Thursday, December 6, 2012

Ice darkening in Greenland

Greenland is an immense, glittering expanse of snow and ice. But in recent summers, satellites have been observing less “glitter” from the Northern Hemisphere’s largest ice expanse due to surface melt and other changes caused by warmer temperatures. The summer of 2012 found Greenland darker than it has been since ice-sheet-wide observations began in 2000.

The darkest areas occurred around the perimeter of the island—the lowest elevations, where melting is most significant—but virtually the entire ice sheet showed below-average reflectivity.

Climate Watch Magazine by NOAA

Map by NOAA team, based on NASA MODIS albedo data provided by Jason Box, The Ohio State University. Inset image is from NASA’s Terra satellite, courtesy the LANCE MODIS Rapid Response Project. Reviewed by Jason Box.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Global warming likely to be in the higher side

Climate model projections that show a greater rise in global temperature are likely to prove more accurate than those showing a lesser rise.

temperature change from increased CO2The study was published in the journal - Science.

National Center for Atmospheric Research scientists John Fasullo and Kevin Trenberth analyzed how well 16 leading sophisticated climate models reproduce observed relative humidity in Earth's tropics and subtropics.
They used observations from two NASA satellite instruments - the Atmospheric Infrared Sounder (AIRS) instrument on NASA's Aqua spacecraft and the Clouds and Earth's Radiant Energy System (CERES) .

Climate model projections showing a greater rise in global temperature are likely to prove more accurate than those showing a lesser rise, according to them.

Read in detail:

Monday, September 3, 2012

When Cirrus descends .......

Have you heard of Cirrus cloud descending .........?

  • What is it ......?
  • Is it a frequent phenomenon .....?
  • Does it have seasonal dependence ....?
  • Where does it occur ......?
  • Why do cirrus descend .....?
  • What is it's impact .......?
We have discovered the phenomenon using 3 years of lidar observations over Thiruvananthapuram, near southern tip of India that Cirrus clouds frequently DESCEND.....!

After analysing the data together with other observations and models, we have come up answers to the above questions. 

The observations and results are now accepted by the scientific community and it finds a place in the Journal of Geophysical Research - JGR (Atmosphere).


 Nair, A. K. M., K. Rajeev, M. K. Mishra, B. V. Thampi, and K. Parameswaran (2012), Multiyear lidar observations of the descending nature of tropical cirrus cloudsJ. Geophys. Res.117, D18201, doi:10.1029/2011JD017406.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Inexpensive and Efficient Solar Cell

Research group creates highly sensitive photodetector from graphene and quantum dots
Hybrid graphene-quantum dot phototransistor. Image (c) Nature Nanotechnology (2012) doi:10.1038/nnano.2012.60

Engineers have used inexpensive materials to create a solar cell certified at a world-record 7.0 percent efficiency.

The solar cell represents a 37 percent increase in efficiency over the previous certified record.
A breakthrough in the development of colloidal quantum dot (CQD) films allowed the researchers from the University of Toronto and King Abdullah University of Science & Technology (KAUST) to develop the solar cell. Their work is featured in a letter published in Nature Nanotechnology.

Here is the original article from Nature Nanotechnology (published last week of July,2012)
Hybrid graphene–quantum dot phototransistors with ultrahigh gain, Nature Nanotechnology (2012) doi:10.1038/nnano.2012.60

Read more at:

In order to improve efficiency, the researchers needed a way to both reduce the number of “traps” for electrons associated with poor surface quality while simultaneously ensuring their films were very dense to absorb as much light as possible. The solution was a so-called “hybrid passivation” scheme.

Read a review

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Equinox & Solstice - a better view

Equinox & Solstice (view from Space). 

Doesn't it convey better information than the usual cartoons.....?

 I have taken the Satellite images from Meteosat via. Dundee satellite Receiving Station and made the matrix using GIMP.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Contrail - spreading.

