Enn Original News

It hasn't happened since 1638!
December 21, 2010 07:15 AM - Roger Greenway, ENN

This morning at about 2:30 am in the eastern US, we were treated to a very rare event. A total lunar eclipse that coincides with the Winter Solstice. How often can you be a part of something that has not happened in more than 300 years ago and will not happen again until 2094! The combination of a total lunar eclipse and the Winter Solstice means that the moon is very high in the sky, and is easy to observe and photograph. Skies were perfect over New Jersey (except for the ever present light from cities and towns). The weather was clear and cold, but a little windy. The moon started into the Earth's shadow around 1:30 am and was totally in the Earth's shadow by 2:41am. The totality phase lasted about 72 minutes and then the moon started emerging from the shadow

The Other Electric Vehicles
December 20, 2010 05:09 PM - Andy Soos, ENN

During the last few decades, increased concern over the environmental impact of the petroleum-based transportation infrastructure has led to renewed interest in an electric transportation infrastructure. Electric vehicles differ from fossil fuel-powered vehicles in that the electricity they consume can be generated from a wide range of sources. A key advantage of electric or hybrid electric vehicles is regenerative braking and suspension; their ability to recover energy normally lost during braking as electricity to be restored to the on-board battery. In 2003, the first mass-produced hybrid gasoline-electric car, the Toyota Prius, was introduced worldwide, and the first battery electric car produced by a major auto company. Other major auto companies have electric cars in development, and the USA and other nations are building pilot networks of charging stations to recharge them. So what about the rest of the world? The Russian automotive industry is not one that is totally familiar with the green changes towards electric vehicles and other models that have been sweeping other countries throughout Europe or the world. In fact, historically, there has never been much to say about the Russian automotive industry as a whole. Now, however, Russia is ready for her first hybrid car.

Heading Towards a World without Corals
December 20, 2010 09:23 AM - David A Gabel, ENN

Every year brings new accounts of coral bleaching in the tropical oceans. Even the largest living structure on Earth, the Great Barrier Reef off the coast of Australia, is under threat. According to marine scientist, J.E.N.Veron, in a couple generations coral reefs will no longer exist. Unless of course, humans find a different way to live that will not pollute the waters.

NASA Earthquake studies advance science
December 19, 2010 09:28 AM - Roger Greenway, ENN

Major advances in earthquake analyses using new technologies developed by NASA and are revealing surprising insights into a major earthquake that rocked parts of the American Southwest and Mexico in April, including increased potential for more large earthquakes in Southern California. At the fall meeting of the American Geophysical Union in San Francisco, scientists from NASA and other agencies presented the latest research on the magnitude 7.2 El Mayor-Cucapah earthquake, that region's largest in nearly 120 years. Scientists have studied the earthquake's effects in unprecedented detail using data from GPS, advanced simulation tools and new remote sensing and image analysis techniques, including airborne light detection and ranging (LiDAR), satellite synthetic aperture radar and NASA's airborne Uninhabited Aerial Vehicle Synthetic Aperture Radar (UAVSAR).

Foggy California
December 17, 2010 03:24 PM - Andy Soos, ENN

Traditionally one thinks of San Francisco as having quaint foggy mornings. Things change. Fog is a collection of water droplets or ice crystals suspended in the air at or near the Earth's surface. While fog is a type of a cloud, the term fog is typically distinguished from the more generic term cloud in that fog is low-lying, and the moisture in the fog is often generated locally (such as from a nearby body of water, like a lake or the ocean, or from nearby moist ground or marshes). Fog is a common feature along the West Coast during the summer, but a University of Washington scientist has found that summertime coastal fog has declined since 1950 while coastal temperatures have increased slightly. Fog formation appears to be controlled by a high-pressure system normally present off the West Coast throughout the summer, said James Johnstone, a postdoctoral researcher with the Joint Institute for the Study of the Atmosphere and Ocean at the UW.

Almonds May Lower Risks of Type 2 Diabetes and Heart Disease
December 17, 2010 08:10 AM - David A Gabel, ENN

There are estimated to be 20 million people in the United States with either prediabetes or type 2 diabetes by the year 2020. Diabetes is one of the leading causes of heart disease, and half of all people with diabetes die from cardiovascular complications. A previous study has found the vitamin B1 to be an effective treatment for this affliction. Now, a new study from the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey suggests that an almond-enriched diet can improve insulin sensitivity and lower LDL-cholesterol levels for people with prediabetes.

Ancient Arctic Forests
December 16, 2010 06:08 PM - Andy Soos, ENN

In the Arctic, trees and forests just do not happen. However, long ago they did when the area was warmer and then turned cooler. As it turns out there are many such northern forests that have been preserved by mineralization and similar processes. The northernmost mummified forest ever found in Canada is revealing how plants struggled to endure a long-ago global cooling. Researchers believe the trees -- buried by a landslide and exquisitely preserved 2 to 8 million years ago -- will help them predict how today’s Arctic will respond to global warming.

Polar Bears Have a Fighting Chance of Survival
December 16, 2010 09:27 AM - David A Gabel, ENN

The plight of polar bears continues as the climate gradually becomes warmer in the Arctic. Warmer temperatures cause the melting of sea ice, which is essential for polar bears to reach their prey, primarily seals. However, according to a recent study published in the journal, Nature, polar bears have a good chance at survival if humans significantly reduce their greenhouse gas emissions.

Which Should Live?
December 15, 2010 02:17 PM - Andy Soos, ENN

Ecology is the branch of science that studies the distribution and abundance of living organisms, and the interactions between organisms and their environment. Any ecological group is always in a dynamic equilibrium. If you change one part, some other part will change in response to that change. Changes may come from man, climate, pollution or any other change. In this case conservationists have been so successful at protecting endangered birds in a Spanish nature reserve that the birds are now killing the reserve's ancient cork oak forest. This may mean some bird colonies will have to be moved to protect the trees, some of which date back to the seventeenth century. Move is one method. In other cases (for example New Jersey) bears and deers are periodically hunted and killed because the alternative is that they will starve because of a lack of natural predation and food supply as a result of burgeoning populations. In order for ecology to work, it must be balanced.

White House to Host First-Ever Forum on Environmental Justice
December 15, 2010 09:42 AM - David A Gabel, ENN

Today, December 15, the Obama administration will be hosting the first White House Forum on Environmental Justice. Major members of the cabinet will be featured during the summit as well as environmental leaders from throughout the country. The forum can be watched live online and will be accepting questions from the public (see links below).

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