Enn Original News
August 3, 2010 02:33 PM - Andy Soos, ENN
Solar power is the generation of electricity from sunlight. This can be direct as with photovoltaics, or indirect as with concentrating the sun's rays to boil water which is then used to provide power. Solar energy can be obtained in a variety of different ways. Passive solar occurs when you build your house in a manner that takes advantage of the low angle winter sun and/or when the mass of your house is used to absorb the sun’s heat in winter. In addition, passive solar also refers to keeping your house cooler in the winter months by making adjustments that include placing trees and awnings along the south side of a house.
International Ice Core Team Hits Bedrock in Greenland
August 3, 2010 09:52 AM - David A Gabel, ENN
Next to Antarctica, Greenland is home to the largest ice sheet on Earth. Scientists in the frigid north of this enormous island have achieved quite an accomplishment by drilling all the way to the bedrock under the ice. On Tuesday, July 27, 2010 at the North Greenland Eemian Ice Drilling site (NEEM), the team completed their drilling to a depth of 2537.36 meters (1.58 miles). The Eemian is an interglacial period, 115,000 to 130,000 years ago, when global temperatures were 2-3 degrees Celsius (3-5 F) higher than they are today. Sea levels were five meters higher, but ice still existed on Greenland. The researchers believe this may useful for predictions of future climates.
Renewable Power Users and Sources
August 2, 2010 03:42 PM - Andy Soos, ENN
Renewable energy is energy which comes from natural resources such as sunlight, wind, rain, tides, and geothermal heat, which are renewable as opposed to fossil fuels for example which once gone are gone. In 2008, about 19% of global final energy consumption came from renewables, with 13% coming from traditional biomass, which is mainly used for heating, and 3.2% from hydroelectricity. The EPA has just named the 50 green power partners (individual purchasing sources or companies) using the most renewable electricity. The Green Power Partnership’s top purchasers use more than 12 billion kilowatt-hours (kWh) of green power annually, equivalent to the annual carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from the electricity use of more than 1 million average American homes. Green Power users pollute less and do not use up non-renewable sources.
Wireless Charging for Electric Vehicles
August 2, 2010 11:32 AM - David A Gabel, ENN
The new generation of electric cars that are set to hit the market promise to help end the world's dependence on fossil fuels and clean the air. However, they are not without flaws. One particular flaw in their charging system may even make them less environmentally friendly than the most fuel efficient conventional cars. A new technology by the company Evatran, uses induction charging to automatically keep the car's batteries at full charge. Drivers would just have to park over the base unit that is fitted to the floor and an intelligent control system in the vehicle will request charging.
July 30, 2010 11:54 AM - Andy Soos, ENN
Fusion power is the power generated by nuclear fusion reactions. In this kind of reaction, two light atomic nuclei fuse together to form a heavier nucleus and in doing so, release a large amount of energy. The major difference between fission and fusion reactors is that there is no possibility of a catastrophic accident in a fusion reactor resulting in major release of radioactivity to the environment. The primary reason is that nuclear fusion requires precisely controlled temperature, pressure, and magnetic field parameters to generate net energy. If the reactor were damaged, these parameters would be disrupted and the heat generation in the reactor would rapidly cease. In contrast, the fission products in a fission reactor continue to generate heat through beta-decay for several hours or even days after reactor shut-down, meaning that melting of fuel rods is possible even after the reactor has been stopped due to continued accumulation of heat.
Good News for Gulf Fishermen
July 30, 2010 10:10 AM - David A Gabel, ENN
In response to the oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico, the federal government closed off vast areas of the ocean to fishing operations. Much of the area was closed off as a precaution, even if it was minimally touched by the spreading oil, to avoid a public health disaster from contaminated seafood. The good news is that about one-third of that closed off area has just been reopened by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). In the 26,388 square miles to be reopened, no oil has been observed for the past thirty days.
The Might of the Spider
July 29, 2010 07:12 PM - Andy Soos, ENN
Spider silk is a protein fiber spun by spiders. Spiders use their silk to make webs or other structures, which function as nets to catch other animals, or as nests or cocoons for protection for their offspring. Spider silk is as strong as many industrial fibers. There is commercial interest in duplicating spider silk artificially, since spiders use renewable materials as input and operate at room temperature, low pressures and using water as a solvent. However, it has been difficult to find a commercially viable process to mass produce spider silk.
Health Risks at the Beach
July 29, 2010 10:23 AM - David A Gabel, ENN
Just when you thought it was safe to go in the water... Sharks can be scary to encounter when swimming in the ocean. But they are not the most dangerous threat one can face at the beach. A new study from the University of Miami suggests that microbes in the water should be of much greater concern, especially in warmer waters. The team found that swimmers at sub-tropical beaches face an increased risk of illness.
The Arctic Continental Shelf
July 28, 2010 01:30 PM - Andy Soos, ENN
The Arctic still has unmapped and unknown areas. In particular, there is the continental shelf that extends out from the American and Canadian northern lands. Who controls it? Who has the right to drill for example which then leads into the complicated morass of environmental rules and controls. American and Canadian scientists are setting sail this summer to map the Arctic seafloor and gather data to help define the outer limits of the continental shelf. Each coastal nation may exercise sovereign rights over the natural resources of their continental shelf, which includes the seabed and subsoil. These rights include control over minerals, petroleum, and sedentary organisms such as clams, crabs and coral.
Elevated Ozone in New England
July 28, 2010 10:19 AM - David A Gabel, ENN
This past June and July have been some of the hottest months ever for the northeastern United States. The unwelcome heat wave has not only raised the mercury, but also the concentration of ground-level ozone. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has predicted that the elevated ozone will significantly decrease air quality in parts of Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Maine.