Российская наука и мир (дайджест) - Декабрь 2017 г.

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2017 г.
Российская наука и мир
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январь февраль март апрель май июнь июль август сентябрь октябрь ноябрь декабрь
    The Telegraph / 3 December 2017
    Russia and US join global pact to restrict fishing in thawing Arctic in deal to protect marine life
    • Nicola Harley
    Крупнейшие рыболовные страны мира, включая Россию и США, согласовали совместный мораторий на коммерческий лов рыбы в Северном Ледовитом океане на ближайшие 16 лет. Это позволит ученым изучить морскую экосистему Арктики и потенциальное влияние на нее климатических изменений.

The world's major fishing nations have reached a deal to ban commercial fishing in the central Arctic Ocean for at least 16 years. It comes after a two year campaign by the House of Lords Arctic Committee to introduce a moratorium on fishing in the area. The pact will enable scientists to carry out research into the existing marine ecosystem and the potential impacts of climate change. More of the waters in the Arctic are becoming more accessible due to climate change. Conservationists have been calling on the ban before fishing becomes widespread in the area.
"There is no other high seas area where we've decided to do the science first," says Scott Highleyman, vice president of conservation policy and programs at the Ocean Conservancy in Washington told Science Magazine. "It's a great example of putting the precautionary principle into action."
The moratorium was agreed by Canada, Russia, China, the US, the EU, Japan, Iceland, Denmark and South Korea. It covers an area of about 2.8m sq km - roughly the size of the Mediterranean Sea.
Minister for Europe and the Americas, Sir Alan Duncan told parliament this week: "The Arctic is changing rapidly. The effects of climate change are perhaps more visible there than anywhere else on the planet.
"Temperatures there are rising twice as fast as at lower latitudes, and we are already seeing the dramatic impact of that across the northern hemisphere in a growing number of extreme weather incidents.
"Within the region itself, declining levels of sea ice are attracting greater economic activity. There are opportunities for the UK, but equally, we must take our obligations seriously to ensure that only responsible development takes place in the Arctic."
Thousands of scientists across the world have been calling for the ban to prevent a disaster similar to the over fishing of waters in the Bering Strait between Russia and the United States which saw millions of tons of pollock removed in the 1980s. It led to the pollock population crashing in the 1990s and it has still not recovered.
In addition to closing the area to fishing, the delegations have agreed to a joint program of scientific research and monitoring to identify species, their abundance, existing predator-prey relationships, and the pressures they face, including climate change.

© Telegraph Media Group Limited 2017.
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    Outer Places / Wednesday, 06 December 2017
    Russia Building Interplanetary Space Station Near Venus
    • Chris Mahon
    Пока остальные ищут жизнь на Марсе, Россия движется в противоположном направлении - ФАНО и Институт космических исследований РАН объявили о предварительных планах по отправке зонда на Венеру, а также постройке межпланетной станции в непосредственной близости от планеты.

While everyone else is rushing to explore Mars for life and good spots to set up colonies, Russia is going the opposite direction: today, the Russian federal scientific organization Fano and the Space Research Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences announced tentative plans to send a probe to Venus, as well as build an 'interplanetary station' in the vicinity of the planet.
All this comes on the heels of news that Russia is interested in partnering the NASA to build a 'Deep Space Gateway' that will serve as a jumping-off point for interplanetary missions and beyond.
Venus is a strange choice for Russia's newest space push, considering that the planet is the hottest planet in the Solar System (about 864 degrees Fahrenheit), has an atmosphere made primarily of carbon dioxide and sulfuric acid, features a surface pressure about 90 times that of Earth, and features numerous active volcanoes.
Previous probes sent to Venus's surface only survived a few hours before being destroyed.
Though its size, mass, gravity, and composition are similar to Earth, Venus is hot little ball of destruction for anything that tries to land there.
The plans for the Russian station are still being fleshed out, but we know some details about the probe:
Earlier, reports citing Russia's Space Research Institute's researcher Lyudmila Zasova had said the Venera-D [probe] would have two components - an orbiter and a descent module which will transmit data non-stop. It was also reported that the orbiter would be operational for three years. The landing module would last on the surface of the planet two hours, reports had said. Zasova had also speculated that the Angara-A5 rocket would be used for this project, which could happen in 2026-2027. The total mass of the probe is expected to be around 6.5 tonnes.
With China claiming that it will become the leader in global aerospace exploration and tech by 2045, Elon Musk planning on sending astronauts to Mars by the 2020s, and US officials preparing for a new age of space warfare, it's not too late for our lives to turn into either Firefly or Star Trek.
We're hoping for Star Trek.

