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The key to monitoring Earth's changing environment and to guaranteeing a consistent stream of satellite data to improve our daily lives is to take the same measurements over the course of decades. But how do you know that measurements from successive satellites, even though identical in build, are like for like?
Two astronomers from the University of Groningen (The Netherlands) have developed a software library that can effortlessly generate visualisations based on hundreds of millions of data points. Maarten Breddels and Jovan Veljanoski initially developed their software to handle the enormous quantity of data from the Gaia mission. However, the software can also show patterns in other large data files. The software is open source and free to use. The researchers explain the ins and outs in an article that has been accepted for publication in the journal Astronomy & Astrophysics.
An international group of researchers, involving scientists from the Complexity Science Hub Vienna & Medical University of Vienna and Universidad Carlos III de Madrid, developed a tool to track and analyse gender inequality through Facebook usage data. Their results, published in the latest issue of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), show that gender inequality online is related to gender inequality in society at large.
Scientists of the Far Eastern Federal University (FEFU) in cooperation with colleagues from the Russian Academy of Sciences (RAS), Australian and Lithuanian Universities have improved the technique of ultrasensitive nonperturbing spectroscopic identification of molecular fingerprints.
Joint research efforts of a team of scientists at Lobachevsky University of Nizhny Novgorod (UNN) comprising chemists, physicists and engineers are currently focused on solving the problems of handling plutonium and minor actinides (MA) accumulated over many years. To this end, they are studying composite ceramics-ceramics (Cer-Cer) and ceramics-metal (CerMet) materials on the basis of mineral-like compounds (in particular, garnet minerals). Lobachevsky University researchers believe that the optimal solution of the problem is to create high-density ceramic composite inert fuel matrices (IMF) for burning plutonium and transmuting minor actinides.
The term alloy usually refers to a mixture of several metals. However, other materials can also be alloyed. In the semiconductor industry, for instance, oxide and nitride alloys have long been used successfully to tune the material's functional properties. Usually, these changes occur gradually and the properties of the base materials are still easy to recognize.
Climate change, pesticides and land use changes alone cannot fully explain the decline in insect populations in Germany. Scientists from the Leibniz-Institute of Freshwater Ecology and Inland Fisheries (IGB) have now discovered that regions that have experienced a sharp decline in flying insects also have high levels of light pollution. Many studies have suggested that artificial light at night has negative impacts on insects, and scientists should pay greater attention to this factor when exploring the causes of insect population declines in the future.
The tropical circulation change under global warming has been a growing subject of research in recent decades. It has a close relationship with the tropical precipitation change, and the uncertainty in making projections is one of the difficulties in climate science.
In seeking to achieve fusion energy, research on magnetic field confinement of high-temperature plasma is being conducted around the world. In a high-temperature plasma, there is a temperature gradient. When the temperature gradient becomes steep, turbulence is generated. Because the high-temperature regions and the low temperature areas are mixed due to the turbulence, the core temperature cannot be effectively raised. Thus, research on the generation and suppression of turbulence is being performed around the world on experimental devices of magnetically confined plasma (tokamaks and helical devices). It has been very difficult to distinguish where and how turbulence propagates in a plasma. Researchers have predicted that turbulence expands into other regions, a phenomenon called "turbulence propagation," but this has not been observed experimentally.
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