Tag Archives: earth

This Atom Can Predict The Future



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Many of the bewildering correlations in our world – like that between Beryllium-7 and the Asian monsoon – are a result of huge and unseen forces that tie them together.

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To learn more, start your googling with these keywords:
Monsoon: A seasonal increase in precipitation driven by atmospheric conditions.
Hadley Cell: A global scale atmospheric cell driven by air rising near the equator and falling as it flows towards the polls.
Ferrel Cell: A secondary atmospheric circulation that collides with the Hadley cell and pushes air back down towards the Earth’s surface.
Intertropical Convergence Zone: The narrow zone between the northern and southern Hadley cells where warm air comes together and rises.
Tropopause: The boundary area roughly 15 kilometers above the Earth’s surface between the troposphere and the stratosphere.
Radionuclide: Isotopes of atoms that release radiation as they break down.
Beryllium-7: A relatively stable radionuclide of the element Beryllium that naturally forms in the tropopause during spallation.
Spallation: The process in which a heavier atom loses nuclear particles after being bombarded by cosmic rays.
Cosmic Rays: High energy atomic particles that move at near light speed through space.
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Credits (and Twitter handles):
Video Writer, Director, and Narrator: David Goldenberg (@dgoldenberg)
Video Illustrator: Sarah Berman (@sarahjberman)
With Contributions From: Henry Reich, Alex Reich, Kate Yoshida, Ever Salazar, Peter Reich, Julián Gómez, Arcadi Garcia Rius
Music by: Nathaniel Schroeder:
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References:

Terzi, L., Kalinowski, M., Schoeppner, M., and Wotawa, G. (2019). How to predict seasonal weather and monsoons with radionuclide monitoring. Nature. 9: 2729. Retrieved from:

Köhn‐Reich, L., Bürger, G. (2019). Dynamical prediction of Indian monsoon: Past and present skill. International Journal of Climatology. 38:3574-3581. Retrieved from:

Delaygue, G., Bekki, S., and Bard, E. (2015) Modelling the stratospheric budget of beryllium isotopes. Tellus B: Chemical and Physical Meteorology, 67:1 Retrieved from:

Palukkat, H. (2016) The odds of foretelling rains: Why monsoon prediction is hard, and why it could soon improve. Economic Times. Retrieved from:

Kalinowski, M. (2020). Personal Communication. Provisional Technical Secretariat, Preparatory Commission for the Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization.

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Where Does One Ocean End And Another Begin?



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Earth’s ocean water is continuous. How can we divide it into sections that are more useful?

Thanks also to our Patreon patrons and our YouTube members.
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To learn more, start your googling with these keywords:
IHO: International Hydrographic Organization
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If you liked this week’s video, you might also like:
We had fun playing with (and transitioning between) different map projections in this video, and we came across this great – and mesmerizing! – website:
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Credits (and Twitter handles):
Writer, Director, and Narrator: Kate Yoshida (@KateYoshida)
Video Illustrator: Arcadi Garcia Rius (@garirius)
With Contributions From: Henry Reich, Alex Reich, Ever Salazar, Peter Reich, David Goldenberg, Julián Gómez, Sarah Berman
Music by: Nathaniel Schroeder:
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References:

Antonello, A. (2018). The Southern Ocean. In Armitage D. (Ed.), Oceanic Histories (296-318). Cambridge University Press.

Candido, M. (2011). South Atlantic. In Burnard, T. (Ed.), Oxford Bibliographies Online: Atlantic History, Oxford University Press.

Caspers, H. (1965). Van Mieghem, J. and Van Oye, P (Eds), Biogeography and Ecology in Antarctica. The Hague: Dr. W. Junk Publishers.

Lewis, M.W. (1999). “Dividing the Ocean Sea.” Geographical Review 89 (2), 188-214.

International Hydrographic Organization (IHO), (1953): Limits of Oceans and Seas, International Hydrographic Organization., Bremerhaven.

International Hydrographic Organization (IHO), (2002): Limits of Oceans and Seas , International Hydrographic Organization (DRAFT), Monaco.

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What It Would Take to Build A Mars Base!



From getting there, to setting up a base that is functional, to slowly getting the place up to detect for a larger colony, and more! Join me as we explore what it would take to set up a base on Mars!

