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  • richardmitnick 10:08 am on May 8, 2022 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Storm-chasing: A picturesque Texas tornado" Photo Essay, "Supercell" thunderstorms, , , , , Meteorology   

    From EarthSky: “Storm-chasing: A picturesque Texas tornado” Photo Essay 


    From EarthSky

    May 8, 2022
    Peter Forister

    Storm chasing. A cone tornado near Crowell, Texas, awes chasers, who stop along the road to take photos. Image via Peter Forister.

    “This past week, I chased some incredible storms in the Great Plains. Over three days, I witnessed eight tornadoes on two robust supercell thunderstorms. I have always been fascinated by thunderstorms and tornadoes and get the chance to chase storms only once or twice in a year. This stretch of active weather in Oklahoma and Texas in early May was the perfect opportunity to get out and hunt for tornadoes.
    Forecasting for storm chasing

    On Wednesday, May 4, 2022, the Storm Prediction Center issued a “moderate” risk area (level 4 out of 5) for northwestern Texas and southern Oklahoma. This forecast outlook included the potential for long-lived and strong tornadoes. This is the kind of high-end severe weather day that only happens a handful of times in a year.

    I started the day in Norman, Oklahoma, and spent the morning poring over weather models and observations from weather stations around the region. It was tough to decide between Texas and Oklahoma, both of which offered the potential for storms that would produce tornadoes. However, after much discussion, I decided to make the four-hour drive to Texas with my chasing partners.

    We ended up in Quanah, a tiny farm town just south of the Red River. Grand scenes of the High Plains opened in front of us. In this part of Texas, you can see 30 miles (50 km) or more without a single tree or hill blocking the view. It’s a storm chaser’s paradise with very few towns and wide expanses of empty fields. Storm chasers hope for tornadoes in these empty spaces so that we can gawk at the storms while they spin in open fields, not posing a risk to any people.

    Our forecast for storm initiation was spot on. Half an hour after we arrived, a supercell thunderstorm started to develop just a few miles away. We drove to get in position to watch the storm, and the chase was on!”

    NOAA’s forecast for severe weather for May 4, 2022. Image via NOAA.

    Storm chasing the supercell

    The supercell started off slowly to our west. It developed over open fields just ahead of the dry line with more than 4,000 joules per kilogram (J/Kg) of CAPE fueling the updraft. As the National Weather Service explains:

    On average, CAPE of 1000 J/Kg is usually sufficient for strong to severe storms. CAPE of 3,000 to 4,000 J/Kg or higher is usually a signal of a very volatile atmosphere that could produce severe storms if other environmental parameters are in place.

    After an hour, the supercell grew to 50,000 feet (nearly ten miles or 16 km) tall and started dropping baseball-sized hail. We approached the storm from the inflow notch, hoping for a clear view of the spinning part of the storm without getting slammed by the hail.

    After an hour, the supercell grew to 50,000 feet (nearly ten miles or 16 km) tall and started dropping baseball-sized hail. We approached the storm from the inflow notch, hoping for a clear view of the spinning part of the storm without getting slammed by the hail.

    Watching the storm strengthen over northwestern Texas. Image via Peter Forister.

    A tornado forms

    Suddenly, the storm ramped up. It started sucking up dust like a vacuum cleaner from the fields around us. The cloud bases under the mesocyclone lowered, and the rotation intensified. You could feel the storm “breathing” as it got ready to produce the first tornado. We cut in underneath the rear flank downdraft (RFD) and acquired a visual on a spinning “cinnamon bun” wall cloud. Within minutes, a tornado shrouded in dust touched down just a mile from us.

    The environment near a storm can become intense very quickly. As the mesocyclone ingests warm air, massive lightning bolts start striking far ahead, and a deep rumble dominates the auditory experience. When a tornado is on the ground, strong winds scream in from behind you, getting sucked into the circulation. The tornado ingests dust, tumbleweeds, and any unfortunate hats that get easily pulled off of storm chaser’s heads. The storm feels alive, and you feel like a tiny spectator in awe of the grand scale of it all. Tornadoes can also be absolutely massive, stretching thousands of feet into the sky and dwarfing wind turbines and farm buildings.

    After the first tornado encounter, we had to find a road to stay with the storm as it moved northeast. Unfortunately, it tracked over open fields without any good roads, so we were forced to take a small dirt road. We encountered some curious free-range cows standing in the middle of the road, apparently completely oblivious to the nearby supercell. After some coaxing, we eased by the cows and made it back onto a paved highway.

    The picturesque tornado

    The supercell ramped up the intensity again. From our vantage point on Texas Highway 6, a barrage of lightning fell from the sky. The low rumble under the storm turned into the roar of constant thunder and wind. The sky under the mesocyclone started to turn green (a phenomena dubbed greenage by storm chasers) due to the mega hail in the storm’s core. As the storm approached the road, the sky darkened, and a massive wall cloud became visible through the dusty haze. We inched forward to get closer to the monster.

    Within seconds, a picturesque cone tornado condensed all the way to the ground and started wrapping up red dust. It engulfed some 300-foot wind turbines, but otherwise remained over clear fields and shrubland. The contrast between the greenage, black wall cloud, and white cone tornado was an impressive spectacle. We quickly grabbed cameras and phones and began snapping photos and shooting video. My goal while storm chasing is to capture still photographs, so I pulled out my camera and shot hundreds of quick photos in the excitement (most of which turned out blurry) but I still came away with a few shots that were completely worth the long drive.

    After a couple of minutes, the tornado became completely enveloped in red dust and dissipated shortly afterward. All the storm chasers, myself included, were left in awe of the rare spectacle we had witnessed, and with a massive amount of adrenaline.

    Watching the wall cloud and “greenage.” Image via Peter Forister.

    Tornado near Crowell, Texas, on May 4, 2022. Peter Forister wrote: “Picturesque and in open country. Incredible experience.”

    After the storm

    The storm continued east after sunset. It produced more tornadoes, including a large rain-wrapped EF-3 wedge tornado. Unfortunately, this tornado hit the small town of Lockett and injured several people in cars and homes. I saw this tornado briefly from behind the storm but did not want to risk getting closer to a dangerous tornado at night. The drive through the damage in Lockett a few minutes later was a sobering reminder of the human impact of these storms. Meteorologists always hope that tornadoes will stay out in open country away from population centers.

    In total, I saw four tornadoes from this one supercell. It was an awe-inspiring experience, but also a reminder of why understanding and forecasting tornadoes is so important for people who live on the Great Plains.

    See the full article here .

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    Deborah Byrd created the EarthSky radio series in 1991 and founded EarthSky.orgin 1994. Today, she serves as Editor-in-Chief of this website. She has won a galaxy of awards from the broadcasting and science communities, including having an asteroid named 3505 Byrd in her honor. A science communicator and educator since 1976, Byrd believes in science as a force for good in the world and a vital tool for the 21st century. “Being an EarthSky editor is like hosting a big global party for cool nature-lovers,” she says.

  • richardmitnick 12:07 pm on March 27, 2022 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "International Sea Level Satellite Takes Over From Predecessor", , , ESA/NASA Sentinel-6 Michael Freilich spacecraft, Meteorology, , Sea level measurements   

    From NASA JPL-Caltech: “International Sea Level Satellite Takes Over From Predecessor” 

    From NASA JPL-Caltech

    March 22, 2022

    Jane J. Lee
    Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif.

    Andrew Wang
    Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif.

    Meltwater from Greenland glaciers like the one pictured can contribute significantly to sea level rise. Sentinel-6 Michael Freilich monitors the height of Earth’s oceans so that researchers can better understand the amount and rate of sea level rise. Credit: NASA Earth Observatory using Landsat data from USGS.

    Sentinel-6 Michael Freilich, the newest addition to a long line of ocean-monitoring satellites, becomes the reference satellite for sea level measurements.

    On March 22, the newest U.S.-European sea level satellite, named Sentinel-6 Michael Freilich, became the official reference satellite for global sea level measurements. This means that sea surface height data collected by other satellites will be compared to the information produced by Sentinel-6 Michael Freilich to ensure their accuracy.

    Launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base in November 2020, the satellite is continuing a nearly 30-year legacy started by the TOPEX/Poseidon satellite, which began its mission to measure sea surface height in the early 1990s. A series of successor satellites have carried on the effort since then, with Sentinel-6 Michael Freilich being the most recent. Its twin, Sentinel-6B, is slated to launch in 2025.

    “These missions, of which Sentinel-6 Michael Freilich is the latest, are the gold standard when it comes to sea level measurements, which are critical for understanding and monitoring climate change,” said Josh Willis, Sentinel-6 Michael Freilich project scientist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Southern California.

    Long-term records of sea level height are key to monitoring how much, and how fast, the oceans are rising in a warming climate. “We can’t lose track of how much sea level has gone up because if we do, it’s hard to predict what’s going to happen in the decades to come,” Willis added.
    “The unprecedented accuracy of the sea level measurements provided by this mission ensures not only the continuity of a 30-year data record, but allows improving our understanding of climate change and the impact of rising seas on coastal areas and communities,” said Julia Figa Saldana, ocean altimetry program manager at the European Organisation for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites (EUMETSAT).

    After Sentinel-6 Michael Freilich launched, it settled into orbit flying 30 seconds behind its predecessor, Jason-3.

    Artist’s impression of the Jason-3 satellite. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech.

    Science and engineering teams have spent the time since launch making sure Sentinel-6 Michael Freilich was collecting the intended data and that the information was accurate. Some of the initial data was made available last year for use in tasks like weather forecasting. And after further validation, the scientists agreed that Sentinel-6 Michael Freilich should become the reference satellite for sea level measurements.

    Later this year, teams will move Jason-3 into what’s called an interleaved orbit. From that new position, the ground track – or the strip of Earth that Jason-3’s instruments see as the satellite travels around the planet – will run in between the ground tracks of successive orbits for Sentinel-6 Michael Freilich. Jason-3 will keep measuring sea level height from the interleaved orbit, although it will no longer serve as the official reference sea level satellite. But by continuing to collect sea level data, Jason-3 will essentially double the number of measurements seen by each pass of Sentinel-6 Michael Freilich, helping to greatly increase the spatial resolution of sea level measurements provided by both satellites.

    More About the Mission

    Sentinel-6 Michael Freilich, named after former NASA Earth Science Division Director Michael Freilich, is one of two satellites that compose the Copernicus Sentinel-6/Jason-CS (Continuity of Service) mission.

    Sentinel-6/Jason-CS was jointly developed by ESA (European Space Agency), EUMETSAT, NASA, and NOAA, with funding support from the European Commission and technical support on performance from CNES (France’s National Centre for Space Studies). Spacecraft monitoring and control, as well as the processing of all the altimeter science data, is carried out by EUMETSAT on behalf of the EU’s Copernicus programme, with the support of all partner agencies.

    JPL, a division of Caltech in Pasadena, contributed three science instruments for each Sentinel-6 satellite: the Advanced Microwave Radiometer, the Global Navigation Satellite System – Radio Occultation, and the Laser Retroreflector Array. NASA also contributed launch services, ground systems supporting operation of the NASA science instruments, the science data processors for two of these instruments, and support for the U.S. members of the international Ocean Surface Topography Science Team.

    For more about Sentinel-6 Michael Freilich, visit:


    To access data from Sentinel-6 Michael Freilich, visit:



    See the full article here.


