Vote For the "7 Wonders of the Natural World"
July 27, 2009 02:38 PM - M. Molendyke, ENN Community

Recently, 28 finalists were announced in the search for the "SevenWonders of the Natural World" initiative, being sponsored by the New 7 Foundation. Of the 28, the public has been given the task of voting to choose 7, and the foundation hopes to get over 1 billion votes. This program was launched to foster conservancy, both of the specific wonders and of the world's ecosystems in general, and the nonprofit hopes to inspire the citizens of the world through ecotourism and increased publicity and public sympathy for conservancy. You can vote online. Visit the ENN Community:

Fertile Crescent 'will disappear this century'
July 27, 2009 08:45 AM - Fred Pearce, NewScientist

Diverting water from the Tigris and Euphrates rivers to supply agriculture, alongside a warming climate, means the once-bountiful region is becoming desert.

Spotlight on Russia’s Role in Climate Control
July 27, 2009 08:35 AM - Tom Zeller Jr., New York Times

Russia is expected, in the absence of any change, to rival the U.S. as the top per capita emitter within the next 20 years. Yet Russia has stayed out of view amid the global hunt for an agreement on how to distribute the burden of reducing greenhouse gas emissions. That could change.

Hydrocarbons in the deep Earth?

The oil and gas that fuels our homes and cars started out as living organisms that died, were compressed, and heated under heavy layers of sediments in the Earth's crust. Scientists have debated for years whether some of these hydrocarbons could also have been created deeper in the Earth and formed without organic matter. Now for the first time, scientists have found that ethane and heavier hydrocarbons can be synthesized under the pressure-temperature conditions of the upper mantle —the layer of Earth under the crust and on top of the core. The research was conducted by scientists at the Carnegie Institution's Geophysical Laboratory, with colleagues from Russia and Sweden, and is published in the July 26, advanced on-line issue of Nature Geoscience.

Advance in Geothermal Energy
July 26, 2009 09:49 AM - Roger Greenway, ENN

A new method for capturing significantly more heat from low-temperature geothermal resources holds promise for generating virtually pollution-free electrical energy. Scientists at the Department of Energy's Pacific Northwest National Laboratory are testing a new innovative approach to safely and economically extract and convert heat from vast untapped geothermal resources.

Mysteries of Night Clouds Being Solved by NASA
July 24, 2009 04:24 PM - Roger Greenway, ENN

Noctilucent clouds have fascinated meteorologists for years. Figuring out why they form and what factors affect how and where they can be seen has been difficult since they seem to show up unpredictably, and often in remote areas. Now, a NASA satellite has captured some mysterious shiny polar clouds 50 miles above Earth’s surface.

How Clouds Over the Oceans Affect Our Climate
July 24, 2009 06:58 AM - Editor, ENN

How clouds over the ocean affect our climate, and how climate change may be affecting THEM, is not well known. There is no network of observing stations like on land, and climate models have not been shown to really simulate clouds well. They may be just too fine a detail for models that cover such large scale phenomenon as oceanic circulation. But clouds over the oceans have been thought be important in our understanding of what drives our climate. In a study published in the July 24 issue of Science, researchers Amy Clement and Robert Burgman from the University of Miami's Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science and Joel Norris from Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego begin to unravel this mystery.

Winter Heat Threatens Calif. Fruit, Nut Crops
July 23, 2009 10:50 AM - Michael Reilly, Discovery News

Fruit and nut crops in California are in danger of collapse as winters warm.

Climate bill needs "off ramp": Senate farm chief

The climate bill being assembled in the U.S. Senate should include an "off ramp" allowing the United States to relax its greenhouse gas rules if other nation fail to control theirs, said the Senate Agriculture Committee chairman on Wednesday.

China dust cloud circled globe in 13 days
July 21, 2009 09:22 AM - Tan Ee Lyn & Sugita Katyal, Reuters

Dust clouds generated by a huge dust storm in China's Taklimakan desert in 2007 made more than one full circle around the globe in just 13 days, a Japanese study using a NASA satellite has found.

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