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For many decades now, humanity has dreamed about on another world. Whether it was a distant world in another galaxy, or just making colonies on all the worlds and moons that made sense, we’ve gone and envisioned all kinds of futures for our race. And on a base level, doing so is kind of vital. The Earth is growing more and more populated, but our resources are slowly but surely going to wear out. So, we need to start setting up places outside of Earth for us to inhabit.
The two best options at present are the moon and the planet Mars. And believe it or not, both the moon and Mars have plans in place to not just put people back on its surface, but, to potentially set up very large and functional bases for us (that’s humanity) to live on. But doing so is no small feat. While there have been many missions to the moon, they’ve only been for historical and research purposes. And even with it being MUCH closer to the Earth than Mars, setting up a colony there is not going to be easy. Yet, if you were to ask NASA, SpaceX and a whole bunch of other agencies what the main goal is for the 2020’s, you would get “We’re going to get people to Mars to start building a colony.”
A noble goal, but one that is going to be fraught with problems and will not be easy to get off the ground. But just so we can prove this to you, let’s break down everything you would need in order to make just a basic base on Mars.
First and foremost, you don’t just send people to Mars and hope that they are going to make it, that would be catastrophic on all counts. Which, thankfully, the appropriate space agencies aren’t aiming to do. Whether you look at NASA or Space X you’ll see that there is a “setup mission” that will happen before the first batch of colonists even arrive.
The point of this setup mission is simple, it’s going to dump a wide variety of items for the group to use when they arrive. Think of it like airmailing a package to a vacation spot you’re going to be going to. In this case though, that “package” will likely be a small base where the group will live for the first 9 months (more on that later), a large series of supplies, potential vehicles, generators, and more.
You might wonder why they’re going to outfit all of this stuff on a setup mission versus just putting it on the craft that has the group themselves. The reason is time, money, and weight. The more stuff you have to put on a craft, the more risk you’re taking that something is going to go wrong. Not to mention endanger the lives of the crew, as well as slow down the craft.
Even with some of the best minds working on it, a journey to Mars is going to be SLOW. Thus, launching a setup mission to get the equipment there is a good first move because A) it shows we really can get to the red planet with a ship (which we’ve never done before). B) it shows that landing these very large items on the surface without serious damage is NOT impossible. And C) should the worst happen, we’re only losing inanimate objects and not human lives. Because the moment that happens, a lot of delays are going to happen, and the colonization of Mars will be likely delayed infinitely until people are sure that they can get to Mars safely
So all told, the setup mission is the first and most important thing…in a long chain of important things that needs to happen on Mars for a base to be setup.
Before we dive even more into the base on Mars scenario, be sure to like or dislike the video so we can continue to improve so we can make the best videos possible for you the viewer! Also, subscribe to the channel so that you don’t miss ANY of our weekly videos.
Alright, so let’s assume that we are able to do the setup mission, and the first group of settlers/researchers are able to successfully be on the planet, ok? What would be one of their immediate challenges?
One of the obvious ones is a notion of continual power. After all, to run a base, and especially a large colony, you need power. Now, the setup mission will be delivering a wide variety of generators no doubt. But that’s only a partial solution. You need a long-term one.
The notion of Solar Power has been floated around by many, and it could work. But, it’s problematic. Mars is known for having storms that’ll block out the sun for days on end. Plus, due to distance, the solar power we’d get is only 40% of the kind we’d get on Earth. That could still help, but it won’t solve everything. Likewise, wind and geothermal power…is a no go.
So what can we do? Well…there is the nuclear option. No, not a b*mb, but nuclear power.

#InsaneCuriosity #ColonizingMars #MarsEverythingAboutTheRedPlanet

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How To Turn Poop Into Power



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We could generate a lot of usable energy from human and animal poop through greater adoption of a process for using microbes to break down poop into methane gas.

Thanks also to our Patreon patrons and our YouTube members.

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To learn more, start your googling with these keywords:
Anaerobic digestion: a sequence of processes by which microorganisms break down biodegradable material in the absence of oxygen
Methanogens: a methane-producing bacterium, especially an archaean which reduces carbon dioxide to methane
Wastewater treatment: a process used to remove contaminants from wastewater or sewage and convert it into an effluent that can be returned to the water cycle with minimum impact on the environment, or directly reused
Biogas: the mixture of gases produced by anaerobic digestion of organic matter, primarily consisting of methane and carbon dioxide, which can be used as a renewable energy source

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Credits (and Twitter handles):
Script Writer, Director, and Narrator: Julián Gustavo Gómez (@thejuliangomez)
Video Illustrator: Ever Salazar (@eversalazar)
With Contributions From: Henry Reich, Alex Reich, Kate Yoshida, Peter Reich, David Goldenberg, Sarah Berman, Arcadi Garcia Rius
Music by: Nathaniel Schroeder:
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References:

Andriani, Dian, et al. “A review of recycling of human excreta to energy through biogas generation: Indonesia case.” Energy Procedia 68 (2015): 219-225.

