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The Arkive
 
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Regine Humanics Foundation Ltd Publishes The Humanion and The Humanion Portable Daily among doing other things: We do not and shall not accept fundings or contributions from any type, form, manner and layer of Governments of national, international, supra-national or any other type or bodies formed by them nor from rich individuals or bodies or agencies of any kind. This, to us, is as a matter of absolute philosophic principle to ensure our resolute and complete independence. The ways, in which, we invite support from the readers, members of the public and all other individuals and agencies and businesses of any kind, are: a: Voluntary Subscription Payments: b: Voluntary Contributions: c: The Minimal and Symbolic Membership Fees to Our Regineumanics Family: d: Buying a Copy of The Long Walk to Humanics: e: Contributing to Our Events and f: Advertisement in The Humanion. We say it here and invite you for your support and we do not keep asking you on every page your visit to read the materials. You make a conscious, wilful and philosophic choice to Support The Humanion and The Foundation. If, you do: thank you: If, you do not, thank you, too, for reading The Humanion. The world has, apparently, accepted that Capitalism is the High Pinnacle of All Systems and, some still dream that Marxism will rescue humanity from this Killing Mechanism Capitalism, we refuse to subscribe to that and Humanics is the Post-Marxist and Post-Capitalistic World View of What Humanity can be and what it can do and how infinitely better a human condition can be created in a Humanical Society, by eradicating ownership and money and by establishing belongingship in human enterprise, setting all humans at liberty and equality under the rule of law in natural justice with a direct form of democracy, humanics calls it, Humanicsovics, in which, each human soul is her:his own High Representative. In this, Humanics is the Minority Vision and, in this, we do not and can not expect millions and billions of people supporting our vision today but We Whole-Heartedly Believe That ONE DAY This Humanity Shall BE ALL HUMANICAL: By When: We Know Not But This: That Being a Monstrous Killing Mechanism Capitalism IS Unsustainable: But the World Shall Change One Day and Every Change Begins with an Idea, with a Vision: We invite you to Envision the Vision of Humanics and Support The Humanion and The Foundation to Keep Taking Forward the Vision of Humanics for an Infinitely Better Humanity in an Infinitely Better Human Condition for All Humanity Across Mother Earth. Thank You. || Join The Humanion Team ||

First Published: September 24: 2015
The Humanion

 

 

The Mother Earth

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Earth Arkive

 

 

Dear Γαῖα,



In days 365.256 you have travelled many a mile if I write you
A letter you won’t be able to read for you do only live in my
Imagination yet I write you a letter to say that that’s just a year
In human terms and you’ve clocked silentine 584 million miles

With a speed of 29.78 km:s or 18.50 m:s or 107,200 km:h or
66,600 mph in short that’s a year gone and you begin again
The Sun stays far away at 92.957 million miles as you would
Go following laws unfailing turning and twirling a butterfly

In the magnum darkness a butterfly of light blue and white
I call you Dhoritthree Γαῖα Terra but you remain silent as
People speak in so many a tongue marking up countries

And nations so many jackets they find but I found you as
Mine yet you do not speak nor do many speak your tongue
Of silence in which you are my poetry-iris playing my soul

The Poet

January 01:2016: Munayem Mayenin

 

Mother Earth Rise: Posted: December 19: 2015 NASA:Goddard:Arizona State University Image

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This Background Image is Modified from a high-definition image of Earth taken by Japan’s Kaguya lunar orbiter in November 2007.Image: JAXA: NHK

The Earth Climate Change and Global Warming: What Capitalism Has Made: Mother Earth Has Only Her Younglings Working With Wisdom to Protect Her While the Older Ones Are Seeking to Copy Nero As the Earth Keeps on Burning the Ecology of Life: The Youth of the World Holds the Future of Humanity In Their Hands: It Is Capitalism That Has Brought Us Here But It Can Not Lead Us Out Unless It Is Transformed to Serve Humanity and the Earth

 

 

|| Friday: September 20: 2019 || ά. The world is witnessing the reversal of the roles where the older generations have gone ‘senile’ as the centre of learning and wisdom moves to a better home: into the hearts, minds and souls of the younger generations of all humanity, who are showing the courage, wisdom and choice as to what ought to be done.  

The whole young world of humanity has erupted against inaction, complacency, corruption, collusion and lethargy in the entire establishment of the world’s states and governments about the absolute urgency and highest-most desperation for humanity to act against climate change and global warming. These young voices have gathered together onto the streets of cities and towns across the Mother Earth, that is what we, must, begin to call this terribly abused Earth. It this Earth, that is our true Mother for she sustains us.

And when we bring her to choke and bleed away our sustenance and protection choke and bleed away with her, too. This is where we have arrived or, rather, we have been brought to, by the mindless, irrational and anti-nature political economic system of capitalism. It has infinite greed for profiteering, it has mindless but infinite arrogance, that drives it to go like a bull to keep on going despite the consequences of its actions and it has devastated all expressions of the environment, it has kept at it for centuries and now the Earth, our Mother Earth, has been made terminally sick and as she chokes, burns and bleeds, we humanity across her spread are doing the same.

Until and unless we accept this capitalistic, this consumeristic, this irrational, this anti-nature system of economics, must, change, must be transformed into one, that serves all humanity and the whole world and the whole earth, it will keep on going, expanding inequality, enforcing fear and disempowerment and helplessness of being not at liberty for humanity. It will continue its greed-march of infinite consumerism and profiteering and it will continue to do everything, that keeps on harming both the earth and the humanity on it. The task before the youth is to bring about political philosophical viewpoint, debates and discussions before the public discourse. It is not about anger but, about rationality, reason, logic, mathematics, science, common sense and evidence, with which to bring about change in the political, economical, social and cultural  reality.

Anger is easy while it is cheap; to transform it into a political philosophy, a political economics and a sociology is hard work. These are complex issues, vital and fundamental issues, that requires as much attention, study and time and resources. Yes, the world leaders and the leaders of the world’s states and governments are failing and many there are, who are seeking to target them and create sensationalism; except, these leaders and their parties and the states and governments they lead are dictated, directed and herded by the money machine of capitalism and a whole lot of outlets, owned by their rich masters, are at work, creating mythologies, lies, falsehoods and fabrications and propaganda against the truth, against science, reason and evidence. It is capitalism, that the youth need to identify as the enemy of the people, of all peoples and all nations of earth and of all humanity. It is this system, that does everything the wrong way round, because it is anti-nature, it is irrational and it is anti-common sense.

However, these leaders, these bodies, these entire establishments follow and can not but obey the ‘power of the people’, that are the ‘market’, which is the power, that the young people must harness. Senator A and his Party will be wiped out at an election, were his constituents to rise up against his standing and his party. But currently, these senators and their parties allwhere in the world are able to direct, dictate, herd and manipulate us to vote for them and we do. This is where the power lies and this power must we learn to herness and unleash. This is the revolution, that needs to happen. This is the only acceptable, lawful and democratic means for rational humanity to bring about seismic changes, that humanity require. There is no other way but this: reason can not seek justice with irrationality, mobbing, violence or bloodshed!

Take an example: five, ten years ago, people were looking at people, who were saying the future of energy was going to be solar, wind and all other green energy, as, if, they were absolute bonkers! Now, the tide has turned simply because of the market: the green and renewables have arrived in the scene, that can and do produce clean and green power and it is terribly competitive, which has been turning the tide. No one, no market, no bank, no PR company, no financial adviser, can dare go against this. Those, who fail to follow this will perish away and disappear. There is such a thing now, facing such companies, business, trade and commerce, dinosaur economics, such as, fossil fuel, coal etc. The next dinosaur economics, must be, the distorteddia conglomerate and the entire range of companies, selling the same thing to people, every few months, which the people do not need to buy as many times. We have, already, mentioned, mobile phones; these should be made and sold to last for decades and they should be easily and cheaply repairable and serviceable. 

Humanity ought to be led towards re-empowerment by the younger generations and they ought to harness the power of that market of the people. Companies and bodies, that produce anything to sell, if, they harm the earth and life and humanity, should disappear and they shall disappear were we, the humanity, to be empowered enough to direct them out of the market because we are not going to buy any product or service, that harm. We are not going buy the same mobile phone three times a year! We are not going to invest in any economic activity, that harm. We are not going to waste natural, financial and human resources into things, that are a waste and a harm.

Once, that is done, the market does not behave the way the rich want it to but the way the people, the humanity want it to behave. Likewise, to change or, rather to force the leaders and states and governments and all other agencies and their leaderships, the way we change the market is to empower humanity through expanding, enhancing democratic system of governance and democratic culture so that manipulation, direction, dictation and herding of people do not and can not get to happen at elections so that these leaders face a terminal choice: either they change or they face political death or slaughter. There is no other way the world can be changed: there is no other way but to transform capitalism to become a statutorily regulated system of economics, whose purpose of existence is to serve humanity and not the rich.

Further empowerment means ought to be part of today’s youth movement: demand Universal Education, Universal Healthcare, Universal Income, Universal Suffrage for all over 16 young people of the world and Universal Foundational Human Rights, all of which will empower humanity and take the earth from beneath the feet and prowess of those, that now lead the ruination of the earth and of the world humanity in, with, by and under capitalism, against whom the youth are on the streets.

This is the way we can change the world, this is the way we can save the earth and this humanity, for the vast majority of whom capitalism has sentenced with the enforcement and distribution of a live-in-life-sentence of misery, agony, suffering, hardship and pain while the rich keep on destroying the earth and devastate the world. This is where the future of humanity, if, we have any future left, is headed and the leadership is at the hands of these younger generation of humanity across the Mother Earth. The youth of all humanity of all the world has the pen to write this future: write it the way you are doing today and keep on going.:::ω.

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New Research Finds: By the End of the Century the Blue Planet May Not Remain As Such: Climate Change Will Cause Much of the Ocean to Change Colour

 

 

|| February 11: 2019: University of Southampton News || ά. Shifts in the ocean’s colour can signal significant changes to phytoplankton, tiny organisms, floating on its surface, due to climate change, a new study finds. Such colour changes can be detected by satellites, orbiting the Earth, providing early warning of wide-scale changes to marine eco-systems as a result of rising global temperatures. Writing in Nature Communications, researchers report that they have developed a global model, that simulates the growth and interaction of different species of phytoplankton or algae and how the mix of species in various marine locations will change as temperatures rise around the world.