Have a look at these images, captured 2 hrs apart by MODIS of TERRA & AQUA.
We can clearly decipher the transition of contrail to contrail cirrus clouds.......

Increasing air pollution by planes is definitely pointing towards increase the in Longwave radiative forcing and thereby increasing the global warming potential....

The Evolution of a Contrail

The Evolution of a Contrail

Read more:

Image credit: Jeff Schmaltz, LANCE MODIS Rapid Response Team, Goddard Space Flight Center. Caption by Adam Voiland., NASA earth observatory

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Don't miss to watch the 'Transit of Venus'

Be prepared to watch a heavenly drama on 6 June 2012.
The Venus can be seen as a black dot travelling across the Solar Disk.

Here is my Simulation:

Yes, it is the "Transit of Venus across the Sun"

Key phases during a transit of a planet across the face of the Sun are often referred to as 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th contact. Credit: Michael Zeiler,
Path-- L to R
Credit: Michael Zeiler,

India comes under the visibility of the event after Sunrise.

See the graphic below:
Thiruvananthapuram can view it right from sunrise to 10:22 AM.

The graphic was prepared using the tool provided in 
You can change the location and see about your visibility to the drama.

Also read the following blog for wonderful information and graphics.       (nice and informative blog by ESA)    (Transit maps)

You can also find how to watch the event....
Follow safe way.... take care of eyes......

Enjoy the phenomena......
otherwise you will have to wait till....2017 Dec 11.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Controlling Climate Change - Geo-Engineering

There are many proposals to reduce the climatic impact and change because of the Global Warming.
Some of them tries to address the causative mechanism while some treats symptoms.....

Geo-Engineering is deliberate large-scale engineering and manipulation of the planetary environment to combat or counteract man made changes in atmosphere.

Have a look at the three proposals to reduce increasing temperature.
Click on the image of use the link below for a recent article in BBC.

temperature image

More details:

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Modelling getting better .....

Clouds and aerosol particles have bedevilled climate modellers for decades. Now researchers are starting to gain the upper hand.
Researchers say they are beginning to turn a corner in simulating clouds and aerosols. In recent months, climate scientists have started rolling out initial results from the newest generation of models, which represent atmospheric chemistry and microphysics in much more sophisticated ways than previous incarnations. These models allow clouds and aerosols to evolve as they interact with each other and respond to factors such as temperature, relative humidity and air currents. 
Read more :


International weekly journal of science

Friday, May 4, 2012

La Nina ends.

La-Nina ended...... in April 2012.
Pacific is in Neutral conditions.......
See this animation.........
Read More:

Animation CLICK HERECourtesy: Nasa Earth Observatory

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Lyrids Meteor Shower: don't miss the fireworks....!

A Lyrid meteor in night skies over Nantucket, Mass.Lyrids Meteor Shower is round the corner.....

Look up in the sky to watch the Lyrids brighten the skies. On Saturday, April 21.

 For the 2012 Lyrids meteor shower, a new moon will set darker skies that are ideal for meteor watching. 
rid meteor shower will be viewable all over the world, with best rates seen just before dawn at the location where you're watching the skies. The Lyrids are very unpredictable, with peak meteor rates between 10-100 per hour. 

Lyrids are pieces of debris from the periodic Comet C/1861 G1 Thatcher and have been observed for more than 2,600 years. In mid-April of each year, Earth runs into the stream of debris from the comet, which causes the Lyrid meteor shower.

Read More:

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Earthquake - Real time information

Real–time Earthquake Map
can be seen from US Geological Survey
USGS - science for a changing world

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) about the Current Earthquakes information

Earthquake Notification Service (ENS)

Earthquake Notification Service emailThe Earthquake Notification Service (ENS) is a free service that sends you automated notification emails when earthquakes happen in your area.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Precise neasurement of the universe

Physicists on the Baryon Oscillation Spectroscopic Survey (BOSS) have announced the first results from their collaboration, revealing the most precise measurements ever made of the large-scale structure of the universe between five to seven billion years ago. They achieved this by observing the primordial sound waves that propagated through the cosmic medium a mere 30,000 years after the Big Bang.

