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The planetary system around the red dwarf Gliese 581, one of the closest stars to the Sun in the galaxy, has been the subject of several studies aiming to detect the first potentially habitable exoplanet. Two candidates have already been discarded, but a third planet, Gliese 581d, can be considered the first confirmed exoplanet that could support Earth-like life. This is the conclusion of a team of scientists from the Institut Pierre Simon Laplace in Paris, France, whose study is published today in The Astrophysical Journal Letters.

Using the MIMOSA model developped within the LATMOS together with modules able to transport aerosols, LATMOS scientists took advantage of the CALIPSO satellite observations and meteorological forecasts to study the evolution of a volcanic plume at a high spatial resolution (a few kilometers) and predict its position and optical properties several days in advance.

A layer of sulfur dioxide (SO2) has been discovered in the upper atmosphere of Venus by an international team including LATMOS scientists. The researchers obtained this result using measurements performed by ESA's Venus Express spacecraft. They propose a new mechanism to explain this unexpected result. SO2 is of particular interest to them since this gas could be used to cool down the Earth via a geo-engineering process put forward by Chemistry Nobel Laureate Paul Crutzen.

An international study published by Nature (October 21, 2010) reveals evapotranspiration has been slowing down for the last twelve years, worldwide. This trend could have an impact on vulnerable ecosystems, water resources and climate feedbacks. Researchers of LSCE took part in this study.

An international study on the Northern hemisphere winds has just been published by LSCE and ECMWF researchers. The analysis of more than 800 weather stations surface wind indicates that wind speed has been decreasing by 10% on average, over the last 30 years in several regions of the world, such as the United States, China, Australia, and in several European countries.

Many ints prove that liquid water exists on Mars. So, why have carbonates never been detected on the red planet ? Though the most common hypothesis explained their decomposition by an intense UV radiance, two experiments led by LISA and LATMOS just contradict this idea.

La ronde des ballons au-dessus de l'Antarctique, menée dans le cadre du programme international Concordiasi, vient de débuter avec succès avec un premier lâcher de ballons réussi depuis la base de McMurdo (jeudi 9 à 9h, soit mercredi 8 à 23h heure de Paris). Mieux connaître le climat de l'Antarctique et les mécanismes de destruction de l'ozone atmosphérique, tel est l'objectif de ce programme.

Pour la première fois, une équipe de chercheurs franco-chinoise, à laquelle participent des chercheurs du LSCE, s'intéresse à l'évolution du climat en Chine depuis 1960. L'objectif de ces recherches est de mieux comprendre l'impact du changement climatique sur les ressources en eau douce et sur l'agriculture de ce pays. L'étude a consisté à rassembler, croiser et synthétiser plusieurs données concernant le climat, l'hydrologie, et l'évolution de la production agricole, au cours de ces dernières décennies. Ces résultats sont publiés dans la revue Nature.

Des chercheurs et ingénieurs du LMD ont simulé l’évolution du nuage de cendres du volcan islandais Eyjafjöll avec le modèle d’atmosphère LMDZ. Cet exercice leur a permis de tester le comportement de leur modèle en configuration semi-opérationnelle sur un cas concret. Ce travail s'inscrit dans l'effort continu d'évaluation qui accompagne la production et l'analyse des simulations climatiques effectuées avec le modèle de l’IPSL, dont LMDZ est l’une des composantes, pour le prochain rapport du GIEC.

Using measurements of the FLUXNET global network , an international team led by the Max Planck Institute, with participation of the Laboratoire des Sciences du Climat et de l’Environnement (LSCE / IPSL, CEA-CNRS-UVSQ), was able to quantify more precisely the exchange between atmosphere and terrestrial ecosystems, related to photosynthesis.