Enn Original News

Expanding Forests in the Northern Latitudes
March 23, 2011 12:52 PM - David A Gabel, ENN

According to a recent United Nations report, forested areas in Europe, North America, the Caucasus, and Central Asia have grown steadily over the past two decades. While tropical areas have steadily lost their forests to excessive logging and increased agriculture, northern areas have seen increases caused by conservation efforts. However, the long-term health and stability of northern forest lands may be imperiled by the effects of climate change.

EPA and Boilers
March 22, 2011 11:29 AM - Andy Soos, ENN

On March 16, 2011, the Environmental Protection Agency proposed long-anticipated limits on power plant emissions of mercury and other hazardous air pollutants (“HAPs”) under Section 112 of the Clean Air Act (“CAA”). Along with recent emissions standards for industrial and commercial boilers and a new proposal for power plant GHG controls due out in July, EPA is undertaking a series of major CAA rule makings. EPA’s latest rule would establish the first nationwide standards for power plant emissions of mercury, arsenic and other HAPs, with numeric limits based upon maximum available control technology as required under the 1990 CAA Amendments. EPA’s new proposal would reduce mercury from approximately 525 coal and oil-fired power plants by 91 percent once fully implemented, and it covers a range of other pollutants that were not regulated under the Bush-era mercury rule.

EPA Works with NJ’s Kean University to Enhance Sustainability
March 21, 2011 01:42 PM - David A Gabel, ENN

New Jersey's universities have been making significant strides to become greener facilities, and Kean University (Kean) prides itself on being at the forefront of that effort. Kean has signed an agreement with the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to enhance sustainable environmental practices as the school. As part of the agreement, Kean has pledged to reduce energy, water, and fuel usage. They will also increase recycling on campus, and use more environmentally-friendly landscaping practices.

The Coral Pulse of Life
March 21, 2011 07:30 AM - Andy Soos, ENN

Corals are marine organisms living in compact colonies of many identical individual polyps. The group includes the important reef builders that inhabit tropical oceans, which secrete calcium carbonate to form a hard skeleton. Coral reefs form some of the most diverse ecosystems on Earth. They occupy less than one tenth of one percent of the world ocean surface, yet they provide a home for about twenty-five percent of all marine species, including fish, molluscs, worms, and crustaceans. Paradoxically, coral reefs flourish even though they are often surrounded by ocean waters that provide few nutrients. University of Miami (UM) Rosenstiel School of Marine & Atmospheric Science scientist Chris Langdon and colleagues have developed a new tool to monitor coral reef vital signs. By accurately measuring their biological pulse, scientists can better assess how climate change and other ecological threats impact coral reef health worldwide.

Why Birds Fly into Power Lines and Similar
March 18, 2011 01:06 PM - Andy Soos, ENN

Birds are different from human beings obviously. Birds have been known to fly into objects and knock themselves out. Why does this happen? A sensory ecology framework is used in a new research study to seek to assess why flying birds collide with prominent structures, such as power lines, fences, communication masts, wind turbines and buildings, which intrude into the open airspace. Such collisions occur under conditions of both high and low visibility. It is argued that a human perspective of the problems posed by these obstacles is unhelpful. Birds live in a different visual world. When in flight, birds may turn their heads in both pitch and yaw to look down, either with the binocular field or with the lateral part of an eye’s visual field. Such behavior may be usual for them and results in certain species being at least temporarily blind in the direction of travel.

How To Test for Toxicity
March 17, 2011 06:11 PM - Andy Soos, ENN

There are zillions of products and chemicals in the world. Some are obviously toxic. Others are more subtle or simply unknown because they were never studied. Study is expensive and time consuming. Several federal agencies have unveiled a new high-speed robot screening system that will test 10,000 different chemicals for potential toxicity. The system marks the beginning of a new phase of an ongoing collaboration, referred to as Tox21, that is working to protect people’s health by improving how chemicals are tested in this country. The robot system, which is located at the National Institutes of Health Chemical Genomics Center (NCGC), was purchased as part of the Tox21 collaboration established in 2008 between the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences National Toxicology Program, and NCGC, with the addition of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2010. Tox21 merges existing resources — research, funding and testing tools — to develop ways to more effectively predict how chemicals will affect human health and the environment.

News at the North Pole Ozone Layer
March 16, 2011 04:59 PM - Andy Soos, ENN

Unusually low temperatures in the Arctic ozone layer have recently initiated massive ozone depletion. The Arctic appears to be heading for a record loss of this trace gas that protects the Earth's surface against ultraviolet radiation from the sun. This result has been found by measurements carried out by an international network of over 30 ozone sounding stations spread all over the Arctic and Subarctic and coordinated by the Potsdam Research Unit of the Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research in the Helmholtz Association in Germany. In the Arctic the amount lost is more variable year-to-year than in the Antarctic. The greatest declines, up to 30%, are in the winter and spring, when the stratosphere is colder.

Earthquakes Change the Earth
March 15, 2011 01:57 PM - Andy Soos, ENN

The March 11, magnitude 9.0 earthquake in Japan may have shortened the length of each Earth day and shifted its axis. Using a United States Geological Survey estimate for how the fault responsible for the earthquake slipped, research scientist Richard Gross of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif., applied a complex model to perform a preliminary theoretical calculation of how the Japan earthquake-the fifth largest since 1900-affected Earth's rotation. His calculations indicate that by changing the distribution of Earth's mass, the Japanese earthquake should have caused Earth to rotate a bit faster, shortening the length of the day by about 1.8 microseconds (a microsecond is one millionth of a second). There are about 86,400 seconds (86 billion microseconds) in a day, so the impact of the earthquake is quite small. The calculations also show the Japan quake should have shifted the position of Earth's figure axis (the axis about which Earth's mass is balanced) by about 6.5 inches, towards 133 degrees east longitude. The Earth's figure axis is not the same as its north-south axis in space, which it spins around once every day at a speed of about 1,000 mph. The figure axis is the axis around which the Earth's mass is balanced.

US Marine Corps and Kyocera Team Up to Produce Solar Power
March 15, 2011 09:46 AM - David A Gabel, ENN

San Diego County in southern California holds one of the United States Marine Corps' largest bases, Camp Pendleton. It is the major West Coast base and serves to train expeditionary forces and is a prime amphibious training base. It was established in 1942 to train marines for combat in World War II and soon became a permanent installation. A new chapter has now been written in the camp's rich history of training America's elite warriors. Camp Pendleton is now a producer of renewable energy.

Emperor Penguin Colony
March 14, 2011 05:04 PM - Andy Soos, ENN

Scientists at British Antarctic Survey (BAS) have recently described the loss of a small colony of emperor penguins on an island off the West Antarctic Peninsula. The loss is attributed to reduced sea ice, which provides an important nesting substrate for the penguins as well as an important foraging habitat. Reporting in the February edition of the scientific journal PLoS ONE researchers from BAS and Scott Polar Research Institute say that this is the first time the disappearance of an emperor penguin colony has been documented. The Emperor Penguin is the tallest and heaviest of all living penguin species and is endemic to Antarctica. The male and female are similar in plumage and size, reaching 48 inches in height and weighing anywhere from 49 to 99 pounds. The dorsal side and head are black and sharply delineated from the white belly, pale-yellow breast and bright-yellow ear patches. Like all penguins it is flightless, with a streamlined body, and wings stiffened and flattened into flippers for a marine habitat.

First | Previous | 172 | 173 | 174 | 175 | 176 | Next | Last