Tag: science

Arctic Ice Increased by a Third Since December 2013

by on Jul.21, 2015, under News

  BBC News just pos­ted: “The volume of Arc­tic sea ice increased by around a third after an unusu­ally cool sum­mer in 2013. Research­ers say the growth con­tin­ued in 2014 and more than com­pensated for losses recor­ded in the three pre­vi­ous years. The sci­ent­ists involved believe changes in sum­mer tem­per­at­ures have greater impacts on ice than thought. But they say 2013 was a one-off and that cli­mate change will con­tinue to shrink the ice in the dec­ades ahead.

Turn up the volume

The Arc­tic region has warmed more than most other parts of the planet over the past 30 years. Satel­lite obser­va­tions have doc­u­mented a decrease of around 40% in the extent of sea ice cover in the Arc­tic since 1980. But while the extent of the retreat­ing ice has been well recor­ded, the key indic­ator that sci­ent­ists want to under­stand is the loss of sea ice volume. Research­ers have been able to use data gathered by Europe’s Cryo­sat satel­lite over the past five years to answer this ques­tion. This polar mon­it­or­ing space­craft has a soph­ist­ic­ated radar sys­tem that allows sci­ent­ists to accur­ately estim­ate the volume. The research­ers used 88 mil­lion meas­ure­ments of sea ice thick­ness from Cryo­sat and found that between 2010 and 2012, the volume of sea ice went down by 14%. They pub­lished their ini­tial find­ings at the end of 2013 — but have now refined and updated them to include data from 2014 as well. Rel­at­ive to the aver­age of the period between 2010 and 2012, the sci­ent­ists found that there was a 33% increase in sea ice volume in 2013, while in 2014 there was still a quarter more sea ice than there was between 2010 and 2012. “We looked at vari­ous cli­mate for­cing factors, we looked at the snow load­ing, we looked at wind con­ver­gence and the melt sea­son length of the pre­vi­ous sum­mer,” lead author Rachel Tilling, from Uni­ver­sity Col­lege Lon­don, told BBC News. “We found that the the highest cor­rel­a­tion by far was with the melt sea­son length — and over the sum­mer of 2013, it was the coolest of the five years we have seen, and we believe that’s why there was more multi-year ice left at the end of summer.”

The research­ers found the colder tem­per­at­ures allowed more multi-year ice to per­sist north-west of Green­land because there were simply fewer days when it could melt. Tem­per­at­ure records indic­ate that the sum­mer was about 5% cooler than 2012. The sci­ent­ists believe that the more accur­ate meas­ure­ments that they have now pub­lished show that sea ice is more sens­it­ive to changes than pre­vi­ously thought. They argue that while some could see this as a pos­it­ive, when tem­per­at­ures are cooler it leads to an increase in sea ice, it could also be a neg­at­ive when the mer­cury goes up. “It would sug­gest that sea ice is more resi­li­ent per­haps — if you get one year of cooler tem­per­at­ures, we’ve almost wound the clock back a few years on this gradual decline that’s been hap­pen­ing over dec­ades,” said Rachel Tilling. “The long-term trend of the ice volume is down­wards and the long-term trend of the tem­per­at­ures in the Arc­tic is upwards and this find­ing doesn’t give us any reason to dis­be­lieve that — as far as we can tell it’s just one anom­al­ous year.” The updated data has been pub­lished in the journal Nature Geoscience.”



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Brighton Science Festival 2015 starts now!

