such wonders, and they’ll become more and more impressive.
How can we be so sure? Because the exponential, digital, and recombinant powers of the second machine age have made it possible for humanity to create two of the most important one-time events in our history: the emergence of real, useful artificial intelligence (AI) and the connection of most of the people on the planet via a common digital network.
Either of these advances alone would fundamentally change our growth prospects. When combined, they’re more important than anything since the Industrial Revolution, which forever transformed how physical work was done.
European astronomers led by Dr Federico Marocco from the University of Hertfordshire have discovered a brown dwarf with unusually red skies.
Brown dwarfs are too big to be considered as planets; yet they do not have sufficient material to fuse hydrogen in their cores to fully develop into stars. Sometimes described as failed stars, they are midway in mass between stars, like our Sun, and giant planets, like Jupiter and Saturn.
Using ESO’s Very Large Telescope in Chile and an innovative data analysis technique, Dr Marocco’s team detected a very thick layer of clouds in the upper atmosphere the brown dwarf ULAS J222711-004547. “These are not the type of clouds that we are used to seeing on Earth. The thick clouds on this particular brown dwarf are mostly made of mineral dust, like enstatite and corundum. Not only have we been able to infer their presence, but we have also been able to estimate the size of the dust grains in the clouds,” Dr Marocco said.
The giant planets of the Solar System, like Jupiter and Saturn, show various cloud layers including ammonia and hydrogen sulfide as well as water vapor. The atmosphere observed in ULAS J222711-004547 is hotter – with water vapor, methane and probably some ammonia but, unusually, it is dominated by clay-sized mineral particles. Getting a good understanding of how such an extreme atmosphere works will help us to better understand the range of atmospheres that can exist.
“Being one of the reddest brown dwarfs ever observed, ULAS J222711-004547 makes an ideal target for multiple observations to understand how the weather is in such an extreme atmosphere,” said Dr Avril Day-Jones from the University of Hertfordshire, who is a co-author of the paper published in the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society(arXiv.org).
Scientists with the National Ignition Facility (NIF) at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory announced today that they have achieved a critical step in fusion research: For the first time, their hydrogen fuel has given off more energy than it took in.
Main Idea: Greenland glaciers are hitting record speed and is the fastest-flowing glacier currently known in the world.
1)Scientist are keeping track of this glacier that they believe have spawned from the glacier that sank the Titanic.
2)They are worried that it'll be gone in the next decade or so and are trying to find out what to do.
3)Since the glacier is moving so fast scientists believe that the glacier is adding more and more ice to the ocean, contributing to sea-level rise.
Opinion: The researchers believe Jakobshavn, the name of the glacier, is in an unstable state, meaning it will continue to retreat further inland in the future.
Questions: Does this have to do with global warming? Should people be worried about the glacier? Are other glaciers experiencing the same problems?
Is this article important to science?: Yes, because it can maybe help people realize how much fossil fuels can affect the environment if it was the cause. It can also teach us to be resourceful and help us take better care of the Earth in such ways that doesn't effect other parts of the planet.
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