Arctic and Antarctic ice loss will account for about one-fifth of the warming that is projected to happen in the tropics, according to a new study led by Mark England, a polar climate scientist at Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California San Diego, and Lorenzo Polvani, the Maurice Ewing and J. Lamar Worzel Professor of Geophysics at Columbia Engineering, England’s doctoral supervisor.
While there is a growing body of research showing how the loss of Arctic sea ice affects other parts of the planet, this study is the first to also consider the long-range effect of Antarctic sea ice melt, the research team said.
“We think this is a game-changer as it shows that ice loss at both poles is crucial to understanding future tropical climate change,” England said of the study funded by NASA and the National Science Foundation. “Our study will open a hitherto unexplored direction and motivate the science community to study the large effects that Antarctic sea ice loss will have on the climate system.”
The years 2017 and 2018 set records for minimum sea ice extent in Antarctica. England and colleagues from Columbia University’s School of Engineering, Colorado State University, and the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Colorado used computer simulations to see what scenarios play out near the equator if that decline continues through the end of the century. They found that Antarctic sea ice loss combines with Arctic sea ice loss to create unusual wind patterns in the Pacific Ocean that will suppress the upward movement of deep cold ocean water. This will trigger surface ocean warming, especially in the eastern equatorial Pacific Ocean. Warming there is a well-known hallmark of the El Niño climate pattern that often brings intense rains to North and South America and droughts to Australia and other western Pacific countries.
As that surface ocean water warms, it will also create more precipitation. Overall, the researchers believe the ice loss at both poles will translate to a warming of the surface ocean of 0.5? (0.9?) at the equator and add more than 0.3 millimeters (0.01 inches) of rain per day in the same region.
This study joins several new analyses of the global impact of polar ice loss, including a January analysis by Scripps Oceanography physicist Charles Kennel suggesting that shrinking Arctic ice might change key characteristics of El Niño in the future.
Disclaimer: AAAS and EurekAlert! are not responsible for the accuracy of news releases posted to EurekAlert! by contributing institutions or for the use of any information through the EurekAlert system.
CINDY DAY: Venus shows us the way – The Telegram
Early spring days are not always the brightest here on the coast and this past week certainly didn’t go against the grain.
A huge blanket of heavy, low cloud positioned itself between us and sun. Backyard astronomers didn’t fare any better but that’s about to change and the timing is great.
This weekend, we’ll be treated to something quite special – something that only happens once every eight years and it will be best seen this evening.
I’m not an expert, but thanks to mom’s love of the night sky, I can identify planets, some star clusters and constellations. One of my favourites is the Pleiades.
The Pleiades is an open star cluster containing middle-aged stars located in the constellation of Taurus. It is among the star clusters nearest Earth and is the cluster most obvious to the naked eye in the night sky. The brightest stars look a bit like a small “Big Dipper.” Even so, it can be tricky to locate.
Venus to the rescue! One of the easiest astronomical objects to identify in the night sky is the planet Venus – the second planet from the sun and the second-brightest natural object in the night sky after the moon.
Tonight, brilliant Venus will introduce us to the cluster of stars. The Pleiades have another name, which I love – the Seven Sisters. In Greek mythology, they are the seven daughters of the Titan Atlas and the Oceanid Pleione: Maia, Electra, Taygete, Celaeno, Alcyone, Sterope, and Merope.
This showy open cluster contains more than a thousand stars that are loosely bound by gravity, but it is visually dominated by a handful of its seven brightest members – the Seven Sisters.
This is the perfect time to let the universe remind us of its wonders.
Cindy Day is the chief meteorologist for SaltWire Network
NASA astronauts share their workout routine aboard the ISS to help motivate those on Earth living in isolation amid the coronavirus pandemic – msnNOW
Billions of people are under lockdown orders to limit the spread of coronavirus, forcing them to find creative ways to stay in shape at home -and a group who spends months in isolation has come to their aid.
Astronauts aboard the International Space Station (ISS) posted a video on Twitter sharing their workout routine from 250 miles above the Earth.