Karki, Amrit B. “Biogas as renewable energy from organic waste.” Journal (2009).

Hatchett, Allison N. “Bovines and Global Warming: How the Cows are Heating Things Up and What Can Be Done to Cool Them Down.” Wm. & Mary Envtl. L. & Pol’y Rev. 29 (2004): 767.

Onojo, O. J., et al. “Estimation of the electric power potential of human waste using students hostel soak-away pits.” American Journal of Engineering Research, 02 (9) (2013): 198-203.

“RCA Issue Brief #7.” Animal Manure Management, Natural Resources Conservation Service, Dec. 1997,

“Electricity Generation from Biogas.” Energypedia,

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MinuteEarth Explains: Space



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In this collection of classic MinuteEarth videos, we travel beyond Earth and explore some of our favorite mysteries about space.

These are the episodes featured in this compilation:

0:00 Intro

0:29 Why So Many Meteorites Come From The Same Place

2:52 Tidal Locking | Why Do We Only See One Side of the Moon?

5:10 How Do Greenhouse Gases Actually Work?

8:09 The Faint Young Sun Paradox!

10:48 Outro

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What If the Yellowstone Volcano Erupted Tomorrow?

What If the Yellowstone Volcano Erupted Tomorrow?

Located in the United States, one of the world’s largest volcanoes is gearing up to explode. It’s known as the Yellowstone Volcano, and it’s not just any regular volcano. Instead, it’s a supervolcano! If Yellowstone decided to erupt, the results would be devastating. But just how bad would they be? Is there anything we could do to stop it? Could this affect the entire world? And how would this change our weather?

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What If is a mini-documentary web series that takes you on an epic journey through hypothetical worlds and possibilities. Join us on an imaginary adventure through time, space and chance while we (hopefully) boil down complex subjects in a fun and entertaining way.

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Is There A Better Way To Power Airplanes?

Is There A Better Way To Power Airplanes?

This video was made in partnership with Bill Gates. To learn more about his work on clean energy, visit

It’s hard to replace jet fuel because the alternatives aren’t energetic enough, are too dangerous, or aren’t yet being made at scale.

Thanks also to our Patreon patrons and our YouTube members.
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To learn more, start your googling with these keywords:
Jet fuel – a liquid petroleum fuel with high specific energy and energy density, used in airplane jet engines, made of kerosene with a few additives
Specific Energy – how much energy something contains per unit mass
Energy Density – how much energy something contains per unit volume
Synthetic jet fuel – a jet fuel replacement, typically aiming to have lower life cycle environmental impacts than jet fuel (AKA: sustainable aviation fuel (SAF), alternative jet fuel, renewable aviation fuel, renewable jet fuel, biojet fuel, sustainable alternative fuel)
Kerosene – a petroleum product that is the main component of jet fuel (and old fashioned lanterns)
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If you liked this week’s video, you might also like:
What you get from a barrel of oil –
Real Engineering: Are Electric Planes Possible? –
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Credits (and Twitter handles):
Script Writer and Narrator: Alex Reich (@alexhreich)
Video Illustrators: Ever Salazar and Sarah Berman
Video Director: Ever Salazar (@eversalazar)
With Contributions From: Henry Reich, Kate Yoshida, Peter Reich, David Goldenberg, Julián Gómez, Arcadi Garcia Rius
Music by: Nathaniel Schroeder:
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References:

ATAG. Nov 2017. Beginner’s Guide to Sustainable Aviation Fuel, Edition 3. Accessed Jan 2020.

ATAG. “Producing sustainable aviation fuel” Accessed Jan 2020

Burton, Freya. Personal communication, Feb 2020

Caldeira, K. Personal communication, Feb 2020

Cey, E., et al. 2019. Energy Education. “Oil formation.” Accessed Jan 2020

Chuck, C. (Ed.). 2016. Biofuels for aviation: feedstocks, technology and implementation. Academic Press

Goldmann, A., et al. 2018. A study on electrofuels in aviation. Energies, 11(2), 392.

Hileman, J. I., & Stratton, R. W. 2014. Alternative jet fuel feasibility. Transport Policy, 34, 52-62.

