Earth

Two NASA satellites observed Tropical Storm Ampil in six and a half hours and found the storm's heaviest rainfall occurring in a band of thunderstorms shifted from north to south of the center. NASA's GPM satellite passed over the storm first and NASA's Aqua satellite made the second pass.

Tropical Storm Ampil was moving toward the northwest with winds of about 50 knots (57.5 mph) when the Global Precipitation Measurement mission or GPM core observatory satellite flew above on July 20, 2018 at 2:56 a.m. EDT (0656 UTC).

The bad news: Dust from the Sahara Desert in Africa - totaling a staggering 2 to 9 trillion pounds worldwide - has been almost a biblical plague on Texas and much of the Southern United States in recent weeks. The good news: the same dust appears to be a severe storm killer.

The properties of a solid depend on the arrangement of its atoms, which form a periodic crystal structure. At the nanoscale, arrangements that break this periodic structure can drastically alter the behavior of the material, but this is difficult to measure. Recent advances by scientists at the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Argonne National Laboratory are starting to unravel this mystery.

A new combination of materials developed by Stanford researchers may aid in developing a rechargeable battery able to store the large amounts of renewable power created through wind or solar sources. With further development, the new technology could deliver energy to the electric grid quickly, cost effectively and at normal ambient temperatures.

Cities can serve as useful proxies to study and predict the effects of climate change, according to a North Carolina State University research review that tracks urbanization's effects on plant and insect species.

Cities often display many of the predicted effects of climate change, including higher temperatures, higher carbon dioxide concentration and higher drought rates. Some of those effects are due to impermeable building materials like concrete and glass, which help create "urban heat islands" and prevent water from soaking into soil.

A long-term plan to preserve the Rimatara lorikeet by restoring an extirpated population of the species on a neighboring island that is free of predatory ship rats is demonstrating the importance of this kind of protective program for the sustainability of endangered bird species. A case study published in the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) report Global Reintroduction Perspectives: 2018--Case Studies from Around the Globe sums up the results of an effort that began in 2000.

Antarctica is not as isolated from the rest of the world as scientists have thought, new research reveals, with potential for drifting plastics to create problems in the continent in future and new species to colonise there as the climate warms.

In a new study published in the journal Peer J this week, researchers at UniSA's Body in Mind Research Group have found people suffering osteoarthritis in the knees reported reduced pain when exposed to visual illusions that altered the size of their knees.

UniSA researcher and NHMRC Career Development Fellow, Dr Tasha Stanton says the research combined visual illusions and touch, with participants reporting up to a 40 per cent decrease in pain when presented with an illusion of the knee and lower leg elongated.

In the quest to realize artificial photosynthesis to convert sunlight, water, and carbon dioxide into fuel - just as plants do - researchers need to not only identify materials to efficiently perform photoelectrochemical water splitting, but also to understand why a certain material may or may not work. Now scientists at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) have pioneered a technique that uses nanoscale imaging to understand how local, nanoscale properties can affect a material's macroscopic performance.

Thousands of miles of buried fiber optic cable in densely populated coastal regions of the United States may soon be inundated by rising seas, according to a new study by researchers at the University of Wisconsin–Madison and the University of Oregon.

The study, presented here today (July 16, 2018) at a meeting of internet network researchers, portrays critical communications infrastructure that could be submerged by rising seas in as soon as 15 years, according to the study’s senior author, Paul Barford, a UW–Madison professor of computer science.