Read in detaill: Most Precise Measurement of Scale of the Universe : Discovery News


Friday, March 30, 2012

Physics Video Lectures of MIT

Here is the link to the excellent PHYSICS Video Lectures by Professor Walter Lewin of MIT.
It's part of MIT Open Courseware...!!

Photo of Prof. Lewin swinging on a pendulum.
Professor Walter Lewin demonstrates that the period of a pendulum is independent of the mass hanging from the pendulum. This demonstration can be viewed on the video of Lecture 10. (Image courtesy of Markos Hankin, Physics Department Lecture Demonstration Group).

Courtesy: MIT Logo MITCopyright MITMIT LogoMIT Logo

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Hubble Telescope see globular cluster of Messier 9

The Hubble Space Telescope has produced the most detailed image so far of Messier 9, a globular star cluster located close to the center of the galaxy.
Beautiful glittering jewels....!

Click on the Image or the following link to read more.

Messier 9

Credit: NASA and ESA

Friday, March 9, 2012

oh! No..! SOLAR Storm....!

Space weather starts at the sun.
 It begins with an eruption such as a huge burst of light and radiation called a solar flare or a gigantic cloud of solar material called a coronal mass ejection (CME)
The effects of those eruptions happen at Earth, or at least near-Earth space. Scientists monitor several kinds of space "weather" events -- geomagnetic storms, solar radiation storms, and radio blackouts – all caused by these immense explosions on the sun.
They cause wide disruptions in Radio communications, power blackouts but for the beautiful aurora.....
Artist illustration of events on the sun changing the conditions in Near-Earth space.

Read more :

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Nasa to release TMA in 5 sounding rockets to study Jet Stream

Nasa is gearing up to have 5 consecutive launches of sounding rockets which would releasr Tri-Methyl-Aluminum higher in the sky which would be acting like tracers in the Jet Stream.
It would be tracked by the ground based cameras.
A similar experiment was done by ISRO in Jan 2010 during the annular solar eclipse.

Approximate locations in Troposphere and Thermosphere where the low and high jet streams are located, respectively. Tracer release and camera observation locations for ATREX mission.

Read more:

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Ocean Surface Currents does not Cross the Equator. WHY ...?

Lynne Talley, Physical Oceanographer, Climate, Atmospheric Sciences, and Physical Oceanography (CASPO) division, Scripps Institute of Oceanography answers.....

It's because of the Vorticity Conservation which is related to Angular Momentum Conservation.

Read the simple article in detail:

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Clouds Descending .....?

Earth’s clouds descended a little — about one percent on average — during last decade, finds a new NASA-funded university study based on NASA satellite data.
 The results have potential implications for future global climate.

Decreasing global cloud heights suggest negative feedback over the last decade
Data from NASA's MISR instrument on NASA's Terra spacecraft show that global average cloud height declined by about 1 percent over the decade from 2000 to 2010, or around 100 to 130 feet (30 to 40 meters). (Image credit: University of Auckland/NASA JPL-Caltech)
Data from NASA's MISR instrument on NASA's Terra spacecraft show that global average cloud height declined by about 1 percent over the decade from 2000 to 2010, or around 100 to 130 feet (30 to 40 meters). (Image credit: University of Auckland/NASA JPL-Caltech)
The study was recently published in GRL.
Global cloud height fluctuations measured by MISR on Terra from 2000 to 2010
Roger Davies & Matthew Molloy

Read Reports:

Monday, February 27, 2012

National Science Day- Feb 28

National Science Day is celebrated in India on February 28 every year to celebrate  the discovery of Raman effect by C.V. Raman. 
The event is commemorated in honour of Sir C.V. Raman for his legacy and discovery of the Raman Effect on February 28, 1927, for which he was awarded the Nobel Prize in 1930.
The Raman Effect led to the growth of a new discipline, Raman Spectroscopy, which has now become a powerful tool for a wide range of scientific investigations and industrial applications.
 Celebration of National Science Day began from 1986.