The researchers simulated the effects global warming has on the make-up of phytoplankton and found that by the end of the century more than half of the world’s oceans will change significantly in colour. Blue regions, such as, the sub-tropics, just north and just south of the equator, will become an even deeper blue, reflecting less phytoplankton and, life in general, in those waters, compared with today. Some regions, that are greener today, such as, those near the poles, may, turn, even, deeper green, as warmer temperatures brew up larger volumes of more diverse phytoplankton. The research was led by Ms Stephanie Dutkiewicz at Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

The ocean’s colour depends on how sunlight interacts with whatever is in the water. Water molecules alone absorb, almost, all sunlight, except, for the blue part of the spectrum, which is reflected back out. Hence, relatively barren open-ocean regions appear as deep blue from space. If, there are any organisms in the ocean, they can absorb and reflect different wavelengths of light, depending on their individual properties.

Phytoplankton contain chlorophyll, a pigment, which absorbs, mostly, in the blue portions of sunlight to produce carbon for photosynthesis and less in the green portions and, as such, reflects more green light back out of the ocean, giving algae-rich regions a greenish hue.

For around twenty years, satellites have taken continuous measurements of the ocean’s colour. Scientists have used these measurements to derive the amount of chlorophyll and, by extension, phytoplankton, in a given ocean region. But chlorophyll changes do not necessarily signal climate change, they could, also, be due to due to natural, weather-related events.

Therefore, the group tweaked a computer model, that it has used in the past to predict phytoplankton changes with rising temperatures. This model takes information about phytoplankton, such as, what they consume and how they grow and incorporates this information into a model, that simulates the oceans' activities.

The researchers added a new element to the model: the ability to estimate the specific wavelengths of light, that are absorbed and reflected by the ocean, depending on the amount and type of organisms in a given region. When they compared results of their model to actual measurements of reflected light, that satellites had taken in the past, they found the two agreed well enough that the model could be used to predict the ocean’s colour as environmental conditions change in the future.

According to this model, climate change is, already, changing the makeup of phytoplankton and, by extension, the colour of the oceans. By the end of the century, our blue planet, may, look visibly altered.

Others co-authors of research include Ms Anna Hickman, Ms Claudie Beaulieu and Ms Stephanie Henson of the University of Southampton.:::ω.

|| Readmore || 120219 || Up || 

 
The World Simply Is Not On Track to Slow Climate Change This Year: The World Meteorological Organisation

 

 

|| November 29: 2018 || ά. ‘’The world is heading in the wrong direction to slow climate change after another year of near-record temperatures.’’ the Head of the World Meteorological Organisation:WMO, said on Thursday. “We are not on track to meet climate change targets and rein in temperature increases.” said Professor Petteri Taalas, the Secretary-General of WMO. Data from five independent global temperature monitors, which formed the basis of the latest annual WMO Statement on the State of the Climate report, indicated that this year was on course to be the fourth highest on record.

“Greenhouse gas concentrations are, once again, at record levels and, if, the current trend continues we, may, see temperature increases 03-05 degrees centigrade by the end of the century. If, we exploit all known fossil fuel resources, the temperature rise will be considerably higher.” he said. Worryingly, the 20 warmest years on record have been in the past 22 years, with the top four in the past four years. “It is worth repeating, once again, that we are the first generation to fully understand climate change and the last generation to be able to do something about it.” Professor Taalas said.

The WMO Secretary-General’s comments support the findings of another authoritative global body, The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change:IPCC. In its Report on Global Warming of 01.5°C, it concluded that the average global temperature in the decade prior to 2015 was 0.86 degrees centigrade above pre-industrial levels.

Between 2014 and 2018, however, this average has risen to 01.04 degrees centigrade above the pre-industrial baseline, IPCC’s experts wrote in the Report. “These are more than just numbers.” said WMO Deputy Secretary-General, Ms Elena Manaenkova, She noted that every fraction of a degree of warming made a difference to human health and access to food and fresh water.

The extinction of many animals and plants, also, hinged on global warming, the WMO official insisted, along with the survival of coral reefs and marine life.

“It makes a difference to economic productivity, food security and to the resilience of our infrastructure and cities.” Ms Manaenkova said. “It makes a difference to the speed of glacier melt and water supplies and the future of low-lying islands and coastal communities. Every extra bit matters.”

WMO’s Report adds to the scientific evidence, that will inform climate change negotiations from December 02-14 in Katowice, Poland. The key objective is to adopt the implementation guidelines of the Paris Agreement on Climate Change, which aims to hold the global average temperature increase to as close as possible to 01.5 degrees centigrade.

This target is possible, according to the IPCC, but it would require unprecedented changes in our lifestyle, energy and transport systems. Highlighting the economic impact of higher global temperatures, WMO noted that many countries were increasingly aware of the potential problems.

This included in the United States, where a recent federal report detailed how climate change is already affecting the environment, agriculture, energy, land and water resources, in addition to transport, people’s health and welfare.

A just-published United Kingdom assessment, also, warned that summer temperatures could be up to 05.4 degrees centigrade hotter and summer rainfall could decrease by up to 47 per cent by 2070.

In Switzerland, famed for its mountains and skiing, national weather experts warned earlier this month that the country was becoming hotter and drier. In addition, it is expected to struggle with heavier rainfall in the future and less snow.

Caption: The Earth, an image created from photographs taken by the Suomi NPP satellite: Image: NASA.:::ω.

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Luna Where Are You: Hear Me There Near You
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

|| October 18: 2018 || ά. A facility, planned for ESA’s Astronaut Centre:EAC in Cologne, Germany, will recreate the Moon’s surface on Earth. Analogue environments, that replicate aspects of space on Earth provide a valuable test-bed for tools and concepts, as well as, a location for research and a training ground for astronauts. Luna will, also, benefit from proximity to the facilities and expertise of the EAC and German Aerospace Centre, DLR, making it a most attractive site for preparing for human exploration of the Moon.

While it is still very early days for Luna development, researchers at the Astronaut Centre have already identified a lunar dust substitute, comprised of volcanic powder from eruptions from the nearby Eifel volcanic region around 45 million years ago. This will be used to simulate the lunar surface and initial designs for a moon habitat known as, Future Lunar Exploration Habitat, where astronauts will live and work are expected by the end of 2018.

ESA Project Manager for Strategic Planning and Future Development, Mr Andreas Diekmann shares how the three-part lunar analogue facility, Luna, will help Europe go farther in space. Mr Diekmann says that Luna will combine a 1000 m2 area of simulated lunar soil with a moon habitat, powered by an innovative energy system, representative of what could be used for a lunar base.

“The Moon is a major focus for ESA and the next step for human exploration.” he says. “Developed in partnership with DLR, Luna will help us build our expertise, prepare for missions to the Moon and provide a platform for researchers across Europe to test technology and procedures.”

Representatives from ESA, DLR and Air Liquide Advanced Technologies signed a partnership agreement around energy storage and provision on October 02.

Solar energy has been identified as the most sustainable option for a moon base. During the lunar day, energy from the Sun will be used directly via photovoltaic panels but it will, also, be used to split water into hydrogen and oxygen. These two elements will, then, be stored separately before being recombined in a fuel cell for use during the two-week-long lunar nights.:::ω.

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The Aurora's Ark

Image: Courtesy ESA and by Dave Markel Photography

|| April 21: 2017 || ά. The ground-based imagers and ESA’s magnetic field Swarm mission has captured this purple streak of light in the night sky. Originally thought to be a ‘proton arc’, this strange feature has been called Steve. While there is still a lot to learn about Steve, the electric field instrument carried on the Swarm mission has measured it. And here, The Humanion presents it with a new name: The Aurora's Ark.

Flying through Steve, the temperature 300 km above Earth’s surface jumped by 3000°C and the data revealed a 25 km-wide ribbon of gas flowing westward at about six km:s compared to a speed of about 10 m:s either side of the ribbon. ω.

Whatever Your Field of Work and Wherever in the World You are, Please, Make a Choice to Do All You Can to Seek and Demand the End of Death Penalty For It is Your Business What is Done in Your Name. The Law That Makes Humans Take Part in Taking Human Lives and That Permits and Kills Human Lives is No Law. It is the Rule of the Jungle Where Law Does Not Exist. The Humanion

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This is No Mars: This is the Driest Place on Mother Earth

Chile's Atacama Desert is the driest place on Earth and a ready analogue for Mars' rugged, arid terrain. Image: NASA:JPL-Caltech

 

|| April 20: 2017 || ά. Few places are as hostile to life as Chile's Atacama Desert. It's the driest place on Earth and only the hardiest microbes survive there. Its rocky landscape has lain undisturbed for eons, exposed to extreme temperatures and radiation from the sun. If you can find life here, you might be able to find it in an even harsher environment like the surface of Mars. That's why a team of researchers from NASA and several universities visited the Atacama in February. They spent 10 days testing devices, that could one day be used to search for signs of life on other worlds.

That group included a team from NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, working on a portable chemistry lab, called, the Chemical Laptop. With just a small water sample, the Laptop can check for amino acids, the organic molecules, that are widespread in our solar system and considered the building blocks of all life, as we know it. Liquid-based analysis techniques have been shown to be orders of magnitude more sensitive than gas-based methods for the same kinds of samples. But when you scoop up a sample from Mars, the amino acids you're looking for will be trapped inside of or chemically bonded to minerals.

To break down those bonds, JPL has designed another piece of technology, a subcritical water extractor, that would act as the 'front end' for the Laptop. This extractor uses water to release the amino acids from a soil sample, leaving them ready to be analysed by the Chemical Laptop. "These two pieces of technology work together so that we can search for bio-signatures in solid samples on rocky or icy worlds." said Mr Peter Willis of JPL, the project's Principal Investigator. "The Atacama served as a proving ground to see how this technology would work on an arid planet like Mars."

Willis' team revisited an Atacama site he first went to in 2005. At that time, the extractor he used was manually operated; in February, the team used an automated extractor designed by Florian Kehl, a postdoctoral researcher at JPL. The extractor ingests soil and regolith samples and mixes them with water. Then, it subjects the samples to high pressure and temperature to get the organics out.