by on Feb.04, 2015, under Uncategorized

List­ings here:http://www.brightonscience.com/events/

Brighton Sci­ence Fest­ival star­ted ten years ago, because… well, because every­one needs a sci­ence fest­ival. It’s the best way to dis­cover where we came from, deal with where we are and debate where we might go in the future. Yes, I know the shud­der of ter­ror that some people feel at the mere men­tion of the word ‘sci­ence’, but there is every reason to believe that can turn into a tremor of excite­ment. There are some extraordin­ary and inspir­ing sci­ence com­mu­nic­at­ors out there, and we search all the fest­ivals and pub­lish­ers in Bri­tain to bring the best to Brighton. The fest­ival is for all ages, but the ones we are par­tic­u­larly doing this for are 12–14 year-olds. When they arrive in sec­ond­ary school from primary school they are fired up with enthu­si­asm for sci­ence. Within two years they hate it. Why? The gov­ern­ment has recog­nised the prob­lem and fiddled with the school cur­riculum, try­ing to make it more user-friendly, but that hasn’t worked. There are two ele­ments miss­ing, which even the most ener­getic teach­ers (and I have met a lot of very, very keen teach­ers out there) have dif­fi­culty cop­ing with: There is no spirit of dis­cov­ery. Young people love to explore, exper­i­ment and cre­ate. They don’t mind mak­ing mis­takes along the way. But the cur­riculum doesn’t leave time for mis­takes. They have to get the right ver­sion in their books straight away, ready to move on to the next topic. There is no room for the spirit of dis­cov­ery. Secondly, their par­ents don’t join in. Schools often have sports days, when all the par­ents come along. They have school plays; all the par­ents come along. When they have sci­ence days the school is deser­ted. So the Fam­ily Fun days are there for both par­ents and their chil­dren to play, exper­i­ment, dis­cover and share the exper­i­ence. One year, at the Fam­ily Fun Days, a big man entered the room with his two young chil­dren and sur­veyed the tur­moil around him. Hove Park Upper School was heav­ing with a thou­sand mums, dads and kids, play­ing with sixty dif­fer­ent kinds of sci­ence delight. In this par­tic­u­lar room the chal­lenge was to build a bridge across a 40 cm gap strong enough to sup­port as many Mars bars as pos­sible, using only four sheets of paper. Dad’s eyes lit up. He said, “Stand aside kids. This one’s for me”. For the next fif­teen minutes he was immersed in the task, his chil­dren on either side, looked at him as if to say, “but… you’re a Dad, not an engin­eer.” As I watched I didn’t worry that the kids were being ignored. I knew that they were going to be engin­eers when they grew up. Why? because imit­a­tion is the key to career. What the par­ents enjoy, that’s what the kids will enjoy. Indeed, after a few minutes they were work­ing on their own bridges, unpromp­ted. The Brighton Sci­ence Fest­ival is build­ing its own bridges, between sci­ence and the people. You should come. Actu­ally you should bring a demon­stra­tion of your own. In point of fact, if you care for the future of man­u­fac­tur­ing in this coun­try, you should become a spon­sor. Get in touch to find out more. We hope to make sci­ence so irres­ist­ible to young stu­dents that the A-level courses are flooded with applic­ants. Already there is an increased uptake in Sus­sex. This is good. It means higher stand­ards and bet­ter choice for busi­nesses. Even for young people who decide to leave school at six­teen there will be an endur­ing interest in sci­ence and respect for sci­ent­ists and engin­eers. Come to the Fest­ival. Bring your fam­ily, bring your enthu­si­asm. Richard Robin­son Dir­ector Brighton Sci­ence Fest­ival — See more at: http://www.brightonscience.com/about-2/#sthash.pxmldRMC.dpuf

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Free Lecture on Tuesday 15th 7-8pm, Chichester 1 US

by on Oct.09, 2013, under Uncategorized

hill image


When more than 1 in 3 of people in the UK will develop a form of can­cer within their life­time, timely can­cer dia­gnosis and ther­apy are crit­ical to patient sur­vival and qual­ity of life.

After many years of devel­op­ment, the obscure tech­nique known as dynamic nuc­lear polar­iz­a­tion (DNP) was launched in the world’s first clin­ical trial in San Fran­cisco in 2011. Giv­ing unpre­ced­en­ted access to can­cer meta­bol­ism data, this emer­ging tech­nique offers great prom­ise for our under­stand­ing of can­cer and our abil­ity to act quickly.

In this talk, Debbie Hill brings together the low-temperature phys­ics of DNP, mag­netic res­on­ance ima­ging, and explains how the race is – some­times quite lit­er­ally – on.


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Journey to the Interior of the Earth with the Institute of Physics

by on Nov.14, 2012, under Uncategorized

The Insti­tute of Phys­ics South Cent­ral Branch invite you to a talk by Drs. Hoe­ber and Skin­ner on 20th of Novem­ber from 7 to 8pm at the Chichester Lec­ture Theatre on Sus­sex Cam­pus. Prom­ising to be an inter­est­ing dis­cus­sion the event is free to all.

For more inform­a­tion and dir­ec­tions to the venue please visit the Sus­sex Uni­ver­sity web­site here.

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Science and Engineering Week, 9th — 18th March

by on Feb.20, 2012, under Uncategorized

National Sci­ence & Engin­eer­ing Week is now in its 18th year and this year’s cel­eb­ra­tion of sci­ence, engin­eer­ing and tech­no­logy is a whirl­wind of events, activ­it­ies, exper­i­ments and dis­cov­ery which really has some­thing for every­body. Brighton has made a fant­astic effort and has sched­uled a whole host of events includ­ing the Brighton Sci­ence Fest­ival and a range of lec­tures, hands on activ­it­ies and demon­stra­tions in a one day event at Bournemouth Uni­ver­sity and an inform­at­ive present­a­tion from the Day­glo Theatre of Debate.
Sir Roland Jack­son, Chief Exec­ut­ive of the Brit­ish Sci­ence Asso­ci­ation, who organ­ise National Sci­ence & Engin­eer­ing Week, said: “We are impressed with how well Brighton has embraced National Sci­ence & Engin­eer­ing Week and planned some great events to cel­eb­rate the won­ders of the sci­ences. If any­one has a chance to go along to one, I’m sure they’d have a lot of fun.”

