A Spiral of Global Temperatures
Over the past week, an animated plot made by NCAS Scientist Dr Ed Hawkins has been causing quite a stir on Twitter, as of May 5th at 10am, it had been retweeted or shared over 8500 times, and has been the subject of many news stories (Such as this one in The Washington Post) and blog articles all over the internet. Originally published on Ed's blog the Climate Lab Book, and then shared via Twitter the plot is a simple visualisation of the monthly global temperature from 1850 through to 2016.
“It was just designed to try and communicate in a different way. As scientists I think we need to communicate, and try different things, and this was just one of those trials, and it has turned out very well,” Hawkins says. (He credits Jan Fuglestvedt, a fellow researcher at the University of Oslo, with suggesting the idea of a spiral to him).
To make the plot Ed used HadCRUT4.4 from January 1850 – March 2016, relative to the mean of 1850-1900. “The animated spiral presents global temperature change in a visually appealing and straightforward way,” Hawkins wrote on his blog, the Climate Lab Book. “The pace of change is immediately obvious, especially over the past few decades.”
Turbines affect the local climate at a wind farm
Newly published research shows that wind turbines have a measurable effect on the local climate. Detailed measurements of the atmosphere and soil at a wind farm in Scotland show that the action of the turbines creates small changes to local microclimates at certain times of the day.
When the turbines were operational at night during stable atmospheric conditions the temperature around the turbine increased by 0.18 °C. This increase is thought to be the effect of downward mixing of warmer air by the turbine blades.
Scientists from the National Centre for Atmospheric Science, the University of Glasgow, the Centre for Ecology & Hydrology, Lancaster University and the University of Leeds collaborated on an ambitious project to measure the atmosphere and soil on a wind farm. The team placed a grid of over 100 temperature and humidity sensors around wind turbines at ScottishPower Renewables’ Black Law Wind Farm in North Lanarkshire.
New Collaborative Science Programmes
NERC has commissioned five highly ambitious research programmes, worth £34m, that will see its research centres working closely together to tackle major scientific and societal challenges. This is the first result of a new way of allocating national capability funding designed to enable more ambitious science than any single research organisation could provide.
The new approach to allocating national capability funding does not use new money, but realigns and refocuses the capabilities of the centres to drive more ambitious science through collaboration. It's also intended to maximise the value of these investments by providing the foundation for other NERC-funded activities.