NASA’s Jessica Meir took the public on a tour of their makeshift equipment which includes a vacuum system that is similar to free-weights, a treadmill with bungee cords and a stationary bike without a seat or handlebars.
‘Studies have shown that exercise is vital only to your physical health but also to your mental well-being,’ Meir said in the clip.
‘You may need to get a little bit creative to get that heart rate elevated while at home without heading to the gym, but we are confident you can come up with something.’
The coronavirus, which began in China December 2019, has forced around 20 percent of the world’s population into their homes either by way of stay-at-home or quarantines.
Nearly every country has been infected by the disease – there are more than one million cases in the world and the death toll has surpassed 55,700.
During this anxious time, many are looking for ways relieve stress and have turned to exercise.
However, being stuck at home can be difficult to get a great workout in, but Meir and her team have shared their routine while they are also spending time in isolation.
Exercising in space poses unique challenges, but without exercise, astronauts can lose up to 15 percent of their muscle mass, some of it permanently.
Aboard the ISS is the Advanced Resistive Exercise Device (aRED), which, according to Meir, is the crew’s one-stop weight machine that uses two large vacuum tubes to generate the resistance.
The system uses a piston and flywheel system to simulate free-weight exercises in normal gravity to work all the major muscle groups through squats, dead lifts and calf raises.
Astronauts have reported see similar results to using free-weights.
‘While aRED’s primary goal is to maintain muscle strength and mass, resistive exercise also helps astronauts increase endurance for physically demanding tasks such as space walks, NASA explained in a statement.
The crew also needs to do some cardiovascular exercises, which is done using a small treadmill or stationary bike –but they are different than what you see at your own gym.
The treadmill aboard the ship is designed to allow astronauts to run without vibrating the equipment.
It is also equip with a harness that is connected to bungee cords, which keep the runner in place while in the microgravity.
‘One of the interesting thing we like to point to people on the ground that it is a bicycle, but we don’t’ have a seat and we don’t have handle bars,’ Meir said as she strapped herself into the bike and grabbed onto handles attached to the wall.
NASA astronaut Scott Kelly who spent nearly a year on the ISS has also shared his best advice for surviving isolation.
The retired astronaut spent a total of 520 days on the space station, with his longest mission lasting 340 days from March 27, 2015 to March 1, 2016.
Kelly says the one thing he missed the most during his year on the ISS was being able to go outside, particularly the smell, sound and sights of nature.
He says people should also follow a schedule, have a hobby, keep a journal, binge-watch TV series and ‘get plenty of sleep’ when forced to stay indoors.
He said other astronauts on the ISS would play recordings of Earth sounds, like birds and resulting trees on a loop to bring themselves back to Earth.
‘I actually started to crave nature – the color green, the smell of fresh dirt, and the feel of warm sun on my face,’ he told the New York Times.
‘You don’t need to work out two and a half hours a day, as astronauts do, but getting moving once a day should be part of your quarantine schedule (just stay at least six feet away from others),’ he added.
Earth Is Vibrating Substantially Less Because There's So Little Activity Right Now – ScienceAlert
Flights are grounded. Fewer trains are running. Rush hour is gone. The world – particularly in cities – is looking drastically different during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
According to seismologists, that drastic reduction in human hustle and bustle is causing the Earth to move substantially less. The planet is ‘standing still’.
Thomas Lecocq, a geologist and seismologist at the Royal Observatory in Belgium, noticed that the country’s capital Brussels is experiencing a 30 to 50 percent reduction in ambient seismic noise since the lockdowns began, as CNN reports.
That means data collected by seismologists is becoming more accurate, capable of detecting even the smallest tremors – despite the fact that many of the scientific instruments in use today are near city centers.
“You’ll get a signal with less noise on top, allowing you to squeeze a little more information out of those events,” Andy Frassetto, a seismologist at the Incorporated Research Institutions for Seismology in Washington DC told Nature.
But seismologists collecting data from remote stations far away from human civilization might not see a change at all, according to Nature.
Regardless, a significant drop in seismic noise also shows that we’re at least doing one thing right during the current pandemic: staying in the safety of our own homes as we wait for the virus to run its course.
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