Climate change is changing the planet. Yes, it’s doing it in all those ways that you already know about: rising seas, rising temperatures, changing rainfall patterns, more extreme weather. But climate change is changing the planet in another dramatic way, too: It’s actually causing the entire crust of the Earth to shift. According to new research by Jianli Chen and colleagues, climate change–induced glacier melt and sea level rise have thrown the whole planet off-kilter.
The Earth is not a perfect sphere—it’s kind of fat at the middle—and changing how the mass on the surface is distributed changes how the tectonic plates sit in relation to the planet’s rotation axis. By melting Greenland and other glaciers, say the researchers, the Earth’s geographic North Pole has drifted to the east at around 2.4 inches each year since 2005. Nature:
From 1982 to 2005, the pole drifted southeast towards northern Labrador, Canada, at a rate of about 2 milliarcseconds — or roughly 6 centimetres — per year. But in 2005, the pole changed course and began galloping east towards Greenland at a rate of more than 7 milliarcseconds per year.
Seasonal shifts in how ice and water are spread around the world mean that the North Pole is always sort of wandering around. But drift triggered by climate change is new. It’s a sign that global warming isn’t just changing how we might live in the world, but the very face of the world itself.
THE DIVINE 64: Illumination of Dark Energy. This piece is a contemporary take on Leonardo Da Vinci’s Vitruvian Man. 64D withholds the same principles of Da Vinci’s Divine proportions, yet expands on and incorporates (NassimHaramein’s) geometric structure of the vacuum, expressing a Unified Field Theory, as well as transposing my own theory of man’s motion through space regarding the Tesseract and 4th dimensional space. “The shape is comprised of a specific geometrical structure that is a coherent representation of the specific fractal geometric matrices to space itself, on all scales. From the infinitely small microcosms such as subatomic particles, to the infinitely large macrocosms of our Solar System, Galaxies, The Universe and even The Multiverse.” Encompassing the unity in all, represented by the creative and intuitive nature of Gaia and structured by the rational geometries of linear Man.
Blink and you’ve missed it. Researchers in the US have captured the world’s first X-ray images of lightning, by creating a special camera that can capture radiation at 10 million frames per second. They presented their new findings at the American Geophysical Union (AGU) Fall Meeting in San Francisco and they say that this new view of lightning could help to solve some of the mysteries of this spectacular natural phenomenon.
The research was carried out at the International Center for Lightning Research and Testing, located in Florida. It is one of the few sites in world where lightning is initiated and studied under controlled conditions. By firing rockets with trailing wires into thunder clouds, scientists are able to generate electric fields that are large enough to trigger bolts of lightning, which then propagate back down towards the rocket launch tower.
Joseph Dwyer and colleagues at the Florida Institute of Technology became interested in the fact that lightning emits X-rays as it propagates through the air, a phenomenon that was only noted in the past decade. But given that X-ray sources in lightning travel through the Earth’s atmosphere at velocities approaching the speed of light, it is difficult to catch them on camera before they disappear. In addition, they cannot be imaged with standard mirrors and lenses because huge amounts of material are required to prevent X-rays and gamma rays from entering through the sides of a camera.
Dwyer’s team has created a customized camera that has 30 detectors made from a combination of sodium iodide and photomultiplier tubes, each measuring 3 × 3 inch. The device, which is approximately the size of a standard refrigerator, is also equipped with a 3 inch pinhole aperture, and can record X-rays at 10 million frames per second. “This is actually a very old technique for making images, like that seen in a camera obscura,” Dwyer says.
During July and August this year, Dwyer’s team studied four rocket-triggered lightning flashes at the Florida test site. Each flash lasted for approximately two seconds and the resulting sequences of images revealed that X-rays emerged primarily from the vicinity of the lightning tip as it propagated towards the Earth. As the lightning crashed into the control tower it also triggered large bursts of gamma radiation, which were also captured by the camera.
“For the first time we’re catching a glimpse of lightning in the X-ray emission,” says Dwyer. “We’re seeing lightning as Superman would see it with his X-ray vision”.
There was a man here, Pythagoras, a Samian by birth, who had fled Samos and its rulers, and, hating their tyranny, was living in voluntary exile. Though the gods were far away, he visited their region of the sky, in his mind, and what nature denied to human vision he enjoyed with his inner eye….
In this collaborative photo series, photographer Mitch Payne worked with designer Kyle Bean to develop images of the micro systems of renewable energy. The goal of the series was to strip the systems to their simplest possible signifiers. As Payne describes this motive,
“It’s important not to over-complicate the subject, I think science can be as much a visual thing as a complicated spiral of information. When things are visually as simple as this, it can be easier to engage with a subject. For this particular series, each image depicts a glass tank housing various setups acting as ‘energy sources’ that power a light bulb.”
In the same vein as his series on the periodic table, Payne’s work focuses on how to represent movement and energy on an abstract level. The artist bounced around ideas with Bean and art director Gemma Fletcher on how best to interpret the systems in a simple and self-explanatory manner. The results — keeping the systems inside of the tank concentrated the message and focused on the materials that create energy. As with many of Payne’s works, this series aims to educate and enhance the viewers perception of current events within the scientific umbrella.
The artist also wants readers to know that he is looking to collaborate with scientific writers on various subjects. If you have an interesting column or subject and would be interested in creating a “Photographic Essay,” get in touch here.
11:15, restate my assumptions:
1. Mathematics is the language of nature.
2. Everything around us can be represented and understood through numbers.
3. If you graph these numbers, patterns emerge. Therefore: There are patterns everywhere in nature.