Month: December 2019

How does global warming cause changes to our normal weather patterns?

The jet stream drives weather patterns The jet stream is a strong wind current flowing about 10 miles above the ground. In the Northern Hemisphere, it almost always blows from west to east and always in a fairly straight line. The jet stream is extremely important to weather systems – it drives the weather patterns throughout the year. The strength of the jet stream, and to what degree it impacts our weather, is determined by the temperature difference between the Arctic and the southern half of the world. CO2 causes temperatures to rise The level of CO2 in our atmosphere has been measured atop the Mauna Loa volcano in Hawaii since around 1958. At the time measurements began, the CO2 measured 315 parts per million (ppm). Today it

Neanderthals weren’t as dumb as scientists thought – they could make fire and used resin ‘glue’ to craft their stone tools.

It seems as if Neanderthals were not as dumb as scientists thought. Archaeologists rummaging around in a cave in Italy found some of the oldest known evidence of the Neanderthals using glue on their stone tools. The process is called “hafting” and it wasn’t believed the slope-headed cousins of Homo sapiens knew how to do it. The tools the scientists found were dated to about 40 to 50 thousand years ago. Scientists thought Neanderthals lacked intelligence and were surprised to find they could fashion sophisticated weapons. “We continue to find evidence that the Neanderthals were not inferior primitives but were quite capable of doing things that have traditionally only been attributed to modern humans.” More than 1,000 tools were found in the Italian caves. Analysis of the tools

Solar power scientists are now using molten salt to store the sun’s energy. Here’s the science of how it works.

In June 2019, China’s Dunhuang molten salt solar thermal power plant hit 100MW, its maximum power levels. The plant will provide 390 million kWh of clean power each year and reduce carbon dioxide emissions by more than 3500 tons. And it can run 24-hours a day, even when the sun does not shine. It does this by storing energy in a molten salt solution for later use. More and more solar power plants are turning to molten salt to solve solar energy’s number one problem – where to get energy at nighttime or when the sun is behind clouds. Solar energy could be stored in normal batteries but batteries are expensive and not very good for the environment. Instead, the energy can be stored in molten