    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    NASA JPL-Caltech Campus

    NASA JPL-Caltech
    is a federally funded research and development center and NASA field center located in the San Gabriel Valley area of Los Angeles County, California, United States. Although the facility has a Pasadena postal address, it is actually headquartered in the city of La Cañada Flintridge, on the northwest border of Pasadena. JPL is managed by the nearby California Institute of Technology for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. The Laboratory’s primary function is the construction and operation of robotic planetary spacecraft, though it also conducts Earth-orbit and astronomy missions. It is also responsible for operating NASA’s Deep Space Network.

    NASA Deep Space Network. Credit: NASA.

    NASA Deep Space Network Station 56 Madrid Spain added in early 2021.

    NASA Deep Space Network Station 14 at Goldstone Deep Space Communications Complex in California

    NASA Canberra Deep Space Communication Complex, AU, Deep Space Network. Credit: NASA

    NASA Deep Space Network Madrid Spain. Credit: NASA.

    The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is the agency of the United States government that is responsible for the nation’s civilian space program and for aeronautics and aerospace research.

    President Dwight D. Eisenhower established the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) in 1958 with a distinctly civilian (rather than military) orientation encouraging peaceful applications in space science. The National Aeronautics and Space Act was passed on July 29, 1958, disestablishing NASA’s predecessor, the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA). The new agency became operational on October 1, 1958.

    Since that time, most U.S. space exploration efforts have been led by NASA, including the Apollo moon-landing missions, the Skylab space station, and later the Space Shuttle. Currently, NASA is supporting the International Space Station and is overseeing the development of the Orion Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle and Commercial Crew vehicles. The agency is also responsible for the Launch Services Program (LSP) which provides oversight of launch operations and countdown management for unmanned NASA launches. Most recently, NASA announced a new Space Launch System that it said would take the agency’s astronauts farther into space than ever before and lay the cornerstone for future human space exploration efforts by the U.S.

    NASA science is focused on better understanding Earth through the Earth Observing System, advancing heliophysics through the efforts of the Science Mission Directorate’s Heliophysics Research Program, exploring bodies throughout the Solar System with advanced robotic missions such as New Horizons, and researching astrophysics topics, such as the Big Bang, through the Great Observatories [Hubble, Chandra, Spitzer, and associated programs.] NASA shares data with various national and international organizations such as from the[JAXA]Greenhouse Gases Observing Satellite.

  • richardmitnick 2:52 pm on March 1, 2022 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "A New Super-High Satellite Will Eye Weather on Earth—and in Space", , , GOES stands for Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellites., GOES-T, Meteorology, ,   

    From WIRED: “A New Super-High Satellite Will Eye Weather on Earth—and in Space” 

    From WIRED

    Mar 1, 2022
    Ramin Skibba

    Photograph: Kim Shiflett/NASA.

    Today, the newest member of a family of storm-spotting satellites will head to space, carrying high-resolution cameras that will be used in real time to track everything from hurricanes and floods to wildfires and smoke, and even space weather. The GOES-T satellite is scheduled to blast off at 4:38 pm Eastern time—weather permitting, of course—on a United Launch Alliance Atlas V 541 rocket from Cape Canaveral in Florida.

    “It’s a very all-purpose spacecraft. Basically, any kind of good or bad weather, any kind of hazardous environmental condition, the cameras on GOES-T will see them,” says Pamela Sullivan, director of the GOES-R program at the the National Atmospheric and Oceanic Administration, which together with NASA designed and built the new satellite. “The GOES satellites really help people every day, before, during and after a disaster.”

    The new satellite will be part of a pair of eyes that spy on North America—one looking west and the other looking east. GOES-T will focus on the western continental US, Alaska, Hawaii, Mexico, some parts of Central America, and the Pacific Ocean. Its sibling, which has been orbiting since 2016, covers the eastern continental US, Canada, and Mexico.

    NOAA has been maintaining this twin set of satellites (and sometimes, a triplet set) since the 1970s, retiring orbiters as they age and swapping new ones in. Once it’s in orbit, GOES-T will be renamed GOES-18, since it’s the 18th satellite in the program, and it will also be known as GOES-West, since it’s the west-looking eye. It will replace the satellite currently covering the west, which in 2018 developed a problem with its Advanced Baseline Imager, one of its most important instruments. A loop heat pipe system has been malfunctioning and not transferring enough heat from the electronics to the radiator. As a result, the heat has become a contaminant; at certain times, the infrared detectors become saturated, degrading their images.

    The older satellite isn’t useless, though. After GOES-T takes its place, it will be put in “standby mode” and maintained as an on-orbit spare, Sullivan says. Thirteen previous satellites have been retired, while two more remain in orbit as backups. The new satellite also isn’t the last. Eventually, another satellite (GOES-U) will follow it, likely to replace the east-looking satellite, ensuring that the dynasty stretches into at least the mid-2030s.

    GOES-T is an upgrade over its predecessors. It is the third member of the new generation of GOES spacecraft that come with improved versions of the Advanced Baseline Imager that can snap high-resolution photos of the entire western hemisphere every five minutes. It takes those images at 16 different spectral bands or “channels”—a red and a blue channel at visual wavelengths, and then 14 others that range from near-infrared to mid-infrared wavelengths. (Earlier GOES imagers only had five channels.) This allows researchers to pick their favorite channels to best map out wildfires, clouds, storms, smoke, dust, water vapor, ozone, and many other atmospheric phenomena.

    While most satellites fly a few hundred miles above the ground in the relatively crowded low Earth orbit, looping the globe every two hours or so, GOES-T will ascend to 22,000 miles—about a tenth of the way to the moon. In this sparsely populated area known as geostationary orbit, spacecraft orbit as fast as the world turns, allowing them to remain positioned over the same spot on the globe. That key feature allows the GOES satellites to continuously monitor weather, which can change quickly. (GOES stands for Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellites.)

    “That is the number one big advantage of the GOES instruments,” says Amy Huff, an atmospheric scientist at the NOAA Center for Satellite Applications and Research. “It has really revolutionized the way we respond to fires and smoke.”

    With increasingly intense and destructive blazes in the western US, like the Dixie Fire in California, the Bootleg Fire in Oregon, and the Marshall Fire in Colorado, firefighters and other emergency management officials need real-time images, Huff says. Using combinations of GOES-T’s infrared channels, Huff’s colleagues will be able to continue their work tracking a fire’s location, intensity, size, and temperature all day and night. Huff’s team’s specialty is smoke: They monitor the movement of smoke plumes and air pollution, producing maps and other resources for the aviation industry and public health officials.

    Researchers will also use GOES-T to map clouds—not just the storm-generating cumulonimbus ones, but also wispy, cirrus clouds. “That’s why I’m really excited to get GOES West replaced with GOES-T. It will then be providing information over the Pacific Ocean, which is very much a data void. And since most of our weather comes from the West, that’s a problem,” says Jason Otkin, an atmospheric scientist at University of Wisconsin who frequently uses these satellites’ data. GOES-T will ultimately help improve weather forecasts across the US, he says.

    Researchers and meteorologists also like to take advantage of the satellites’ other instruments, like the Geostationary Lightning Mapper, which spots flashes of light by monitoring an area with a time resolution of 500 frames per second. With GOES-T’s predecessors, lightning-watching scientists have already broken world records, says Michael Peterson, an atmospheric scientist at The DOE’s Los Alamos National Laboratory, who frequently uses these satellite images to study the physics of lightning strikes. “We can see some rare cases where lightning can last not just one second but more than 10 seconds. It truly breaks the mold of what we think lightning can be capable of,” he says. By mapping lightning from space, he and his colleagues have also found giant flashes, some more than 450 miles long.

    GOES-T and its brethren also count as space weather trackers, Sullivan says, since some of their sensors are pointed upward. The new satellite will watch for the sun to fling giant blobs of charged particles, and track their impacts if they collide with the Earth’s magnetic field—a phenomenon often called a geomagnetic storm. The spacecraft comes equipped with two sun-focused ultraviolet and x-ray sensors, while another sensor and a magnetometer monitor the number of electrons and protons and the magnetic field around the satellite. Detecting a sudden fluctuation among those could be a sign that satellites and astronauts in lower orbits are about to get hit by a solar storm.

    As the GOES spacecraft beam down their images and data, NOAA makes them freely and publicly available, Huff says. “That’s exciting as well: People don’t have to go through emergency management officials; they can actually go to NOAA’s websites and look directly at the imagery themselves,” she says.

    On Tuesday, GOES-T is expected to launch under the gaze of its east-looking sibling, which will help monitor conditions from space. The weather looks good so far, though if for some reason the launch can’t happen during its planned two-hour window, NASA will try again the following afternoon. The launch will be aired live on NASA TV.

    See the full article here .


    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

  • richardmitnick 12:53 pm on February 11, 2022 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Studying clouds can provide deeper insight into climate change", Aerosols are important because they serve as “seeds” for clouds., , Despite this essential role that clouds play there’s still a lot of uncertainty in how they should be factored into climate models., Dust particles from Sahara can considerably enhance the concentration of ice in clouds which strongly promotes their ability to rain and snow., Meteorology, The measurements were taken on Mount Helmos at the heart of the Peloponnese throughout the fall of 2021., , What makes Mount Helmos particularly interesting for cloud and climate research is that it sits at the crossroads of many different air streams.   

    From The Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne [EPFL-École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne](CH): “Studying clouds can provide deeper insight into climate change” 

    From The Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne [EPFL-École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne](CH)

    Credit: metoffice.gov.uk

    An international team of scientists conducted CALISHTO, a large-scale air measurement campaign in Greece last fall, with the goal of surveying, counting and characterizing the tiny particles and their impact on cloud formation. The goal is to incorporate this information in climate models for improved predictions of clouds, precipitation and climate.

    Studying clouds can provide deeper insight into climate change.

    The Earth’s climate works like a huge puzzle, and being able to understand all the different mechanisms involved requires piecing together massive amounts of data. Developing reliable climate models requires understanding the exact role that clouds play, and is currently missing. To fill this gap, an international team of scientists* – including researchers from EPFL’s Laboratory of Atmospheric Processes and their Impacts (LAPI) and Environmental Remote Sensing Laboratory (LTE) – carried out air measurements recently on an unprecedented scale.

    The measuring station at the top of the mountain. ©2021 Laboratory of Atmospheric Processes and their Impacts (LAPI)/EPFL.

    The research project is called CALISHTO, which is short for Cloud-AerosoL InteractionS in the Helmos background TropOsphere. The measurements were taken on Mount Helmos at the heart of the Peloponnese throughout the fall of 2021. The scientists spent months meticulously surveying, counting and characterizing the different types of particles in the air at different times of day. These microscopic particles, also known as aerosols, are important because they serve as “seeds” for clouds.

    “Without aerosols, there would be hardly any clouds in the sky,” says Athanasios Nenes, the head of LAPI and one of the organizers of CALISHTO. “Water vapor condenses on these particles, forming droplets and ice crystals that we see as clouds. And the type of cloud formed can vary significantly depending on the number of aerosols, their size and their chemical characteristics. Particles of sand from the Sahara Desert, for example, will have a very different effect on clouds from those produced by forest-fires. That’s what we wanted to study with this measurement campaign.”

