Monthly Archives: October 2020

The Sun and Stars Affect Our Everyday Clouds and, Ultimately, Earth’s Energy Budget

This is the result of a new study by researchers from DTU Space at the Technical University of Denmark (DTU) and of The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, who have traced the consequences of eruptions on the Sun on clouds and Earth’s energy balance.

“We tested cosmic ray effects on the atmosphere for about two weeks. When solar explosions reduce the cosmic ray flux reaching Earth, they temporarily reduce the production of small aerosols. The aerosols are molecular clusters in the air that normally grow to seed the water droplets of low-level clouds. This, in turn, reduces the cloud cover, which is known to affect climate,” says senior researcher. Henrik Svensmark, lead author of the study published in Nature’s Scientific Reports.

The breakthrough is that the effect on the Earth’s energy budget has been quantified directly using detailed satellite observations from the CERES instrument on NASA’s Terra and Aqua satellites. The observation is that Earth absorbs almost 2 W/m2 extra energy within 4 to 6 days of the cosmic-ray minimum.

This research, in which Jacob Svensmark, Martin Bødker Enghoff, and Nir Shaviv participated, connects observable variations in clouds and Earth’s energy budget to Danish laboratory experiments and theory. It shows how cosmic rays help make the all-important aerosols and accelerate their growth to cloud condensation nuclei.

Previous research by the team predicted that the effects should be most noticeable in low altitude liquid clouds over the oceans is confirmed with the new study. Spatial maps verify that the dominating net radiative forcing changes are from low liquid clouds over the pristine seas.

“We now have simultaneous observations of decreases cosmic rays, aerosols, clouds, and the energy budget, which is quite amazing,” adds professor Nir Shaviv.

“The solar effects in this study are too short-lived to have a lasting effect on the climate. They do, however, dramatize the cosmic ray-cloud mechanism that works more patiently on longer time scales. The hope is that this result will help rethink the long-term effect of solar activity and cosmic rays on climate,” Says Henrik Svensmark.

Uk scientists to produce low cost high performance ventilators

This is done by having staff wear headsets with visors and superimposing digital models of structures to be installed over what employees see at the worksite in person.

The digital overlay allows users to align actual structures at the worksite more accurately during their installation.

This operation needs very low latency and high bandwidth to stream the overlays accurately in real time, which 5G can support. Current 4G networks are not suitable for this.

Using the digital overlay has safety benefits too, as it also allows worksite staff to do a digital rehearsal of an installation before it actually happens, so any issues that surface can be identified early.

5G is also being tested by the National Environment Agency and Nanyang Technological University (NTU) to remotely control a driverless road sweeper in Sentosa during an emergency.

[WATCH] A remote-controlled roadsweeper vehicle on Sentosa

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Tests have shown that the vehicle can be operated from NTU, which is about 20km from Sentosa.

The teleoperation system that an operator uses to control the road sweeper looks like a driving simulator and creates the illusion that he is sitting in the actual vehicle in Sentosa, as it receives data such as videos and sounds sent over 5G from the sweeper’s sensors.

So, when he helps to navigate, such as when the vehicle encounters tricky road or weather conditions, he can react quickly since he can see the area in front of the road sweeper, hear sounds near it and even feel it going over humps on the road.