Enn Original News

Air Tax
October 7, 2011 08:01 AM - Andy Soos, ENN

Those who fly or are planning to fly to Europe nowadays will find that there is a heavy tax to pay loosely called environmental fees. European rules forcing all airlines to pay for carbon emissions are within the law, an adviser to Europe's highest court said on Thursday (October 6), in the latest stage of a bitter battle between the European Union and the aviation industry. From January next year, all airlines will have to buy permits under the EU's emissions trading scheme (ETS) to help cover the carbon cost of all flights that land or take off in Europe.

Growing CO2 Emissions from China due to Construction
October 6, 2011 04:05 PM - Andy Soos, ENN

Carbon Dioxide emissions are not just from industry but may be caused by construction especially when there is a lot of new construction. Constructing buildings, power-plants and roads has driven a substantial increase in China's CO2 emission growth, according to a new study involving the University of East Anglia. Fast growing capital investments in infrastructure projects led to the expansion of the construction industry and its energy and CO2 intensive supply chain, such as steel and cement production. As a result of this transformation of China’s economy, more and more CO2 was released per unit of gross domestic product – a reversion of a long-term trend. Recently China became the world’s largest consumer of energy and emitter of CO2, overtaking the US. Previously the country’s greenhouse gas emissions growth was driven by rising consumption and exports. Today this growth is offset by emission savings from efficiency increases, but these savings are being hindered by the building of infrastructure – which is important as it dictates tomorrow’s emissions, the international team of researchers concludes.

Enforcement and Compliance Mapping
October 6, 2011 01:37 PM - Andy Soos, ENN

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today announced the release of a new mapping feature in EPA’s Enforcement and Compliance History Online (ECHO) database. As part of EPA’s ongoing effort to improve transparency, the EPA and State Enforcement Actions Map will allow the public to access federal and state enforcement information in an interactive format and to compare enforcement action information by state. The map will be refreshed monthly to include up to date information about the enforcement actions taken to address violations of air, water, and waste laws. This map will be a better visual aid for those people wishing to see what is happening in a given physical area.

Ice on Mercury
October 6, 2011 12:08 PM - Andy Soos, ENN

Mercury is as close to the sun as any planet in our solar system can go. It has to be hot there. One would expect boiling lava for example. So can water ice be present? The answer is surprisingly yes. Twenty years ago, radar observations from Earth revealed small, highly reflective areas close to Mercury's poles, suggesting the presence of ice (along with vast expanses of ancient lava). Now, NASA's MESSENGER spacecraft, which has orbited Mercury since March 2011, has confirmed that these radar-bright patches neatly coincide with deep crater floors near the poles that never receive any sunlight at all.

How many different dust particles are you breathing?
October 6, 2011 09:37 AM - David A Gabel, ENN

In any given room, even the most sterile scientific cleanrooms, there are dust particles in the air and coating every surface. If allowed to go uncleaned, the dust will accumulate to eventually cover every surface. But what exactly is the dust in the air and on our tables and shelves? A chemistry research team at the Ohio State University, using a new kind of sensor, has isolated and measured the composition of unique dust particles in their laboratory.

Lake Agassiz Demise
October 5, 2011 04:13 PM - Andy Soos, ENN

Lake Agassiz was an immense glacial lake located in the center of North America (Manitoba mostly). Fed by glacial runoff at the end of the last glacial period, its area was larger than all of the modern Great Lakes combined, and it held more water than contained by all lakes in the world today. At its largest, Glacial Lake Agassiz, as it is known, covered most of the Canadian province of Manitoba, plus a good part of western Ontario. A southern arm straddled the Minnesota-North Dakota border. University of Cincinnati Professor of Geology Thomas Lowell will present a paper about the lake to the Geological Society of America annual meeting in Minneapolis. Lowell’s paper is one of 14 to be presented Oct. 10 in a session titled: Glacial Lake Agassiz—Its History and Influence on North America and on Global Systems: In Honor of James T. Teller. Although Lake Agassiz is gone, questions about its origin and disappearance remain. Answers to those questions may provide clues to our future climate. One question involves Lake Agassiz’ role in a thousand-year cold snap known as the Younger Dryas.

Europe Electronic Waste
October 5, 2011 10:59 AM - Andy Soos, ENN

Electronic waste is a number of different types of waste streams. It can include old computers, TV's etc. The European Parliament and the 27 EU member states are set for difficult negotiations over the recast of the bloc’s electronic waste directive as some European Parliament members insist on ambitious targets for collecting and recycling discarded fridges, phones and other e-waste than the member states can accept. The European Parliament's Environment Committee voted yesterday on its second reading recommendation on the recast of the Waste from Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) Directive, aiming at toughening existing rules on electrical and electronic equipment.

How Children Associate Snack Foods with Satisfying Hunger
October 5, 2011 09:19 AM - David A Gabel, ENN

Childhood obesity is a major problem in the developed world. An abundance of cheap high-calorie goodies have left its impression in our youths' waistlines. A new study from psychologists at the University of Bristol in the UK analyzes why some children are more at risk at becoming overweight. They found that for those children who have grown familiar with snack foods like candy bars, soft drinks, cookies, and chips learn to associate those foods with the feeling of fullness. Other, more wholesome foods, may then be associated with not being able to satisfy one's hunger.

Ice Age CO2
October 4, 2011 03:31 PM - Andy Soos, ENN

At the end of the last Ice Age, atmospheric carbon dioxide levels rose rapidly as the planet warmed; scientists have long hypothesized that the source was CO2 released from the deep ocean. But a new study using detailed radiocarbon dating of foraminifera found in a sediment core from the Gorda Ridge off Oregon reveals that the Northeast Pacific was not an important reservoir of carbon during glacial times. The finding may send scientists back to the proverbial drawing board looking for other potential sources of CO2 during glacial periods. The study, which was supported by the National Science Foundation and the University of Michigan, was published online this week in Nature Geoscience.

Chevrolet's Carbon Initiative Program
October 4, 2011 11:02 AM - R Greenway, ENN

In the U.S., our buildings – schools, homes, and offices – consume one third of the energy we use. That makes them a major source of carbon dioxide emissions. And when your home isn’t properly insulated, you need more energy to heat it. That produces more carbon dioxide and raises your heating bill. As part of its Carbon Initiative Program, Chevrolet is teaming up with MaineHousing (Maine State Housing Authority) to help increase energy efficiency through a verifiable carbon reduction program – the weatherization of 5,500 low-income homes over the next 5 years. Chevrolet’s investment will be used to pressurize homes to determine heat /cooling leakage, blow recycled content insulation into walls and ceilings, seal chimneys, insulate exposed foundation and tune heating systems for efficiency. When its all said and done, this program will not only help reduce home energy use, improve air quality and cut resident’s heating and cooling bills, it will also aggregate tons of avoided CO2 emissions from thousands of weatherized homes. It's pretty impressive, and substantial. But that's how big changes are made — one small change at a time.

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