    On the station’s roof. ©2021 LAPI/EPFL

    Understanding the process of cloud formation is especially important given the essential role that clouds play in the climate system, and therefore in climate change. Clouds form a veil over the Earth, reflecting large amounts of incoming solar radiation back into space through what’s known as the albedo effect. They also trap some of the longer-wavelength radiation (infrared radiation) that’s emitted from the Earth’s surface, keeping some of the heat in the atmosphere. What’s more, clouds are involved in regulating and distributing precipitation and the hydrologic cycle in general, meaning they have a direct influence on freshwater supplies for many ecosystems and for agriculture.

    A critical factor

    Despite this essential role that clouds play there’s still a lot of uncertainty in how they should be factored into climate models – particularly when you take into account the many different interactions and chemical and physical processes involved, all taking place at the micro scale, much smaller than any climate model can resolve.

    What makes Mount Helmos particularly interesting for cloud and climate research is that it sits at the crossroads of many different air streams. Situated in the center-north part of the Peloponnese peninsula in Greece, it provides an ideal site for collecting and measuring an array of particles from continental Europe, from nearby areas as well as the marine particles from the Mediterranean Sea and Dust from the Sahara. The site is often in the level of cloud formation, so it provides a unique opportunity to directly observe how cloud properties change with the particles that are present in the air.

    Kostas Eleftheriadis, a research director at the NCSR Demokritos, co-organizer of the campaign and initiator of the Mount Helmos site: “Our measuring station is the only one of its kind. We were able to watch the atmospheric processes that determine what happens to anthropogenic and natural emissions of particles and greenhouse gases across the broader eastern Mediterranean region. These data will help us understand the overall effect that human activity is having on the environment, both in our region and elsewhere.”

    “Our measuring station is located at an altitude of 2,300 meters and lets us observe how two distinct layers of air interact – a lower one, where all the anthropogenic pollution accumulates, and an upper one, where the air is much cleaner, with clouds in the region” says Ghislain Motos, a scientist at LAPI. Observing this huge diversity of cloud formation conditions for extended periods of time allows for an understanding of the processes that occur for clouds all over the world.

    Nearly three dozen instruments

    The scientists installed almost three dozen state-of-the-art research instruments at Mount Helmos and the surrounding region. Some collected data on atmospheric factors like air temperature, humidity, wind speed, sunlight, while others measured gases like ammonia and aerosol characteristics, such as size, number, hygroscopicity, chemical composition, density, optical properties, even biological content. The ability of aerosol to form cloud droplets and ice crystals was directly measured with a Cloud Condensation Nuclei counter co-developed by Nenes and a new ice nuclei counter that only few groups possess worldwide.

    Inside the station. © 2021 LAPI/EPFL.

    The research team also employed remote sensing systems that provide key pieces of information completing the measurements collected at the mountaintop. “We use systems called LIDARS, that sent light from lasers into the atmosphere to obtain information on the vertical distribution of particles from near ground up to 10-15 km height. This allows the characterization of air masses arriving over the Helmos station and helps determine where particles come from,” says Alexandros Papayannis, the head of the Laser Remote Sensing Unit at The NATIONAL TECHNICAL UNIVERSITY OF ATHENS [[Εθνικό Μετσόβιο Πολυτεχνείο](GR), affiliate of LAPI and co-organizer of CALISHTO.

    So far, the scientists have seen that dust particles from Sahara can considerably enhance the concentration of ice in clouds which strongly promotes their ability to rain and snow. Interestingly, the concentration of biological particles is also increasing alongside with dust. Given that biological particles can act as superb ice nucleators, and help facilitate ice multiplication processes – does this mean that aerosols can make clouds rain and snow even more intensely than thought? The final analysis will tell in a few months.

    The campaign was organized by:

    EPFL, Laboratory of Atmospheric Processes and their Impacts, http://lapi.epfl.ch
    NCSR Demokritos Institute of Nuclear and Particle Physics, http://www.inp.demokritos.gr/
    National Technical University of Athens, Laser Remote Sensing Unit (LRSU), http://lrsu.physics.ntua.gr/
    Center of Studies on Air Quality and Climate Change (C-STACC) at the Institute of Chemical Engineering Sciences at the Foundation for Research and Technology Hellas in Patras, http://cstacc.iceht.forth.gr/

    And included participants from:

    Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, https://www.imk-aaf.kit.edu/
    Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, http://lap.physics.auth.gr/
    Laboratoire d’Optique Atmosphérique, http://www-loa.univ-lille1.fr/
    Academy of Athens, http://www.academyofathens.gr/en
    Finnish Meteorological Institute, https://en.ilmatieteenlaitos.fi/
    University of Birmingham, https://www.birmingham.ac.uk/index.aspx

    See the full article here .


    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    EPFL bloc

    EPFL campus

    The Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne [EPFL-École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne] (CH) is a research institute and university in Lausanne, Switzerland, that specializes in natural sciences and engineering. It is one of the two Swiss Federal Institutes of Technology, and it has three main missions: education, research and technology transfer.

    The QS World University Rankings ranks EPFL(CH) 14th in the world across all fields in their 2020/2021 ranking, whereas Times Higher Education World University Rankings ranks EPFL(CH) as the world’s 19th best school for Engineering and Technology in 2020.

    EPFL(CH) is located in the French-speaking part of Switzerland; the sister institution in the German-speaking part of Switzerland is The Swiss Federal Institute of Technology ETH Zürich [Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule Zürich)](CH) . Associated with several specialized research institutes, the two universities form The Domain of the Swiss Federal Institutes of Technology (ETH Domain) [ETH-Bereich; Domaine des Écoles polytechniques fédérales] (CH) which is directly dependent on the Federal Department of Economic Affairs, Education and Research. In connection with research and teaching activities, EPFL(CH) operates a nuclear reactor CROCUS; a Tokamak Fusion reactor; a Blue Gene/Q Supercomputer; and P3 bio-hazard facilities.

    ETH Zürich, EPFL (Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne) [École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne](CH), and four associated research institutes form The Domain of the Swiss Federal Institutes of Technology (ETH Domain) [ETH-Bereich; Domaine des Écoles polytechniques fédérales] (CH) with the aim of collaborating on scientific projects.

    The roots of modern-day EPFL(CH) can be traced back to the foundation of a private school under the name École spéciale de Lausanne in 1853 at the initiative of Lois Rivier, a graduate of the École Centrale Paris (FR) and John Gay the then professor and rector of the Académie de Lausanne. At its inception it had only 11 students and the offices was located at Rue du Valentin in Lausanne. In 1869, it became the technical department of the public Académie de Lausanne. When the Académie was reorganised and acquired the status of a university in 1890, the technical faculty changed its name to École d’ingénieurs de l’Université de Lausanne. In 1946, it was renamed the École polytechnique de l’Université de Lausanne (EPUL). In 1969, the EPUL was separated from the rest of the University of Lausanne and became a federal institute under its current name. EPFL(CH), like ETH Zürich(CH), is thus directly controlled by the Swiss federal government. In contrast, all other universities in Switzerland are controlled by their respective cantonal governments. Following the nomination of Patrick Aebischer as president in 2000, EPFL(CH) has started to develop into the field of life sciences. It absorbed the Swiss Institute for Experimental Cancer Research (ISREC) in 2008.

    In 1946, there were 360 students. In 1969, EPFL(CH) had 1,400 students and 55 professors. In the past two decades the university has grown rapidly and as of 2012 roughly 14,000 people study or work on campus, about 9,300 of these being Bachelor, Master or PhD students. The environment at modern day EPFL(CH) is highly international with the school attracting students and researchers from all over the world. More than 125 countries are represented on the campus and the university has two official languages, French and English.


    EPFL is organised into eight schools, themselves formed of institutes that group research units (laboratories or chairs) around common themes:

    School of Basic Sciences (SB, Jan S. Hesthaven)

    Institute of Mathematics (MATH, Victor Panaretos)
    Institute of Chemical Sciences and Engineering (ISIC, Emsley Lyndon)
    Institute of Physics (IPHYS, Harald Brune)
    European Centre of Atomic and Molecular Computations (CECAM, Ignacio Pagonabarraga Mora)
    Bernoulli Center (CIB, Nicolas Monod)
    Biomedical Imaging Research Center (CIBM, Rolf Gruetter)
    Interdisciplinary Center for Electron Microscopy (CIME, Cécile Hébert)
    Max Planck-EPFL Centre for Molecular Nanosciences and Technology (CMNT, Thomas Rizzo)
    Swiss Plasma Center (SPC, Ambrogio Fasoli)
    Laboratory of Astrophysics (LASTRO, Jean-Paul Kneib)

    School of Engineering (STI, Ali Sayed)

    Institute of Electrical Engineering (IEL, Giovanni De Micheli)
    Institute of Mechanical Engineering (IGM, Thomas Gmür)
    Institute of Materials (IMX, Michaud Véronique)
    Institute of Microengineering (IMT, Olivier Martin)
    Institute of Bioengineering (IBI, Matthias Lütolf)

    School of Architecture, Civil and Environmental Engineering (ENAC, Claudia R. Binder)

    Institute of Architecture (IA, Luca Ortelli)
    Civil Engineering Institute (IIC, Eugen Brühwiler)
    Institute of Urban and Regional Sciences (INTER, Philippe Thalmann)
    Environmental Engineering Institute (IIE, David Andrew Barry)

    School of Computer and Communication Sciences (IC, James Larus)

    Algorithms & Theoretical Computer Science
    Artificial Intelligence & Machine Learning
    Computational Biology
    Computer Architecture & Integrated Systems
    Data Management & Information Retrieval
    Graphics & Vision
    Human-Computer Interaction
    Information & Communication Theory
    Programming Languages & Formal Methods
    Security & Cryptography
    Signal & Image Processing

    School of Life Sciences (SV, Gisou van der Goot)

    Bachelor-Master Teaching Section in Life Sciences and Technologies (SSV)
    Brain Mind Institute (BMI, Carmen Sandi)
    Institute of Bioengineering (IBI, Melody Swartz)
    Swiss Institute for Experimental Cancer Research (ISREC, Douglas Hanahan)
    Global Health Institute (GHI, Bruno Lemaitre)
    Ten Technology Platforms & Core Facilities (PTECH)
    Center for Phenogenomics (CPG)
    NCCR Synaptic Bases of Mental Diseases (NCCR-SYNAPSY)

    College of Management of Technology (CDM)

    Swiss Finance Institute at EPFL (CDM-SFI, Damir Filipovic)
    Section of Management of Technology and Entrepreneurship (CDM-PMTE, Daniel Kuhn)
    Institute of Technology and Public Policy (CDM-ITPP, Matthias Finger)
    Institute of Management of Technology and Entrepreneurship (CDM-MTEI, Ralf Seifert)
    Section of Financial Engineering (CDM-IF, Julien Hugonnier)

    College of Humanities (CDH, Thomas David)

    Human and social sciences teaching program (CDH-SHS, Thomas David)

    EPFL Middle East (EME, Dr. Franco Vigliotti)[62]

    Section of Energy Management and Sustainability (MES, Prof. Maher Kayal)

    In addition to the eight schools there are seven closely related institutions

    Swiss Cancer Centre
    Center for Biomedical Imaging (CIBM)
    Centre for Advanced Modelling Science (CADMOS)
    École cantonale d’art de Lausanne (ECAL)
    Campus Biotech
    Wyss Center for Bio- and Neuro-engineering
    Swiss National Supercomputing Centre

  • richardmitnick 10:22 am on January 30, 2022 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "High Mountain Rain Has Scientists Rethinking River Basics", , , , , , , Meteorology   

    From Eos : “High Mountain Rain Has Scientists Rethinking River Basics” 

    From AGU
    Eos news bloc

    From Eos

    27 January 2022
    David Shultz

    Rainfall varies with elevation, and such precipitation gradients can have profound and often counterintuitive effects on topography.

