Enn Original News
January 26, 2012 07:49 AM - Andy Soos, ENN
Nearly one-third of CO2 emissions due to human activities enters the worldâ€™s oceans. This is part of the natural recycling of carbon. By reacting with seawater, CO2 increases the waterâ€™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 soapâ€™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.
January 24, 2012 07:18 AM - Andy Soos, ENN
In geology, permafrost, cryotic soil or permafrost soil is soil at or below the freezing point of water (0 Â°C or 32 Â°F) for two or more years. Ice is not always present, as may be in the case of nonporous bedrock, but it frequently occurs and it may be in amounts exceeding the potential hydraulic saturation of the ground material. A pioneering airborne electromagnetic survey in the Yukon Flats near Fort Yukon, Alaska, by the U.S. Geological Survey has yielded unprecedented images of the presence and absence of permafrost to depths of roughly 328 feet. The airborne survey captured images of permafrost over a substantially larger area, and with greater data density, than has been previously achieved using sparse boreholes and ground-based geophysics.
New Study Predicts Declining Rangeland in California
January 23, 2012 09:45 AM - David A Gabel, ENN
Duke University researchers have predicted that climate change in California will result in a declining percentage of rangeland. Such a change will have widespread impact on the state's large cattle industry of California's Central Valley. No matter if climate change will cause wetter or drier weather, available pasture will decline. Forage areas, known as one of nature's free services, may no longer be so free. The grasses will either wither as arid conditions creep north, or be pushed out as inedible shrubs and brush take over.
January 23, 2012 08:23 AM - Andy Soos, ENN
One can see, one can smell to "see" the world. Once can also touch but with whiskers? The Etruscan shrew, one of the worldâ€™s tiniest mammals, measuring around 4 centimeters long, is the inspiration for a ground-breaking new robot developed to use sophisticated whiskers to find its way around. The Shrewbot is the latest in a series of robots which use active touch rather than vision to navigate their environment.
Acid Rain Change
January 20, 2012 02:40 PM - Andy Soos, ENN
Acid rain is a rain or any other form of precipitation that is unusually acidic, meaning that it possesses elevated levels of hydrogen ions (low pH). It can have harmful effects on plants, aquatic animals, and infrastructure. Acid rain is caused by emissions of carbon dioxide, sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides which react with the water molecules in the atmosphere to produce acids. Measurable improvements in air quality and visibility, human health, and water quality in many acid-sensitive lakes and streams, have been achieved through emissions reductions from electric generating power plants and resulting decreases in acid rain. These are some of the key findings in a report to Congress by the National Acid Precipitation Assessment Program, a cooperative federal program
Obama's Calculus for Terminating the Keystone Pipeline
January 20, 2012 10:53 AM - David A Gabel, ENN
Election years are always a terrible time to make big decisions. Everything leaders do is influenced by calculations regarding their re-election. Whether something is right or wrong often matters less than what will bring about more votes. The decision by the Obama Administration to put to rest the controversial Keystone XL pipeline project is no exception. However, this in itself does not mean the decision is without its merits.
Trucks and Diesel Air Pollution
January 19, 2012 10:21 AM - Andy Soos, ENN
It is annoying to be driving behind a truck especially one that smells of diesel combustion products. Doing something about that is desirable but it will come at a tremendous cost. trucks are bought and used for years. It is not something that you replace quickly because it is costly. A common trend in environmental reporting is to put things in terms of jobs vs. the environment. For the port cities such as LA environmental protection has become more important than jobs. Once upon a time a new truck might cost $20,000. Now they are six figures which hurts the small independent truckers in particular.