Enn Original News

Sunlight and Clouds
April 25, 2011 04:37 PM - Andy Soos, ENN

A cloud is a visible mass of water droplets or frozen ice crystals suspended in the Earth's atmosphere above the surface of the Earth or other planetary body. On a cloudy day the surface under the clouds appears darker and cooler. Atmospheric scientists trying to pin down how clouds curb the amount of sunlight available to warm the earth have found that it depends on the wavelength of sunlight being measured. This unexpected result will help researchers improve how they portray clouds in climate models. Additionally, the researchers found that sunlight scattered by clouds — the reason why beach goers can get sunburned on overcast days — is an important component of cloud contributions to the earth's energy balance. Capturing such contributions will increase the accuracy of climate models, the team from the Department of Energy's Pacific Northwest National Laboratory reported in Geophysical Research Letters earlier this month.

Where do Squamous Cell Cancers Come From?
April 25, 2011 01:49 PM - David A Gabel, ENN

Squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) is a type of cancer that occurs in multiple organs. It is a malignant tumor composed of squamous epithelium (squamous-cell differentiation). The cancer can affect many parts of the body including the skin, lung, bladder, and sex organs. A new study from researchers at the University of California in Los Angeles (UCLA) has found that the origin of SCC is hair follicle stem cells. This finding may lead to new strategies to treat or prevent this terrible disease.

Newegg Launches Eco-Friendly "1 Ton Challenge" Campaign
April 21, 2011 05:52 PM - Editor, ENN

Newegg Inc.,ENN sponsor of the month, in partnership with Gazelle, is launching a "1 Ton Challenge" campaign to divert one ton of consumer electronics from landfills through its trade-in and recycling program. The campaign coincides with Earth Month and runs now through April 30, 2011. During this time, Newegg visitors trade-in their used electronic items, such as cell phones, laptops, gaming consoles, MP3 players, digital cameras and more for valuable Newegg gift cards. The weight of the traded items will be counted toward the landfill diversion goal. In addition to rewarding consumers with Newegg gift cards for participating in the program, Newegg and Gazelle will also contribute $1 for every box of used consumer electronics gear it receives from Newegg customers to EarthEra Renewable Energy Trust, a program created by NextEra Energy Resources to help individuals and companies reduce their carbon impact and participate in the development of future renewable projects.

New Islands
April 21, 2011 04:35 PM - Andy Soos, ENN

What is an Island? Land that is surrounded by water. Islands are always being created and sometimes destroyed. Earth has 657 more barrier islands than previously thought, according to a new global survey by researchers from Duke University and Meredith College. The researchers identified a total of 2,149 barrier islands worldwide using satellite images, topographical maps and navigational charts. The new total is significantly higher than the 1,492 islands identified in a 2001 survey conducted without the aid of publicly available satellite imagery. The 2,149 barrier islands measure 20,783 kilometers in length, are found along all continents except Antarctica and in all oceans, and make up roughly 10 percent of the Earth's continental shorelines. Seventy-four percent of the islands are found in the northern hemisphere.

DigitalGlobe Partners with Extreme Ice Survey to Monitor World’s Glaciers
April 21, 2011 04:34 PM - Editor, ENN

A new report released this week by high-resolution satellite imagery provider DigitalGlobe in partnership with Extreme Ice Survey (EIS) reveals environmental changes as told by the world’s climate change barometers — glaciers. Using a combination of on-the-ground photography with satellite imagery to monitor the state of the world’s glaciers, the organizations issued the "Worldwide Glacier Monitoring Report," a first in a series of reports that depict satellite images from the last three years to show how three glaciers — Khumbu Glacier at Mt. Everest, the Ilulissat Glacier in Greenland and the Breidamerkurj√∂kull Glacier in Iceland — have changed over time. Glaciers are a clear indicator of the state of the environment and a thermometer of local and regional climate conditions. Since 1995, Ilulissat Glacier, the largest producer of icebergs in Greenland, doubled its flow speed and volume of ice discharged due to warming air and ocean temperatures. The combined effect of ice loss in mountains and ice caps in Greenland and Antarctica will produce at least 3 feet of sea level rise by 2100, dislocating at least 150 million people. As the planet becomes warmer, sea levels will continue to rise.