    A river cuts through mountains in southern Siberia. Credit: Evgenia Beletskaya, Unsplash.

    Mountainous terrains have dynamic climates and can produce startling contrasts in precipitation. Increases in elevation can spell either more or less rainfall depending on atmospheric moisture content, general circulation patterns, and the specifics of the topography in question. But regardless of the directionality of the rainfall’s gradient, such variability in precipitation can have large impacts on how rivers form, evolve, and shape the surrounding landscape. Although important, these influences on mountain landscape evolution are understudied.

    In a new study, Leonard and Whipple [below] model how variable precipitation in mountain landscape climates can create a complex system of changing river conditions that challenge many of the existing theories of how topography evolves over time. Previous works have analyzed how changes in rainfall influence topography, but most studies have focused on situations in which rainfall increases or decreases consistently across an area. The new study focuses on what happens when precipitation increases in a gradient-wise fashion along a river—raining more either upstream or downstream. Because many such changes in rainfall are expected to occur under climate change, the authors’ study also seeks to address how past work may have misinterpreted the eventual topographical effects in regions, such as mountains, that are expected to experience uneven changes in rainfall.

    Using the stream power model, the authors show that when precipitation gradients are considered, the model can produce some seemingly counterintuitive results. For example, when precipitation increases across a region, erosion is expected to increase in step, creating an overall flatter landscape. However, in some cases, when precipitation increases along a gradient, relief actually increases.

    Including these changing rainfall patterns produces river dynamics that are considerably more variable: Rivers evolve through transient states that look different depending on when and where they’re observed and depending on a host of other variables. In addition to the upstream/downstream orientation of the gradient, the scientists also show that spatially varying rainfall has different effects on tributaries versus trunk rivers and that the specifics of the topography are important. The increase in complexity paints an overall picture suggesting that river catchments have unique histories and relationships with changing rainfall conditions, making it difficult to generalize about how climate changes in the future will affect the topography of the planet over the long term.

    Science paper:
    JGR Earth Surface

    See the full article here .


    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    Eos is the leading source for trustworthy news and perspectives about the Earth and space sciences and their impact. Its namesake is Eos, the Greek goddess of the dawn, who represents the light shed on understanding our planet and its environment in space by the Earth and space sciences.

  • richardmitnick 1:17 pm on January 22, 2022 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Understanding Rare Rain Events in the Driest Desert on Earth", Additional research is needed to confidently show that the Amazon is the source of the moisture brought by some of the conveyor belts., , , , , It’s like a decade worth of rain within one single event within a couple hours., Meteorology, Moisture conveyor belts, Moisture conveyor belts occur throughout the nearby Andes region about 4 times per year., Most of the moisture originates in the Amazon basin-a surprising result given the high Andes that divide the rain forest from the desert., ,   

    From Eos: “Understanding Rare Rain Events in the Driest Desert on Earth” 

    From AGU
    Eos news bloc

    From Eos

    18 January 2022
    Emily Cerf

    A new study reveals the atmospheric paths of storm events that can deliver a decade’s worth of rain in a few hours to the Atacama Desert.

    Parts of the Atacama Desert receive fewer than 5 millimeters of rainfall a year. Credit: Wescottm, CC BY 4.0.

    In the enduring dryness of the Atacama Desert in northern Chile where the average rainfall is as low as 5 millimeters per year, rare rain events can come swiftly and intensely. They shape the landscape and provide precious moisture to plants and other species that otherwise adapted to extended dry spells or harvesting coastal fog. Intense rain events like those seen in the Atacama are known to be associated with so-called ‘moisture conveyor belts”, which are high-altitude atmospheric phenomena known for transporting large volumes of water vapor. However, whether or not “moisture conveyor belts” are responsible for the Atacama’s intense rain events has yet to be shown.

    In a new study, Böhm et al.[Geophysical Research Letters] explain the atmospheric mechanisms behind the wettest of these precipitation events and propose that the water travels from the tropical Amazon across oceans and mountains to reach the desert. The research shows that 40%–80% of the total precipitation that occurs between the coast and the Andean foothills is associated with “moisture conveyor belts”.

    Rain events related to “moisture conveyor belts” can be devastating for local microbial species adapted to dry conditions, the authors say, but they could play a role in the germination of the blooming desert—an explosion of colorful wildflowers that occurs in the Atacama every 5 to 7 years. The authors’ understanding of the processes behind these rare events could change how scientists understand past and future climates in the region.

    Cataloging Conveyor Belts

    Böhm and colleagues cataloged the role of the conveyor belts in the Atacama for the first time. To figure out the role of “moisture conveyor belts” and track air masses, the researchers examined a 2017 precipitation event that brought more than 50 millimeters of rain to some regions of the Atacama. Modeling that tracked the paths of the air masses suggested that most of the moisture originated in the Amazon basin, a surprising result given the high Andes that divide the rain forest from the desert. The authors also discovered that “moisture conveyor belts” occur throughout the nearby Andes region about 4 times per year—some don’t bring much precipitation at all, but the wettest of them can be extreme.

    “It’s like a decade worth of rain within one single event within a couple hours,” said Christoph Böhm, lead author of the study from the Institute for Geophysics and Meteorology at The University of Cologne [Universität zu Köln](DE). Ten times the annual precipitation can be rained down by these conveyor belts in the midsection of Earth’s lowest atmospheric layer, the troposphere.

    In tracing how water moves in moisture conveyor belts across the continent, the researchers suggest that in the most humid of these extreme events, the moisture originates in the tropical Amazon basin rather than over the Pacific Ocean that lies west of the desert.

    However, additional research is needed to confidently show that the Amazon is the source of the moisture brought by some of the conveyor belts. An examination of isotopic data—the atomic chemical information of the water—from the rain events is necessary to support this idea, according to Cornell University (US) geologist Teresa Eileen Jordan, who studies the Atacama and was not involved in the research. The hypothetical path of the water from the Amazon over the Andes would fundamentally change the chemical composition of the water, she says.

    New ideas about how water is transported to these regions can shape how paleoclimatologists understand past eras in this region, affecting understandings of past civilizations that may also have depended on these processes, and can inform water resource management and predictions of future climate change in the Atacama Desert.

    See the full article here .


    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    Eos is the leading source for trustworthy news and perspectives about the Earth and space sciences and their impact. Its namesake is Eos, the Greek goddess of the dawn, who represents the light shed on understanding our planet and its environment in space by the Earth and space sciences.

  • richardmitnick 12:17 pm on December 19, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "The Little Ice Age" was one of the coldest periods of the past 10000 years., "Winter Is Coming-Researchers Uncover the Surprising Cause of the Little Ice Age", , , , , , Meteorology, The University of Massachusettes-Amherst (US), What caused "The Little Ice Age"? The answer we now know is a paradox: warming., What could have set off that persistent high-pressure event in the 1380s? The answer Lapointe discovered is to be found in trees.   

    From The University of Massachusettes-Amherst (US) : “Winter Is Coming-Researchers Uncover the Surprising Cause of the ‘Little Ice Age'” 

    U Mass Amherst

    From The University of Massachusettes-Amherst (US)

    December 15, 2021

    Daegan Miller

    A stronger AMOC means arctic ice melts faster, which may eventually shut AMOC [Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation] down. Credit: Getty Images.

    A reconstruction of sea surface temperatures illustrating AMOC [Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation].

    New research from the University of Massachusetts Amherst provides a novel answer to one of the persistent questions in historical climatology, environmental history and the earth sciences: what caused “The Little Ice Age”? The answer, we now know, is a paradox: warming.

    “The Little Ice Age”* was one of the coldest periods of the past 10000 years, a period of cooling that was particularly pronounced in the North Atlantic region. This cold spell, whose precise timeline scholars debate, but which seems to have set in around 600 years ago, was responsible for crop failures, famines and pandemics throughout Europe, resulting in misery and death for millions. To date, the mechanisms that led to this harsh climate state have remained inconclusive. However, a new paper published recently in Science Advances gives an up-to-date picture of the events that brought about “The Little Ice Age”. Surprisingly, the cooling appears to have been triggered by an unusually warm episode.

    When lead author Francois Lapointe, postdoctoral researcher and lecturer in geosciences at UMass Amherst and Raymond Bradley, distinguished professor in geosciences at UMass Amherst began carefully examining their 3,000-year reconstruction of North Atlantic sea surface temperatures, results of which were published in the PNAS in 2020, they noticed something surprising: a sudden change from very warm conditions in the late 1300s to unprecedented cold conditions in the early 1400s, only 20 years later.

    Using many detailed marine records, Lapointe and Bradley discovered that there was an abnormally strong northward transfer of warm water in the late 1300s which peaked around 1380. As a result, the waters south of Greenland and the Nordic Seas became much warmer than usual. “No one has recognized this before,” notes Lapointe.

    Normally, there is always a transfer of warm water from the tropics to the arctic. It’s a well-known process called the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC), which is like a planetary conveyor belt. Typically, warm water from the tropics flows north along the coast of Northern Europe, and when it reaches higher latitudes and meets colder arctic waters, it loses heat and becomes denser, causing the water to sink at the bottom of the ocean. This deep-water formation then flows south along the coast of North America and continues on to circulate around the world.

    But in the late 1300s, AMOC strengthened significantly, which meant that far more warm water than usual was moving north, which in turn cause rapid arctic ice loss. Over the course of a few decades in the late 1300s and 1400s, vast amounts of ice were flushed out into the North Atlantic, which not only cooled the North Atlantic waters, but also diluted their saltiness, ultimately causing AMOC to collapse. It is this collapse that then triggered a substantial cooling.

    Fast-forward to our own time: between the 1960s and 1980s, we have also seen a rapid strengthening of AMOC, which has been linked with persistently high pressure in the atmosphere over Greenland. Lapointe and Bradley think the same atmospheric situation occurred just prior to the Little Ice Age—but what could have set off that persistent high-pressure event in the 1380s?

    The answer, Lapointe discovered, is to be found in trees*. Once the researchers compared their findings to a new record of solar activity revealed by radiocarbon isotopes preserved in tree rings*, they discovered that unusually high solar activity was recorded in the late 1300s. Such solar activity tends to lead to high atmospheric pressure over Greenland.

    At the same time, fewer volcanic eruptions were happening on earth, which means that there was less ash in the air. A “cleaner” atmosphere meant that the planet was more responsive to changes in solar output. “Hence the effect of high solar activity on the atmospheric circulation in the North-Atlantic was particularly strong,” said Lapointe.

    Lapointe and Bradley have been wondering whether such an abrupt cooling event could happen again in our age of global climate change. They note that there is now much less arctic sea ice due to global warming, so an event like that in the early 1400s, involving sea ice transport, is unlikely. “However, we do have to keep an eye on the build-up of freshwater in the Beaufort Sea (north of Alaska) which has increased by 40% in the past two decades. Its export to the subpolar North Atlantic could have a strong impact on oceanic circulation”, said Lapointe. “Also, persistent periods of high pressure over Greenland in summer have been much more frequent over the past decade and are linked with record-breaking ice melt. Climate models do not capture these events reliably and so we may be underestimating future ice loss from the ice sheet, with more freshwater entering the North Atlantic, potentially leading to a weakening or collapse of the AMOC.” The authors conclude that there is an urgent need to address these uncertainties.