"At high temperatures, water has the ability to dissolve the organic compounds from the soil." Kehl said. "Think of a tea bag: in cold water, not much happens. But when you add hot water, the tea releases an entire bouquet of molecules that gives the water a particular flavour, colour and smell." To remove the amino acids from those minerals, the water has to get much hotter than your ordinary cup of tea. Kehl said that the extractor was currently able to reach temperatures as high as 392 degrees Fahrenheit, 200 degrees Celsius.

''Liquid samples would be more readily available on ocean worlds like Jupiter's moon Europa.'' Kehl said. There, the extractor might still be necessary, as amino acids could be bonded to minerals mixed into the ice. They, may be, present as part of larger molecules, which the extractor could break into smaller building blocks before analysing them with the Chemical Laptop. Once the extractor has prepared its samples, the Laptop can do its work.

The Chemical Laptop checks liquid samples for a set of 17 amino acids, what the team refers to as 'the Signature 17'. By looking at the types, amounts and geometries of these amino acids in a sample, it's possible to infer the presence of life. "All these molecules 'like' being in water." said Fernanda Mora of JPL, the Chemical Laptop's Lead Scientist. "They dissolve in water and they don't evaporate easily, so they're much easier to detect in water."

The Laptop mixes liquid samples with a fluorescent dye, which attaches to amino acids and makes it possible to detect them when illuminated by a laser. Then, the sample is injected onto a separation microchip. A voltage is applied between the two ends of the channel, causing the amino acids to move at different speeds towards the end, where the laser is shining. Amino acids can be identified by how quickly they move through the channel. As the molecules pass through the laser, they emit light that is used to quantify how much of each amino acid is present.

"The idea is to automate and miniaturise all the steps you would do manually in a chemistry lab on Earth." Mora said. "That way, we can do the same analyses on another world simply by sending commands with a computer."

The near-term goal is to integrate the extractor and Chemical Laptop into a single, automated device. It would be tested during future field campaigns to the Atacama Desert with a team of researchers led by Brian Glass of NASA's Ames Research Centre in Mountain View, California.

"These are some of the hardest samples to analyze you can get on the planet." Mora said of the team's work in the Atacama. She added that in the future, the team wanted to test this technology in icy environments like Antarctica. Those could serve as analogues to Europa and other ocean worlds, where liquid samples would be more readily plentiful.

Andrew Good: Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif: 818-393-2433: andrew.c.good at jpl.nasa.gov

: Editor: Tony Greicius: NASA:
ω.

Whatever Your Field of Work and Wherever in the World You are, Please, Make a Choice to Do All You Can to Seek and Demand the End of Death Penalty For It is Your Business What is Done in Your Name. The Law That Makes Humans Take Part in Taking Human Lives and That Permits and Kills Human Lives is No Law. It is the Rule of the Jungle Where Law Does Not Exist. The Humanion

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Banned Industrial Solvent Sheds New Light on the Unexplained Rise in Methane Level

Sprouting fava beans at FAO Headquarters, Rome. Image: FAO:Claudia Nicolai

 

|| April 18: 2017: University of Bristol News || ά. Since 2007, scientists have been searching to find the cause of a sudden and unexpected global rise in atmospheric methane, a potent greenhouse gas, following almost a decade, in which concentrations had stayed relatively constant. Recent studies have explored a range of possible causes. Suggestions have included a rise in oil and natural gas extraction, increased emissions from tropical wetlands or increases in emissions from growing East Asian economies.

However, a new paper by an international team of scientists in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences investigates an alternative possibility: a rise and fall in the concentration of the substance, that destroys methane in the atmosphere, the hydroxyl radical. Lead Author, Dr Matt Rigby, from the University of Bristol’s School of Chemistry and Cabot Institute, said, "A change in the hydroxyl radical concentration would be a neat explanation for the changes in methane that we’ve seen. It would mean that emissions may not have increased suddenly in 2007, but rather, risen more gradually over the last couple of decades."

Since the global concentration of the hydroxyl radical cannot be measured directly, the team’s findings were made by studying the rate at which the solvent methyl chloroform, which is also destroyed by hydroxyl, was removed from the atmosphere. Professor Ron Prinn from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, who co-authored the paper and leads the Advanced Global Atmospheric Gases Experiment:AGAGE, an international project that measures greenhouse gas concentrations, said, "We have been monitoring trends in the methyl chloroform for nearly 40 years because of its role in depleting stratospheric ozone.

Because methyl chloroform is now banned under the Montreal Protocol for the Protection of the Stratospheric Ozone Layer, we’ve seen its concentration drop very rapidly. We can examine how this rate of decline changes from one year to the next to infer the hydroxyl radical concentration."

Dr Steve Montzka, from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration:NOAA, who has co-authored the paper and who operates an independent measurement network for methylchloroform, said, "This paper re-examines some of the assumptions that had previously been made in studies of hydroxyl radical and methyl chloroform and shows how they influence our understanding of methane’s atmospheric sink.

To me, one of the main findings is that our objective analyses of two sets of observations tells essentially the same story, even as it becomes more and more difficult to measure methyl chloroform given that its concentration is approaching zero."

Dr Rigby said that there was still uncertainty remaining. He explained, "Whilst there are strong hints in our study that hydroxyl radical changes could be playing a significant role in the fluctuations in methane growth, our uncertainties are very large.

"In future, we need to think about new ways to reduce this uncertainty, if we are to truly understand changes in atmospheric methane." The study led to a more certain, but unexpected finding that is that emissions of methyl chloroform had not dropped to zero.

Dr Rigby said, "Because its production is now banned globally, we were expecting to see no emissions of this substance at all. However, we have very strong evidence that emissions are continuing."

The team is preparing a follow-up study that would determine where these emissions are originating. Meanwhile, they are continuing to monitor methane in the atmosphere, and are waiting to see whether its current rate of increase will continue.

Paper: 'The role of atmospheric oxidation in recent methane growth' by M. Rigby et al in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences

The Cabot Institute: The Cabot Institute carries out fundamental and responsive research on risks and uncertainties in a changing environment. We drive new research in the interconnected areas of climate change, natural hazards, water and food security, low carbon energy and future cities. Our research fuses rigorous statistical and numerical modelling with a deep understanding of social, environmental and engineered systems, past, present and future. We seek to engage wider society by listening to, exploring with, and challenging our stakeholders to develop a shared response to 21st Century challenges.
ω.

Whatever Your Field of Work and Wherever in the World You are, Please, Make a Choice to Do All You Can to Seek and Demand the End of Death Penalty For It is Your Business What is Done in Your Name. The Law That Makes Humans Take Part in Taking Human Lives and That Permits and Kills Human Lives is No Law. It is the Rule of the Jungle Where Law Does Not Exist. The Humanion

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The Mother Earth Day 2017: April 22

NASA JPL employees Karla Miller, Susan Bell and Pat Brennan share their adopted pieces, three of the 64,000
locations on Earth available. Which one will you get? Image: NASA:JPL:Arielle Samuelson
 


|| April 09: 2017: Ellen Grey Writing || ά. Well, it started on April 06. NASA invites people around the world to join in the celebration of the Mother Earth Day 2017, on April 22 by 'adopting' one of 64,000 individual pieces of Earth as seen from space. NASA continually looks outward to find and learn about planets in our solar system and beyond but no planet is better studied than the one we actually live on. Our fleet of 18 Earth science missions in space, supported by aircraft, ships and ground observations, measure aspects of the environment that touch the lives of every person around the world.

Beginning on April 06, you and your neighbours will be able to share in learning about the fine details, that make up our global environment by 'adopting' a small part of our home planet. You'll receive a personalised adoption certificate for your unique numbered piece of Earth, on average 55 miles wide, to print and share. The certificate features NASA Earth science data collected for that location, a view of the planet in a light you’ve never seen before. Visit go.nasa.gov/adopt to adopt your piece of the planet and explore a corner of the world.

Our goal is to have the entire planet adopted by Earth Day, April 22. Once all 64,000 pieces are adopted, we'll start again from the top, so everyone, who wants to participate will be able to do so. NASA studies our planet in many ways, from the air we breathe, to rain and snow that provide water for agriculture and communities, to natural disasters such as droughts and floods, to the oceans, which cover 70 percent of Earth’s surface and provide food for many people around the world.

NASA's view of Earth from space gives a perspective that can't be gained from the ground. Satellites circle the whole globe, seeing both where people live and those remote parts of deserts, mountains and the vast oceans that are difficult if not impossible to visit. With instruments in space, scientists can get data for the whole globe in detail that they can't get anywhere else.

Once you’ve adopted your piece, you can explore an interactive world map and print certificates from other locations like your hometown or favorite vacation spot. You can also take a deep dive into the data of any place on Earth by following a link to NASA's Worldview website.

In Worldview you will be able to view images that highlight the amount of vegetation on land or view air quality measurements. You can see how far air pollution and soot from fires or volcanoes have travelled from land to the ocean or how much sea ice is present in the Arctic and Antarctic. Most imagery is available within a few hours of satellites passing overhead. In addition, you can see how your piece of Earth has changed through time, as many data products span almost 30 years. These are the same data sets scientists use to study our changing planet.

Worldview is a web-based application for interactively browsing global, full-resolution satellite imagery and downloading the underlying data. Worldview is part of NASA's Earth Observing System Data and Information System, which is responsible for making our large repository of data accessible and free of cost to the public. Collectively, U.S. government agencies, including NASA, are the largest provider of civil Earth science data in the world.

To adopt your piece of Earth, visit: go.nasa.gov/adopt

: Editor: Karl Hille: NASA:
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Whatever Your Field of Work and Wherever in the World You are, Please, Make a Choice to Do All You Can to Seek and Demand the End of Death Penalty For It is Your Business What is Done in Your Name. The Law That Makes Humans Take Part in Taking Human Lives and That Permits and Kills Human Lives is No Law. It is the Rule of the Jungle Where Law Does Not Exist. The Humanion

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New Study Analyses Biggest Threats to Southeast Asian Biodiversity

Image: Bournemouth University


|| April 02: 2017: Chinese Academy of Sciences News || ά. Deforestation rates in Southeast Asia are some of the highest anywhere on Earth and the rate of mining is the highest in the tropics. The region has a number of hydropower dams under construction and consumption of species for traditional medicines is particularly pronounced. These issues are not unique to Southeast Asia, of course, as they are symptomatic of those facing tropical regions around the globe. But a new study published in the journal Ecosphere analysing all of the threats to Southeast Asia’s biodiversity concludes that the region 'may be, under some of the greatest levels of biotic threat'.

