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Global Warming Is Increasing the Likelihood of Frost Damage in Vineyards – Yahoo Lifestyle

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A common retort to global warming (and one of the reasons many people prefer the term “climate change”) is “If the Earth is warming, what’s up with this cold?” All intended snark aside, it’s a question scientists are genuinely interested in: Weather patterns are extremely complicated (just ask your weather app that’s never right) and determining how individual incidents tie into larger climate shifts is difficult.

For instance, this past April, France was hit with a devastating frost, affecting 80 percent of vineyards with estimated damages of around $2 billion: not the kind of outcome you’d expect from a warming planet. But new analysis from a team of European researchers suggests that this damage was ultimately tied to climate change — not because April was so cold, but because March was so warm.

Frozen grapes

Frozen grapes

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Working with existing scientifically accepted models, the researchers explain that, without the impact of human-caused climate change, temperatures during that April frost actually could have been over 2 degrees Fahrenheit colder. So the month before is when the problem began: France was hit with record-breaking highs in March that caused the growing season to start early. This early bud burst, in turn, left the vines more vulnerable to a future cold spell — and in 2021, that meant “several hundreds of thousands of hectares” in damage, according to the French Ministry of Agriculture.

But isn’t this just bad luck? Though certainly not good luck, the researchers determined that the probability of this kind of vulnerability occurring is growing. “Overall, we conclude that human-caused climate change made the 2021 event 20 percent to 120 percent more likely,” the authors explained. This conclusion stems from their determination that the likelihood of early bud bursts is increasing at a rate faster than the decrease in potential spring cold spells.

“There is an apparent paradox: global warming can lead to increased frost damage!” Robert Vautard, senior scientist at the French National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS) and director of the Institut Pierre-Simon Laplace, stated, discussing the paper he co-authored. “Our results show that climate change is making both the growing season start earlier and frosts become warmer, but the former effect dominates over the latter. The consequence is that vineyards grow and mature faster now, but this leaves them more exposed to eventual colder snaps.”

Friederike Otto — associate director at the Environmental Change Institute at the University of Oxford and another co-author — spoke to the broader implications of their findings. “Our study is a good example of the fact that climate change affects the whole climate system,” she said. “But different components, with different magnitudes and rates of change, lead to threats that can be unexpected and go beyond heatwaves, droughts and floods.”

But what can be done about the problem? Unfortunately, the authors admit that wasn’t the goal of their study. “Our findings highlight that growing season frost damage is a potentially extremely costly impact of climate change already damaging the agricultural industry,” the paper concludes, “but to inform adaptation strategies for specific species impact-based modeling will need to complement our assessment.”

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NASA discovers double crater on the moon – CTV News

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The moon has a new double crater after a rocket body collided with its surface on March 4.

New images shared by NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, which has been circling the moon since 2009, have revealed the location of the unusual crater.

The impact created two craters that overlap, an eastern crater measuring 59 feet (18 metres) across and a western crater spanning 52.5 feet (16 metres). Together, they create a depression that is roughly 91.8 feet (28 metres) wide in the longest dimension.

Although astronomers expected the impact after discovering that the rocket part was on track to collide with the moon, the double crater it created was a surprise.

Typically, spent rockets have the most mass at the motor end because the rest of the rocket is largely just an empty fuel tank. But the double crater suggests that this object had large masses at both ends when it hit the moon.

The exact origin of the rocket body, a piece of space junk that had been careening around for years, is unclear, so the double crater could help astronomers determine what it was.

The moon lacks a protective atmosphere, so it’s littered with craters created when objects like asteroids regularly slam into the surface.

This was the first time a piece of space junk unintentionally hit the lunar surface that experts know of. But craters have resulted from spacecraft being deliberately crashed into the moon.

For example, four large moon craters attributed to the Apollo 13, 14, 15 and 17 missions are all much larger than each of the overlapping craters created during the March 4 impact. However, the maximum width of the new double crater is similar to the Apollo craters.

