Midnight In The Desert — solar

Scientists Switch On Giant 'Artificial Sun'

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Scientists Switch On Giant 'Artificial Sun'

Scientists in Germany flipped the switch Thursday on what's being described as "the world's largest artificial sun" and which they hope will help shed light on new ways of making climate-friendly hydrogen fuel. The giant honeycomb-like setup of 149 spotlights—officially known as "Synlight"—in Juelich, west of Cologne, uses xenon short-arc lamps normally found in cinemas to simulate the natural sunlight that's often in short supply in Germany at this time of year. By focusing the entire array on a single 8x8 inch spot, scientists from the German Aerospace Center, or DLR, will be able to produce the equivalent of 10,000...

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Ocean pattern may predict heat waves 50 days in advance

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Ocean pattern may predict heat waves 50 days in advance

Meteorologists might be able to predict heat waves on the East Coast up to 50 days in advance by keeping an eye on ocean temperatures far, far away. Scientists writing in Nature Geoscience say they've picked up on a connection: When a particular weather event known as the Pacific Extreme Pattern shows up north of Hawaii, it triggers a chain of events that results in oppressive heat in the East in the not-too-distant future, reports Ars Technica. The researchers noticed the pattern after crunching data from US weather stations going back to 1982, along with corresponding sea surface temperatures. The...

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Historic New Climate Deal: Surprises, Snubs, and What it Really Means

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Historic New Climate Deal: Surprises, Snubs, and What it Really Means

LE BOURGET, France—The world came together. More than 20 years after world leaders first tried hammering out an accord to tackle climate change, representatives of 195 nations on Saturday adopted a landmark agreement that seeks to scale back greenhouse gases and trigger a momentous shift away from coal, oil, and natural gas. "It's rare to have an opportunity in a lifetime to change the world," French President Francois Hollande told the delegates Saturday, before the final decision came at about 7:30 p.m. (Central European Time). After the agreement was reached, U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon declared, “What was once unthinkable,...

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US Military enlists radio hams to simulate fight with The Sun

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US Military enlists radio hams to simulate fight with The Sun

Nobody's quite forgotten that a really big solar event can upset kit even as crude as a telegraph, so the US military is recruiting radio hams to help test its contingency plans. The exercise will happen between November 8 and November 10 (US time), when operators will be asked to practice what to do before and after the Sun belches plasma and an electromagnetic field into space after a major coronal mass ejection (CME). The Military Auxiliary Radio System (MARS) is looking to the Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES) and Radio Amateur Civil Emergency Services (RACES) groups. America's national association...

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Is a mini ICE AGE on the way?

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Is a mini ICE AGE on the way?

The Earth could be headed for a 'mini ice age' researchers have warned. A new study claims to have cracked predicting solar cycles - and says that between 2020 and 2030 solar cycles will cancel each other out. This, they say, will lead to a phenomenon known as the 'Maunder minimum' - which has previously been known as a mini ice age when it hit between 1646 and 1715, even causing London's River Thames to freeze over. The new model of the Sun's solar cycle is producing unprecedentedly accurate predictions of irregularities within the Sun's 11-year heartbeat. It draws on...

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