New Scientist reports:
Earth has its own black holes. Swirling masses of water in the ocean are mathematically the same as the warped regions of space-time around cosmic singularities. The finding is more than a mere curiosity: these eddies could be helping to slow climate change.
Oceanic maelstroms can trap and carry billions of tonnes of water over long distances, along with debris and marine life. But because the oceans are constantly churning, it was difficult to pick these cyclones out of the chaos. To know how much water they transport and what their impact on climate could be, we needed a way to locate their edges.
To find them, George Haller of the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich and Francisco Beron-Vera at the University of Miami, Florida, created a mathematical model that revealed the similarities between the eddies’ conveyor belt-like edges and a particular region around a black hole. In this so-called photon sphere, light is trapped in loops that spin around the black hole forever.