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The Environmentalist’s Paradox
September 1, 2010 10:06 AM - David A Gabel, ENN
The signs are all around. Many places in the world show degradation of the air, water, and soil. Species becoming extinct as natural habitats are being destroyed. The emissions of greenhouse gases that can alter the planet's climate are unacceptable. All the environmental issues put together amount to a very serious threat to human welfare. Yet at the same time, all accepted measures of well-being show that, on average, quality of life is improving around the globe. How does an environmentalist call society into action under such conditions?
The Gulf Slowly Returns
August 31, 2010 05:00 PM - Andy Soos, ENN
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) reopened 4,281 square miles of Gulf waters off western Louisiana to commercial and recreational fishing. The reopening was announced after consultation with FDA and under a re-opening protocol agreed to by NOAA, the FDA, and the Gulf states. On July 18, NOAA data showed no oil in the newly reopened area. Light sheen was observed on July 29, but none since. Trajectory models show the area is at a low risk for future exposure to oil, and fish caught in the area and tested by NOAA experts have shown no signs of contamination.
Study: Horseshoe Crab Decline Connected to Climate Change
August 31, 2010 10:56 AM - David A Gabel, ENN
The horseshoe crab is one of the most ancient animals on the planet today. They have survived massive upheavals throughout the Earth's history and have remained intact and unchanged. Recently their numbers have been in decline, and this is thought to be due to coastal habitat destruction and over-harvesting; they are often used as bait, in fertilizer, or by pharmaceutical companies. However, new research from the US Geological Survey (USGS) indicates that their population size also parallels changes in the climate. With predicted climate change in the future, their numbers may continue to decline.
The Fate of Dairy Antibiotics in Ground Water
August 30, 2010 01:41 PM - Andy Soos, ENN
There are a lot of things that can go into the ground water. The key is whether what goes in will readily biodegrade and if not can it harm you or the environment. In the first large study to track the fate of a wide range of antibiotics given to dairy cows, University of California (UC) Davis scientists found that the drugs routinely end up on the ground and in manure lagoons, but are mostly broken down before they reach groundwater. Note that antibiotics are given to sick cows who are isolated from the regular milking herd until the antibiotic is absent from their system.
New Izzitgreen Back to School selections for ENN readers
August 30, 2010 11:57 AM - Editor, ENN
ENN affiliate Izzitgreen has selected these offerings specially for ENN readers. Izzitgreen is a blog that helps you stay informed about the latest, coolest, most innovative green products available. A portion of the proceeds from the sales of these items through ENN will go to "e"inc. It's that time of year when students of all ages head back to the classroom. To help students do everything from staying organized to getting their lunches, books, and other supplies to their temples of learning in an eco-sustainable way, our partner IzzitGreen has found a couple of cool, environmentally friendly products to chose from this fall. Ecozoo Organic Backpack Designed for kids heading off to school for the first time, the versatile Ecozoo Organic Backpack is a neat functional backpack disguised as an adorable toy. It will easily hold any preschool item and do so in a backpack that has an adorable eco-friendly animal design. Made with organic cotton canvas the Ecozoo Organic Backpack is durable, machine washable, and extremely lightweight. The dyes used are non-toxic; the wood accents are sustainable; and any plastic contained has been recycled. Pick between an Elephant, Panda, Pig, or Puppy. Click on http://izzitgreen.com/ecozoo-organic-backpack.html to see a further description.
New Findings on Carbon Dioxide Release from World's Oceans
August 30, 2010 10:16 AM - David A Gabel, ENN
Carbon Dioxide (CO2), a greenhouse gas, is intricately linked to global warming. The largest store of CO2 is the world's oceans. How the oceans sequester or release CO2 to or from the atmosphere is important to understand as mankind alters Earth's climate with the burning of fossil fuels. A new report from researchers at the University of California, Davis offers clues on how that mechanism works by analyzing the shells of plankton fossils.
August 27, 2010 11:36 AM - Andy Soos, ENN
A geomagnetic storm (or solar storm) is a temporary disturbance of the Earth's magnetosphere caused by a massive solar flares or related sun output. A geomagnetic storm is caused by a solar wind shock wave which typically strikes the Earth's magnetic field 3 days after the event on the sun. The effect on the earth can be small or it can be large. Astronomers are predicting that a massive solar storm, much bigger in potential than the one that caused spectacular light shows on Earth earlier this month, will strike our planet in 2012 with a force of 100 million hydrogen bombs. This is far larger than average.
The Amazing Christmas Island Red Crab
August 27, 2010 10:23 AM - David A Gabel, ENN
Every year an amazing event happens on this small island, owned by Australia, which is 220 miles away from the nearest land mass. Christmas Island's geographic isolation and history of limited human disturbance has brought about a high level of species not found elsewhere in the world. Among these species is the Christmas Island Red Crab. Millions of these crabs simultaneously embark on a five kilometer journey to their ocean breeding grounds. Scientists from the University of Bristol and Bangor University believe they have unlocked the mystery to this incredible feat.
The Layers of the Earth
August 26, 2010 02:10 PM - Andy Soos, ENN
The asthenosphere is the highly viscous mechanically weak region of the upper mantle of the Earth on which "float" the continental plates. It lies below the lithosphere, at depths between 60 and 120 miles below the surface, but perhaps extending as deep as 400+ miles. The lithosphere is a complex mixture of layers. For example the North American continent is not one thick, rigid slab, but a layer cake of ancient, 3 billion-year-old rock on top of much newer material probably less than 1 billion years old, according to a new study by seismologists at the University of California, Berkeley.
EPA Encourages All to Vote in the Rachel Carson Contest
August 26, 2010 09:41 AM - David A Gabel, ENN
Rachel Carson is widely considered the founder of the modern environmental movement. Through her book, "Silent Spring," she opened the public's eyes to the damages caused by the pesticide DDT. From that point on, society realized they have a much greater influence on the environment than previously thought. Borrowing the title from another one of her books, "The Sense of Wonder," the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), is holding its fourth annual Rachel Carson Sense of Wonder Contest.