“Of all regional threats the two main drivers of biodiversity loss in the Asian tropics are hunting and trade and habitat loss.” Alice Hughes, an Associate Professor in Landscape Ecology and Conservation with the Chinese Academy of Sciences and the study’s Author, said.  Hughes found that, region-wide, Southeast Asia has lost 14.5 percent of its forests in the last 15 years and may have already lost more than 50 percent of its original forest cover. Some areas, including parts of Indonesia, are projected to lose up to 98 percent of their forests by 2022 and the habitat for wildlife that it represents.

The main drivers of this forest loss is conversion for agriculture: rubber, oil palm and pulp and paper plantations have proliferated throughout Southeast Asia, which now supplies significant amounts of each of these commodities to the global market, indeed, for both palm oil and pulp and paper, Southeast Asia is the source of nearly 90 percent of the global supply. The pace of land conversion is not set to slow anytime soon, either, the total area used for rubber plantations alone is projected to expand by between 04.3 and 08.5 million hectares, 10.6 and 21 million acres, by 2024 in order to meet growing demand.

Habitat loss is, also, driven by the construction of dams, and Southeast Asian countries plan to build several in the coming years. There are currently 78 dams planned for the Mekong Delta that, if built, are projected to reduce the number of migratory fish by 20 to 70 percent while flooding terrestrial habitats and causing regional droughts.

“The drainage of Asia’s wetlands presents a further set of dangers, particularly due to their importance to more than 50 million migratory wading birds that depend on them for migration and breeding. Around 80% of Southeast Asian wetlands are threatened by conversion to agricultural land or development by drainage. Up to 45% of intertidal wetlands have already been lost. This has so far caused population reductions of up to 79% in some wading species.”

The second of the top two threats to Southeast Asian biodiversity identified by Hughes in the study is hunting and the illegal wildlife trade. Another study published last September actually found hunting to be an even bigger threat to the region’s biodiversity than deforestation. Wildlife collection in the region is driven by bushmeat hunting and the use of wild animals and their parts in traditional medicine, for ornamental purposes and for the pet trade.

“The intensity of demand has resulted in the loss of all mammals of over, two kilograms, in the majority of unprotected forests across the region, whilst many bird and herptiles are under major threat as pets, and for zoos and aquaria.” Hughes said.

Many of Southeast Asia’s most threatened ecosystems harbour exceptionally high levels of endemism. Take, for instance, karsts, landscapes underlain by limestone that have eroded, producing ridges, towers, sinkholes, and other characteristic features capable of harbouring multiple site-endemic species. Southeast Asia has an estimated 800,000 square kilometres, about 309,000 square miles, of karst and there are estimates that up to 90 percent of cave-dependent species in China have yet to be formally described by scientists.

Yet karst ecosystems are under threat, mainly due to cement production, another threat to Southeast Asia’s biodiversity that shows no sign of abating any time soon. Cement production has grown exponentially in recent years, and three of the top five global exporters of limestone are in Southeast Asia: India, Vietnam, and Malaysia, which collectively produce nearly 20 percent of global cement exports.

“As karsts are under-represented in protected areas and given the majority of karst-dwelling species are limited to a single site — there is no way of knowing how many species go extinct annually as a consequence.” Hughes notes. There are numerous other drivers of biodiversity loss in Southeast Asia, including climate change, disease, invasive species, pollution, and urbanization, but, in the short-term, none represent the same level of threat to the same number of species as habitat loss and hunting and trading of wildlife, according to Hughes.

Compounding the problem is the fact that none of these drivers of biodiversity loss occur in a vacuum. In fact, many of the threats “act in synergism,” Hughes writes in the study, “And the outlook for any species or habitat reflects the complex interaction of a number of these issues.” Which, she suggests, is all the more reason to understand each driver in its specific context when creating solutions.

In the study, Hughes makes a number of recommendations for combating these threats to biodiversity in the region. For many ecosystems and some taxa, she argues, further research is needed to develop appropriate priorities for conservation, especially in the wake of rapid habitat degradation and destruction.

Better enforcement and monitoring is also needed in order to enforce existing regulations to protect habitat and prevent the exploitation of endangered species. And while new technologies allow habitat destruction and wildlife trade to be monitored at ever-higher temporal and spatial resolutions, more effort is required to make the use of these technologies standard practice.

“Southeast Asia’s biodiversity has never been more threatened. Without urgent and immediate action to counter and ameliorate these threats we can expect to see the extinction of large numbers of species in the coming decades.
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Whatever Your Field of Work and Wherever in the World You are, Please, Make a Choice to Do All You Can to Seek and Demand the End of Death Penalty For It is Your Business What is Done in Your Name. The Law That Makes Humans Take Part in Taking Human Lives and That Permits and Kills Human Lives is No Law. It is the Rule of the Jungle Where Law Does Not Exist. The Humanion

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The Earth One Earth: One Humanity: One Task: To Love Both and Live in Harmony

Image: MSF

 

|| March 26: 2017 || ά. Is It Possible: Absolutely; If We Imagine It, Believe in It, Choose It and Then Spend Our Entire Life Seeking and Working to Bring It About Onto Reality: One Looks at the Mother Earth and Cannot But Be Awed as to How Magnificent She is; Yet Bringing All the Agony, Suffering, Deaths and Devastations, Hunger, Illnesses and the Lack of Almost Everything That We and Our System of Public Affairs Management Have Inflicted on Ourselves Across the Globe One Cannot Fail But See the Systematic Culture of Cruelty, Ruthless Inhumanity, Grotesque Ugliness and Absolute Pointlessness of It All and See That These are Not Things That are Inevitable Should We Choose Not to Accept Them: What Can One Choose: One Can Choose to Refuse to Accept This and Seek to Change It: To Do: To Change: To Make Better: For It Takes Only One Nelson Mandela to Choose and Make a Stand So That an Entire People Find the Courage and Inspiration to Rise up and Seek to Achieve What Simply Began as One Human Being's Dream, Utopia and Vision. Otherwise Each Generation of Us Will Continue to Leave an Earth, a Great Deal Worse Than the Previous Generation, to Our Children and Grandchildren. ω. The Humanion

 

The Earth Hour 2017 Belize

Image: WWF-Belize
 

The Earth Hour 2017 Poland

Image: WWF-Poland

 

The Earth Hour 2017 Australia

Image: Quentin Jones: Australia

Whatever Your Field of Work and Wherever in the World You are, Please, Make a Choice to Do All You Can to Seek and Demand the End of Death Penalty For It is Your Business What is Done in Your Name. The Law That Makes Humans Take Part in Taking Human Lives and That Permits and Kills Human Lives is No Law. It is the Rule of the Jungle Where Law Does Not Exist. The Humanion

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The Earth Hour: The Hour-Earth 2017: March 25: 20:30-21:30

Here is the Humanion Uniting in One Voice for the Mother Earth at The Earth Hour: Earth-Hour: Hour-Earth 2017

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ellie Goulding

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

O Human-Soul the Wonder That You Are
Will You Look and Reach Seek ee Grasp
Will You Break Out in Songs Like Homer
And Rejoice the Wonders That Life is That is
Always Dawning Eternally Emerald an Awe
 

Join in the Song of Praise, Called, The Mother Earth, Whose Children We All are Regardless of the Varying Jackets of Our Skin or the Divergent Many Accented Sonar Rainbow of Human Tongues: We are the Flowing Everyday Miracles of the Same Flowing Genome's Same Flowing Song, Called, Blood. Sing for the One Mother Earth and Sing for the One Humanity in Billions of Different Names: Yet in Agony We All Cry Out the Same Scream or the Same Tears Tear Our Soul Both in Sorrows and Joys or When in Love in All Corners of the Earth Everyone Looks for a Book of Love Poems or Go to Their Poet Friends to Ask Them to Write Them a Love Poem or Ask for Advice with the Matters of the Heart or What Poet to Read. And Despite Our Many Faiths and Not Having Any Faiths, We All Arrive on Earth as Nothing But a Human Child and We Leave the Earth Nothing But as We Arrived, as the Same Human Being. In Between We Have This Power to Be, to Do, to Ask, to Seek, to Search, to Learn, to Make, to Shape, to Create, to Connect, to Bond, to Form, to Share, to Give and to Sing and to Seek to Be and Spell Nothing But That What is the Light....What is the Light....What is the Light.....Love. The Humanion

 

 

 

Earth Hour 2017: Bulgaria: Image: WWF-Bulgaria

|| March 26: 2017 || ά. Sunday 26th March: Last night, global stars including Andy Murray, Anna Friel and Ellie Goulding united with millions of people across the country in the largest demonstration of support for action on climate change that the world has ever seen, the 10th anniversary of WWF’s Earth Hour.  The 60 minute switch off, which began in Samoa at 06.30 GMT and ended 24 hours later in the Cook Islands, saw thousands of towns and cities in 184 countries taking part. Hundreds of millions of people sent a clear message that they want to protect our planet with more action on climate change - and they want it now.

In the UK, over 270 landmarks switched off, including Buckingham Palace, Blackpool Tower, Brighton Pier, Clifton Suspension Bridge, the Sennedd Building in Cardiff and Edinburgh Castle. Around the globe iconic landmarks such as the Sydney Opera House, the Eiffel Tower, Empire State Building, Burj Khalifa and the Tokyo Tower also switched off. However, Earth Hour isn’t just about the big switch off, hundreds of people-powered activities kick started this year’s movement in the UK including a pedal-powered cinema night arranged by Exeter University students on Gylly beach; highland dancers on South Queensferry and a musical display at the Senedd in Wales.

Colin Butfield, Director of Campaigns at WWF, said, "Yesterday, hundreds of millions of people from across the world showed unity on climate change by switching off lights for Earth Hour. We are already seeing the problems of climate change, from the loss of sea ice in the Artic to one in six species being at risk of extinction.

The UK Government has taken some good steps in ratifying the Paris Agreement. We now need to see this international ambition matched with domestic action by pushing for a strong plan in reducing the UK carbon emission that includes switching to more renewable energy sources. Earth Hour is the biggest climate change event and yesterday it sent a clear message to governments across the world that people demand action on climate change now.”

