Why storms are becoming more dangerous as the climate warms

Researchers know that more, and more dangerous, storms have begun to occur as the climate warms. A team of scientists has reported an underlying explanation, using meteorological satellite data gathered over a 35-year period.

Engineers eat away at Ms. Pac-Man score with artificial player

Using a novel approach for computing real-time game strategy, engineers have developed an artificial Ms. Pac-Man player that chomps the existing high score for computerized play.In the popular arcade game, Ms. Pac-Man must evade ghost enemies while she collects items and navigates an obstacle-populated maze. The game is somewhat of a favorite among engineers and computer scientists who compete to see who can program the best artificial player.

Northwestern Cuts Energy Use in the Battle of the Buildings

From September 1 through November 30, 2016, Northwestern competed in the U.S. EPA ENERGY STAR's Battle of the Buildings, a national competition to reduce energy use in buildings. The top performer among the University’s competing buildings was the Tarry Research and Education Building. Over the course of the competition, the building saved more than 228,000 kWh of electricity. This is equivalent to the total annual energy usage of 17 average homes.Northwestern entered five buildings in the competition: the Tarry Research and Education Building, Catalysis Center, 1801 Maple, the Technological Institute, and Cook Hall. These buildings all contain laboratory spaces, which tend to be extremely energy intensive. During the competition, sustainNU worked with building managers, lab managers and users, and the Office of Research Safety to conserve energy while maintaining safe lab procedures.

From tiny phytoplankton to massive tuna: how climate change will affect energy flows in ocean ecosystems

Phytoplankton are the foundation of ocean life, providing the energy that supports nearly all marine species. Levels of phytoplankton in an ocean area may seem like a good predictor for the amount of fish that can be caught there, but a new study by Nereus Program researchers finds that this relationship is not so straightforward.“Using measurements of phytoplankton growth at the base of the food web to estimate the potential fish catch for different parts of the ocean has long been a dream of oceanographers,” says author Ryan Rykaczewski, Assistant Professor at University of South Carolina and Nereus Program Alumnus. “We know that these two quantities must be related, but there are several steps in the food chain that complicate the conversion of phytoplankton growth to fish growth.”

Study Finds Parrotfish are Critical to Coral Reef Health

An analysis of fossilized parrotfish teeth and sea urchin spines by researchers at Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California San Diego showed that when there are more algae-eating fish on a reef, it grows faster.In the new study, published in the Jan. 23 issue of the journal Nature Communication, Scripps researchers Katie Cramer and Richard Norris developed a 3,000-year record of the abundance of parrotfish and urchins on reefs from the Caribbean side of Panama to help unravel the cause of the alarming modern-day shift from coral- to algae-dominated reefs occurring across the Caribbean.“Our reconstruction of past and present reefs from fossils demonstrates that when overfishing wipes out parrotfish, reef health declines,” said Cramer, a postdoctoral researcher at Scripps and lead author of the study.

Researchers Report New Understanding of Global Warming

Researchers know that more, and more dangerous, storms have begun to occur as the climate warms. A team of scientists has reported an underlying explanation, using meteorological satellite data gathered over a 35-year period.The examination of the movement and interaction of mechanical energies across the atmosphere, published Jan. 24 in the journal Nature Communications, is the first to explore long-term variations of the Lorenz energy cycle – a complex formula used to describe the interaction between potential and kinetic energy in the atmosphere – and offers a new perspective on what is happening with global warming.

New Technique Quickly Predicts Salt Marsh Vulnerability

If coastal salt marshes are like savings accounts, with sediment as the principal, all eight Atlantic and Pacific coast salt marshes studied are "in the red," researchers found.Scientists working on a rapid assessment technique for determining which US coastal salt marshes are most imperiled by erosion were surprised to find that all eight of the Atlantic and Pacific Coast marshes where they field-tested their method are losing ground, and half of them will be gone in 350 years’ time if they don’t recapture some lost terrain.

NOAA's GOES-16 satellite sends first images of Earth

Since the GOES-16 satellite lifted off from Cape Canaveral on November 19, scientists, meteorologists and ordinary weather enthusiasts have anxiously waited for the first photos from NOAA’s newest weather satellite, GOES-16, formerly GOES-R.The release of the first images today is the latest step in a new age of weather satellites. It will be like high-definition from the heavens.

Sci-fi holograms a step closer with ANU invention

ANU physicists have invented a tiny device that creates the highest quality holographic images ever achieved, opening the door to imaging technologies seen in science fiction movies such as Star Wars.

Tesla's New 'Autopilot' Is Just the Start of a Critical Reboot

Tesla has always been about pushing full speed toward a tech-tastic future. CEO Elon Musk wouldn’t settle for making a luxurious, sexy, environmentally-friendly electric car. He made one that could hit 60 mph in 3.2 seconds. Then 2.8 seconds. Then 2.5—all the while ratcheting up the range, from the original 265 miles per charge to the current, top of the line 335.