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Systemic - Characterizing Extrasolar Planetary Systems

It’s Ohmic

31 Jan 2011, 04:29 UTC
It’s Ohmic
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NOAA Weather prediction is performed continuously by two IBM Power 575 Supercomputers named Stratus and Cirrus, each carrying out 69.7 trillion calculations per second. These machines each run 20 concurrent models for a global ensemble forecast. Approved production models run on Stratus, and development codes run on Cirrus. Huge volumes of this-just-in updates to the world’s atmospheric conditions pour in constantly from satellites, radiosondes, aircraft, ships and ground stations. The predictions tend to be pretty good to about five days out:

Weather prediction would get a lot harder if the atmosphere was partially ionized. Not only would the ground stations melt, but the wind would no longer be able to blow freely through Earth’s magnetic field lines, which in turn would start to behave like rubber bands that resist being stretched and squeezed. The charged wind, furthermore, would experience Ohmic resistance that would create local heating.
On hot Jupiters, temperatures are high enough so that atmospheric alkali metals such as sodium and potassium are starting to ionize. This effectively guarantees that it’s necessary to do radiation magnetohydrodynamics in order to understand how these planets really work.
In a paper published last year, Konstantin Batygin and Dave Stevension showed that Ohmic ...

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