Scientists at the US Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) have developed Acoustic Buoys to monitor the changing environment in the Arctic.
The buoys provide oceanographic data to improve prediction capabilities of ocean and climate models. They validated sound propagation theories from Arctic researchers and will continue to guide theoretical studies in the Beaufort Sea from March 2020 to March 2021.
Altan Turgut, research physicist at the NRL, said, “Our job, in real time, does the tomography in the ocean with buoys. Every four hours they assimilate data into the ocean models.”
Ocean acoustic tomography uses soundwaves to image sections of ocean temperature and current.
Telecom company Vocus has doubled its business with Australia’s Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) with a four-year contract worth A$15.7m (US$10.4m).
Under the new contract, Vocus has retained all of its existing services to the bureau as well as being awarded the majority of its remaining sites.
Vocus will serve the majority of bureau sites through its own fiber network, working with broadband supplier nbn co and other network providers to reach sites beyond its network footprint.
Almost one third of new sites will be provided by nbn, with most of these being provided on nbn’s business satellite services.
The European Space Agency’s sun exploring spacecraft, Solar Orbiter, has sent its first measurements, confirming to scientists that its magnetometer is in good shape.
The UK-built Solar Orbiter was launched on Monday 10th February carrying 10 scientific instruments, four of which measure properties of the environment around the spacecraft, especially electromagnetic characteristics of the solar wind.
Ground controllers at the European Space Operations Centre in Darmstadt, Germany, switched on the magnetometer’s two sensors 21 hours after lift-off.
The instrument recorded data before, during and after the boom’s deployment, allowing scientists to understand the influence of the spacecraft on measurements in space.
The USA is on track to have its warmest winter since records began, according to data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).
Data from the US government agency’s monthly climate report showed that December 2019 and January 2020 – the first two months of meteorological winter – had been the warmest for the period in the contiguous USA since record-keeping began in 1895.
According to NOAA, the average national temperature for the first two of winter’s three months was 35.95°F (2.19°C). This is a slight increase on the previous record set between December 2005 and January 2006 and around 4.5°F warmer than the average winter of the 20th century.
NASA scientists have used planes equipped with specialist infrared imaging to study 20,000 square miles of Arctic landscape to detect methane hotspots.
Rising temperatures are causing permafrost to thaw, releasing methane and other greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, but scientists had to find a way of measuring it.
Scientists from NASA’s Arctic Boreal Vulnerability Experiment used planes equipped with the Airborne Visible Infrared Imaging Spectrometer – Next Generation to fly over the remote Arctic landscape to detect the hotspots.
Areas exceeding 3,000 parts per million of methane between the airborne sensor and the ground are classed as hotspots, and two million were detected.
Weather intelligence provider Baron has released fully customizable user-defined alerts for the Baron Threat Net suite.
The suite is an active weather monitoring and forecasting tool for public safety featuring operations center, mobile and web-based accessibility. Users can set location-based weather condition and forecast criteria to trigger text or email notifications. To set user-defined alerts, users select a weather parameter to monitor, choose the condition or forecast criteria to trigger an alert and it will be set when the conditions are met.
Alerts can be set for temperature, wind speed, relative humidity, wind chill, wet bulb globe, heat index, past 24-hour liquid accumulations, forecast air quality index, forecast accumulated precipitation, forecast precipitation rate and forecast web bulb globe.
The Geostationary Environment Monitoring Spectrometer jointly developed by Ball Aerospace and the Korea Aerospace Research Institute successfully launched on February 18, 2020.
Once operational in space, it will be the first air-quality sensor in geostationary orbit, where it will help monitor pollution events in the Korean peninsula and Asia-Pacific region.
Dr Makenzie Lystrup, vice president and general manager – civil space at Ball Aerospace, said, “GEMS is a result of more than 30 years of innovation in advanced spectrometers at Ball Aerospace. Data from GEMS will enable KARI’s mission to assess and forecast air pollution by identifying sources and distribution of pollutants in the atmosphere.”
Ball Aerospace led development under a contract with KARI for the National Institute of Environmental Research in the Ministry of Environment of South Korea.
An increase in the frequency and intensity of rainfall events as a result of climate change could lead to more landslides in the Himalayas, a new study has found.
The NASA-led study looked at satellite estimates and computer modeling of precipitation data to project the impact of changing rainfall patterns on landslide frequency in the High Mountain Asia region of China, Tibet and Nepal.
The region, which includes the Himalayas, stores more freshwater in its snow and glaciers than anywhere outside the polar regions.
According to the researchers the impact of increased landslides could be severe, especially in areas currently covered by glaciers and glacial lakes where cascading disasters like floods could impact communities hundreds of miles downstream.