Earth Hour 2017: Wales, United Kingdom: Image: Dan Green:WWF-Wales, UK


Over the past decade, WWF’s Earth Hour has been the force behind people-powered environmental efforts including the adoption of climate-friendly legislation in Russia, Argentina, the Galapagos Islands and Wales; creation of a 2,700-hectare Earth Hour forest in Uganda; planting of 17 million trees in Kazakhstan; providing renewable energy fuel-efficient stoves to families in Nepal and Madagascar, and lighting up homes with solar power in India and the Philippines. After ten years, the campaign has garnered a lot of support around the world with high profile personalities backing the campaign:

Ellie Goulding, Global Musician, said, “Knowing that we can do something to prevent [climate change] gives me this passion to want to do something about it and I think in the past few years I’ve realised more and more that I can reach out to people. I’m calling on everyone to support Earth Hour to show Governments around the world that we have to act now before it’s too late.”

Earth Hour 2017: Sudan: Image: Image: WWF Sudan

Ellie continues “I get asked ‘What can I do? What can one person do?’ and that’s why I think Earth Hour is so brilliant for this cause because it brings everyone together and it shows that and it will show, how many people really do care.”

Andy Murray, WWF Global Ambassador, said, “WWF’s 10th Earth Hour on March 25 is the chance for the world to unite in a simple yet powerful call to protect the planet. Last year was the hottest on record for the third year in a row - it’s just one reason why this year I joined people in over 170 countries to send out a global message that the time for strong climate action is now.”

Anna Friel, WWF Ambassador, said, “With one is six species at risk of extinction from climate change, the future of our planet as we know it has never been more under threat. WWF’s Earth Hour unites people together and allows us all to be part of something global that can affect real change and inspire more action on climate change.”

Simon Reeve, WWF Ambassador, said, “I’ve been lucky enough to see some of our planet’s most amazing natural sights. But on my journeys I’ve also witnessed first-hand the devastating impact climate change is already starting to have on our planet. From the Maasai community suffering severe drought to rising water levels eroding villages in Bangladesh. Village elders and indigenous people are telling me their world is changing, and changing rapidly. That’s why WWF’s Earth Hour is so important. We must show that we all want and need urgent action to help stop climate change.”

About WWF: WWF is one of the world’s largest independent conservation organisations, with more than five million supporters and a global network active in more than one hundred countries. Through our engagement with the public, businesses and government, we focus on safeguarding the natural world, creating solutions to the most serious environmental issues facing our planet, so that people and nature thrive.

Earth Hour 2017: Finland. Image: Maarika Korhonen: WWF-Finland

About Earth Hour: Earth Hour, organised by WWF, is a worldwide grassroots movement uniting people to protect the planet. This year celebrates the 10th anniversary of Earth Hour since it was first started in Sydney in 2007. Last year was the biggest event yet, with hundreds of millions of people taking part across a record 178 countries and 7,000 towns and cities, alongside world famous landmarks from the Sydney Opera House to Times Square in New York. Earth Hour continues to have a real and lasting impact beyond the hour, and this year we hope to draw global attention to climate change. In 2017 Earth Hour was held on March 25 between 20:30 and 21:30.

List of 24 global landmarks expected to switch off along with thousands others across the world as Earth Hour rolls across 24 time zones.

Earth Hour 2017: Spain: Image: WWF-Spain


01. Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament, UK
02. Blue Mosque, Turkey
03. Burj Khalifa, UAE
04. CCTV Tower, China
05. Colosseum, Italy
06. Eiffel Tower, France
07. Empire State Building, USA
08. Granada's Alhambra y Generalife, Spain
09. La Moneda, Chile
10. The Coca-Cola London Eye, UK
11. Milad Tower, Iran
12. Marina Bay Sands, Singapore
13. Monumento a la Independencia, Mexico
14. Moscow Kremlin and Red Square, Russia
15. Palacio de los López, Paraguay
16. Pyramids of Egypt, Egypt
17. Saint Peter’s Basilica, Vatican City
18. Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, UAE
19. Space Needle, USA
20. Sydney Opera House, Australia
21. Taipei 101, Taiwan
22. The Acropolis, Greece
23. Tokyo Tower, Japan
24. Victoria Harbour, Hong Kong

People’s Postcode Lottery: Earth Hour in the UK is funded by players of People’s Postcode Lottery. People’s Postcode Lottery is a charity lottery. Players play with their postcodes to win cash prizes, while raising money for charities and good causes across Great Britain and globally. A minimum of 30% goes directly to charities and players have raised £182.7 Million for good causes across the country. People's Postcode Lottery manages multiple society lotteries promoted by different charities.
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Earth Hour 2017: India: Image: WWF-India

Whatever Your Field of Work and Wherever in the World You are, Please, Make a Choice to Do All You Can to Seek and Demand the End of Death Penalty For It is Your Business What is Done in Your Name. The Law That Makes Humans Take Part in Taking Human Lives and That Permits and Kills Human Lives is No Law. It is the Rule of the Jungle Where Law Does Not Exist. The Humanion

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Supersonic Plasma Jets Discovered: Birkeland Current Boundary Flows

Image: University of Calgary:ESA

 

|| March 24: 2017 || ά. Information from ESA’s magnetic field Swarm mission has led to the discovery of supersonic plasma jets high up in our atmosphere that can push temperatures up to almost 10,000°C. Presenting these findings at this week’s Swarm Science Meeting in Canada, scientists from the University of Calgary explained how they used measurements from the trio of Swarm satellites to build on what was known about vast sheets of electric current in the upper atmosphere.

The theory that there are huge electric currents, powered by solar wind and guided through the ionosphere by Earth’s magnetic field, was postulated more than a century ago by Norwegian scientist Kristian Birkeland. It wasn’t until the 1970s, after the advent of satellites, however, that these ‘Birkeland currents’ were confirmed by direct measurements in space. These currents carry up to 01TW of electric power to the upper atmosphere, about 30 times the energy consumed in New York during a heatwave.

They are, also, responsible for ‘aurora arcs’, the familiar, slow-moving green curtains of light that can extend from horizon to horizon. While much is known about these current systems, recent observations by Swarm have revealed that they are associated with large electrical fields. These fields, which are strongest in the winter, occur where upwards and downwards Birkeland currents connect through the ionosphere.

Bill Archer from the University of Calgary explained, “Using data from the Swarm satellites’ electric field instruments, we discovered that these strong electric fields drive supersonic plasma jets. The jets, which we call ‘Birkeland current boundary flows’, mark distinctly the boundary between current sheets moving in opposite direction and lead to extreme conditions in the upper atmosphere.

They can drive the ionosphere to temperatures approaching 10,000°C and change its chemical composition. They also cause the ionosphere to flow upwards to higher altitudes where additional energisation can lead to loss of atmospheric material to space.”

David Knudsen, also, from the University of Calgary, added, “These recent findings from Swarm add knowledge of electric potential, and therefore voltage, to our understanding of the Birkeland current circuit, perhaps the most widely recognised organising feature of the coupled magnetosphere, ionosphere system.”

This discovery is just one of the new findings presented at the week-long science meeting dedicated to the Swarm mission. Also presented this week and focusing on Birkeland currents, for example, Swarm was used to confirm that these currents are stronger in the northern hemisphere and vary with the season. Since they were launched in 2013, the identical Swarm satellites have been measuring and untangling the different magnetic signals that stem from Earth’s core, mantle, crust, oceans, ionosphere and magnetosphere.

As well as a package of instruments to do this, each satellite has an electric field instrument positioned at the front to measure plasma density, drift and velocity. Rune Floberghagen, ESA’s Swarm mission manager, said, “The electric field instrument is the first ionospheric imager in orbit so it’s very exciting to see such fantastic results that are thanks to this new instrument.

The dedication of scientists working with data from the mission never ceases to amaze me and we are seeing some brilliant results, such as this, discussed at this week’s meeting. Swarm is really opening our eyes to the workings of the planet from deep down in Earth’s core to the highest part of our atmosphere.”
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 Whatever Your Field of Work and Wherever in the World You are, Please, Make a Choice to Do All You Can to Seek and Demand the End of Death Penalty For It is Your Business What is Done in Your Name. The Law That Makes Humans Take Part in Taking Human Lives and That Permits and Kills Human Lives is No Law. It is the Rule of the Jungle Where Law Does Not Exist. The Humanion

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The Earth's Winter Moon

Image: Claus Vogl: Courtesey ESA


|| December 22: 2016 || ά. This gorgeous image shows this month’s full Moon, also, known as a ‘Cold Moon’, seeming to hover above a set of satellite tracking dishes on the campus of the Instituto Nacional de Tecnica Aerospacial:INTA, in the southern part of the Canary Islands’ Gran Canaria, at Montaña Blanca.

One of the antennas, the 15 m-diameter dish seen one the left, is ESA’s Maspalomas tracking station, which currently communicates with ESA’s Cluster, LISA Pathfinder and XMM-Newton missions. This image was captured on December 14, by amateur photographer Claus Vogl, from Fürth, Germany.

Vogl writes, I spent my vacation last week at Gran Canaria. I spotted the ESA site many years ago and always was fascinated by this big antennas facing into space. The entire shooting window for this image was just two minutes. I shot from on top of a little mountain 01.6 kilometres West of the big antenna, just outside a very little village called Montaña la Arena on a narrow dirt road. The camera equipment was a Canon EOS 5D Mark 3 with an EF 70-200/2.8 IS L lens, exposure time 1.0 sec:aperture F5.6:ISO 400.” ω.     

Whatever Your Field of Work and Wherever in the World You are, Please, Make a Choice to Do All You Can to Seek and Demand the End of Death Penalty For It is Your Business What is Done in Your Name. The Law That Makes Humans Take Part in Taking Human Lives and That Permits and Kills Human Lives is No Law. It is the Rule of the Jungle Where Law Does Not Exist. The Humanion

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The World’s Wet Regions are Getting Wetter and the Dry Regions are Getting Drier: But at 03°C Global Warming Both Wet and Dry Regions Will Likely Get More Than 10% Wetter and Drier Respectively

Image: NASA

|| December 17: 2016: University of Southampton News: England: United Kingdom || ά. Research from the University of Southampton has provided robust evidence that wet regions of the earth are getting wetter and dry regions are getting drier but it is happening at a slower rate than previously thought. The study, published in Scientific Reports, analysed the saltiness of the world’s oceans. More rain and outflow from rivers in a region of an ocean means sea water gets diluted and therefore becomes less salty.

