Enn Original News
The Solar Balance
January 30, 2012 08:08 AM - Andy Soos, ENN
The sun is the base energy source for the Earth. What it emits is either absorbed or reflected. Observations showed some "missing energy" in this balance. Two years ago, scientists at the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colo., released a study claiming that inconsistencies between satellite observations of Earth's heat and measurements of ocean heating amounted to evidence of missing energy in the planet's system. Where was it going? Or, they wondered, was something wrong with the way researchers tracked energy as it was absorbed from the sun and emitted back into space? Well it was found. An international team of atmospheric scientists and oceanographers, led by Norman Loeb of NASA's Langley Research Center in Hampton, Va., and including Graeme Stephens of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., set out to investigate the mystery.
The World is Still Consuming Dolphins and Other Marine Mammals
January 27, 2012 02:24 PM - David A Gabel, ENN
Not too long ago, a big problem with the fishing industry was that dolphins were being captured in the large nets used to harvest tuna. They would get mixed in and their meat would be ground up and served with the tuna in the tuna can. When people caught on, they were outraged. Now tuna fish providers offer their tuna cans with labels which say dolphin free. But not everything is so peachy for the dolphin in other parts of the world. According to a new study from the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) and Okapi Wildlife Associates (Okapi), dolphins and other marine mammals are still being eaten. In fact, since 1990, 114 countries claim to consume one or more of at least 87 species of marine mammals.
UK tops global league table for sustainable corporations
January 27, 2012 02:13 PM - ClickGreen staff, ClickGreen
The UK has topped the annual global league table that measures and ranks the world's largest sustainable corporations. The Global 100 is an extensive data-driven corporate sustainability assessment and inclusion is limited to a select group of the top 100 large-cap companies in the world. Companies are selected based on their performance against 11 indicators covering environmental performance and corporate citizenship such as leadership diversity, greenhouse gas emissions and payment of corporate taxes. The list includes companies from 22 countries encompassing all sectors of the economy, with collective annual sales in excess of $3.02 trillion, and 5,285,645 million employees. Among the 22 countries, the United Kingdom led the way with 16 Global 100 companies, an increase of five from the year before. Japan followed with 11 (down from 19 in 2011).France and the United States tied for third place with each claiming the headquarters of eight Global 100 companies. Rounding out the top ten scoring countries with at least three Global 100 companies were: Australia (seven), Canada (six), Germany (five) Switzerland (five), Denmark (four), Netherlands (four), Norway (four), Sweden (four), and Brazil (three). Sixty-eight per cent of the 2011 companies remained on the list in 2012.
Why Biodiversity Loss Deserves as Much Attention as Climate Change
January 27, 2012 01:58 PM - Akhila Vijayaraghavan, Triple Pundit
Biodiversity loss is probably a challenge that is often ignored as climate change looms. Currently the world is losing species at a rate that is 100 to 1000 times faster than the natural extinction rate, further, it is currently seeing the sixth mass extinction. The previous mass extinction occured 65 million years ago, and was caused by ecosystem changes, changes in atmospheric chemistry, impacts of asteroids and volcanoes. For the first time in history, the current extinction is caused by the competition for resources between a single species Homo sapiens and all others. A recent conference arranged by the Danish Ministry of Environment in the University of Copenhagen, provided an opportunity to influence the process of organizing a UN Biodiversity Panel. More than 100 scientists and decision makers from the EU countries gathered and came to the conclusion that drastic measures should be taken to decelerate current loss of biodiversity.
Nanotechnology Safety Strategies Need Improvement
January 27, 2012 09:00 AM - Scott Sincoff, ENN
According to a report released by the National Research Council (NRC), human and environmental safeties of nanomaterials remain uncertain despite the spending of billions of dollars in nanotechnology research and development over the past ten years.
January 27, 2012 08:02 AM - Andy Soos, ENN
Fructose, or fruit sugar, is a simple monosaccharide found in many plants. It is one of the three dietary monosaccharides, along with glucose and galactose, that are absorbed directly into the bloodstream during digestion. Fructose is generally regarded as being 1.73 times as sweet as sucrose. Fructose is a common sweetener used in many products such as soda as a result. There is now some new research evidence of cardiovascular disease and diabetes risk is present in the blood of adolescents who consume a lot of fructose, a scenario that worsens in the face of excess belly fat.
January 26, 2012 07:49 AM - Andy Soos, ENN
Nearly one-third of CO2 emissions due to human activities enters the world’s oceans. This is part of the natural recycling of carbon. By reacting with seawater, CO2 increases the water’s acidity (lower pH), which may significantly reduce the calcification rate of such marine organisms as corals and mollusks, resulting in the potential loss of ecosystems. The extent to which human activities have raised the surface level of acidity, however, has been difficult to detect on regional scales because it varies naturally as well as due to man made sources from one season and one year to the next, and between regions, and direct observations go back only 30 years.
The Amazing Tumor-Fighting Walnut
January 25, 2012 09:38 AM - David A Gabel, ENN
It is amazing how many seemingly obscure causes and effects there are in this world, and all it takes is a little creativity and perseverance to find them. Recently, scientists from the University of California (UC) in Davis found out that, at least in mice, eating walnuts can actually slow down the growth of tumors. In fact, after 18 weeks of being on a walnut-rich diet, the mice had tumors half the size as mice on a similar diet. Further research will be upcoming to explore more beneficial effects of walnuts. Some believe that walnuts can be even used to prevent tumors from ever forming.
January 25, 2012 07:10 AM - Andy Soos, ENN
A University of Bristol team has dissolved iron in liquid surfactant to create a soap that can be controlled by magnets. The discovery could be used to create cleaning products that can be more easily removed after application and used in the improved recovery of oil spills at sea. Scientists from the University of Bristol have developed a soap, composed of iron rich salts dissolved in water, that responds to a magnetic field when placed in solution. The soap’s magnetic properties were proved with neutrons at the Institut Laue-Langevin to result from tiny iron-rich clumps that sit within the watery solution. The generation of this property in a fully functional soap could reduce environmental concerns over the use of soaps (lingering soap residue) in oil-spill clean ups and revolutionize industrial cleaning products.
Finding Nature's Speed Limit
January 24, 2012 09:23 AM - David A Gabel, ENN
The speed of light is considered to be the limit at which no object can go faster. But here on Earth, nature has its own speed limit which affects its fastest creatures every day. The speed at which an animal can go, and human aircraft for that matter, is directly dependent upon how far that animal can see. Using complex mathematical equations, researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) have effectively quantified nature's speed limit. They found that given a certain density of obstacles, there exists a speed at which a bird can reasonably fly without collision.