    This research was supported by funding from the National Science Foundation (US).

    *Supposedly, the brilliant string instruments of the Italian family Stradivari, particularly Antonio Stradivari are based on the tree wood density changes caused by “The Little Ice Age”.

    Antonio Stradivari violin of 1703 on exhibit, behind glass, at The Musikinstrumentenmuseum (Berlin Musical Instrument Museum), 2006

    See the full article here .


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    Stem Education Coalition

    U Mass Amherst campus

    The University of Massachusettes-Amherst (US) , the Commonwealth’s flagship campus, is a nationally ranked public research university offering a full range of undergraduate, graduate and professional degrees.

    As the flagship campus of America’s education state The University of Massachusetts-Amherst (US) is the leader of the public higher education system of the Commonwealth, making a profound, transformative impact to the common good. Founded in 1863, we are the largest public research university in New England, distinguished by the excellence and breadth of our academic, research and community outreach programs. We rank 29th among the nation’s top public universities, moving up 11 spots in the past two years in the U.S. News & World Report’s annual college guide.

    The The University of Massachusetts-Amherst (US) is a public land-grant research university in Amherst, Massachusetts. Founded in 1863 as an agricultural college, it is the flagship and the largest campus in the University of Massachusetts system, as well as the first established. It is also a member of the Five College Consortium, along with four other colleges in the Pioneer Valley: Amherst College (US) , Smith College, Mount Holyoke College (US), and Hampshire College (US).

    The University of Massachusetts-Amherst has an annual enrollment of more than 30,000 students, along with approximately 1,300 faculty members. It is the third largest university in Massachusetts, behind Boston University (US) and Harvard University (US). The university offers academic degrees in 109 undergraduate, 77 master’s and 48 doctoral programs. Programs are coordinated in nine schools and colleges. The University of Massachusetts-Amherst is classified among “R1: Doctoral Universities – Very high research activity”. According to the National Science Foundation (US), the university spent $211 million on research and development in 2018.

    The university’s 21 varsity athletic teams compete in NCAA Division I and are collectively known as the Minutemen and Minutewomen. The university is a member of the Atlantic 10 Conference, while playing ice hockey in Hockey East and football as an FBS Independent.

    Past and present students and faculty include 4 Nobel Prize laureates, a National Humanities Medal winner, numerous Fulbright, Goldwater, Churchill, Truman, and Gates Scholars, Olympic Gold Medalists, a United States Poet Laureate, as well as several Pulitzer Prize recipients and Grammy, Emmy, and Academy Award winners.
    The university was founded in 1863 under the provisions of the Federal Morrill Land-Grant Colleges Act to provide instruction to Massachusetts citizens in “agricultural, mechanical, and military arts.” Accordingly, the university was initially named the Massachusetts Agricultural College, popularly referred to as “Mass Aggie” or “M.A.C.” In 1867, the college had yet to admit any students, been through two Presidents, and had still not completed any college buildings. In that year, William S. Clark was appointed President of the college and Professor of Botany. He quickly appointed a faculty, completed the construction plan, and, in the fall of 1867, admitted the first class of approximately 50 students. Clark became the first president to serve longterm after the schools opening and is often regarded the primary founding father of the college. Of the school’s founding figures, there are a traditional “founding four”- Clark, Levi Stockbridge, Charles Goessmann, and Henry Goodell, described as “the botanist, the farmer, the chemist, [and] the man of letters.”

    The original buildings consisted of Old South College (a dormitory located on the site of the present South College), North College (a second dormitory once located just south of today’s Machmer Hall), the Chemistry Laboratory, also known as College Hall (once located on the present site of Machmer Hall), the Boarding House (a small dining hall located just north of the present Campus Parking Garage), the Botanic Museum (located on the north side of the intersection of Stockbridge Road and Chancellor’s Hill Drive) and the Durfee Plant House (located on the site of the new Durfee Conservatory).

    Although enrollment was slow during the 1870s, the fledgling college built momentum under the leadership of President Henry Hill Goodell. In the 1880s, Goodell implemented an expansion plan, adding the College Drill Hall in 1883 (the first gymnasium), the Old Chapel Library in 1885 (one of the oldest extant buildings on campus and an important symbol of the University), and the East and West Experiment Stations in 1886 and 1890. The Campus Pond, now the central focus of the University Campus, was created in 1893 by damming a small brook. The early 20th century saw great expansion in terms of enrollment and the scope of the curriculum. The first female student was admitted in 1875 on a part-time basis and the first full-time female student was admitted in 1892. In 1903, Draper Hall was constructed for the dual purpose of a dining hall and female housing. The first female students graduated with the class of 1905. The first dedicated female dormitory, the Abigail Adams House (on the site of today’s Lederle Tower) was built in 1920.

    By the start of the 20th century, the college was thriving and quickly expanded its curriculum to include the liberal arts. The Education curriculum was established in 1907. In recognition of the higher enrollment and broader curriculum, the college was renamed Massachusetts State College in 1931.

    Following World War II, the G.I. Bill, facilitating financial aid for veterans, led to an explosion of applicants. The college population soared and Presidents Hugh Potter Baker and Ralph Van Meter labored to push through major construction projects in the 1940s and 1950s, particularly with regard to dormitories (now Northeast and Central Residential Areas). Accordingly, the name of the college was changed in 1947 to the University of Massachusetts.

    By the 1970s, the University continued to grow and gave rise to a shuttle bus service on campus as well as many other architectural additions; this included the Murray D. Lincoln Campus Center complete with a hotel, office space, fine dining restaurant, campus store, and passageway to the parking garage, the W. E. B. Du Bois Library, and the Fine Arts Center.

    Over the course of the next two decades, the John W. Lederle Graduate Research Center and the Conte National Polymer Research Center were built and The University of Massachusetts-Amherst emerged as a major research facility. The Robsham Memorial Center for Visitors welcomed thousands of guests to campus after its dedication in 1989. For athletic and other large events, the Mullins Center was opened in 1993, hosting capacity crowds as the Minutemen basketball team ranked at number one for many weeks in the mid-1990s, and reached the Final Four in 1996.

    The University of Massachusetts-Amherst entered the 21st century with 19,061 students enrolled. In 2003, for the first time, the Massachusetts State Legislature legally designated The University of Massachusetts-Amherst as a Research University and the “flagship campus of the UMass system. The university was named a top producer of Fulbright Award winners in the 2008–2009 academic year. Additionally, in 2010, it was named one of the “Top Colleges and Universities Contributing to Teach For America’s 2010 Teaching Corps.”

    Five College Consortium

    The University of Massachusetts-Amherst is part of the Five Colleges Consortium, which allows its students to attend classes, borrow books, work with professors, etc., at four other Pioneer Valley institutions: Amherst College (US), Hampshire College (US), Mount Holyoke College (US), and Smith College (US).

    All five colleges are located within 10 miles of Amherst center, and are accessible by public bus. The five share an astronomy department and some other undergraduate and graduate departments.

    The University of Massachusetts-Amherst holds the license for WFCR, the National Public Radio affiliate for Western Massachusetts. In 2014, the station moved its main operations to the Fuller Building on Main Street in Springfield, but retained some offices in Hampshire House on the UMass campus.


    The University of Massachusetts-Amherst research activities totaled more than $200 million in fiscal year 2014. In 2016 the faculty adopted an open-access policy to make its scholarship publicly accessible online.

    Researchers at the university made several high-profile achievements in recent years. In a bi-national collaboration, National Institute of Astrophysics, Optics and Electronics and The University of Massachusetts-Amherst came together and built Large Millimeter Telescope. It was inaugurated in Mexico in 2006 (on top of Sierra Negra).

    The University of Massachusetts Amherst and Mexico’s Instituto Nacional de Astrofísica, Óptica y Electrónica MX Large Millimeter Telescope Alfonso Serrano, Mexico, at an altitude of 4850 meters on top of the Sierra Negra.

    A team of scientists at The University of Massachusetts-Amherst led by Vincent Rotello has developed a molecular nose that can detect and identify various proteins. The research appeared in the May 2007 issue of Nature Nanotechnology, and the team is currently focusing on sensors, which will detect malformed proteins made by cancer cells.

    Also, The University of Massachusetts-Amherst scientists Richard Farris, Todd Emrick and Bryan Coughlin led a research team that developed a synthetic polymer that does not burn. This polymer is a building block of plastic, and the new flame-retardant plastic will not need to have flame-retarding chemicals added to their composition. These chemicals have recently been found in many different areas from homes and offices to fish, and there are environmental and health concerns regarding the additives. The newly developed polymers would not require addition of the potentially hazardous chemicals.

    List of research centers at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst
    College of Natural Sciences

    Apiary Laboratory (entomology, microbiology)
    Genomic Resource Laboratory (molecular biology)
    Massachusetts Center for Renewable Energy Science and Technology
    Amherst Center for Fundamental Interactions (http://www.physics.umass.edu/acfi/)
    Center for Applied Mathematics and Mathematical Computation
    Center for Geometry, Analysis, Numerics, and Graphics (www.gang.umass.edu)
    Pediatric Physical Activity Laboratory (PPAL)

    College of Engineering (CoE)
    Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) labs

    Antennas and Propagation Laboratory
    Architecture and Real-Time Systems Laboratory
    Center for Advanced Sensor and Communication Antennas (CASCA)
    Complex Systems Modeling and Control Laboratory
    Emerging Nanoelectronics Laboratory
    Engineering Research Center for Collaborative Adaptive Sensing of the Atmosphere (CASA)
    Feedback Control Systems Lab
    High-Dimensional Signal Processing Lab
    Information Systems Laboratory
    Integrated Nanobiotechnology Lab
    Laboratory for Millimeter Wavelength Devices and Applications
    Microwave Remote Sensing Laboratory (MIRSL)
    Multimedia Networks Laboratory
    Multimedia Networks and Internet Laboratory
    Nanodevices and Integrated Systems Laboratory
    Nanoelectronics Theory and Simulation Laboratory
    Nanoscale Computing Fabrics & Cognitive Architectures Lab
    Network Systems Laboratory
    Photonics Laboratory
    Reconfigurable Computing Laboratory
    Sustainable Computing Lab
    VLSI CAD Laboratory
    VLSI Circuits and Systems Laboratory
    Wireless Systems Laboratory
    Yield and Reliability of VLSI Circuits

    Mechanical and Industrial Engineering (MIE) Labs

    Arbella Insurance Human Performance Laboratory (Engineering Laboratory Building)
    Center for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy
    Multi-Phase Flow Simulation Laboratory
    Soil Mechanics Laboratories (located at Marston Hall and ELAB-II)
    Wind Energy Center (formerly the Renewable Energy Research Laboratory)

    College of Information & Computer Sciences (CICS)

    Autonomous Learning Laboratory
    Center for Intelligent Information Retrieval
    Center for e-Design
    Knowledge Discovery Laboratory
    Laboratory For Perceptual Robotics
    Resource-Bounded Reasoning Laboratory


    Center for Economic Development
    Center for Education Policy
    Labor Relations and Research Center
    National Center for Digital Governance
    Political Economy Research Institute
    Scientific Reasoning Research Institute
    The Environmental Institute
    Virtual Center for Supernetworks

  • richardmitnick 9:54 am on December 18, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Rutgers Professor Mark Miller Studies Marine Cloud Systems to Better Understand Their Role in a Warming Climate", , , Marine cloud systems reflect incoming sunlight that would otherwise heat the ocean below., Meteorology, , Solid overcast over northern latitude ocean regions yields to partly cloudy skies in the tropics., The mid-latitudes serve as a transition between northern latitude ocean regions and the tropics..   