Theme 2012: Clean ENergy Options & Nuclear Safety.

Importance of Feb. 28
On February 28 1928, Sir C.V. Raman announced the discovery of the Raman Effect. 

Friday, February 24, 2012

can Rainfall calm Storms...?

Atmospheric scientists have found that Rainfall is able to calm the convectively unstable atmosphere....!

They calculate that a substantial portion of the energy that drives wind and air circulation in the atmosphere is dissipated as friction by raindrops falling through the air.

Some of the dissipation of mechanical energy happens when a falling raindrop (or snowflake or hailstone) experiences friction as it passes through the surrounding air.

Read more:

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Global Tree Height prepared.

NASA produces Global map of forest height using ICESat.

The map will help scientists better understand the role forests play in climate change and how their heights influence wildlife habitats within them, while also helping them quantify the carbon stored in Earth's vegetation.

Global map of forest height
Click on the image to Zoom

The map, available at, depicts the highest points in the forest canopy. Its spatial resolution is 0.6 miles (1 kilometer).


Sunday, February 12, 2012

Visualize Scale sizes...

Here is an interesting and  informative interactive information on the scale sizes......

from ultra small quarks to ultra big universe.....

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

mystery of Earth's 'missing energy' -solved..?

An apparent inconsistency has been diagnosed between interannual variations in the net radiation imbalance inferred from satellite measurements and upper-ocean heating rate from in situ measurements, and this inconsistency has been interpreted as ‘missing energy’.

Where was it going?

Now Scientists come up with an answer.....

"Missing Energy" is in the Ocean 

"Our data show that Earth has been accumulating heat in the ocean at a rate of half a watt per square meter (10.8 square feet), with no sign of a decline," Loeb said. "This extra energy will eventually find its way back into the atmosphere and increase temperatures on Earth."

Read more:


Saturday, January 28, 2012

Cold plasma escaping from earth


The new findings suggest that about two lbs. (1 kilogram) of cold plasma escape from Earth's atmosphere every second.
As physicists further map cold plasma around Earth, they could discover more about how it reacts during solar storms and other events, deepening our understanding of space weather.

Read more:

Sunday, January 22, 2012

2011 Ninth-Warmest Year on Record

The global average surface temperature in 2011 was the ninth warmest since 1880, according to NASA scientists.
Observe an updated analysis that shows temperatures around the globe in 2011 compared to the average global temperature from the mid-20th century.
 The average temperature around the globe in 2011 was 0.92 degrees F (0.51 C) warmer than the mid-20th century baseline.
"We know the planet is absorbing more energy than it is emitting," said GISS Director James E. Hansen. "So we are continuing to see a trend toward higher temperatures. Even with the cooling effects of a strong La NiƱa influence and low solar activity for the past several years, 2011 was one of the 10 warmest years on record."
temperature graph

Animation can be seen here,

Understand  More:

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Our Recent Paper in JASTP

Impact of a noon-time annular solar eclipse on the mixing layer height and vertical distribution of aerosols in the atmospheric boundary layer

  • Manoj Kumar Mishra, 
  • K. RajeevCorresponding author contact informationE-mail the corresponding author
  • Anish Kumar M. Nair, 
  • K. Krishna Moorthy, 
  • K. Parameswaran
For full paper, click this link:,

Impact of the long duration noontime annular solar eclipse on 15 January 2010 on the vertical distribution of aerosols and mixing layer height (HM) in a well-developed convective atmospheric boundary layer (ABL) has been investigated using continuous Lidar observations over a tropical coastal station, Thumba (8.5°N, 76.9°E). This study shows that HM has decreased from its peak value of ∼1800 m at 12:00 h to ∼1000 m following the annular phase of the eclipse (13:17 h), while the corresponding decrease in the total aerosol abundance of ABL is ∼29%. The post-eclipse increase of HM is rapid compared to that during forenoon.