More evaporation in another region takes away fresh water and leaves salt behind making that region more saline. The researchers used measurements of salinity throughout the global and deep oceans over the last 60 years to estimate how much global rainfall is changing. The researchers found that the regions, which are relatively wet, like Northern Europe are getting wetter and dry regions are getting drier both by about two per cent over the last 60 years. This process is called amplification of the water cycle. Previous research indicates that amplification of the water cycle, is happening at 07 per cent per 01°C of global warming.

The new study estimates that amplification happens at about three to four per cent per 01°C. The research team believe this is probably due to a weakening of the atmospheric circulation which transports freshwater from the dry to wet regions of the globe.

Dr Nikolaos Skliris, a Research Fellow at the University of Southampton who led the study, said, “Our findings match what has been predicted by models of a warming climate; as the world gets warmer wet regions will continue to get wetter and dry regions will continue to get drier.

Although we have found that this process is happening slower than first thought, if global warming exceeds 03°C, wet regions will likely get more than 10 per cent wetter and dry regions more than 10 per cent drier, which could have disastrous implications for river flows and agriculture.”

Dr Skliris added, “The agreement between climate models and observations over the recent past is another important finding of this study because it adds confidence to climate model projections of water cycle amplification under greenhouse gas emission scenarios.”
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Whatever Your Field of Work and Wherever in the World You are, Please, Make a Choice to Do All You Can to Seek and Demand the End of Death Penalty For It is Your Business What is Done in Your Name. The Law That Makes Humans Take Part in Taking Human Lives and That Permits and Kills Human Lives is No Law. It is the Rule of the Jungle Where Law Does Not Exist. The Humanion

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We Urgently Need Healthy Soils to Ensure Essential Services They Provide: Ban Ki-moon on World Soil Day

Sprouting fava beans at FAO Headquarters, Rome. Image: FAO:Claudia Nicolai

 

|| December 05: 2016 || ά. Marking World Soil Day, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has stressed the importance of healthy soils, adding that 'sustainable management systems and practices will unlock the full potential of soils to support food production, store and supply clean water, preserve biodiversity, sequester more carbon and increase resilience to a changing climate.” In his message on the Day, Mr. Ban encouraged the international community to optimise the use of soil now and preserve and protect it in the long-term, because the sustainable soil management can also contribute to achieving the 2030 Agenda and its Sustainable Development Goals:SDGs, as well as the Paris Agreement on climate change.

The theme of the 2016 edition of World Soil Day is Soils and pulses, a symbiosis for life. Pulses, such as dry beans, peas and lentils, can boost soil health while supporting healthier and nutritious diets, and can also fix atmospheric nitrogen in their roots. In addition, pulses combine with soil in a unique symbiosis that protects the environment, enhances productivity, contributes to adapting to climate change and provides fundamental nutrients to the soil and subsequent crops. Finally, pulses also reduce the need to apply external fertiliser.

The Secretary-General also highlighted recommendations on ways to protect and sustainably manage soils in the recently endorsed Voluntary Guidelines for Sustainable Soil Management developed by the Global Soil Partnership. The guidelines will contribute to improving the health of the soil and increasing its potential to support mitigation and adaptation actions in a changing climate.

“On World Soil Day, I call for greater attention to the pressing issues affecting soils, including climate change, antimicrobial resistance, soil-borne diseases, contamination, nutrition and human health.” concluded Mr. Ban, urging global efforts to build on the International Year of Soils 2015 and this year's International Year of Pulses, and all the activities supporting sustainable soil management to generate more hectares of healthy soils everywhere. ω.     

Whatever Your Field of Work and Wherever in the World You are, Please, Make a Choice to Do All You Can to Seek and Demand the End of Death Penalty For It is Your Business What is Done in Your Name. The Law That Makes Humans Take Part in Taking Human Lives and That Permits and Kills Human Lives is No Law. It is the Rule of the Jungle Where Law Does Not Exist. The Humanion

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Minna's Vlasiator: Earth, Are You Ready

Image: Finnish Meteorological Institute


|| November 28: 2016 || ά. Vlasiator was developed from scratch by Research professor Minna Palmroth's group at the Finnish Meteorological Institute, which received funding from the European Research Council and the Academy of Finland since 2008. Vlasiator is currently the most accurate model of near-Earth space at large scales. The model preserves nevertheless detailed plasma physical properties. The model describes the plasma pervading space, which is a very tenuous medium made of electrons and ions and is threaded by magnetic fields.

The Finnish Meteorological Institute is developing a six-dimensional Vlasov theory-based simulation called Vlasiator. The focus is to simulate the entire near-Earth space at a global scale using the kinetic hybrid-Vlasov approach, to study fundamental plasma processes, reconnection, particle acceleration, shocks and gain a deeper understanding of space weather. Space weather is a term used to describe the variable environmental effects within near-Earth space, caused by the Sun emitting solar wind, a stream of charged particles carrying the solar electromagnetic field.

Space weather can be caused by solar high-energy particles or by dynamic variations of the solar wind that can cause extended periods of major disturbances on ground and space, affecting technological systems, e.g., telecommunication and weather spacecraft at geostationary orbit, and ground-based power grids. In Vlasiator, ions are represented as velocity distribution functions, while electrons are magnetohydrodynamic fluid, enabling a self-consistent global plasma simulation that can describe multi-temperature plasmas to resolve non-MHD processes that currently cannot be self-consistently described by the existing global space weather simulations.

The novelty is that by modelling ions as velocity distribution functions the outcome will be numerically noiseless. Due to the multi-dimensional approach at ion scales, Vlasiator's computational challenges are immense. The Vlasiator programme uses advanced high performance computing techniques to allow massively parallel computations on tens of thousands of cores.

Yann Pfau-Kempf, a researcher at the Finnish Meteorological Institute defends his doctoral thesis about the modelling of the Earth's space environment on December 01. He has participated in the development of the pioneering Vlasiator space model, which helped in gaining new knowledge about near-Earth space. Pfau-Kempf has investigated in his thesis the physical results obtained with Vlasiator. The last article in the thesis introduces a phenomenon never observed before, where the processes in the Earth's magnetosphere influence the upstream solar wind properties. The phenomenon was first identified in Vlasiator simulations and then confirmed with ground-based and spacecraft observations.

"The unprecedented quality of the Vlasiator plasma model was vital in obtaining these new pioneering results. Vlasiator shows that in space physics everything affects everything and local-scale phenomena cannot be studied separately from their global context. The new results pave the way towards explanations to long-standing open problems and exciting scientific discoveries." says Yann Pfau-Kempf. "The research shows that Vlasiator matches excellently both established theories and observational data from spacecraft, which gives strong confidence in the Vlasiator results." Yann Pfau-Kempf adds.

The Vlasiator results are also verified and validated by comparing to previously published data. A key aspect of Yann Pfau-Kempf's thesis work resides in adapting and optimising the algorithms to make them run efficiently on top-tier supercomputers, which are required to simulate large systems. Simulations were run on some of Europe's largest supercomputers, harnessing the computing power of tens of thousands of processors in parallel. "This thesis sums up my model development work, but it will also hopefully be a reference for future generations of Vlasiator developers and users. The code has now reached maturity and promises an avalanche of great space science in the months and years to come." says Yann Pfau-Kempf.

Historically, modelling the magnetosphere, that is the space volume around Earth where our planet's magnetic field controls plasma dynamics, was done with two types of models. The simplest do not include a lot of physical detail whereas the more complex models offer a better description of plasma physics, but are marred by noise. Unlike these two model types, Vlasiator applies a very clean and detailed model, which was, however, until recently, deemed too computationally heavy to be used to describe the magnetosphere at large scales.

The young French-German researcher Yann Pfau-Kempf got a triple bachelor's degree from the Universities of Luxembourg, Saarland, Germany and Nancy, France in 2010 before he came to Finland. He is one of the youngest researchers from the Finnish Meteorological Institute to defend his thesis in space physics ever. Yann Pfau-Kempf's thesis 'Vlasiator-From local to global magnetospheric hybrid-Vlasov simulations' will be publicly examined on December 01 at 12 at the University of Helsinki in Auditorium E204 in Physicum on Kumpula campus, street address Gustaf Hällströmin katu 2. The Opponent is Dr Benoit Lavraud from the Institut de Recherche en Astrophysique et Planétologie, Toulouse, France. The Custos is Professor Hannu Koskinen from the University of Helsinki Department of physics.

Further information: Researcher Yann Pfau-Kempf, phone +358 50 4147 241, yann.kempf at fmi.fi

The doctoral thesis is published in the Finnish Meteorological Institute. ω.     

Whatever Your Field of Work and Wherever in the World You are, Please, Make a Choice to Do All You Can to Seek and Demand the End of Death Penalty For It is Your Business What is Done in Your Name. The Law That Makes Humans Take Part in Taking Human Lives and That Permits and Kills Human Lives is No Law. It is the Rule of the Jungle Where Law Does Not Exist. The Humanion

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The Supermoon and the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial: They Both Sing and Bring Light to the Dark Earth

Image: NASA:Aubrey Gemignani

|| October 31: 2016 || ά. The moon, or supermoon, is seen as it sets over the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial on Monday, November 14, 2016 in Washington. A supermoon occurs when the moon’s orbit is closest, perigee, to Earth. And what a beautiful Supermoon this is! They both, the Moon and Martin Luther King Jr, sing and bring light to the dark earth. And they don't go away: they come back and sing on and keep on calling towards the light... towards the light... totwards the light.... towards the 'content of the character... towards the.... I have a dream.....

And here on early Monday morning, the moon was the closest it has been to Earth since 1948 and it appeared 30 percent brighter and 14 percent bigger than the average monthly full moon. A quiet Supermoon's silver silent speech and the thoughtful pause of Martin Luther King Jr's statue, equally silent and equally, we imagine, speaking in gold: less is more for the mind that speaks more has thought less whereby can say little that is worth much. Beautiful an image and we give it to you, thanks to NASA, Aubrey Gemignani and Sarah Loff.