    From Rutgers University (US) : “Rutgers Professor Mark Miller Studies Marine Cloud Systems to Better Understand Their Role in a Warming Climate” 

    Rutgers smaller
    Our Great Seal.

    From Rutgers University (US)

    December 15, 2021

    Graphic – Top: Cloud updraft velocities from the first successful regional simulations of marine boundary layer convective complexes over the Eastern North Atlantic. Warmer colors indicate strong updrafts. Bottom: Doppler cloud radar measurements of updrafts in similar clouds. Credit: The Department of Energy’s (US) Eastern North Atlantic Atmospheric Observatory on Graciosa, Azores.

    Marine cloud systems are a critical component of the Earth’s climate system because they reflect incoming sunlight that would otherwise heat the ocean below. Solid overcast over northern latitude ocean regions yields to partly cloudy skies in the tropics, while the mid-latitudes serve as a transition between these two marine cloud regimes.

    While there is a basic understanding of the processes that cause this mid-latitude transition in marine clouds – a process referred to as “deepening, warming” – accurately predicting this transition in weather forecast and climate models remains a challenge. One aspect of this mid-latitude cloud coverage transition that remains a mystery is the ability of these clouds to organize into clusters that resemble a collection of mini thunderstorms only a kilometer or so deep that produce heavy drizzle.

    Mark Miller, professor in the Department of Environmental Sciences, set out to unlock that mystery, with funding by The Department of Energy (US).

    “Until recently there was insufficient data to characterize these cloud clusters and numerical simulations were not detailed enough to reproduce them,” said Miller.

    A new observation site in the Eastern North Atlantic operated by the Atmospheric Radiation Measurement Program, which is funded by The Department of Energy (US), has produced a wealth of new observations.

    “Three years ago, Melissa Kazemirad, a doctoral student in my research group, and I used Cheyenne, a supercomputer operated by The National Center for Atmospheric Research-University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (US), to produce the first successful simulations that resemble these mini thunderstorm clusters,” Miller explained.

    Cheyenne supercomputer-The National Center for Atmospheric Research-University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (US).

    “We are using these tools to help understand how these clusters form and how to accurately represent them in numerical weather and climate forecast models.”

    Global climate models vary in their depiction of climate sensitivity—the amount of global warming that will result from a given amount of fossil fuel consumption. Much of this variability can be traced to model differences in the representation of the future of marine cloud systems.

    “These model cloud representations suffer from our incomplete understanding of the transition from solid overcast in the northern latitudes to broken clouds in the tropics,” said Miller. “To improve these representations, we must better understand the clusters of mini thunderstorms that occur in the mid-latitude cloud transition regions, which is the goal of our study.”

    Miller is principal investigator of the study, Mesoscale Organization in Cumulus-Coupled Marine Stratocumulus, funded in the amount of $634,555 by The Department of Energy (US). Doctoral student Qiuxuan Zheng will work with Joseph Brodie, a meteorologist and physical oceanographer with the Department of Marine and Coastal Sciences, to perform additional computer simulations and analyze additional observations. Co-investigator of the study is Katia Lamer, a scientist in the Department of Environmental and Climate Sciences at DOE’s Brookhaven National Laboratory(US), who is assisting in the analysis of radar observations.

    See the full article here .


    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition


    Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey (US), is a leading national research university and the state’s preeminent, comprehensive public institution of higher education. Rutgers is dedicated to teaching that meets the highest standards of excellence; to conducting research that breaks new ground; and to providing services, solutions, and clinical care that help individuals and the local, national, and global communities where they live.

    Founded in 1766, Rutgers teaches across the full educational spectrum: preschool to precollege; undergraduate to graduate; postdoctoral fellowships to residencies; and continuing education for professional and personal advancement.

    Rutgers University (US) is a public land-grant research university based in New Brunswick, New Jersey. Chartered in 1766, Rutgers was originally called Queen’s College, and today it is the eighth-oldest college in the United States, the second-oldest in New Jersey (after Princeton University (US)), and one of the nine U.S. colonial colleges that were chartered before the American War of Independence. In 1825, Queen’s College was renamed Rutgers College in honor of Colonel Henry Rutgers, whose substantial gift to the school had stabilized its finances during a period of uncertainty. For most of its existence, Rutgers was a private liberal arts college but it has evolved into a coeducational public research university after being designated The State University of New Jersey by the New Jersey Legislature via laws enacted in 1945 and 1956.

    Rutgers today has three distinct campuses, located in New Brunswick (including grounds in adjacent Piscataway), Newark, and Camden. The university has additional facilities elsewhere in the state, including oceanographic research facilities at the New Jersey shore. Rutgers is also a land-grant university, a sea-grant university, and the largest university in the state. Instruction is offered by 9,000 faculty members in 175 academic departments to over 45,000 undergraduate students and more than 20,000 graduate and professional students. The university is accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools and is a member of the Big Ten Academic Alliance, the Association of American Universities (US) and the Universities Research Association (US). Over the years, Rutgers has been considered a Public Ivy.


    Rutgers is home to the Rutgers University Center for Cognitive Science, also known as RUCCS. This research center hosts researchers in psychology, linguistics, computer science, philosophy, electrical engineering, and anthropology.

    It was at Rutgers that Selman Waksman (1888–1973) discovered several antibiotics, including actinomycin, clavacin, streptothricin, grisein, neomycin, fradicin, candicidin, candidin, and others. Waksman, along with graduate student Albert Schatz (1920–2005), discovered streptomycin—a versatile antibiotic that was to be the first applied to cure tuberculosis. For this discovery, Waksman received the Nobel Prize for Medicine in 1952.

    Rutgers developed water-soluble sustained release polymers, tetraploids, robotic hands, artificial bovine insemination, and the ceramic tiles for the heat shield on the Space Shuttle. In health related field, Rutgers has the Environmental & Occupational Health Science Institute (EOHSI).

    Rutgers is also home to the RCSB Protein Data bank, “…an information portal to Biological Macromolecular Structures’ cohosted with the San Diego Supercomputer Center (US). This database is the authoritative research tool for bioinformaticists using protein primary, secondary and tertiary structures worldwide….”

    Rutgers is home to the Rutgers Cooperative Research & Extension office, which is run by the Agricultural and Experiment Station with the support of local government. The institution provides research & education to the local farming and agro industrial community in 19 of the 21 counties of the state and educational outreach programs offered through the New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station Office of Continuing Professional Education.

    Rutgers University Cell and DNA Repository (RUCDR) is the largest university based repository in the world and has received awards worth more than $57.8 million from the National Institutes of Health (US). One will fund genetic studies of mental disorders and the other will support investigations into the causes of digestive, liver and kidney diseases, and diabetes. RUCDR activities will enable gene discovery leading to diagnoses, treatments and, eventually, cures for these diseases. RUCDR assists researchers throughout the world by providing the highest quality biomaterials, technical consultation, and logistical support.

    Rutgers–Camden is home to the nation’s PhD granting Department of Childhood Studies. This department, in conjunction with the Center for Children and Childhood Studies, also on the Camden campus, conducts interdisciplinary research which combines methodologies and research practices of sociology, psychology, literature, anthropology and other disciplines into the study of childhoods internationally.

    Rutgers is home to several National Science Foundation (US) IGERT fellowships that support interdisciplinary scientific research at the graduate-level. Highly selective fellowships are available in the following areas: Perceptual Science, Stem Cell Science and Engineering, Nanotechnology for Clean Energy, Renewable and Sustainable Fuels Solutions, and Nanopharmaceutical Engineering.

    Rutgers also maintains the Office of Research Alliances that focuses on working with companies to increase engagement with the university’s faculty members, staff and extensive resources on the four campuses.

    As a ’67 graduate of University College, second in my class, I am proud to be a member of

    Alpha Sigma Lamda, National Honor Society of non-tradional students.

  • richardmitnick 9:36 pm on December 17, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Artificial intelligence can create better lightning forecasts", , , , Meteorology, ,   

    From The University of Washington (US) : “Artificial intelligence can create better lightning forecasts” 

    From The University of Washington (US)

    December 13, 2021
    Hannah Hickey
    Rebecca Gourley

    Better lightning forecasts could help to prepare for potential wildfires, improve safety warnings for lightning and create more accurate long-range climate models.

    Lightning is one of the most destructive forces of nature, as in 2020 when it sparked the massive California Lightning Complex fires, but it remains hard to predict. A new study led by the University of Washington shows that machine learning — computer algorithms that improve themselves without direct programming by humans — can be used to improve lightning forecasts.

    “The best subjects for machine learning are things that we don’t fully understand. And what is something in the atmospheric sciences field that remains poorly understood? Lightning,” said Daehyun Kim [ daehyun@uw.edu ], a UW associate professor of atmospheric sciences. “To our knowledge, our work is the first to demonstrate that machine learning algorithms can work for lightning.”

    The new technique combines weather forecasts with a machine learning equation based on analyses of past lightning events. The hybrid method, presented Dec. 13 at the American Geophysical Union’s fall meeting, can forecast lightning over the southeastern U.S. two days earlier than the leading existing technique.

    “This demonstrates that forecasts of severe weather systems, such as thunderstorms, can be improved by using methods based on machine learning,” said Wei-Yi Cheng [ wycheng@uw.edu ], who did the work for his UW doctorate in atmospheric sciences. “It encourages the exploration of machine learning methods for other types of severe weather forecasts, such as tornadoes or hailstorms.”

    Researchers trained the system with lightning data from 2010 to 2016, letting the computer discover relationships between weather variables and lightning bolts. Then they tested the technique on weather from 2017 to 2019, comparing the AI-supported technique and an existing physics-based method, using actual lightning observations to evaluate both.

    The new method was able to forecast lightning with the same skill about two days earlier than the leading technique in places, like the southeastern U.S., that get a lot of lightning. Because the method was trained on the entire U.S., its performance wasn’t as accurate for places where lightning is less common.

    A comparison of the performance of the new, AI-supported method and the existing method for U.S. lightning forecasts. The AI-supported method was able to accurately forecast lightning on average two days earlier in places like the Southeast, where lightning is common. Because the method was trained on the entire U.S., it did less well in places where lightning is less common. Credit: Daehyun Kim/University of Washington. Map credit: Rebecca Gourley/University of Washington.

    The approach used for comparison was a recently developed technique to forecast lightning based on the amount of precipitation and the ascent speed of storm clouds. That method has projected more lightning with climate change [The University of California-Berkeley (US)] and a continued increase in lightning over the Arctic [National Geographic].

    “The existing method just multiplies two variables. That comes from a human’s idea, it’s simple. But it’s not necessarily the best way to use these two variables to predict lightning,” Kim said.

    The machine learning was trained on lightning observations from the World Wide Lightning Location Network, a collaborative based at The University of Washington that has tracked global lightning since 2008.