IATA. May 2019. “Sustainable Aviation Fuels Fact sheet.” Accessed Jan 2020

IATA. December 2019. “Fuel Fact Sheet.” Accessed March 2020

Le Feuvre, P. 18 March 2019. Are aviation biofuels ready for take off?

Lehtveer, M., Brynolf, S., & Grahn, M. 2019. What Future for Electrofuels in Transport? Analysis of Cost Competitiveness in Global Climate Mitigation. Environmental science & technology, 53(3), 1690-1697.

McKinsey. Energy Resources. Accessed December 2019.

Monroe Aerospace. 29 April 2019. Why Airplanes Use Kerosene Rather Than Plain Gasoline for Fuel.

Searle, S. 15 Nov 2018. Decarbonizing aviation through low-carbon fuels will be beyond difficult.

Shaw, R.J. 12 June 2014. “How does a jet engine work?” Accessed Jan 2020

Sindreu, J. 10 Jan 2020. The Promise of Sustainable Aviation Fuel Isn’t for Today.

Wikipedia. “Nuclear Powered Aircraft” Accessed Jan 2020.

Thanks also to Steve Thorne and Erik Pieh.

References for calculations

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MinuteEarth Explains: Cats vs Dogs

MinuteEarth Explains: Cats vs Dogs

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In this collection of classic MinuteEarth videos, we learn more about the planet’s two favorite pets.

We originally created the videos in the “MinuteEarth Explains” series for another project. But we know that lots of people right now are looking for really good online educational content – and something to take their mind off current events – so we decided to release them here as well. We’d love to know what you think, so leave us a comment below!

These are the episodes featured in this compilation:

0:19 – Why Pets Have Surprisingly Small Brains

2:02 – How Cats Became our Feline Overlords (ft. It’s Okay To Be Smart)

4:57 – How Different Are Different Types of Dogs?

6:56 – How Your Dog Can Protect You Before You’re Born

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The Sun Facts And History!

The Sun Facts And History!

From the kind of star it is, to its impact on our world, and more! Join me as we explore the Sun: Facts and History.
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8. Our Star
Without a doubt, if you were to list the “most important things in the solar system we live in”, the Earth may be No.1, but the sun is No.2. And for all the reasons that you might expect and know.
Its gravity holds the solar system together, keeping everything from the biggest planets to the smallest particles of debris in its orbit. Electric currents in the Sun generate a magnetic field that is carried out through the solar system by the solar wind—a stream of electrically charged gas blowing outward from the Sun in all directions.
The connection and interactions between the Sun and Earth drive the seasons, ocean currents, weather, climate, radiation belts and aurora.
In short, and in long, the sun is vital to just about everything we do on this planet, and we rely on the sun to do MANY things, even though we’re honestly not controlling anything that it does. Which is a bit of an odd thing for humanity as humans like to control EVERYTHING that has to do with us.
The sun is something we see almost every day (obviously unless cloud cover is blocking it or an eclipse is happening) and even when we don’t see it, we feel its presence. It’s more than just a ball of light in the sky, it’s an energy source, a lifeline in many respects, and as noted above, it helps shape our planet in various ways that would detrimental if it WASN’T doing it.
So if someone was to honestly ask you just how important the sun is, you should tell them all the ways we need the sun, our star, to shine on.
7. Distance From Earth and Its Size
With a radius of 432,168.6 miles (695,508 kilometers), our Sun is not an especially large star—many are several times bigger—but it is still far more massive than our home planet: 332,946 Earths match the mass of the Sun. The Sun’s volume would need 1.3 million Earths to fill it.
Which at first might seem like a bad thing. After all, would we WANT to have a giant ball of fire and radiation just lurking out there that can swallow us whole if it felt like it? Honestly, yes, yes we would, and for a very simple reason, its distance from the Earth.
The Sun is 93 million miles (150 million kilometers) from Earth. Which is a very LONG ways away, and in fact it’s such a distance that they came up with a term for it via “Astronomical Unit”. So when you hear that a planet or star is say 103 AUs away, that means it’s 103 times the distance between the Earth and the sun.
Going back to the distance itself, you might think that this is a “very long way away” from the entity that gives us light and essentially, life. But actually, it’s better that we’re NOT closer to the sun for a whole host of reasons.
Sunlight and its energy dissipates the farther you get away from it. Which is why there is such thing as a “Habitable Zone” in regards to stars where life can exist as well as water and other key things needed for life.
The closer you are to a star, the more impact you’re going to get from its heat and light. The farther you are from a star, the less likely you’re going to get heat and light in the amounts you need. Lest you think we’re exaggerating this, we have the perfect examples for this. It’s called Mercury, Venus and Mars.
Mercury is the closest planet to the sun, and it’s scorching hot as a result. It’s average temperature is 800 degrees Fahrenheit. Plus, because it’s so close to the sun it’s tidally locked, meaning that it has one “side” always facing the sun, and the other side is always away from it.
In regards to Venus, it’s our “twin” but also a case of the suns energy turning it into something else entirely. A buildup of heat and excess carbon dioxide turned it into a “Runaway Greenhouse Planet” which makes it so hot that it can melt lead. And it’s also the hottest planet in the solar system because of the greenhouse effect which was caused by the suns’ radiation.
Heading to Mars, it’s so far away from the Sun that it can’t absorb the sunlight and energy like we do on Earth, so its average temperature is -81 degrees Fahrenheit. Not to mention it doesn’t have a typical atmosphere in any sense so various solar and cosmic rays bombard the planet. And it’s so far away from the sun that even if Earth settled on the planet, using solar panels to get energy for colonies wouldn’t be as viable as you think because the distance is so great.
So as you can see, it’s GOOD that we are 93 million miles away from the sun, it’s the literal perfect spot to be in to get the positive effects of the sun without many of the negatives.