UNCLEAR ORIGIN

Bill Gray, an independent researcher focused on orbital dynamics and the developer of astronomical software, was first to spot the trajectory of the rocket booster.

Gray had initially identified it as the SpaceX Falcon rocket stage that launched the US Deep Space Climate Observatory, or DSCOVR, in 2015 but later said he’d gotten that wrong and it was likely from a 2014 Chinese lunar mission — an assessment NASA agreed with.

However, China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs denied the booster was from its Chang’e-5 moon mission, saying that the rocket in question burned up on reentry to Earth’s atmosphere.

No agencies systematically track space debris so far away from Earth, and the confusion over the origin of the rocket stage has underscored the need for official agencies to monitor deep-space junk more closely, rather than relying on the limited resources of private individuals and academics.

However, experts say that the bigger challenge is the space debris in low-Earth orbit, an area where it can collide with functioning satellites, create more junk and threaten human life on crewed spacecraft.

There are at least 26,000 pieces of space junk orbiting Earth that are the size of a softball or larger and could destroy a satellite on impact; over 500,000 objects the size of a marble — big enough to cause damage to spacecraft or satellites; and over 100 million pieces the size of a grain of salt, tiny debris that could nonetheless puncture a spacesuit, according to a NASA report issued last year.

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7 Amazing Dark Sky National Parks – AARP

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James Ronan/Getty Images/Steve Burns

Great Basin, Arches, and Voyageurs National Park

Can’t afford to join a commercial space mission offered by Jeff Bezos or Richard Branson? Consider the next best thing: seeing a starry, starry night in a sea of darkness, unimpeded by artificial light, at one of the International Dark Sky Parks in the U.S. It’s a rare treat, since light pollution prevents nearly 80 percent of Americans from seeing the Milky Way from their homes.

The International Dark-Sky Association (IDSA) has certified 14 of the nation’s 63 national parks as dark sky destinations. So visitors can take full advantage of such visibility, many of them offer specialized after-dark programs, from astronomy festivals and ranger-led full-moon walks to star parties and astrophotography workshops. If you prefer to stargaze on your own at a park, the National Park Service recommends bringing a pair of 7-by-50 binoculars, a red flashlight, which enhances night vision, and a star chart, which shows the arrangement of stars in the sky.

Here are seven of the IDSA-certified parks where you can appreciate how the heavens looked from the Earth before the dawn of electric light.




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Award-winning travel writer Veronica Stoddart is the former travel editor of USA Today. She has written for dozens of travel publications and websites.​​

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A Mystery Rocket Left A Crater On The Moon – Forbes

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While we think of the moon as a static place, sometimes an event happens that reminds us that things can change quickly.

On March 4, a human-made object (a rocket stage) slammed into the moon and left behind a double crater, as seen by NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) mission.

Officials announced June 23 that they spotted a double crater associated with the event. But what’s really interesting is there’s no consensus about what kind of rocket caused it.

China has denied claims that the rocket was part of a Long March 3 rocket that launched the country’s Chang’e-5 T1 mission in October 2014, although the orbit appeared to match. Previous speculation suggested it might be from a SpaceX rocket launching the DISCOVR mission, but newer analysis has mostly discredited that.

On a broader scale, the value of LRO observations like this is showing how the moon can change even over a small span of time. The spacecraft has been in orbit there since 2009 and has spotted numerous new craters since its arrival.

It’s also a great spacecraft scout, having hunted down the Apollo landing sites from orbit and also having tracked down a few craters from other missions that slammed into the moon since the dawn of space exploration.

It may be that humans return to the moon for a closer-up look in the coming decade, as NASA is developing an Artemis program to send people to the surface no earlier than 2025.

LRO will also be a valuable scout for that set of missions, as the spacecraft’s maps will be used to develop plans for lunar bases or to help scout safe landing sites for astronauts.

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