    “Machine learning requires a lot of data — that’s one of the necessary conditions for a machine learning algorithm to do some valuable things,” Kim said. “Five years ago, this would not have been possible because we did not have enough data, even from WWLLN.”

    Commercial networks of instruments to monitor lightning now exist in the U.S., and newer geostationary satellites can monitor one area continuously from space, supplying the precise lightning data to make more machine learning possible.

    “The key factors are the amount and the quality of the data, which are exactly what WWLLN can provide us,” Cheng said. “As machine learning techniques advance, having an accurate and reliable lightning observation dataset will be increasingly important.”

    Observed (left) and machine-learning-predicted lightning flash density (right) over the continental U.S. on June 18, 2017. A neural network model was used for the machine learning prediction.Credit: Daehyun Kim/University of Washington. Map credit by Rebecca Gourley/University of Washington.

    The researchers hope to improve their method using more data sources, more weather variables and more sophisticated techniques. They would like to improve predictions of particular situations like dry lightning, or lightning without rainfall, since these are especially dangerous for wildfires.

    Researchers believe their method could also be applied to longer-range projections. Longer-range trends are important partly because lightning affects air chemistry, so predicting lightning leads to better climate models.

    “In atmospheric sciences, as in other sciences, some people are still skeptical about the use of machine learning algorithms — because as scientists, we don’t trust something we don’t understand,” Kim said. “I was one of the skeptics, but after seeing the results in this and other studies, I am convinced.”

    Other collaborators are Scott Henderson [ scottyh@uw.edu ] and Robert Holzworth [ bobholz@ess.washington.edu ] at The University of Washington, and Yoo-Geun Ham and Jeong-Hwan Kim at Chonnam National University in South Korea.

    See the full article here .


    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition


    The University of Washington (US) is one of the world’s preeminent public universities. Our impact on individuals, on our region, and on the world is profound — whether we are launching young people into a boundless future or confronting the grand challenges of our time through undaunted research and scholarship. Ranked number 10 in the world in Shanghai Jiao Tong University rankings and educating more than 54,000 students annually, our students and faculty work together to turn ideas into impact and in the process transform lives and our world. For more about our impact on the world, every day.

    So what defines us —the students, faculty and community members at the University of Washington? Above all, it’s our belief in possibility and our unshakable optimism. It’s a connection to others, both near and far. It’s a hunger that pushes us to tackle challenges and pursue progress. It’s the conviction that together we can create a world of good. Join us on the journey.

    The University of Washington (US) is a public research university in Seattle, Washington, United States. Founded in 1861, University of Washington is one of the oldest universities on the West Coast; it was established in downtown Seattle approximately a decade after the city’s founding to aid its economic development. Today, the university’s 703-acre main Seattle campus is in the University District above the Montlake Cut, within the urban Puget Sound region of the Pacific Northwest. The university has additional campuses in Tacoma and Bothell. Overall, University of Washington encompasses over 500 buildings and over 20 million gross square footage of space, including one of the largest library systems in the world with more than 26 university libraries, as well as the UW Tower, lecture halls, art centers, museums, laboratories, stadiums, and conference centers. The university offers bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees through 140 departments in various colleges and schools, sees a total student enrollment of roughly 46,000 annually, and functions on a quarter system.

    University of Washington is a member of the Association of American Universities(US) and is classified among “R1: Doctoral Universities – Very high research activity”. According to the National Science Foundation(US), UW spent $1.41 billion on research and development in 2018, ranking it 5th in the nation. As the flagship institution of the six public universities in Washington state, it is known for its medical, engineering and scientific research as well as its highly competitive computer science and engineering programs. Additionally, University of Washington continues to benefit from its deep historic ties and major collaborations with numerous technology giants in the region, such as Amazon, Boeing, Nintendo, and particularly Microsoft. Paul G. Allen, Bill Gates and others spent significant time at Washington computer labs for a startup venture before founding Microsoft and other ventures. The University of Washington’s 22 varsity sports teams are also highly competitive, competing as the Huskies in the Pac-12 Conference of the NCAA Division I, representing the United States at the Olympic Games, and other major competitions.

    The university has been affiliated with many notable alumni and faculty, including 21 Nobel Prize laureates and numerous Pulitzer Prize winners, Fulbright Scholars, Rhodes Scholars and Marshall Scholars.

    In 1854, territorial governor Isaac Stevens recommended the establishment of a university in the Washington Territory. Prominent Seattle-area residents, including Methodist preacher Daniel Bagley, saw this as a chance to add to the city’s potential and prestige. Bagley learned of a law that allowed United States territories to sell land to raise money in support of public schools. At the time, Arthur A. Denny, one of the founders of Seattle and a member of the territorial legislature, aimed to increase the city’s importance by moving the territory’s capital from Olympia to Seattle. However, Bagley eventually convinced Denny that the establishment of a university would assist more in the development of Seattle’s economy. Two universities were initially chartered, but later the decision was repealed in favor of a single university in Lewis County provided that locally donated land was available. When no site emerged, Denny successfully petitioned the legislature to reconsider Seattle as a location in 1858.

    In 1861, scouting began for an appropriate 10 acres (4 ha) site in Seattle to serve as a new university campus. Arthur and Mary Denny donated eight acres, while fellow pioneers Edward Lander, and Charlie and Mary Terry, donated two acres on Denny’s Knoll in downtown Seattle. More specifically, this tract was bounded by 4th Avenue to the west, 6th Avenue to the east, Union Street to the north, and Seneca Streets to the south.

    John Pike, for whom Pike Street is named, was the university’s architect and builder. It was opened on November 4, 1861, as the Territorial University of Washington. The legislature passed articles incorporating the University, and establishing its Board of Regents in 1862. The school initially struggled, closing three times: in 1863 for low enrollment, and again in 1867 and 1876 due to funds shortage. University of Washington awarded its first graduate Clara Antoinette McCarty Wilt in 1876, with a bachelor’s degree in science.

    19th century relocation

    By the time Washington state entered the Union in 1889, both Seattle and the University had grown substantially. University of Washington’s total undergraduate enrollment increased from 30 to nearly 300 students, and the campus’s relative isolation in downtown Seattle faced encroaching development. A special legislative committee, headed by University of Washington graduate Edmond Meany, was created to find a new campus to better serve the growing student population and faculty. The committee eventually selected a site on the northeast of downtown Seattle called Union Bay, which was the land of the Duwamish, and the legislature appropriated funds for its purchase and construction. In 1895, the University relocated to the new campus by moving into the newly built Denny Hall. The University Regents tried and failed to sell the old campus, eventually settling with leasing the area. This would later become one of the University’s most valuable pieces of real estate in modern-day Seattle, generating millions in annual revenue with what is now called the Metropolitan Tract. The original Territorial University building was torn down in 1908, and its former site now houses the Fairmont Olympic Hotel.

    The sole-surviving remnants of Washington’s first building are four 24-foot (7.3 m), white, hand-fluted cedar, Ionic columns. They were salvaged by Edmond S. Meany, one of the University’s first graduates and former head of its history department. Meany and his colleague, Dean Herbert T. Condon, dubbed the columns as “Loyalty,” “Industry,” “Faith”, and “Efficiency”, or “LIFE.” The columns now stand in the Sylvan Grove Theater.

    20th century expansion

    Organizers of the 1909 Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition eyed the still largely undeveloped campus as a prime setting for their world’s fair. They came to an agreement with Washington’s Board of Regents that allowed them to use the campus grounds for the exposition, surrounding today’s Drumheller Fountain facing towards Mount Rainier. In exchange, organizers agreed Washington would take over the campus and its development after the fair’s conclusion. This arrangement led to a detailed site plan and several new buildings, prepared in part by John Charles Olmsted. The plan was later incorporated into the overall University of Washington campus master plan, permanently affecting the campus layout.

    Both World Wars brought the military to campus, with certain facilities temporarily lent to the federal government. In spite of this, subsequent post-war periods were times of dramatic growth for the University. The period between the wars saw a significant expansion of the upper campus. Construction of the Liberal Arts Quadrangle, known to students as “The Quad,” began in 1916 and continued to 1939. The University’s architectural centerpiece, Suzzallo Library, was built in 1926 and expanded in 1935.

    After World War II, further growth came with the G.I. Bill. Among the most important developments of this period was the opening of the School of Medicine in 1946, which is now consistently ranked as the top medical school in the United States. It would eventually lead to the University of Washington Medical Center, ranked by U.S. News and World Report as one of the top ten hospitals in the nation.

    In 1942, all persons of Japanese ancestry in the Seattle area were forced into inland internment camps as part of Executive Order 9066 following the attack on Pearl Harbor. During this difficult time, university president Lee Paul Sieg took an active and sympathetic leadership role in advocating for and facilitating the transfer of Japanese American students to universities and colleges away from the Pacific Coast to help them avoid the mass incarceration. Nevertheless many Japanese American students and “soon-to-be” graduates were unable to transfer successfully in the short time window or receive diplomas before being incarcerated. It was only many years later that they would be recognized for their accomplishments during the University of Washington’s Long Journey Home ceremonial event that was held in May 2008.

    From 1958 to 1973, the University of Washington saw a tremendous growth in student enrollment, its faculties and operating budget, and also its prestige under the leadership of Charles Odegaard. University of Washington student enrollment had more than doubled to 34,000 as the baby boom generation came of age. However, this era was also marked by high levels of student activism, as was the case at many American universities. Much of the unrest focused around civil rights and opposition to the Vietnam War. In response to anti-Vietnam War protests by the late 1960s, the University Safety and Security Division became the University of Washington Police Department.

    Odegaard instituted a vision of building a “community of scholars”, convincing the Washington State legislatures to increase investment in the University. Washington senators, such as Henry M. Jackson and Warren G. Magnuson, also used their political clout to gather research funds for the University of Washington. The results included an increase in the operating budget from $37 million in 1958 to over $400 million in 1973, solidifying University of Washington as a top recipient of federal research funds in the United States. The establishment of technology giants such as Microsoft, Boeing and Amazon in the local area also proved to be highly influential in the University of Washington’s fortunes, not only improving graduate prospects but also helping to attract millions of dollars in university and research funding through its distinguished faculty and extensive alumni network.

    21st century

    In 1990, the University of Washington opened its additional campuses in Bothell and Tacoma. Although originally intended for students who have already completed two years of higher education, both schools have since become four-year universities with the authority to grant degrees. The first freshman classes at these campuses started in fall 2006. Today both Bothell and Tacoma also offer a selection of master’s degree programs.

    In 2012, the University began exploring plans and governmental approval to expand the main Seattle campus, including significant increases in student housing, teaching facilities for the growing student body and faculty, as well as expanded public transit options. The University of Washington light rail station was completed in March 2015, connecting Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighborhood to the University of Washington Husky Stadium within five minutes of rail travel time. It offers a previously unavailable option of transportation into and out of the campus, designed specifically to reduce dependence on private vehicles, bicycles and local King County buses.