© 2015-2017 Outer Places. All Rights Reserved.
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    The Siver Telegram / December 8, 2017
    Russian mathematician proved a theorem on which scientists fought almost half a century
    Александр Полянский из Московского физико-технического института (МФТИ) и Цзылинь Цзян из Израильского технологического института (Технион) доказали так называемую "теорему о дощечках", выдвинутую венгерским математиком и родоначальником комбинаторной геометрии Ласло Фейешем Тотом в 1973 году. Речь идёт о том, что сферическую поверхность любых размеров можно полностью покрыть некоторым количеством трехмерных "дощечек", чья суммарная ширина не превышает длину окружности.

Launched in 1973, the theorem of the Hungarian mathematician, Laszlo Fejes Toth been proven.
Russian teacher from Moscow physical-technical Institute along with his colleague from Israel decided to "theorem on the boards", which for 40 years scratching their heads mathematics.
The essence of the problem is that the circle can be completely covered with strips, whose total width does not exceed its length. In simple words, a circle of any size is impossible to cover with boards whose overall width is less than the diameter of the circle.
- This problem turned out to be an elegant solution, and we were lucky enough to find it. It got us thinking about other, more powerful hypothesis about the coverage of offset areas obtained by the intersection of the unit sphere with three-dimensional stripes-boards, not necessarily symmetrical relative to the center - Alexander Polyansky, a mathematician from Moscow physical-technical Institute in Dolgoprudny.
The solution of this problem will help to understand other controversial aspects of discrete geometry, says the mathematician. For example, what is the smallest number of balls of the same size can be placed around one of the same ball. Such theorems are interesting from a practical point of view, since they are directly linked with many problems in IT, physics and chemistry, RIA Novosti reported.
"A theorem on the boards" was formulated at the beginning of the last century, about 50 years ago mathematicians Alfred Tarski and tribrach Bang proposed simple solutions. Several years later, in 1973, the Hungarian mathematician Laszlo Fejes put forward a more sophisticated version of the "theorem on the boards": a spherical surface of any size can cover an arbitrary set of three-dimensional "plates", whose total thickness does not exceed the length of the circumference.
Response to a challenge followed only 40 years later when Polanski his colleague, styling Jiang could not only solve the problem of Laszlo Toth, but to show that it will work in a multidimensional space, based on ideas that used the tribrach Bang in order to prove the first multidimensional version "of the theorem on the boards."
Of mathematics suggested that the total width of the "boards" that completely cover the sphere, is less than the circumference of a circle, for that they need would be a contradiction in the form of points that would lie on the field, but not covered areas. As a result, scientists were able to find such a contradiction, that proved a theorem, put forward in 1973.

Copyright © 2017 The Siver Telegram.
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    Le Monde / 11.12.2017
    Climat : la Russie cultive l'ambivalence
    Frappé de plein fouet par le dérèglement climatique, le pays le plus vaste de la planète n'a toujours pas ratifié l'accord de Paris.
    • Par Simon Roger
    Россия - одна из последних больших стран, отказывающихся ратифицировать Парижское соглашение, нацеленное на то, чтобы повышение общемировой температуры к 2100 году составляло не более 2 °C. При этом именно в России нарушения природных процессов особенно заметны.

