Scientists have long recognized the importance of oceans in our climate. In fact, the unique physical characteristics of our oceans are largely responsible for making the Earth a livable environment. Oceans are major “climate-controllers” because of their large heat capacity. For instance, it requires four times the amount of energy to raise the temperature of water by one degree than it does soil. As a result, over a long period, oceans can store and transport heat from one location to another. Furthermore, water reacts slowly to the surrounding atmosphere. While this means our oceans may exert relatively little influence in short-term weather, they have a large effect on long-term climate.
Of particular interest is the ocean’s Conveyor Belt or thermohaline circulation, since both temperature and salinity are at the root of its existence. People in the U.S. know it as part of the “Gulf Stream” that carries warm waters north along the U.S. eastern seaboard and across the north Atlantic Ocean.
It then flows south from the European side of the Atlantic, crosses the equator, joins another ocean circulation, and eventually reaches the Pacific, a trip that lasts 1000 years! At high latitudes, cold, dry air from land lowers the average temperature of the warm waters coming from the equator. Evaporation then removes water free of salt and ice formation leaves behind the salty ocean waters. These processes go to increase the ocean’s water density, forcing it to sink, leading to the formation of what is known as the North Atlantic Deep Water (NADW)..
Rob Gutro | EurekAlert!
UCI and NASA document accelerated glacier melting in West Antarctica
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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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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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