Enn Original News
September 8, 2010 04:42 PM - Andy Soos, ENN
Termites are a group of social insects usually classified at the taxonomic rank of order Isoptera. Along with ants and some bees and wasps which are all placed in the separate order Hymenoptera, termites divide labor among gender lines, produce overlapping generations and take care of young collectively. They live in giant mounds in Africa. Scientists have discovered that the size and distribution of termite mounds in South Africa can be used to predict ecological shifts from climate change. The research is published in the advanced online edition of Nature Communications.
Potomac River Vegetation Showing Strong Signs of Recovery
September 8, 2010 10:25 AM - David A Gabel, ENN
The Potomac, which runs through the heart of the United States Capital, has suffered centuries of environmental degradation. Water quality has declined steadily as more humans have populated its watershed. However, according to new research, the river is beginning to benefit from restoration efforts that have improved water clarity and reduced nutrient overload. The result has been a ten-fold increase in native submerged aquatic vegetation (SAV). This SAV consists of plant life below the water surface which is an important habitat for fish and other marine life.
As Greenland Melts
September 7, 2010 03:11 PM - Andy Soos, ENN
The Greenland ice sheet is a vast body of ice covering 660,235 square miles, roughly 80% of the surface of Greenland. It is the second largest ice body in the World, after the Antarctic Ice Sheet. The ice sheet is almost 1,500 miles long in a north south direction, and its greatest width is 680 miles at a latitude of 77°N, near its northern margin. Scientists investigating the geophysical and hydrological conditions beneath the Greenland ice sheet say their analysis will be vital for helping understand how the massive ice sheet will respond to climate change.
The Role of Clouds on Earth's Climate
September 7, 2010 10:22 AM - David A Gabel, ENN
Modeling for climate change is an extremely complex process because Earth's climate is so complex. It is an interrelated system that involves the atmosphere, biosphere, land, and oceans. A change in one can cause a chain reaction in all the others. By studying ancient climate change patterns, scientists are better able to predict what might happen in future events. However, one factor that remains far from understanding is the role of clouds — how they will react to and influence a changing climate.
Once More in the Gulf of Mexico
September 3, 2010 02:54 PM - Andy Soos, ENN
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) today reopened to commercial and recreational fishing 5,130 square miles of Gulf waters stretching from the far eastern coast of Louisiana, through Mississippi, Alabama, and the western Florida panhandle. The Mariner Energy oil platform just had an explosion is about 250 miles from today's reopening. The fire on a Mariner Energy Inc. oil and natural-gas platform in the Gulf of Mexico has been extinguished in an event that may prolong the U.S. drilling moratorium imposed after BP's record crude spill.
EPA Disapproves Certain Aspects of Texas' Clean Air Program
September 3, 2010 10:26 AM - David A Gabel, ENN
Every state government has their own agency for the protection of the environment which they operate in conjunction with federal laws and statutes. When those state laws do not match up with their federal counterparts, the potential for conflicts increase. A recent example of this is the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality's (TCEQ) clean-air permitting program. The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has declared that certain aspects do not meet federal Clean Air Act requirements.
September 2, 2010 05:10 PM - Andy Soos, ENN
Hurricane Earl is still a powerful category four hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Scale as it approaches the North Carolina coast September 2. NASA's Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission satellite observed the high rates rain was falling within Earl in some areas more than 2 inches per hour. Hurricane Earl became the most powerful hurricane of the 2010 Atlantic season early on September 2 when its sustained winds reached 120 kts (~138 mph). It was still intensifying when the TRMM satellite passed near its location on 2 September 2010. The TRMM Microwave Imager data were used in the rainfall analysis that showed heavy rainfall, particularly in the northwest quadrant of Earl's very distinct circular eye.
September 1, 2010 04:38 PM - Andy Soos, ENN
The geography of Indonesia is dominated by volcanoes that are formed due to subduction zones between the Eurasian plate and the Indo-Australian plate. Some of the volcanoes are notable for their eruptions, for instance, Krakatau for its global effects in 1883, Lake Toba for its supervolcanic eruption estimated to have occurred 74,000 Before Present which was responsible for several years of cold of volcanic winter, and Mount Tambora for the most violent eruption in recorded history in 1815. Indonesia's Mount Sinabung has recently erupted, two days after it sprang back into life after over 400 years of inactivity.
Priceless rock art in National Conservation Lands being defaced, destroyed, stolen
September 1, 2010 12:31 PM - Brian O'Donnell, Executive Director of the Conservation Lands Foundation
Ongoing investigations of sites within our National Conservation Lands in the Southwest and southern California are uncovering evidence of cultures and traditions dating back thousands of years. These sites are providing a one-of-a-kind opportunity to research, study, and assess how these different cultures lived and adapted. Something new is being found all the time. Yet, most have never heard about these efforts, let alone the sites and the cultural treasures they contain. One unit within the National Conservation Lands, Canyons of the Ancients in Colorado, has been focal point of these research efforts. It has by far the greatest known concentration of archeological sites in the nation — 6,400 so far -- including cliff dwellings, villages, great kivas, and rock art. But it is not alone.
The Environmentalist’s Paradox
September 1, 2010 10:06 AM - David A Gabel, ENN
The signs are all around. Many places in the world show degradation of the air, water, and soil. Species becoming extinct as natural habitats are being destroyed. The emissions of greenhouse gases that can alter the planet's climate are unacceptable. All the environmental issues put together amount to a very serious threat to human welfare. Yet at the same time, all accepted measures of well-being show that, on average, quality of life is improving around the globe. How does an environmentalist call society into action under such conditions?