Hurricane Intensity
April 21, 2011 12:31 PM - Andy Soos, ENN

Coastal residents and oil-rig workers may soon have longer warning when a storm headed in their direction is becoming a hurricane, thanks to a University of Illinois study demonstrating how to use existing satellites to monitor tropical storm dynamics and predict sudden surges in strength. Meteorologists have seen large advances in forecasting technology to track the potential path of tropical storms and hurricanes, but they've had little success in predicting storm intensity. One of the biggest forecast problems facing the tropical meteorology community is determining rapid intensification, when storms suddenly transform into much stronger cyclones or hurricanes.

Gone Fishing
April 20, 2011 06:31 PM - Andy Soos, ENN

Many fish populations are on the decline. Still there is some positive news. When the new fishing year kicks off on May 1, groundfish fishermen will have more opportunity to fish in Northeast waters, small-vessel owners will get a boost through permit banks, and stocks will continue on the path to rebuilding. This year’s higher catch limits will affect 12 groundfish stocks. These stocks include: Georges Bank cod, Gulf of Maine cod, Georges Bank yellowtail flounder, Southern New England/Mid-Atlantic yellowtail flounder, Cape Cod/Gulf of Maine yellowtail flounder, American plaice, witch flounder, Georges Bank winter flounder, Southern New England. NOAA has also reopened to commercial and recreational fishing 1,041 square miles of Gulf waters immediately surrounding the Deepwater Horizon wellhead, just east of Louisiana. This is the twelfth and final reopening in federal waters since July 22, and opens all of the areas in Federal waters formerly closed to fishing due to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

Breathing Polluted Air Can Disrupt Immune System
April 19, 2011 09:52 AM - David A Gabel, ENN

Negative health effects from the chronic inhalation of polluted air are well known to cause cardio-respiratory disease. It can be particularly damaging to seniors, children, and people with asthma. Now according to a study from Ohio State University, breathing polluted air can also cause widespread inflammation by triggering the release of white blood cells from bone marrow into the blood stream. The influx of white blood cells can alter the integrity of the blood vessels. The white blood cells are then absorbed into fat tissues where chemicals are released that cause inflammation.

Electric Cars
April 19, 2011 07:34 AM - Andy Soos, ENN

Will electric cars ever become the common way to drive? What is needed is an infrastructure that allows easy recharging of the vehicle (such as gasoline stations are for the internal combustion engine). There are two key barriers to plug-ins: first, the current battery technology is very expensive, adding thousands of dollars to the cost of a plug-in. Next, many well-established sectors must change to accommodate plug-ins. Consumers must learn the pros and cons of a plug-in lifestyle, and a new way of valuing upfront costs against operational savings. Utilities must learn to manage a large and mobile load. Cities, retailers, and other businesses must incorporate a new infrastructure of charge spots. All these players must build a new system of connectivity in order to line up charging times, billing, and consumer preferences.

Earth Day 2011
April 18, 2011 05:55 AM - Andy Soos, ENN

When is Earth Day? In many ways it should be every day but officially it is the anniversary of the first formal celebration on April 22, 1970. An estimated 20 million Americans wearing bell-bottoms and gas masks, gathered to voice their concerns about the deterioration of the environment. Earth Day is celebrated by no one central authority or government. Many different organizations (public, private and individuals) supply personal initiative to the celebration. The closest to a general or national governmental response was the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on April 16 and 17 on the National Mall. With more than 40 interactive exhibits, kids and adults can have eco-fun with hands on activities, art, music and storytelling with special guests. Special guests include Marcus McNeill from the San Diego Chargers, Madieu Williams from the Minnesota Vikings, and Olympic track star Michael Walton. Visitors learnt how to protect their own health and the environment in which they live.

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