Pour les acteurs russes du climat - scientifiques, dirigeants, ONG, entrepreneurs -, le 12 décembre est un rendez-vous important. C'est la date d'ouverture d'Ecotech, une rencontre internationale de trois jours, à Moscou, autour de la protection de l'environnement et du développement durable. Peu de chance, donc, de les croiser au sommet climat, ce même jour, à Paris.
L'édition d'Ecotech clôt une année très riche dans ces domaines. 2017 a été décrétée "année de l'écologie" dans le pays le plus étendu de la planète. La Russie s'est lancée aussi dans sa première "Climate Week", organisant plus de 400 événements avec un tel enthousiasme que la "semaine du climat" a finalement duré un mois, du 15 mai au 15 juin ! Enfin, un premier Sommet climat des villes s'est tenu, fin août, à Moscou.
"Les choses bougent en Russie, reconnaît Tatiana Shauro, du réseau Climate Action Network Eastern Europe, Caucasus and Central Asia (CAN EECCA). Le changement climatique devient un sujet sérieux pour la sphère économique et les médias, même si la propagande climatosceptique ne faiblit pas."
Réchauffement plus rapide qu'ailleurs
Ce n'est pas le seul paradoxe du monde russe. La Fédération est une des dernières grandes nations rechignant à ratifier l'accord de Paris, qui vise à limiter le réchauffement sous le seuil des 2 °C, alors que le dérèglement climatique y est particulièrement marqué. "Depuis le milieu des années 1970, la température moyenne de l'air en Russie progresse à un rythme 2,5 fois plus rapide que le rythme du réchauffement global", confirme Larisa Korepanova, représentante du ministère russe des ressources naturelles et de l'environnement. Les feux de forêt et les inondations ont durement frappé le pays ces dernières années, et l'ouragan qui a touché Moscou, le 29 mai, a tué seize personnes.
Mais pour cette responsable des données hydrométéorologiques fédérales, le changement climatique a aussi "des effets positifs pour la Fédération de Russie" puisqu'il offre "des potentiels significatifs en matière de développement économique régional et sectoriel ". Avec ces températures plus chaudes, la facture énergétique baisse, les conditions de vie s'améliorent dans les régions du Nord, l'accès et le transport maritime progressent en Arctique, avance Larisa Korepanova.
Cette ambivalence est une constante des prises de position officielles, jusqu'au sommet de l'Etat. Vladimir Poutine, tour à tour favorable au changement climatique - "nous porterons moins de manteaux de fourrure" - puis conscient qu'il représente un problème planétaire de première importance, déclarait, fin mars, en déplacement dans le Grand Nord, que le réchauffement pourrait être lié "à des cycles globaux sur terre. La question est de s'y adapter".
Lobbying du charbon
En décembre 2009, la Russie s'est dotée d'une doctrine climatique, précisée en 2013 par un décret présidentiel visant une baisse de 25 % à 30 % des émissions de gaz à effet de serre d'ici à 2030 par rapport à 1990. Présenté comme un effort de réduction, l'objectif marque en réalité une hausse, les émissions russes s'étant effondrées dans les années 1990 avec la chute du régime soviétique. En 2016, le conseiller du président pour les questions climatiques, Alexandre Bedritski, a prévenu que la ratification de l'accord de Paris pourrait prendre des "années". L'élection présidentielle de mars 2018 complique toute prise de décision sur ce sujet.
"L'une des raisons pour lesquelles la Russie traîne des pieds, c'est que les avis sont tranchés sur les mérites de l'accord de Paris, analyse Angelina Davydova, enseignante à l'université de Saint-Pétersbourg, dans un article publié par The Conversation. La plupart des hauts fonctionnaires et des ministres soutiennent le traité. L'opposition provient principalement du secteur privé, essentiellement des secteurs du charbon et de l'acier. "
"Le lobby du charbon a ses entrées dans chaque réunion de la délégation russe"
, confie un observateur des négociations climatiques. C'est vrai aussi pour d'autres industriels russes comme Gazprom (gaz), Rusal (aluminium), Rosatom (nucléaire). Mais là encore, les lignes bougent. "Gazprom a été l'une des premières entreprises à mettre en place un suivi de ses émissions, observe Tatiana Shauro. Elle travaille avec beaucoup de partenaires étrangers, mais surtout, elle sait que le gaz peut avoir une place dans la transition énergétique. Ce n'est pas le cas du charbon."

