The Light Herder

This is glorious:

The unique thing about this is that it uses HD video, and not one, but two monitors, plus a sheet of beam splitter glass to create a reflection that gets folded back in to the image.

It's a delicate art to operate the device, an interplay between the camera and monitors, the position of the monitors, and the monitor control dials (hue, saturation, brightness and contrast). Doing controlled feedback like this requires these control dials, but most HD TVs and monitors don't have analog knobs like old CRT TVs did, making it difficult to create controlled feedback in HD. [...]

All the images in this video are created by video feedback only - no computers are involved. The upper and lower monitors both display the same thing - the image from the camera, which is looking at the upper monitor. This creates a video feedback loop (much like a microphone next to a speaker creates an audio feedback loop).

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Wildfires am cooling Bizarro-Earth!

Australian fires had bigger impact on climate than covid-19 lockdowns: the fires had a cooling effect while reduced pollution from lockdowns exerted a slight warming influence.

"Beyond their effect on local weather, wildfires are becoming large enough, and intense enough, to have a material effect on climate," said John Fasullo, the lead author of the study. "In this work, we demonstrate their potential to influence climate variability. We are still in the process of understanding other aspects."

Fasullo and his colleagues concluded that the 2019-2020 Australian wildfire season resulted in 0.1 degrees Fahrenheit of cooling by mid-2020. The cooling, however, was tacked atop a continued net warming of the climate and had a negligible effect on slowing the pace of human-induced climate change from fossil fuel burning. [...]

The most intense wildfires produced pyrocumulonimbus clouds, or enormous plumes of smoke, ash and other aerosols, like sulfur dioxide, that towered to heights of up to 19 miles. Those fire-induced mushroom clouds ejected aerosols into the stratosphere, which surfed the jet stream eastward and gradually dispersed. The result was a volcano-like cooling of the global climate.

Smoke from wildfires has a range of effects on the Earth's climate. Black carbon actually absorbs solar radiation and heats the atmosphere, while other organic materials reflect or scatter light, yielding cooling. Smoke occasionally helps seed cloud development, blocking incoming sunlight but also retains outgoing heat. Sulphur dioxide aerosols can be converted into sulfuric acid, blocking incoming sunlight and also contributing to the destruction of ozone. Researchers noticed a "localized stratospheric ozone-hole."

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