Enn Original News

New Prize Announced in "Get to Know" Contest, Deadline Extended
November 30, 2010 10:29 PM - Editor, ENN

"Get to Know" contest for youth has extended its deadline until December 17th, 2010. There is also a new $500 cash prize for the young nature artist whose work is chosen for the cover of the 2012 Get to Know Calendar. Contest organizers are inviting all American youth age 5-18 to take advantage of these changes by getting outdoors and "getting to know" the amazing wild neighbors who share their ecosystems through art, writing, photography and video. Biodiversity-themed art, writing and photography entries based on first-hand experiences with nature online at www.gettoknow.ca until December 17th, which brings the contest closing right into the festive season. All youth between the ages of 5 and 18 living in the United States are eligible to enter in these categories. Youth from all over the world are invited to help ring in the New Year — 2011 International Year of Forests — by creating short videos themed “This is my Forest” for the Get to Know Contest. The unique international video category will accept entries at www.gettoknow.ca until May 2011. Get to Know Contest winners will get exciting prizes, including a week-long Art & Nature Camp experience at a Canadian national park for those 12 and older, and a $500 cash prize for the young artist whose work is chosen for the cover of the 2012 Get to Know Contest Calendar. Additionally, winning art and writing entries will be published in the 2012 Get to Know Contest Calendar, and winning videos will be showcased at United Nations International Year of Forests events.

Hurricane Season 2010
November 30, 2010 01:00 PM - Andy Soos, ENN

There were no reported hurricane disasters like Katrina that hit New Orleans in 2005. So it is somewhat surprising to hear that according to NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration,) the 2010 Atlantic hurricane season, was one of the busiest on record. In contrast, the eastern North Pacific season had the fewest storms on record since the satellite era began. In the Atlantic Basin a total of 19 named storms formed — tied with 1887 and 1995 for third highest on record. Of those, 12 became hurricanes — tied with 1969 for second highest on record. Five of those reached major hurricane status of Category 3 or higher.

Peat. Climate and Fires
November 29, 2010 03:47 PM - Andy Soos, ENN

Peat, or turf, is an accumulation of partially decayed vegetation matter. Peat forms in wetland bogs, moors, and peat swamp forests. Peat is harvested as an important source of fuel in certain parts of the world. Peat has a high carbon content and can burn under low moisture conditions. Once ignited by the presence of a heat source, it smolders. These smoldering fires can burn undetected for very long periods of time (months, years and even centuries) propagating in a creeping fashion through the underground peat layer. The rate of global warming could lead to a rapid release of carbon from these peat lands that would then further accelerate global warming. Two recent studies published by the Mathematics Research Institute at the University of Exeter highlight the risk that this 'compost bomb' instability could pose, and calculate the conditions under which it could occur.

Study Shows Over-Cleanliness Negatively Affects Immune System
November 29, 2010 09:51 AM - David A Gabel, ENN

In a never-ending quest to eliminate human contact with germs, science has given society a number of hygienic chemicals. Among these chemicals are Triclosan, found commonly in anti-bacterial soaps, toothpaste, and many other products, and Bisphenol A (BPA), found in the protective lining of food cans. A new study from researchers at the University of Michigan (UM) in Ann Arbor suggests that these chemicals may be detrimental to the immune system and cause allergies.

International Tiger Conservation Forum is over, now the hard work begins
November 26, 2010 08:54 AM - Roger Greenway, ENN

The International Tiger Conservation Forum concluded in St Petersburg this week, with the heads of governments of the 13 Tiger Range Countries (TRC) adopting a declaration designed to help save the wild cats from extinction. The prime ministers declared that they will "strive to double the number of wild tigers by 2022." The worldwide tiger population has declined from 100,000 to just over 3,000 over the past century. The International Tiger Summit, hosted by the northwestern Russian city of St. Petersburg which ran from November 21-24 had heads of governments discussing a plan to double the animal's population in 12 years. The plan will require up to $350 million in funding from the international community.

Pterodactyl Flight
November 24, 2010 10:33 AM - Andy Soos, ENN

Pterodactyl are not giant birds and indeed if they were, they might not even be able to fly based on standard theories of flight. Some have proposed that they vaulted and then glided on the winds. These ancient reptiles that flew over the heads of dinosaurs — were at their best in gentle tropical breezes, soaring over hillsides and coastlines or floating over land and sea on thermally driven air currents, according to new research from the University of Bristol. Pterodactyls) were too slow and flexible to use the stormy winds and waves of the southern ocean like the albatrosses of today states the research by Colin Palmer, an engineer turned paleontology PhD student in Bristol’s School of Earth Sciences.

Galactic Outburst
November 23, 2010 03:28 PM - Andy Soos, ENN

Astronomers using NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope have found a stunning burst of star formation that beams out as much infrared light as an entire galaxy. The collision of two spiral galaxies has triggered this explosion, which is cloaked by dust that renders its stars nearly invisible in other wavelengths of light. Although bright as this is, it pales in comparison to a quasar. The brightest known quasar is 3C 273 in the constellation of Virgo. This quasar's luminosity is about 2 trillion times that of our sun, or about 100 times that of the total light of average giant galaxies like our Milky Way. The starburst newly revealed by Spitzer stands as the most luminous ever seen taking place away from the centers, or nuclei, of merging parent galaxies. It blazes ten times brighter than the nearby Universe's previous most famous starburst that gleams in another galactic smashup known as the Antennae Galaxy.

World's First Hybrid Tugboat Reduces Emissions at California Ports
November 23, 2010 08:53 AM - David A Gabel, ENN

Carbon emissions at sea have received more attention over the last decade. Ports, especially, can have a negative impact on air quality in the populated areas that surround them. The many emissions sources at ports include ships, trucks, trains, and cargo-handling equipment. Harbor-crafts also contribute a significant portion of total port emissions. These include tugboats, ferries, fishing boats, and dredge vessels. Recently, the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach have started using a hybrid electric tugboat. A new study by the University of California (UC) Riverside has shown that this has been effective at reducing emissions.

European Carbon Emissions
November 22, 2010 01:59 PM - Andy Soos, ENN

The European Commission said on Monday a proposal to limit the use of some carbon credits from industrial gas projects in its emissions trading scheme might be unveiled during a United Nations climate summit in Mexico next week. The European Union Emissions Trading Scheme is the largest multi-national emissions trading scheme in the world. The trading Scheme currently covers more than 10,000 installations with a net heat excess of 20 MW in the energy and industrial sectors which are collectively responsible for close to half of the EU's emissions of CO2 and 40% of its total greenhouse gas emissions. Under the Trading scheme, large emitters of carbon dioxide within the EU must monitor and annually report their CO2 emissions, and they are obliged every year to return an amount of emission allowances to the government that is equivalent to their CO2 emissions in that year. In order to neutralize annual irregularities in CO2-emission levels that may occur due to extreme weather events (such as harsh winters or very hot summers), emission credits for any plant operator subject to the Trading Scheme are given out for a sequence of several years at once. Each such sequence of years is called a Trading Period. The 1st Trading Scheme Trading Period expired in December 2007. Since January 2008, the 2nd Trading Period is under way which will last until December 2012.

Global CO2 Emissions Increased in 2010
November 22, 2010 09:17 AM - David A Gabel, ENN

During the heart of the recession in 2009, CO2 emissions fell as economic activity slowed. Now that the world is seeing modest signs at recovery, the pace of economic activity has picked up and so have the CO2 emissions. According to a new study from the University of Exeter in the United Kingdom, the planet may reach record levels of emissions by the end of the year.

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