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Harvesting Indonesian Ice
August 11, 2010 11:57 AM - David A Gabel, ENN
Ice can exist on the equator, so long as it's at a high elevation. The Indonesian mountain ridge, which rises to 16,000 feet on the island of New Guinea, supports the presence of such an ice field. According to a study by researchers from Ohio State University, that tropical ice field can disappear within a few years. Their studies also offer clues of the El Nino weather phenomenon that dominates climate variability in the tropics.
August 10, 2010 04:58 PM - Andy Soos, ENN
Biochar is charcoal type created by the pyrolysis of biomass, and differs from ordinary charcoal only in the sense that its primary use is not for fuel, but for biosequestration or atmospheric carbon capture and storage. As much as 12 percent of the world’s human caused greenhouse gas emissions could be sustainably offset by producing biochar. That’s more than what could be offset if the same plants and materials were burned to generate energy, concludes a recent study published in the journal Nature Communications. Biochar could sequester carbon in the soil for hundreds to thousands of years.
Plastic Bag Problems in India
August 9, 2010 02:46 PM - Andy Soos, ENN
Plastic shopping bags, carrier bags or plastic grocery bags are a common type of carryall used in several countries. Most often these bags are intended for one single use to carry items from a store to a home. Before then paper bags were most commonly used. The real change in grocery bags did not start until 1982, when the two of America’s largest grocery companies Safeway and Kroger started replacing paper bags with plastic bags. These bags are useful and inexpensive but can cause numerous other problems. In India a new concern has arisen.
Accusations of Flawed Climate Science are Rejected by the EPA
August 9, 2010 12:43 PM - David A Gabel, ENN
Since the Obama Administration came to power in Washington, the EPA has taken upon itself the mission of addressing global climate change. They have been very proactive in getting information out confirming that climate change exists and that it is caused, at least in part, by human activities. Ten petitions were sent to the agency to challenge the EPA's position on climate change. Upon review, the EPA has decided to fully reject the claims made in the petitions, determining that they are without merit.
NOAA Solution to Lionfish Invasion, eat them!
August 8, 2010 10:28 AM - Roger Greenway, ENN
A new NOAA study looking at how to curb the rapid growth of lionfish, an invasive species not native to the Atlantic Ocean, suggests that approximately 27 percent of mature lionfish will have to be removed monthly for one year to reduce its population growth rate to zero. But the good news is that the invasive fish happens to be delicious—and NOAA is encouraging chefs to find new ways to introduce it to U.S. consumers. Lionfish are native to the western and central Pacific Ocean, but have established themselves from North Carolina to South America. They are a popular aquarium fish that were likely first released in Florida waters in the mid-1980s. Since then, the species has spread rapidly. Scientists and public officials are seriously concerned at the effect lionfish are having on reef ecosystems, since this predator is capable of rapid population growth and outcompeting native fish for food and territory.
Prayer and Health
August 6, 2010 12:25 PM - Andy Soos, ENN
There has always been a desire in the spirits of human beings to hope and sometimes believe in the effects of prayer in healing. Belief and the subsequent proof has always been hard to find or to do. Findings from a new international study of healing prayer suggest that prayer for another person's healing just might help -- especially if the one praying is physically near the person being prayed for. Candy Gunther Brown, an associate professor in the Department of Religious Studies at Indiana University Bloomington, led the study of proximal intercessory prayer for healing.
New Findings on the H1N1 Virus
August 6, 2010 09:56 AM - David A Gabel, ENN
Does anybody still remember swine flu? It caused a big uproar last winter and sent millions of people to their doctors to request the Tamiflu vaccine. New findings on the virus have been uncovered by researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. They found that the H1N1 virus used a new biochemical trick to spread rapidly among humans and cause an epidemic. The structure of the virus evolved to allow it to interact with the cellular structure of mammals.
The Views of Mars
August 5, 2010 04:40 PM - Andy Soos, ENN
Of all the planets in our solar system Mars has always been the one most dreamers think of. Many science fiction myths have been based on Mars such as Edgar Rice Burroughs Barsoom and its many canals as well as the Ray Bradbury Martian Chronicles. All dreamed of a friendlier Mars than has been found. Now all can see detailed images of Mars. The latest set of new images from the telescopic High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment Camera on NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter offers detailed views of diverse Martian landscapes.
BP gusher stopped, most remaining oil degrading naturally
August 5, 2010 07:10 AM - Roger Greenway, ENN
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has released a major report by the federal government addresses the fate of the oil released while the well was gushing, and what is likely to happen to the remaining oil in the ocean. The report was prepared by a team of federal agencies and scientists from NOAA, USGS, and NIST, and as well as independent scientists from universities, Environment Canada, Exxon Mobil, and other companies. The study concludes that the vast majority of the oil from the BP oil spill has either evaporated or been burned, skimmed, recovered from the wellhead or dispersed much of which is in the process of being degraded. A significant amount of this is the direct result of the robust federal response efforts. A third (33 percent) of the total amount of oil released in the Deepwater Horizon/BP spill was captured or mitigated by the Unified Command recovery operations, including burning, skimming, chemical dispersion and direct recovery from the wellhead, according to a federal science report released today. An additional 25 percent of the total oil naturally evaporated or dissolved, and 16 percent was dispersed naturally into microscopic droplets. The residual amount, just over one quarter (26 percent), is either on or just below the surface as residue and weathered tarballs, has washed ashore or been collected from the shore, or is buried in sand and sediments. Dispersed and residual oil remain in the system until they degrade through a number of natural processes.
Climate Models and Warming
August 4, 2010 03:16 PM - Andy Soos, ENN
Climate models use various methods to simulate the interactions of the atmosphere, oceans, land surface, and ice. All climate models take account of incoming energy as short wave electromagnetic radiation, chiefly visible and short wave infrared, as well as outgoing energy as long wave infrared electromagnetic radiation from the earth. Any imbalance results in a change in temperature. The most talked about models of recent years have been those relating temperature to emissions of carbon dioxide. These models project an upward trend in the surface temperature record, as well as a more rapid increase in temperature at higher altitudes. Researchers at the Max Planck Institute for Meteorology in Hamburg have developed a new model that specifies the maximum volumes of carbon dioxide that humans may emit to remain below the increased climate warming of two degrees Celsius. To do this, the scientists incorporated into their calculations data relating to the carbon cycle, namely the volume of carbon dioxide absorbed and released by the oceans and forests.