    University of Washington has been listed as a “Public Ivy” in Greene’s Guides since 2001, and is an elected member of the American Association of Universities. Among the faculty by 2012, there have been 151 members of American Association for the Advancement of Science, 68 members of the National Academy of Sciences(US), 67 members of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, 53 members of the National Academy of Medicine(US), 29 winners of the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers, 21 members of the National Academy of Engineering(US), 15 Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigators, 15 MacArthur Fellows, 9 winners of the Gairdner Foundation International Award, 5 winners of the National Medal of Science, 7 Nobel Prize laureates, 5 winners of Albert Lasker Award for Clinical Medical Research, 4 members of the American Philosophical Society, 2 winners of the National Book Award, 2 winners of the National Medal of Arts, 2 Pulitzer Prize winners, 1 winner of the Fields Medal, and 1 member of the National Academy of Public Administration. Among UW students by 2012, there were 136 Fulbright Scholars, 35 Rhodes Scholars, 7 Marshall Scholars and 4 Gates Cambridge Scholars. UW is recognized as a top producer of Fulbright Scholars, ranking 2nd in the US in 2017.

    The Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU) has consistently ranked University of Washington as one of the top 20 universities worldwide every year since its first release. In 2019, University of Washington ranked 14th worldwide out of 500 by the ARWU, 26th worldwide out of 981 in the Times Higher Education World University Rankings, and 28th worldwide out of 101 in the Times World Reputation Rankings. Meanwhile, QS World University Rankings ranked it 68th worldwide, out of over 900.

    U.S. News & World Report ranked University of Washington 8th out of nearly 1,500 universities worldwide for 2021, with University of Washington’s undergraduate program tied for 58th among 389 national universities in the U.S. and tied for 19th among 209 public universities.

    In 2019, it ranked 10th among the universities around the world by SCImago Institutions Rankings. In 2017, the Leiden Ranking, which focuses on science and the impact of scientific publications among the world’s 500 major universities, ranked University of Washington 12th globally and 5th in the U.S.

    In 2019, Kiplinger Magazine’s review of “top college values” named University of Washington 5th for in-state students and 10th for out-of-state students among U.S. public colleges, and 84th overall out of 500 schools. In the Washington Monthly National University Rankings University of Washington was ranked 15th domestically in 2018, based on its contribution to the public good as measured by social mobility, research, and promoting public service.

  • richardmitnick 11:56 am on December 17, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , "Researchers identify new meteorological phenomenon dubbed 'atmospheric lakes'", Meteorology, ,   

    From The University of Miami (FL) (US) The American Geophysical Union via phys.org : “Researchers identify new meteorological phenomenon dubbed ‘atmospheric lakes'” 

    From The University of Miami (FL) (US)

    AGU bloc

    The American Geophysical Union



    Atmospheric lakes start as filaments of water vapor in the Indo-Pacific that become their own measurable, isolated objects. Credit: Brian Mapes/ The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (US) ERA-Interim reanalysis data set.

    A new meteorological phenomenon has been identified drifting slowly over the western Indian Ocean. Dubbed “atmospheric lakes,” these compact pools of moisture originate over the Indo-Pacific and bring water to dry lowlands along East Africa’s coastline.

    Brian Mapes, an atmospheric scientist at The University of Miami (US) who recently noticed and described the unique storms, will present his findings [ https://agu.confex.com/agu/fm21/meetingapp.cgi/Paper/910339 ] on Thursday, 16 December at AGU’s Fall Meeting 2021.

    Like the better-known streams of humid, rainy air called atmospheric rivers that are famous for delivering large amounts of precipitation, atmospheric lakes start as filaments of water vapor in the Indo-Pacific. These phenomena are defined by the presence of water vapor concentrated enough to produce rain, rather than being formed and defined by a vortex, like most storms on Earth. Unlike the fast-flowing atmospheric rivers, the smaller atmospheric lakes detach from their source as they move at a sedate pace toward the coast.

    Atmospheric lakes begin as water vapor streams that flow from the western side of the South Asian monsoon and pinch off to become their own measurable, isolated objects. They then float along ocean and coastal regions at the equatorial line in areas where the average wind speed is around zero.

    In an initial survey to catalog such storms, Mapes used five years of satellite data to spot 17 atmospheric lakes lasting longer than six days and within 10 degrees of the equator, in all seasons. Lakes farther off the equator also occur, and sometimes those become tropical cyclones.

    The atmospheric lakes last for days at a time and occur several times a year. If all the water vapor from these lakes were liquified, it would form a puddle only a few centimeters (a couple inches) deep and around 1,000 kilometers (about 620 miles) wide. This amount of water can create significant precipitation for the dry lowlands of eastern African countries where millions of people live, according to Mapes.

    “It’s a place that’s dry on average, so when these [atmospheric lakes] happen, they’re surely very consequential,” Mapes said. “I look forward to learning more local knowledge about them, in this area with a venerable and fascinating nautical history where observant sailors coined the word monsoon for wind patterns, and surely noticed these occasional rainstorms, too.”

    Weather patterns in this region of the world have received little attention from meteorologists, limited mostly to studies of rain and water vapor on a monthly rather than day-to-day scale according to Mapes. He is working to understand why atmospheric lakes pinch off from the river-like pattern from which they form, and how and why they move westward. This might be due to some feature of the larger wind pattern, or perhaps that the atmospheric lakes are self-propelled by winds generated during rain production.

    These are questions that would need to be answered before Mapes and other researchers can begin to study how climate change could affect atmospheric lake systems. He plans to study these events more closely using satellite data and will look at into the possibility that these atmospheric lakes occur elsewhere in the world.

    “The winds that carry these things to ashore are so tantalizingly, delicately near zero [wind speed], that everything could affect them,” Mapes said. “That’s when you need to know, do they self-propel, or are they driven by some very much larger-scale wind patterns that may change with climate change.”

    See the full post here .


    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    The purpose of The American Geophysical Union is to promote discovery in Earth and space science for the benefit of humanity.

    To achieve this mission, AGU identified the following core values and behaviors.

    Core Principles

    As an organization, AGU holds a set of guiding core values:

    The scientific method
    The generation and dissemination of scientific knowledge
    Open exchange of ideas and information
    Diversity of backgrounds, scientific ideas and approaches
    Benefit of science for a sustainable future
    International and interdisciplinary cooperation
    Equality and inclusiveness
    An active role in educating and nurturing the next generation of scientists
    An engaged membership
    Unselfish cooperation in research
    Excellence and integrity in everything we do

    When we are at our best as an organization, we embody these values in our behavior as follows:

    We advance Earth and space science by catalyzing and supporting the efforts of individual scientists within and outside the membership.
    As a learned society, we serve the public good by fostering quality in the Earth and space science and by publishing the results of research.
    We welcome all in academic, government, industry and other venues who share our interests in understanding the Earth, planets and their space environment, or who seek to apply this knowledge to solving problems facing society.
    Our scientific mission transcends national boundaries.
    Individual scientists worldwide are equals in all AGU activities.
    Cooperative activities with partner societies of all sizes worldwide enhance the resources of all, increase the visibility of Earth and space science, and serve individual scientists, students, and the public.
    We are our members.
    Dedicated volunteers represent an essential ingredient of every program.
    AGU staff work flexibly and responsively in partnership with volunteers to achieve our goals and objectives.

    The University of Miami (US) is a private research university in Coral Gables, Florida. As of 2020, the university enrolled approximately 18,000 students in 12 separate colleges and schools, including the Leonard M. Miller School of Medicine in Miami’s Health District, a law school on the main campus, and the Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science focused on the study of oceanography and atmospheric sciences on Virginia Key, with research facilities at the Richmond Facility in southern Miami-Dade County.

    The university offers 132 undergraduate, 148 master’s, and 67 doctoral degree programs, of which 63 are research/scholarship and 4 are professional areas of study. Over the years, the university’s students have represented all 50 states and close to 150 foreign countries. With more than 16,000 full- and part-time faculty and staff, UM is a top 10 employer in Miami-Dade County. The University of Miami’s main campus in Coral Gables has 239 acres and over 5.7 million square feet of buildings.

    The University of Miami is classified among “R1: Doctoral Universities – Very high research activity”. The University of Miami research expenditure in FY 2019 was $358.9 million. The University of Miami offers a large library system with over 3.9 million volumes and exceptional holdings in Cuban heritage and music.

    The University of Miami also offers a wide range of student activities, including fraternities and sororities, and hundreds of student organizations. The Miami Hurricane, the student newspaper, and WVUM, the student-run radio station, have won multiple collegiate awards. The University of Miami’s intercollegiate athletic teams, collectively known as the Miami Hurricanes, compete in Division I of the National Collegiate Athletic Association. The University of Miami’s football team has won five national championships since 1983 and its baseball team has won four national championships since 1982.


    UM is classified among “R1: Doctoral Universities – Very high research activity”. In fiscal year 2016, The University of Miami received $195 million in federal research funding, including $131.3 million from the Department of Health and Human Services (US) and $14.1 million from the National Science Foundation (US). Of the $8.2 billion appropriated by Congress in 2009 as a part of the stimulus bill for research priorities of the National Institutes of Health, the Miller School received $40.5 million. In addition to research conducted in the individual academic schools and departments, Miami has the following university-wide research centers:

    The Center for Computational Science
    The Institute for Cuban and Cuban-American Studies (ICCAS)
    Leonard and Jayne Abess Center for Ecosystem Science and Policy
    The Miami European Union Center: This group is a consortium with Florida International University (FIU) established in fall 2001 with a grant from the European Commission through its delegation in Washington, D.C., intended to research economic, social, and political issues of interest to the European Union.
    The Sue and Leonard Miller Center for Contemporary Judaic Studies
    John P. Hussman Institute for Human Genomics – studies possible causes of Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease and macular degeneration.
    Center on Research and Education for Aging and Technology Enhancement (CREATE)
    Wallace H. Coulter Center for Translational Research

    The Miller School of Medicine receives more than $200 million per year in external grants and contracts to fund 1,500 ongoing projects. The medical campus includes more than 500,000 sq ft (46,000 m^2) of research space and the The University of Miami Life Science Park, which has an additional 2,000,000 sq ft (190,000 m^2) of space adjacent to the medical campus.The University of Miami’s Interdisciplinary Stem Cell Institute seeks to understand the biology of stem cells and translate basic research into new regenerative therapies.

    As of 2008, the Rosenstiel School receives $50 million in annual external research funding. Their laboratories include a salt-water wave tank, a five-tank Conditioning and Spawning System, multi-tank Aplysia Culture Laboratory, Controlled Corals Climate Tanks, and DNA analysis equipment. The campus also houses an invertebrate museum with 400,000 specimens and operates the Bimini Biological Field Station, an array of oceanographic high-frequency radar along the US east coast, and the Bermuda aerosol observatory. The University of Miami also owns the Little Salt Spring, a site on the National Register of Historic Places, in North Port, Florida, where RSMAS performs archaeological and paleontological research.

    The University of Miami built a brain imaging annex to the James M. Cox Jr. Science Center within the College of Arts and Sciences. The building includes a human functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) laboratory, where scientists, clinicians, and engineers can study fundamental aspects of brain function. Construction of the lab was funded in part by a $14.8 million in stimulus money grant from the National Institutes of Health (US).

    In 2016 the university received $161 million in science and engineering funding from the U.S. federal government, the largest Hispanic-serving recipient and 56th overall. $117 million of the funding was through the Department of Health and Human Services and was used largely for the medical campus.

    The University of Miami maintains one of the largest centralized academic cyber infrastructures in the country with numerous assets. The Center for Computational Science High Performance Computing group has been in continuous operation since 2007. Over that time the core has grown from a zero HPC cyberinfrastructure to a regional high-performance computing environment that currently supports more

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