So, from 9–18 March, National Sci­ence & Engin­eer­ing Week will see art gal­ler­ies, uni­ver­sit­ies, schools and sci­ence centres around Brighton look­ing at the role sci­ence plays in our lives, from the fun and fant­ast­ical, to the ser­i­ous and pro­found. Make sure your com­munity knows what’s out there to get their brains round.
High­lights in Brighton include:
Our World in Motion                                           13 March 2012 10:00 – 17:00
This one day event has been designed to dove­tail the theme of NSEW 2012 with dis­cip­lines asso­ci­ated with the Fac­ulty of Sci­ence and Engin­eer­ing and the Chelsea School of Sport at the Uni­ver­sity of Brighton.
Five speak­ers (three external and two in-house) will deliver key­note present­a­tions on a broad spec­trum of sub­jects includ­ing global epi­dem­ics (Phar­macy), elec­tro­mobil­ity (Engin­eer­ing), mobil­ity in sport (Sport Sci­ence), faunal and floral migra­tion (Eco­logy) and cryo­spheric change (Geo­logy) to a mixed audi­ence of aca­dem­ics, uni­ver­sity and sixth form stu­dents, U3A mem­bers and the gen­eral pub­lic, all of whom will be invited to par­ti­cip­ate in wide-ranging dis­cus­sions of the issues.
The venue is the Cock­croft hall on the Moulse­coomb Site of the uni­ver­sity. This is the fourth meet­ing arranged by these organ­isers, the second related spe­cific­ally to the NSEW theme.
Place: Cock­croft Build­ing, Uni­ver­sity of Brighton, BN2 4GJ
Open to: Adults, Pro­fes­sion­als, Sec­ond­ary schools, Sixth form stu­dents, Uni­ver­sity students
Admis­sion Cost: Free
Con­tact Details: Mar­garet Allen, mj_allen@btinternet.com
Day­glo — Theatre of Debate Film Screen­ing            13 March 2012 10:00 – 17:00
“Phar­ma­co­gen­et­ics is not some­thing most Year 10 pupils usu­ally dis­cuss or have an opin­ion on, but now most are able to explain the ideas behind it and have an insight on how it may affect their future.”
Riffat Wall, Head of sci­ence, Urmston Gram­mar, Manchester
‘Day­Glo’ by Abi Bown, Y Touring’s latest Theatre of Debate® pro­ject, explores the social, moral, sci­entific, eco­nomic and polit­ical ques­tions raised by advances in pharmacogenetics.
This dis­cus­sion will deal with issues such as genetic screen­ing, ter­minal ill­ness and inher­ited genetic dis­orders includ­ing sickle cell anaemia. The screen­ing is suit­able for stu­dents aged 14 and above and is designed to sup­port the achieve­ment of attain­ment tar­gets out­lined for Key Stage 4 across Sci­ence, 21st Cen­tury Sci­ence, Eng­lish, Drama, RS, Cit­izen­ship, and PSHE by enga­ging pupils and their teach­ers in an informed dis­cus­sion. The pro­duc­tion is also sup­por­ted by full teach­ing resources for pre and post-performance work in the classroom.
Place: Duke of York’s Pic­ture­house, Brighton and Hove, BN1 4JQ
Open to: Adults, Pro­fes­sion­als, Sec­ond­ary schools, Sixth form stu­dents, Uni­ver­sity students
Admis­sion Cost: £2.50
Con­tact Details: Adele Geddes 02075203090 a.geddes@ytouring.org.uk
Full details about events hap­pen­ing in your spe­cific area, includ­ing in local schools, can be found by search­ing the online pro­gramme at www.nsew.org.uk (many school events are only open to pupils/their fam­il­ies, so to view details of these the ‘show private events’ box needs to be ticked) or con­tact the Brit­ish Sci­ence Asso­ci­ation press office at press@britishscienceassociation.org or on 020 7019 4946.
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Free Physics Lecture

by on Jan.22, 2012, under Uncategorized

The IoP (Insti­tute of Phys­ics) are present­ing an excit­ing free lec­ture entitled “Blasts from the Past” on the 24th of Janu­ary 2012. Guest lec­turer Prof. Nial Tan­vir (Uni­ver­sity of Leicester) will be talk­ing about “using dis­tant explo­sions to explore the dis­tant universe.

The lec­ture is free and open to all, non-scientists espe­cially wel­come! And begins at 7pm in the Chichester 1 Lec­ture Theatre on the Uni­ver­sity of Sus­sex Campus.

For more inform­a­tion please visit their web­site here

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Institute of Physics (Brighton) FREE lecture.

by on Nov.18, 2011, under Uncategorized

Dir­ec­tions to the venue are at http://www.sussex.ac.uk/findus and inform­a­tion on park­ing is avail­able from http://www.sussex.ac.uk/efm/services/transport/campus–parking/where-to-park-on–cam­pus.

Every­body is wel­come and admis­sion to the lec­ture is free. There is no need to book.

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