© Le Monde.fr.
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    DeSmog / Tuesday, December 19, 2017
    A 12-Year-Old Bet on Global Warming Is About to Pay Out
    • By Graham Readfearn
    В 2005 году британский климатолог Джеймс Аннан и сотрудники Института солнечно-земной физики СО РАН Владимир Башкирцев и Галина Машнич заключили пари на 10 000 долларов. Аннан полагал, что в ближайшие десятилетия наступит глобальное потепление климата, Башкирцев и Машнич прогнозировали похолодание. Спор должен решиться 1 января 2018 года - среднюю температуру за 1998-2003 годы сравнят со средней температурой за 2012-2017 годы, используя данные Американского национального центра климатических исследований.
    Получить комментарии от самих участников пари пока не удалось.

A climate change modeler who bet two Russian solar physicists $10,000 that the world would get warmer appears to have easily won the 2005 wager with less than two weeks to go.
British scientist James Annan says he is "confident" that he has won his bet with the Russian pair Galina Mashnich and Vladimir Bashkirtsev. Agreed 12 years ago, Annan bet the Russians that the six years between 2012 and 2017 would be warmer than the six years between 1998 and 2003.
Both sides of the bet agreed to use temperature data from the U.S. National Climatic Data Center, which has since been renamed the National Centers for Environmental Information. Annan was sure that human emissions of carbon dioxide, mainly from fossil fuel burning, would see temperatures climb.
The two Russian scientists looked at forecasts of a drop in the amount of energy coming from the sun, and put their money on this keeping temperatures down.
Annan told The Guardian: "Yes, I am confident of winning the bet, even the threatened eruption of Agung [a volcano in Bali] couldn't matter … even if it had happened earlier this year.
"With only a few weeks to go, there is no chance of sufficient cooling for me to lose."
Annan last looked in detail at the progress of the bet in 2015, and even then he appeared to be well in front.
Between 1998 and 2003, temperatures across the six-year period were about 0.54 °C above the 20th century average. In the five years between 2012 and 2016, that number is 0.78 °C.
With only two weeks of data to come, scientists have already predicted that 2017 will either be the second or third hottest year on record.
British climate science denier Piers Corbyn, brother of UK opposition leader Jeremy, told Nature in 2005 that he would have been willing to also take a similar $10,000 bet.
The Russians' apparent wrong prediction is one of several featured on The Guardian in a run-down of failed predictions by climate science contrarians and deniers.
In 2016, climate science denial activist Marc Morano turned down two $10,000 bets offered by science communicator and TV presenter Bill Nye.
In 2015, a study published in a journal of Britain's Royal Society found that any bets against global warming placed on any 15-year period from 1970 onwards would have lost.
An email to Galina Mashnich went unanswered. DeSmog was unable to find correct contact information for Vladimir Bashkirtsev.

* * *
    Phys.Org / December 22, 2017
    Scientists synthesize a new phosphor
    Исследователи из Уральского федерального университета и Института химии твердого тела УрО РАН синтезировали новое вещество на основе гафния, с помощью которого можно преобразовать ультрафиолетовое излучение в видимый свет и изменить диапазон излучения лазера.

Chemists and physicists from Ural Federal University and Institute of Chemistry of Solids of the Ural Branch of Russian Academy of Sciences have synthesized a new compound that may be used to convert UV radiation into visible light and change laser radiation range. The work was published in the Journal of Luminescence.
The article authors worked with lithium-containing compounds with garnet structure. The chemical formula of such compositions is LixLa3M2O12, where M is zirconium, niobium, tin, tellurium, hafnium, or tantalum and x equals three to seven. A number of publications about materials based on these systems have been published lately. However, their optical properties remained understudied.
From previous publications, chemists knew that many hafnium compounds had photo-, X-ray-, and radioluminescence. Thus, cerium-doped hafnium garnet Ca3Hf2SiAlO12 phosphor shows a broad cyan emission under 400 nm excitation (on the border between visible and UV radiation). The authors of the work decided to synthesize lithium-containing cerium-doped hafnium garnet (Li7La3Hf2O12:Ce3+) to obtain one more composition that emits in the visible spectrum.
After synthesizing the necessary compounds, the chemists studied its properties. Using X-ray diffraction, they determined the compound's structural characteristics. They studied its microstructure using scanning electron microscopy. To determine the relationship between reflection, excitation and luminescence spectra on the dopant concentration and temperature, the chemists carried out a complex analysis of optical spectroscopy. They found a correlation between separate emission bands and F+ centers.
"After detailed analysis of all obtained characteristics and using EPR spectroscopy, we managed to prove that the increase of cerium concentration led to the reduction in the intensity of photoluminescence associated with intrinsic luminescence centers in Li7La3Hf2O12 represented by excitons (quasiparticles as bound states of electron and hole) in regular crystal lattice nods (Hf-O)," said Yana Baklanova, a co-author of the article, and senior scientific associate of Institute of Chemistry of Solids of Ural Branch of Russian Academy of Sciences.
The compound, with other dopants, may be used in the manufacture of medical and optic devices and monitoring systems,
"A Li7La3Hf2O12 compound doped with europium and neodymum or holmium (Eu3+ and Nd3+/Ho3+) may be used to convert UV radiation into the visible spectral range and monochromatic laser radiation into the infrared range with shortwave- and middle-infrared spectral range. IR radiation is widely used in medicine, various optical systems, and also for air pollution analysis," concluded Alexey Ishchenko, a co-author of the article, assistant professor and senior scientific associate of Ural Federal University.