Mishra,M.K.,K. Rajeev, A.K.M.Nair, K. Krishna Moorthy, K. Parameswaran, Impact of a noon-time annular solar eclipse on the mixing layer height and vertical distribution of aerosols in the atmospheric boundary layer, Journal of Atmospheric and Solar-Terrestrial Physics, Volume 74, January 2012, Pages 232-237, ISSN 1364-6826, 10.1016/j.jastp.2011.10.012.

Scientific Programming

Python is a scientific language which combines remarkable power with clean, simple and easy-to-understand syntax. That some of the most robust scientific packages have been written in Python makes it a natural choice for scientific computational tasks.

Although tools like Mathematica and Matlab remain commercial, the open source community has also developed some equally powerful computational tools, which can be easily used by students and independent researchers.

These tools are so robust that they are now also used at educational institutions and research labs across the globe.

Read more :

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Size of the Moon in Perigee & Apogee

Lunar-apogee-perigee-2010 (2)
PhotographerAnthony Ayiomamitis
At apogee, the Moon is on average approximately 406,500 km (252,587 mi) away from Earth with an apparent diameter of about 29.5 arc-minutes (about one half degree); whereas at perigee, the Moon is approximately 356,500 km (221,500 mi) distant and has an apparent diameter of about 33.6 arc-minutes. This difference of 50,000 km (31,069 mi) between apogee and perigee results in a dramatic change in the apparent diameter as illustrated by the two full Moons above, photographed in 2010. These particular full Moons were strategically selected to have the full Moon as near as possible to its minimum perigee and maximum apogee when crossing the local meridian in Athens, Greece. The Moon photo at left was taken on January 30, 2010 (at 00:31:28 local time) and the Moon at right was snapped on August 25, 2010 (01:26:33 local time).

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Greenland ICE becoming DARKER ....?

The bright surface of the Greenland Ice Sheet reflected well over half of the sunlight that fell on it. This reflectiveness helped keep the ice sheet stable.
In the past decade, however, satellites have observed a decrease in Greenland’s reflectiveness.

This darker surface now absorbs more sunlight, which accelerates melting.
Greenland’s Ice Is Growing Darker
Color bar for Greenland’s Ice Is Growing Darker difference between the amount of sunlight Greenland reflected in the summer of 2011 versus the average percent it reflected between 2000 to 2006.

Warmer, lower-elevation areas of the ice sheet have darkened more than the colder, higher-altitude interior. Each summer, winter snow retreats from the edge of the ice sheet. Dark pools of melt water form on the surface of the ice, and windblown dust and other particles also collect near the surface, making it even less reflective.

Jason Box of Ohio State University, who analyzed the reflectiveness data propose that ice itself undergone change in shape and structure...

Courtesy:Nasa Earth Observatory

Monday, January 9, 2012

Global warming can delay next glaciation :o

Global warming caused by greenhouse gases delays natural patterns of glaciation suggests a study co-authored by a University of Florida researcher and published online Jan. 8 in Nature Geoscience.

The Earth's current warm period that began about 11,000 years ago should give way to another ice age within about 1,500 years, according to accepted astronomical models. However, current levels of carbon dioxide are trapping too much heat in the atmosphere to allow the Earth to cool as it has in its prehistoric past in response to changes in Earth's orbital pattern.

data indicate that the next ice age will likely be delayed by tens of thousands of years.

Good news ...?

Ice sheets like those in western Antarctica are already destabilized by global warming, they eventually slough off and become a part of the ocean's volume, it will have a dramatic effect on sea level.

Read more here :