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Scientific News
Scientific News Meteorology

  SCIENTISTS FIND OZONE-DESTROYING MOLECULE
For years, scientists theorized that a molecule called ClOOCl in the stratosphere played a key role in destroying ozone. Now, using measurements from a NASA aircraft laboratory flying over the Arctic, Harvard scientist Rick Stimpfle and colleagues observed the molecule for the first time. They report their discovery in the Journal of Geophysical Research-Atmospheres, published by the American Geophysical Union.

  PUZZLING HEIGHT OF POLAR CLOUDS REVEALED
Scientists have discovered why icy clouds found at the edge of space are higher at the South Pole than at the North. The answer to this puzzle is that the intensity of solar radiation at the South Pole is six percent higher than at the North Pole during the austral summer, as the Earth comes closer to the sun. New research from British Antarctic Survey and University of Illinois is reported in this month’s Geophysical Research Letters (online 29 January 2004). This research helps understand the role of these clouds as indicators of climate change.

  ARE CITIES CHANGING LOCAL AND GLOBAL CLIMATES?
New evidence from satellites, models, and ground observations reveal urban areas, with all their asphalt, buildings, and aerosols, are impacting local and possibly global climate processes. This is according to some of the world’s top scientists convening in a special session at the Fall Meeting of the American Geophysical Union in San Francisco.

  SOLAR CONTRIBUTION TO ’GLOBAL WARMING’ PREDICTED TO DECREASE
Vascular disease pertains to the disorders that affect our arteries and veins. For the three most common types of vascular disease --carotid, aortic and peripheral aging is a major risk factor. Recent studies suggest that pathological changes not only predispose the vasculature to disease but also impair compensatory adaptations to various stimuli including shear force and injury. Other studies have demonstrated a progressive increase in oxidative stress, activation of inflammatory mediators, and increasing endothelial dysfunction in both humans and animals.

  ATMOSPHERIC MERCURY HAS DECLINED - BUT WHY?
The amount of gaseous mercury in the atmosphere has dropped sharply from its peak in the 1980s and has remained relatively constant since the mid 1990s. This welcome decline may result from control measures undertaken in western Europe and North America, but scientists who have just concluded a study of atmospheric mercury say they cannot reconcile the amounts actually found with current understanding of natural and manmade sources of the element.

  GLOBAL GARDEN GROWS GREENER
A NASA-Department of Energy jointly funded study concludes the Earth has been greening over the past 20 years. As climate changed, plants found it easier to grow.

  GLOBAL WARMING COULD TRIGGER CASCADE OF CLIMATIC CHANGES
Global warming and the partial melting of polar ice sheets can dramatically affect not only sea levels but also Earth’s climate, in ways that may be complex, rapid and difficult to adjust to, scientists say in a new study to be published Friday in the journal Science.

  LONG-LOST RECORDS CONFIRM RISING SEA LEVEL
The discovery of 160 year old records in the archives of the Royal Society, London, has given scientists further evidence that Australian sea levels are rising.

  LIGHTNING REALLY DOES STRIKE MORE THAN TWICE
NASA-funded scientists have recently learned that cloud-to-ground lightning frequently strikes the ground in two or more places and that the chances of being struck are about 45 percent higher than what people commonly assume.

  PHYTOPLANKTON IMPLICATED IN GLOBAL WARMING
The ubiquitous one-celled ocean organisms, phytoplankton, play a significant and previously unknown role in warming the planet by capturing and absorbing the Sun’s radiation, American researchers have found.

  AIR POLLUTION CLEANSED THROUGH OCEAN CLOUD PROCESSES, SAY HEBREW UNIVERSITY SCIENTISTS
Scientists at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem have demonstrated that sea spray over the oceans contributes to cleansing air that has been polluted overland. The air pollution is washed down by rain, which occurs because the rain-suppressing effect of such pollution is significantly neutralized. An article on this research appears in the online magazine Science Express, published today.

  COSMIC RAYS LINKED TO GLOBAL WARMING
Researchers studying global warming have often been confounded by the differences between observed increases in surface-level temperatures and unchanging low-atmosphere temperatures. Because of this discrepancy, some have argued that global warming is unproven, suggesting instead that true warming should show uniformly elevated temperatures from the surface through the atmosphere. Researchers have proposed a theory that changes in cloud cover could help explain the puzzling phenomenon, but none-until now-have come up with an argument that could account for the varying heat profiles.

  SUMMER THUNDERSTORMS MAY BECOME MORE PREDICTABLE
Meteorologists have long known that summer thunderstorms and heavy rains are difficult to predict. They pop up quickly and disappear within a few short hours. But after looking at large numbers of radar images over four years, scientists at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) have discovered a systematic pattern of rainfall across the continent, day after day. That knowledge should make the rainiest summer thunderstorms more predictable.

  NASA SPACECRAFT PROVIDES CRITICAL LINK IN SUN-EARTH CHAIN. TIMED OBSERVES ATMOSPHERE’S RESPONSE TO RECENT SOLAR STORMS.
NASA’s TIMED (Thermosphere, Ionosphere, Mesosphere, Energetics and Dynamics) spacecraft recently observed our atmosphere’s response to a series of strong solar storms, providing important new information on the final link in the Sun-Earth Connection (SEC) chain of physical processes connecting the Sun and Earth.

  I’LL HAVE DOUBLE THE ICE WITH THAT
The Amery Ice Shelf in Antarctica is nearly twice as large as previously thought. A study by a team at the Antarctic Cooperative Research Centre and Australian Antarctic Division found that the shelf’s grounding zone, where floating ice connects to the land, is further upstream than expected.

  THUNDERSTORMS ARE AFFECTED BY POLLUTION
A NASA-funded researcher has discovered that tiny airborne particles of pollution may modify developing thunderclouds by increasing the quantity and reducing the size of ice crystals within them. These modifications may affect the clouds impact on the "radiation budget," the amount of radiation that enters and leaves the Earth.

  NASA PINPOINTS WHERE RAIN COMES FROM AND WHERE IT GOES
A new NASA computer model can now tell exactly where in the world rain or snow that provides local water originated. Scientists can use this ’water vapor tracer’ to improve rainfall and drought forecasts and gain a deeper understanding of climate change.

  ATMOSPHERE, NOT OCEANS, CARRIES MOST HEAT TO THE POLES FROM THE EQUATOR
According to a new data analysis, the atmosphere redistributes annually as much heat from the tropics to the poles as would be produced by five million of the world’s biggest power stations, generating 1,000 megawatts each. This is far more heat than previously estimated and much more than the oceans carry poleward.

  WEATHER PROFILE RECURRENCE IS NOT RANDOM?
A unique coincidence of this year’s weather profile with that of last year was registered in the European part of Russia this May. Last year, alike this year, there was a warm summer weather through April, but in late April a drastic change to cold happened.


 

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