Because I Have a Dream I Can Sing Worlds That Do Not Exist Yet But They Soon Will

 

Because I have a dream they do not understand me for their
Dreams are all nightmares and they suspect all the dreams
For I have always loved the light from the deepest depth of
The dark I have always sung clair de lune that hear they not

Their egos are far too large to fit their socks shoes or soaps
But because I have a dream I have always heard beautiful
Sky lark symphonies arise and fall away onto the widening
Deepening spread of the Universe eternally a-bloom in light

Because I have a dream I can make boats and give out means
For bridges where bridges cannot be built for love is but light
For no matter how far darkness goes light never stops going

Because I have a dream I stand up speak and sing yet they put
Me in prison or give me poison to drink but they who've drunk
Hatred are lost yet my dream lives on love's light and goes on

Munayem Mayenin

Written in Memoriam of Dr Martin Luther King Jr: August 29: 2016

 


:Editor: Sarah Loff:NASA: ω.     

Whatever Your Field of Work and Wherever in the World You are, Please, Make a Choice to Do All You Can to Seek and Demand the End of Death Penalty For It is Your Business What is Done in Your Name. The Law That Makes Humans Take Part in Taking Human Lives and That Permits and Kills Human Lives is No Law. It is the Rule of the Jungle Where Law Does Not Exist. The Humanion

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Aurora Icelandic

Image: D. Necchi
 

|| October 31: 2016 || ά.  This whirling, twisting skyscape is an arresting and somewhat intimidating sight, a perfect Halloween Space Science Image of the Week. Jagged lanes in shades of dark and pale green tangle with bright patches of white, creating a knotted spiral somewhat reminiscent of a celestial serpent writhing across the sky, looming ominously over the sleepy town below. It may look appropriately spooky and otherworldly, but this image shows something that is quite commonplace at Earth’s northern and southernmost latitudes. The flashes of green in the sky are an aurora, seen when large bursts of energetic atomic particles stream out from the Sun and hit a planet’s atmosphere.

These particles filter down through the protective layers surrounding Earth, such as the magnetosphere, the region of space dominated by the magnetic field, and interact with the air particles found below in the atmosphere. Patches of atmosphere subsequently glow brightly and eerily, filling our skies with startling ripples and flashes of colour. Auroras are often referred to as ‘the northern lights’, aurora borealis, but they also occur regularly at southern latitudes, aurora australis. They are best seen from regions including Australia, New Zealand, Antarctica and parts of South America, southern, and Canada, Alaska, Scandinavia and Iceland, northern.

The effect is seen only at polar and near-polar latitudes because the charged particles travel in towards Earth along magnetic field lines that meet our planet at its poles.  Auroras are the most visible manifestation of the Sun’s effect on Earth. Since 2000, ESA’s quartet of Cluster satellites has been investigating the complex Sun–Earth connection and has been unravelling the puzzle of how and why auroras form.

This image shows a town in southern Iceland named Selfoss, on the Ölfusá River, visible in the foreground. It was taken by photographer Davide Necchi on August 27, 2015. This particular aurora was linked to a solar storm, which caused an especially large and sudden outpouring of particles into our atmosphere. As a result, the lights were intense and unusually bright, appearing abruptly in the evening sky before it was fully dark. In fact, the aurora was so bright that Davide opted for a relatively short 3 second exposure time, conscious that any longer may cause the brightest parts of the photograph to ‘burn’ or become ‘blown-out’, thus losing detail.

Necchi used a Canon 5D Mark II camera with a 14 mm f2.8 lens. This image had an ISO of 1600, and no filter has been applied. The bright full Moon is also visible in the frame, hanging beneath a layer of cloud. ω.     

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Bamyan National Park Afghanistan

|| October 23: 2016 || ά. A view of Bamyan National Park in September 2016. Afghanistan is characterised by rugged mountains, with more than half of the land area above 2,000 metres. There are also lakes and rivers, with most new water supply coming from rain and snow melt. ω.     

 Image: UN Photo:UNAMA

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Welcome Back to Mother Earth Tim: She Has Gravity and Not the Micro-Kind
 

Image: ESA:NASA

|| June 19: 2016 || ά.  Tim Peake and his Crewmates have arrived back on Earth safe and sound. Here's what he has seen while up there. We publish this as to say: Welcome Back to Mother Earth, Tim and, same to the other Tim and Yuri. 

ESA astronaut Tim Peake took this image from the International Space Station during his six-month Principia mission. He commented: "Tonight's waxing gibbous moonset: goodnight Earth:)

Professional photographer Max Alexander has known Tim Peake from before his launch into space and gave Tim photography tips during his mission. Max comments: "The most striking aspect is how distorted and oblate the Moon appears, which is caused by the atmosphere refracting the sunlight. Then there is the exquisite transition from the deep sky blue, through to the inky black of space." ω.

Tim Peake

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Principia: I'm Coming Home for There's No Place Like Home

Image: NASA:ESA

|| June 12: 2016 || ά. Having had his mission extended for two extra weeks Tim Peake is finally getting ready to come back home to the Mother Earth on Saturday, June 18. Tim and his Crewmates Yuri Malechenko and Tim Kopra will return to Earth and touch down at 10:12 GMT on the day.

The landing will be shown on the Principia website. The coverage will begin at 09:00 GMT

The two Tims and one Yuri are returning to Earth all of whom had had almost two extra weeks in space than originally planned.

Once they touched down Mother Earth and felt at home they will begin their journey back to their 'living quarters' which is to mean their own 'countries'. Think of this apparent anomaly in the way we might perceive this situation: because they were out of the Earth people would tend to think they were coming closer to home by coming back to Earth! But actually they would have been closer to their own home countries while being at ISS than they would be from where they were to land and touch down on Earth! Their distance from Earth from ISS were a few hundred miles up there and from where they would land their distance from their home countries would be thousands of miles!

Anyhow, a safe journey back to Mother Earth where you would definitely think: There is No Place Like Home! ω.

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Look! Who ISS Back on Earth!



Image Credit: NASA:Bill Ingalls

|| May 28: 2016 || ά. Former NASA astronaut Scott Kelly speaks about his historic mission aboard the International Space Station during an event at the United States Capitol Visitor Center, Wednesday, May 25, 2016, in Washington.

Don't Forget the Kelikaaru: That's a Scot Kelly picture modified and named after him

Kelly and his Russian counterpart Mikhail Kornienko returned to Earth on March 02, 2016, after 340 days on the orbiting laboratory. During the record-setting One-Year mission, the station crew conducted almost 400 investigations to advance NASA’s mission and benefit all of humanity. Kelly and Kornienko participated in a number of studies to inform NASA’s Journey to Mars, including research into how the human body adjusts to weightlessness, isolation, radiation and the stress of long-duration spaceflight. They orbited Earth 5,440 times, traveling 143,846,525 statute miles. Kelly ventured outside the confines of the space station for three spacewalks and captured hundreds of images of our planet from his unique vantage point in orbit. ω.

:Editor: Sarah Loff:NASA:

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Central Africa Blanketed by Fires

Image: Jeff Schmaltz LANCE:EOSDIS MODIS Rapid Response Team, GSFC


|| May 19: 2016 || ά.  Each red dot represents an area of the earth that is hotter than the area surrounding it and is indicative of fire. Central Africa in this satellite image is teeming with red dots. That signals that agricultural season in this area is in full swing. The location, widespread nature, and number of fires suggest that these were deliberately set to manage land. Farmers often use fire as a means of returning nutrients to the soil and to clear the ground of unwanted plants. While fire helps enhance crops and grasses for pasture, the fires also produce smoke that degrades air quality.

NASA's Suomi NPP satellite collected this natural-color image using the VIIRS:Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite instrument on May 18, 2016. NASA image courtesy Jeff Schmaltz LANCE:EOSDIS MODIS Rapid Response Team, GSFC. Caption by Lynn Jenner.
ω.
 

:Editor: Lynn Jenner:NASA:

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Earth Windows

Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS



|| May 14: 2016 ||  This trio of Junocam views of Earth was taken during Juno's close flyby on October 9, 2013.

The leftmost view shows the southern two-thirds of South America. As the spacecraft moved eastward during its flyby, the Chilean coast and the snowy line of the Andes Mountains recedes toward the limb at left on the planet. The third image includes a view of the Argentinean coastline with reflections, or specular highlights, off the Rio Negro north of Golfo San Matias, as well as cloud formations over Antarctica.

The leftmost view was obtained at 19:08 UT at an altitude of 3,567 miles: 5,741 kilometers; the center view was obtained at 19:11 from 2,486 miles:4,001 kilometers altitude, and the view at right was obtained at 19:12 UT at an altitude of 1,986 miles (3,197 kilometers).

The center image was taken using Junocam's narrowband methane filter, while the other two are combinations of the instrument's red, green and blue filters and approximate natural color. Each image is a mosaic of 82 individual frames taken as the spacecraft spun; these have been composited and remapped by ground processing.

:Editor: Tony Greicius: NASA:

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The Image of the Day: The Mercury Transit: May 09: 2016

Image: NASA

|| May 09: 2016 || Here is the Mercury Transit: May 09: 2016.

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Once in a Decade: Mercury Transiting on May 09

Sarah Schlieder Writing

Image created from two NASA images


|| May 08: 2016 || It happens only a little more than once a decade – and the next chance to see it is Monday, May 9. Throughout the U.S., sky watchers can watch Mercury pass between Earth and the sun in a rare astronomical event known as a planetary transit. Mercury will appear as a tiny black dot as it glides in front of the sun’s blazing disk over a period of seven and a half hours. Three NASA satellites will be providing images of the transit and one of them will have a near-live feed.

Although Mercury zooms around the sun every 88 days, Earth, the sun and Mercury rarely align. And because Mercury orbits in a plane that is tilted from Earth’s orbit, it usually moves above or below our line of sight to the sun. As a result, Mercury transits occur only about 13 times a century.

Transits provide a great opportunity to study the way planets and stars move in space – information that has been used throughout the ages to better understand the solar system and which still helps scientists today calibrate their instruments. Three of NASA's solar telescopes will watch the transit for just that reason.

The May 9 Mercury transit will occur between about 7:12 a.m. and 2:42 p.m. EDT. Mercury is too small to see without magnification, but it can be seen with a telescope or binoculars. These must be outfitted with a solar filter as you can't safely look at the sun directly.

“Astronomers get excited when any two things come close to each other in the heavens,” said Louis Mayo, program manager at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland. “This is a big deal for us.”