#InsaneCuriosity #TheSun #TheSolarSystem

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How to Work From Home as a Team

How to Work From Home as a Team

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We’ve worked as a team – remotely – for seven years, and we’re sharing some of our favorite tips for making it work.

Thanks also to our Patreon patrons and our YouTube members.
___________________________________________
Subscribe to MinuteEarth on YouTube:
Support us on Patreon:
And visit our website:

Say hello on Facebook:
And Twitter:

And download our videos on itunes:
___________________________________________
Credits (and Twitter handles):
Video Writer, Director, Narrator: Kate Yoshida
Video Illustrator: Sarah Berman (@sarahjberman)
With Contributions From: Henry Reich, Alex Reich, Ever Salazar, Peter Reich, David Goldenberg, Julián Gómez, Arcadi Garcia Rius
Music by: Nathaniel Schroeder:
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References:

We surveyed our team members and put together our favorite specific tools and tips for working from home:

Video Conference Tips:
-During meetings, mute yourself when you’re not speaking, especially if you’re not using headphones. The noise in the room you’re in or the feedback caused by your speakers audio can make the communication less effective.
-Learn how to mute other people in meetings (and don’t take offense when you do get muted).
-Figure out tech workarounds for when your wifi inevitably goes on the fritz (call people in, turn off video to reduce wifi strain, etc).

File Management Tips:
-Establish a naming convention with your team, so that all your shared files are consistent, searchable and organized. All of our projects have two-word codenames and numbers that make it easy to identify them regardless of the final title of the video. When making recordings or video files, we use incremental numbering (e.g. “Audio 1”, “Audio 2”, etc). NEVER use the word “final” or “last” for naming a file!
-If everybody is working with a file syncing app like Dropbox, make sure to set appropriate editing rights to your files. You want at least a shared folder that anyone on your team can edit and add stuff to, but some files need to be managed by fewer people to avoid unwanted deletions. For example, we have a folder in which everyone can add/modify/delete files, but only one person is in charge of deleting and cleaning up after everything important has been archived.
-If there’s a particular task that is repetitive and can be done by different people, make sure to write down the steps in detail so that nothing is missed or forgotten.

Tools For Giving Feedback
-Screenshots: In OSX, use command-shift-4 to take a screenshot. On Windows 10, you can use the Windows Ink Workspace right in the task bar, which lets you crop and annotate your screenshot.
-CloudApp(www.getcloudapp.com): Captures and shares screenshots (and more) via shareable links
-Jing (www.techsmith.com/jing-tool.html): Lets you create screenshots and auto-generates a shareable link for each one.
-Epic Pen (epic-pen.com): Great free tool for PCs for drawing on your screen (esp when sharing that screen with someone else)

Other Work From Home Tips:
-Add things like “time to eat lunch” on your calendar if you need it, or you may end up eating lunch at 3pm.
-Keep track of your time! If you don’t keep track of the amount of time you spend working, you might overwork yourself (bad) and still feel like you’re not doing enough (worse). Toggl (www.toggl.com) is a great tool for that.
-Consider coworking with a group of (nonwork) friends over Skype or Discord. It can help you get into “work mode” and make you feel a little less lonely while working.

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