A sensor aboard NASA’s Terra satellite is helping scientists map how much sunlight the Earth’s surface reflects back up into the atmosphere, and this new detailed information should help to greatly improve weather and forecast models. The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) now routinely provides daily global and local measurements of albedo, or the total amount of light reflected from Earth’s surface out to space. These precise data may allow scientists to better understand and predict how various surface features absorb and reflect solar radiation, which influence both short-term weather patterns and longer-term climate trends.
In a May 2002 issue of Geophysical Research Letters, a team of scientists at Boston University reported that the new albedo measurements match up well with the wide variance of geological features found across the Earth’s barren landscapes.
"Zooming in on Africa’s Sahara Desert and the Arabian Peninsula, for instance, MODIS observed considerable variability in reflectance across the region-from the darkest volcanic terrains to the brightest sand sheets," said Elena Tsvetsinskaya, the paper’s lead author and a researcher at Boston University. "So we can relate specific soil groups and rock types to MODIS-derived albedo measurements."
Lynn Chandler | EurekAlert
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Ultrafast lasers have introduced new possibilities in engraving ultrafine structures, and scientists are now also investigating how to use them to etch microstructures into thin glass. There are possible applications in analytics (lab on a chip) and especially in electronics and the consumer sector, where great interest has been shown.
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Terahertz excitation of selected crystal vibrations leads to an effective magnetic field that drives coherent spin motion
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Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.
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In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.
A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...
By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.
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