Tag: heat

Global, Tragic Irony: That Which Saves Us From Heat Is Making Our Planet Hotter

By Sophie Bushwick | June 22, 2012 2:53 pm

air conditioners

As the summer heats up, air conditioners are being cranked to full blast. Once upon a time—that is, until the 1980s—the coolant gasses in these machines, which leaked into the atmosphere after units were junked, were a major threat to the ozone layer. Now manufacturers have replaced them with ozone-friendly versions. But the new coolants are still potent greenhouse gasses.

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CATEGORIZED UNDER: Environment, Technology

Powerful Magnetic Waves Help Make Sun's Atmosphere Hotter Than Sun Itself

By Joseph Castro | July 29, 2011 8:34 am

spacing is important

What’s the News: An international team of researchers, led by the National Center for Atmospheric Research, has learned that large magnetic waves are partly to blame for the Sun’s immensely hot corona. The study, published in the journal Nature, also suggests that the waves could be the driving force behind the solar wind.

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CATEGORIZED UNDER: Space

Larger Beaks Help Birds Beat the Heat

By Joseph Castro | July 28, 2011 4:10 pm

spacing is importantThe marsh-loving song sparrow uses its beak to stay cool.

What’s the News: Scientists have long known that the size and shape of a bird’s beak is largely dependent on its diet. A hummingbird’s long, thin beak, for example, allows it to reach deep down into a tubular flower to get nectar. But in a new study in the journal Ecography, scientists have found that birds in warm climates have evolved beaks larger than their cooler-climate counterparts as a means of staying cool (birds, like most animals, don’t sweat). The new study adds weight to past research suggesting the same thing.

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CATEGORIZED UNDER: Living World
MORE ABOUT: animals, birds, evolution, heat

Nuclear Decay Beneath Your Feet Accounts for Half of Earth's Heat Output

By Joseph Castro | July 21, 2011 8:01 am

spacing is importantAtoms sometimes release alpha particles during radioactive decay.

What’s the News: An international team of researchers has completed the most precise measurement of the Earth’s radioactivity to date. By analyzing subatomic particles streaming out of the interior of the planet, the geologists and physicists discovered that the radioactive decay of several elements generates roughly half of the Earth’s total heat output. Their results were published recently in the journal Nature Geoscience.

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CATEGORIZED UNDER: Environment, Physics & Math
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