Enn Original News
Turtles and Dugongs
October 14, 2010 05:02 PM - Andy Soos, ENN
The "turtle and dugong capital of the world", the northern Great Barrier Reef and Torres Strait region, faces increased pressure under climate change from human actions such as fishing, hunting, onshore development and pollution. The Great Barrier Reef is the world's largest reef system composed of over 2,900 individual reefs and 900 islands stretching for over 1,600 miles over an area of approximately 133,000 square miles. The reef is located in the Coral Sea, off the coast of Queensland in north-east Australia. The Great Barrier Reef can be seen from outer space and is the world's biggest single structure made by living organisms.
Fraud and Conspiracy found at a Syracuse-based Environmental Firm
October 14, 2010 01:07 PM - David A Gabel, ENN
A federal jury in Utica, New York has found Syracuse-based Certified Environmental Services, Inc (CES), two of its managers, and one of its employees guilty of conspiracy and fraud relating to violations of the Clean Air Act. The Clean Air Act was put in place by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to protect citizens from harmful air emissions. One of the pollutants which the act covers is asbestos fibers.
Growing Population and Climate
October 13, 2010 02:09 PM - Andy Soos, ENN
Changes in population growth and composition, including aging and urbanization, could significantly affect global emissions of carbon dioxide over the next 40 years. The research, appearing in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), was conducted by an international team of scientists from the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR), the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA), and the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration. By mid-century it is estimated that global population could rise by more than three billion people, with most of that increase occurring in urban areas. The study showed that a slowing of population growth, following one of the slower growth paths considered plausible by demographers at the United Nations, could contribute to significantly reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The researchers found that such slow growth paths by 2050 could account for 16 to 29 percent of the emissions reductions thought necessary to keep global temperatures from causing serious impacts.
Fat Distribution Controlled by Genetics
October 13, 2010 11:28 AM - David A Gabel, ENN
People become overweight in different ways. Some will develop a beer gut (apple-shaped) while some will have the fat go to their rear and thighs (pear-shaped). Two new major studies have identified a set of genes that determine where the fat goes in obese people. The team of international researchers also identified genes that determine individual susceptibility to obesity.
Plastic Solar Cells
October 12, 2010 02:06 PM - Andy Soos, ENN
Physicists at Rutgers University in New Jersey have discovered new properties in a material that could result in efficient and inexpensive plastic solar cells for electricity production. The discovery, posted online and slated for publication in an upcoming issue of the journal Nature Materials, reveals that energy carrying particles generated by packets of light can travel on the order of a thousand times farther in organic (carbon-based) semiconductors than scientists previously observed. This boosts scientists' hopes that solar cells based on this new type of technology may one day overtake silicon solar cells in cost and performance, thereby increasing the practicality of solar generated electricity as an alternate energy source to fossil fuels.
Ring of Fire Cause
October 8, 2010 03:19 PM - Andy Soos, ENN
The Pacific Ring of Fire is an area where large numbers of earthquakes and volcanic eruptions occur in the basin of the Pacific Ocean. In a 25,000 mile horseshoe shape, it is associated with a nearly continuous series of oceanic trenches, volcanic arcs, and volcanic belts and/or plate movements. The Ring of Fire has 452 volcanoes and is home to over 75% of the world's active and dormant volcanoes. Oxford University scientists have potentially discovered the explanation for why the world’s explosive volcanoes are confined to bands only a few tens of miles wide. Most of the molten rock that comes out of these volcanoes is rich in water, but the Oxford team has shown that the volcanoes are aligned above narrow regions in the mantle where water-free melting can take place.
Study Finds More Fresh Water Entering the Earth's Oceans
October 8, 2010 09:41 AM - David A Gabel, ENN
A recent study from researchers at the University of California (UC) Irvine has found that since 1994, the overall amount of fresh water flowing into the world's oceans has increased significantly. They found that 18 percent more fresh water has reached the oceans between 1994 and 2006, an average annual rise of 1.5 percent.
Offshore Wind Can Deliver Cleaner, More Affordable Energy and More Jobs Than Offshore Oil
October 8, 2010 06:54 AM - Simon Mahan, Isaac Pearlman, and Jacqueline Savitz, Oceana
A report by Oceana "Wealth: Offshore Wind Can Deliver Cleaner, More Affordable Energy and More Jobs Than Offshore Oil", a comprehensive analysis shows that focusing investments on clean energy like offshore wind would be cost effective, more beneficial to job creation, and better for the environment and ocean in a variety of ways than offshore oil and gas exploration and development. On the Atlantic coast, an area targeted for expansion of oil and gas activities, offshore wind can generate nearly 30% more electricity than offshore oil and gas resources combined.
Solar Power to Return to the White House
October 7, 2010 10:02 AM - David A Gabel, ENN
Coinciding with its push for more renewable energy development, the executive branch of the US federal government has decided to install solar panels on the White House. This is a quarter century after President Reagan took down the previous solar panels installed by his predecessor, President Carter. The Obama Administration will install new solar panels as a way of promoting its clean energy program.
Asthma, Heredity, and Air Pollution
October 6, 2010 01:06 PM - Andy Soos, ENN
Asthma is a common chronic inflammatory disease of the airways characterized by variable and recurring symptoms, reversible airflow obstruction, and bronchial spasms. Symptoms include wheezing, coughing, chest tightness, and shortness of breath. Dirty polluted air is known to cause respiratory inflammation. Now exposure to dirty air has been linked to decreased function of a gene that appears to increase the severity of asthma in children, according to a joint study by researchers at Stanford University and the University of California, Berkeley.