Editor’s Selections: Surface temperature record confirmed, Levees debunked, And More Efficient Solar Power from Nanowhiskers.

Editor's Selections 4 Comments
By Sarah Kendrew

Sarah Kendrew Sarah Kendrew selects interesting and notable ResearchBlogging.org posts in the physical sciences, chemistry, engineering, computer science, geosciences and mathematics. She blogs about astronomy at One Small Step.

Mondays don’t tend to be people’s favourite days. But on this first Monday since the world was supposed to end, let’s be grateful, not grumpy. Here are some physical sciences picks from the past week on ResearchBlogging.

I was pleased to read a good summary on Andy Russell’s Our Clouded Hills blog of the paper co-authored by renowned climate sceptic Anthony Watts. With a large-scale citizen science experiment, Watts set out to discredit the noted rising surface temperature record in the US. The resulting paper is very enlightening and shows, well, perhaps not entirely what Watts intended? A good read on an interesting problem, with discussion and links.

Do levees really reduce the misery from river flooding on our towns and cities? On Highly Allochthonous, Anne Jefferson looks at the flooding history of the Mississippi river and discusses the science of levees for flood control and prevention.

In more climate related news, Paige Brown discusses a new technique developed by Taiwanese researchers to reduce dramatically the reflective loss of light on solar cells. By adding “nanowhiskers” of material to the silicon cells, significantly more near-infrared radiation is absorbed for conversion into energy.

Thanks for the great posts, I’ll be back next week with more selections.

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