Weekly News Bites: Changing clouds and seeing the unseeable

Asia Research News monitors the latest research news in Asia. Some highlights that caught our attention this week are how changing cloud patterns might be promoting a warmer climate and technology to see through walls or part of the invisible light spectrum.

In this turbulent climate, cloud patterns are changing, amplifying global warming. Researchers from the University of Leipzig and Sun Yat-sen University observed that clouds decreased during the day, which reduces their cooling capability, and increased at night, trapping the heat accumulated during the day. This creates a feedback loop further increasing global warming.

Clouds cool down or heat up the Earth but what happens in space? Nagoya University and Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) have developed a heat-switch device for lunar rovers, balancing the temperatures on the moon which switch from scorching during the day to freezing at night. This tech cools by day, insulates by night, and uses minimal energy.

Researchers at University of the Philippines Manila found a significant link between occupational noise and hearing issues among workers along busy highways in the Philippines. These workers are faced with 85 decibel volumes (about as loud as a food blender) for over 8 hours a day and are thus 25% more likely to suffer hearing loss.

How do you see the unseeable? Currently, we can see infrared light using bulky machines, but IISC Bangalore have developed a device that converts infrared to visible light using a thin layers of gallium selenide. Mixing an infrared signal with a pump beam produces visible light while preserving the original properties.

Seoul National University the University of Texas Dallas have created a chip inspired by Superman’s X-ray vision. It uses high-frequency signals rather than X-rays to see through walls and inside parcels, resembling the scanners used at airports. The applications range from medical to improving image quality, as the researchers work to decrease the size of the chip so that it could potentially fit into smartphones.