Tag Archive: technology

Aerosol map of the world

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Greenhouse gases are not the only thing in the atmosphere to causes changes to our climate. This computer simulation from NASA (officially known as Goddard Earth Observing System Model, Version 5) shows aerosols spiralling through the atmosphere. While greenhouses gases tend to have a warming effect, aerosols cool the planet by reflecting more solar radiation back into space. Dominating the picture is an orange streak of sand, blown off the Saharan and Arabian deserts. Light blues in the northern and southern oceans are sea salt particles swirling around cyclones. In the north, gray smoke from fires, and white sulphates from industry emissions and volcanoes complete the picture. Over the years, a number of calls have been made to use aerosols to fight the increasing threat of global warming. It might seem sensible to release agents that causes cooling to balance the greenhouse gases that are causing warming. But as the picture above demonstrates, the atmosphere is an incredibly complex thing. Hundreds of factors determine what our climate …

Data travels beautifully across the internet

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Maybe it’s an instagram of your cat doing something hilarious or maybe its a fake I’m-sick email to your boss, but the data we send every day from phones, laptops and tablets is all part of something much greater than the sum of its parts. Michael Rigley,from San Francisco, produced this beautiful visualisation showing how the multimedia messages we send everyday – text, emails and more – are passed throuugh the complex network known as the world wide web. In his own words: By visualizing the processes that underlie our interactions with this technology we can trace what happens to the information we feed into the network. But, along with all the data we knowingly send on, we also send out hundreds of bits of metadata – information that describes the nature of the message we send, and the nature of us. Metadata includes things like time messages were sent, links we’ve clicked on, search queries we’ve googled. All this data allows …

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