© Phys.org 2003-2018, Science X network.
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    Inquisitr / December 28, 2017
    Archaeologists Discover A Prehistoric Child's Grave In Siberia Filled with 4,500-Year-Old Toys
    These Bronze Age toys are considered to be among the oldest known children's toys in the world.
    • Kristine Moore
    Археологи Института истории материальной культуры РАН обнаружили при раскопках курганов окуневской культуры в Хакасии детские игрушки возрастом около 4,5 тыс. лет - возможно, самые старые в мире.

Deep inside a Bronze Age child's grave in the Republic of Khakassia in Siberia, archaeologists have discovered a fascinating haul of 4,500-year-old objects inside that were once the beloved toys of a prehistoric child, making these reportedly some of the oldest known children's toys to be found to date.
One of these toys was constructed and carved using a piece of soapstone with eyes in the shape of almonds and completed with enormously plush eyebrows. Soapstone is known to be a rock with very pliable qualities which is perhaps not surprising as it is composed mainly of talc.
This particular 4,500-year-old doll had very "carefully worked out facial features," according to the Institute of History of Material Culture's Dr. Andrey Polyakov. The head of the doll has been measured at approximately five centimeters, as the Siberian Times reported.
While there have been other ancient dolls recovered from graves, most notably in Egypt, these were found to have been covered with various symbols, some of which were found to be reproductive, which means the odds are good that these dolls were not meant to have been actual toys from children, making the find of this particular soapstone doll all the more remarkable.
Also discovered at the Itkol II burial ground in Siberia was a carved animal which had a head that could easily be interpreted to be that of a dragon or some other storybook creature, as the Daily Mail noted. This head is believed to have been fashioned using either an animal horn or antler of some kind and was found with the 4,500-year-old Bronze Age doll.
Interestingly, Dr. Polyakov explained that these prehistoric toys would not have been reserved for a child belonging to the elite classes, as might have been expected, but that the grave belonged to that of a "common child," who belonged to the group of Okunev people who lived in this region of Siberia at the time.
The latest discovery of these Bronze Age toys means that archaeologists can study these objects along with the many others that have also been discovered in the area over the years. One of these was a statuette of some kind of god, which was recovered from the water accidentally by a fisherman and may possibly have been used as some kind of toy rattle. As fisherman Nikolay
Taraso admits, he was very close to tossing this figurine straight into the water again until he noticed what appeared to be some kind of carved face upon it.
"I was about to throw it back in the water, but at the last second I looked at it more closely, and I saw a face. I stopped and washed the thing in the river and realized it wasn't a stone of an unusual shape, as I thought earlier, but a statuette."
Also found in this region of Siberia only two years ago were eight other rattle-like toys next to the remains of a baby. These all had different figures carved into them and ranged from a boar to a bird.
With so many recent discoveries of Bronze Age toys in Siberia, including the most recent find of a 4,500-year-old doll and toys, archaeologists will continue studying this region in the hopes of discovering further artifacts of the Okunev people.

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