Mercury transits have been key to helping astronomers throughout history: In 1631, astronomers first observed a Mercury transit. Those observations allowed astronomers to measure the apparent size of Mercury’s disk, as well as help them estimate the distance from Earth to the sun.

“Back in 1631, astronomers were only doing visual observations on very small telescopes by today’s standards,” said Mayo.

Since then, technological advancements have allowed us to study the sun and planetary transits in greater detail. In return, transits allow us to test our spacecraft and instruments.

Scientists for the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory, or SOHO (jointly operated by NASA and ESA, the European Space Agency), and NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory, or SDO, will work in tandem to study the May 9 transit. The Hinode solar mission will also observe the event. Hinode is a collaboration between the space agencies of Japan, the United States, the United Kingdom and Europe led by the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency.

SOHO launched in December 1995 with 12 instruments to study the sun from the deep solar core all the way out to the sun's effects on the rest of the solar system. Two of these instruments — the Extreme ultraviolet Imaging Telescope and the Michelson Doppler Imager — will be brought back into full operation to take measurements during the transit after five years of quiescence.

For one thing, the SOHO will measure the sun’s rotation axis using images captured by the spacecraft.

“Instruments on board SDO and SOHO use different spectral lines, different wavelengths and they have slightly different optical properties to study solar oscillations,” said SOHO Project Scientist Joseph Gurman. “Transit measurements will help us better determine the solar rotation axis.”

Such data is another piece of a long line of observations, which together help us understand how the sun changes over hours, days, years and decades.

“It used to be hard to observe transits,” Gurman said. “If you were in a place that had bad weather, for example, you missed your chance and had to wait for the next one. These instruments help us make our observations, despite any earthly obstacles.”

SDO will be able to use the transit to help with instrument alignment. Because scientists know so precisely where Mercury should be in relationship to the sun, they can use it as a marker to fine tune exactly how their instruments should be pointed.

The transit can also be used to help calibrate space instruments. The utter darkness of the planet provides an opportunity to study effects on the observations of stray light within the instrument. The backside of Mercury should appear black as it moves across the face of the sun. But because instruments scatter some light, Mercury will look slightly illuminated.

“It’s like getting a cataract — you see stars or halos around bright lights as though you are looking through a misty windshield,” said SDO Project Scientist Dean Pesnell. “We have the same problem with our instruments.”

Scientists run software on the images to try and mitigate the effect and check whether it can remove all of the scattered light.

For those of us down on the ground, it is worth trying to find a local astronomy club with a solar telescope to see if you can witness this rare event.

Alternatively, a near-live feed of SDO images will be available at www.nasa.gov/transit.

Related Links

NASA activity during the May 9 transit

Mercury transit movie

How to safely view the sun

Sarah Schlieder: NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md.

( Editor: Rob Garner: NASA)

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Expanding Tropics Pushing High Altitude Clouds Towards Poles, NASA Study Finds

Ellen Gray Writing

The Hadley cells describe how air moves through the tropics on either side of the equator. They are two of six major air circulation cells on Earth. Credits: NASA


|| May 05: 2016 || A new NASA analysis of 30-years of satellite data suggests that a previously observed trend of high altitude clouds in the mid-latitudes shifting toward the poles is caused primarily by the expansion of the tropics.

Clouds are among the most important mediators of heat reaching Earth's surface. Where clouds are absent, darker surfaces like the ocean or vegetated land absorb heat, but where clouds occur their white tops reflect incoming sunlight away, which can cause a cooling effect on Earth’s surface. Where and how the distribution of cloud patterns change strongly affects Earth's climate. Understanding the underlying causes of cloud migration will allow researchers to better predict how they may affect Earth's climate in the future.

George Tselioudis, a climate scientist at NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies and Columbia University in New York City, was interested in which air currents were shifting clouds at high altitude – between about three and a half and six miles high – toward the poles.

The previous suggested reason was that climate change was shifting storms and the powerful air currents known as the jet streams – including the one that traverses the United States – toward the poles, which in turn were driving the movement of the clouds.

To see if that was the case, Tselioudis and his colleagues analyzed the International Satellite Cloud Climatology Project data set, which combines cloud data from operational weather satellites, including those run by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, to provide a 30-year record of detailed cloud observations. They combined the cloud data with a computer re-creation of Earth's air currents for the same period driven by multiple surface observations and satellite data sets.

What they discovered was that the poleward shift of the clouds, which occurs in both the Northern and Southern Hemispheres, connected more strongly with the expansion of the tropics, defined by the general circulation Hadley cell, than with the movement of the jets.

The Hadley cell is one of the major ways air is moved around the planet. Existing in both hemispheres, it starts when air in the tropics, which is heated at the surface by intense sunlight, warms and rises. At high altitudes it is pushed away from the equator towards the mid-latitudes to the north and south, then it begins to sink back to Earth's surface, closing the loop.

"What we find, and other people have found it as well, is that the sinking branch of the Hadley cell, as the climate warms, tends to be moving poleward," said Tselioudis. "It's like you're making the tropical region bigger." And that expansion causes the tropical air currents to blow into the high altitude clouds, pushing them toward the poles, he said. The results were published in Geophysical Research Letters, a journal of the American Geophysical Union.

Scientists are working to understand exactly why the tropics are expanding, which they believe is related to a warming climate.

The poleward shift of high altitude clouds affects how much sunlight reaches Earth's surface because when they move, they reveal what's below.

"It's like pulling a curtain," said Tselioudis. And what tends to be revealed depends on location – which in turn affects whether the surface below warms or not.

"Sometimes when that curtain is pulled, as in the case over the North Atlantic ocean in the winter months, this reduces the overall cloud cover" in the lower mid-latitudes, the temperate regions outside of the tropics, Tselioudis said. The high altitude clouds clear to reveal dark ocean below – which absorbs incoming sunlight and causes a warming effect.

However, in the Southern Ocean around Antarctica, the high altitude clouds usually clear out of the way to reveal lower altitude clouds below – which continue to reflect sunlight from their white tops, causing little effect on the solar radiation reaching the surface.

When the results are taken together, the bottom line is that the cloud interactions with atmospheric circulation and solar radiation are complicated, and the tropical circulation appears to play a dominant role, said Tselioudis.

That information is a new insight that will likely be used by the climate modeling community, including the scientists who contribute modeling expertise to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, said Lazaros Oreopoulos, a cloud and radiation budget researcher at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, who was not involved in the study. Climate modelers aim for their computer simulations to correspond as closely to reality as possible in order to reliably predict Earth's future climate.

"If current behavior is not well simulated, then confidence in predicted future behavior will be lower," Oreopoulos said. "I anticipate this study to be looked at carefully and affect thinking on these matters."

Read the paper at Geophysical Research Letters

Ellen Gray: NASA's Earth Science News Team

( Editor: Karl Hille: NASA)

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Look, There's Casablanca!

Image Credit: NASA

 

|| May 03: 2016 || Expedition 47 Flight Engineer Jeff Williams of NASA captured this detailed photograph from the International Space Station during a daytime flyover of Morocco on May 02, 2016. Williams shared the image to social media and asked, "Reptile scales, or incredible and rugged geology in Morocco?"

( Editor: Sarah Loff: NASA)
 

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And the NASA Scientific Oskar for Lightning Bolt Goes to........ Lake Maracaibo: Venezuela

Image: NASA

|| May 02: 2016 || Earth has a new lightning capital, according to a recent study using observations from the Lightning Imaging Sensor onboard NASA's Tropical Rainfall Measurement Mission.

Lake Maracaibo in Venezuela earned the top spot receiving an average rate of about 233 flashes per square kilometer per year, according to the study. Researchers had previously identified Africa's Congo Basin as the location of maximum lightning activity.

The research team constructed a very high resolution data set derived from 16 years of space-based LIS observations to identify and rank lightning hotspots. They described their research in the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society.

"We can now observe lightning flash rate density in very fine detail on a global scale," said Richard Blakeslee, LIS project scientist at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center. "Better understanding of lightning activity around the world enables policy makers, government agencies and other stakeholders to make more informed decisions related to weather and climate."

Blakeslee joined forces with lightning researchers at the University of São Paulo, the University of Maryland, the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration and the University of Alabama in Huntsville to understand where and when most lightning occurs. Their findings will help forecasters and researchers better understand lightning and its connections to weather and other phenomena.

“Lake Maracaibo has a unique geography and climatology that is ideal for the development of thunderstorms," said Dennis Buechler with the University of Alabama in Huntsville.

Buechler noted that Lake Maracaibo is not new to lightning researchers. Located in northwest Venezuela along part of the Andes Mountains, it is the largest lake in South America. Storms commonly form there at night as mountain breezes develop and converge over the warm, moist air over the lake. These unique conditions contribute to the development of persistent deep convection resulting in an average of 297 nocturnal thunderstorms per year, peaking in September.

Africa remains the continent with the most lightning hotspots, according to the study, home to six of the world's top ten sites for lightning activity. The majority of the hotspots were by Lake Victoria and other lakes along the East African Rift Valley, which have a similar geography to Lake Maracaibo.

The study also confirmed earlier findings that concentrated lightning activity tends to happen over land and reduced lightning activity over oceans and that continental lightning peaks generally in the afternoon.

"Our research using LIS observations in new ways is a prime example of how NASA partners with scientists all over the world to better understand and appreciate our home planet," said Blakeslee.

Developed at Marshall, LIS detects the distribution and variability of total lightning – cloud-to-cloud, intracloud, and cloud to ground – that occurs in the tropical regions of the globe. LIS uses a specialized, high-speed imaging system to look for changes in the optical output caused by lightning in the tops of clouds. By analyzing a narrow wavelength band around 777 nanometers -- which is in the near-infrared region of the spectrum – the sensors can spot brief lightning flashes even under bright daytime conditions that swamp out the small lightning signal.

The team at Marshall that created LIS in the mid-1990s built a spare -- and now that second unit is stepping up to contribute, as well. The sensor is scheduled to launch on a Space Exploration Technologies rocket to the International Space Station in August 2016.

To learn more about NASA Earth science, visit http://www.nasa.gov/topics/earth

By Ryan Connelly, Student Intern, NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center Office of Strategic Analysis & Communications

Molly Porter: NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center, Huntsville, Alabama: molly.a.porter@nasa.gov: 256-544-0034

( Editor: Lee Mohon: NASA)