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Nasa carbon space observatory 'watches Earth breathe'

Nasa carbon space observatory 'watches Earth breathe'

Science
Media playback is unsupported on your deviceA Nasa satellite has provided remarkable new insights on how CO2 is moved through the Earth's atmosphere. The Orbiting Carbon Observatory (OCO) tracked the behaviour of the gas in 2015/2016 - a period when the planet experienced a major El Niño event. This climate phenomenon boosts the amount of CO2 in the air. The US space agency's OCO satellite was able to show how that increase was controlled by the response of tropical forests to heat and drought. The forests' ability to draw down carbon dioxide, some of it produced by human activity, was severely curtailed. The science has significant implications because the kind of conditions associated with El Niños are expected to become much more common under global warming. "If future climate is more l
How do you build the next-generation internet?

How do you build the next-generation internet?

Science
Imagine super-fast computers that can solve problems much quicker than machines today. These "quantum computers" are being developed in laboratories around the world. But scientists have already taken the next step, and are thinking about a light-based quantum internet that will have to be just as fast.It's not easy to develop technology for a device that hasn't technically been invented yet, but quantum communications is an attractive field of research because the technology will enable us to send messages that are much more secure.There are several problems that will need to be solved in order to make a quantum internet possible:Getting quantum computers to talk to each otherMaking communications secure from hackingTransmitting messages over long distances without losing parts of the mes...
Ozone layer recovery could be delayed by 30 years

Ozone layer recovery could be delayed by 30 years

Science
Rising global emissions of some chlorine-containing chemicals could slow the progress made in healing the ozone layer.A study found the substances, widely used for paint stripping and in the manufacture of PVC, are increasing much faster than previously thought.Mainly produced in China, these compounds are not currently regulated. Experts say their continued use could set back the closing of the ozone hole by up to 30 years. Scientists reported last year that they had detected the first clear evidence that the thinning of the protective ozone layer was diminishing. Media playback is unsupported on your deviceThe Montreal Protocol, which was signed 30 years ago, was the key to this progress. It has progressively helped governments phase out the chlorofluorocarbons and the hydrochlorofluoro...
Reused SpaceX rocket to carries satellite into orbit

Reused SpaceX rocket to carries satellite into orbit

Science
Oct. 11 (UPI) -- A used Falcon 9 rocket landed on a droneship in the Atlantic ocean Wednesday after launching a communications satellite into orbit.It was the third time SpaceX depended on a used Falcon 9 rocket to carry out a launch mission.The rocket blasted off at 6:53 p.m. from Kennedy Space Center in Florida.The Falcon 9 rocket previously was used to deliver cargo to the International Space Station in February. This time, the rocket carried a high-powered, hybrid communications satellite shared by SES and EchoStar. The satellite is expected support the delivery of high-definition television broadcasts to viewers across North America.After carrying SpaceX's Dragon capsule to the edge of space last winter, the rocket's first stage detached and fell back to Earth before executing a contr...
Satellites spy Antarctic 'upside-down ice canyon'

Satellites spy Antarctic 'upside-down ice canyon'

Science
Scientists have identified a way in which the effects of Antarctic melting can be enhanced. Their new satellite observations of the Dotson Ice Shelf show its losses, far from being even, are actually focused on a long, narrow sector. In places, this has cut an inverted canyon through more than half the thickness of the shelf structure. If the melting continued unabated, it would break Dotson in 40-50 years, not the 200 years currently projected. "That is unlikely to happen because the ice will respond in some way to the imbalance," said Noel Gourmelen, from the University of Edinburgh, UK. "It's possible the area of thinning could widen or the flow of ice could change. Both would affect the rate at which the channel forms. "But the important point here is that Dotson is not a flat slab and...