Earth Day Blackout in Israel vs. Al Gore

A week ago was Earth day, and just like the trend elsewhere, Israel joined with an hour long blackout. In principle, I am very much in favor of environmental awareness, and if it brings some, so be it. But if you ask me, overall, this event is a rather pointless gimmick. Why?

The oceans as a calorimeter

I few months ago, I had a paper accepted in the Journal of Geophysical Research. Since its repercussions are particularly interesting for the general public, I decided to write about it. It's called, using the "Oceans as a Calorimeter to quantify the solar radiative forcing".

Auroras in Lapland

I recently attended the 3rd Space Climate Symposium which took place in Saariselkä, about 250 km north of the arctic circle in Finnish Lapland. Because of the prolonged solar minimum, my hopes were for a high auroral activity, but my expectations were not. Luckily, it was my hopes which were fulfilled!

Here is a summary of the northern lights I have seen.

Is the causal link between cosmic rays and cloud cover really dead??

Just recently, Sloan and Wolfendale published a paper in Environmental Research Letters, called "Testing the proposed causal link between cosmic rays and cloud cover". In the Institute of Physics Press Release, it said, "New research has deal a blow to the skeptics who argue that climate change is all due to cosmic rays rather than man made greenhouse gases". Did it really?

More slurs from continues with its same line of attack. writers try again and again to concoct what appears to be deep critiques against skeptic arguments, but end up doing a very shallow job. All in the name of saving the world. How gallant of them. This time it is an ill-founded attack by Jahnke and Benestad.

Open convection cells over the Negev?

OpenCellRadar Jerusalem was under siege, again. Last time it was Bush. This time, it was snow because of which we had two snow days. So, I didn't have to teach and instead could build a snowman with my kids. I could also look at the rain radar, which appeared to exhibit a few interesting phenomena.

One of the phenomena appears to be that of open-cell convection, i.e., air rising (and precipitating) on the cell boundaries.

Corpuscular Rays in St. Peter's Basilica (the Vatican)

Blog topic: 
A few days ago, I stayed in the Vatican (more about this one day symposium in another post). During the stay, I naturally visited St. Peter's Basilica. Near Bernini's Altar, I saw corpuscular rays. It may seem like some godly thing (quite appropriate for the location), but from a physicists point of view, it is simply scattering by dust particles. Here is one can say about this holy dust with the help of a little envelope.

A Nice Black Hole Merger Simulation

I recently stumbled upon a nice black hole merger simulation.
Since it is not in my habit of just regurgitating stuff I see on the internet, here is my added value. How can one estimate the quadrupole gravitational radiation of a binary? How close does the binary have to be for it to coalesce within the age of the universe?