Enn Original News
Ancient Trapped Water
May 16, 2013 07:47 AM - Andy Soos, ENN
The world is a big place with a lot of cavities and hidden places. Scientists have now discovered water that has been trapped in rock for more than a billion years. The water might contain microbes that evolved independently from the surface world, and it's a finding that gives new hope to the search for life on other planets and how it may appear or act. The water samples came from holes drilled by gold miners near the small town of Timmins, Ontario, about 350 miles north of Toronto. Deep in the Canadian bedrock, miners drill holes and collect samples. Sometimes they hit pay dirt; sometimes they hit water, which seeps out from tiny crevices in the rock.
Keeping Produce Fresh Longer
May 15, 2013 01:49 PM - Allison Winter, ENN
Billions of dollars of fruits, vegetables, and flowers are thrown away each year as produce ripens too quickly and starts to rot in different markets before public buyers even buy them. Even though you might expect these products to start rotting to their death after they are first harvested, researchers explain that fruits, vegetables and flowers are still alive after they are picked. In fact, once these products are picked, they produce and release into the air ethylene gas, a crucial component for the ripening and blooming process.
Should We Change the Climate If We Could?
May 15, 2013 09:25 AM - Andy Soos, ENN
Geoengineering is the deliberate and large-scale intervention in the Earth’s climatic system with the aim of reducing global warming. Who should do it and when? Anything done has the possibility of affecting everybody so who should be consulted? Who decides such world spanning concepts? A new study investigated these concerns. The findings are the result of the first UK public engagement study to explore the ethics and acceptability of so-called solar radiation management (SRM) technology, and a proposed field trial for a possible deployment mechanism.
Rocky Mountain Snow Packs
May 14, 2013 04:14 PM - Andy Soos, ENN
Snow pack forms from layers of snow that accumulate in geographic regions and high altitudes where the climate includes cold weather for extended periods during the year. Snow packs are an important water resource that feed streams and rivers as they melt. Warmer spring temperatures since 1980 are causing an estimated 20 percent loss of snow cover across the Rocky Mountains of western North America, according to new research from the U.S. Geological Survey. The new study builds upon a previous USGS snow pack investigation which showed that, until the 1980s, the northern Rocky Mountains experienced large snow packs when the central and southern Rockies experienced meager ones, and vice versa. Yet, since the 1980s, there have been simultaneous snow pack declines along the entire length of the Rocky Mountains, and unusually severe declines in the north.
May 13, 2013 05:20 PM - Andy Soos, ENN
Earthquakes happen but where they may happen as well as when is a matter to be studied. Earthquakes similar in magnitude to the 2004 Sumatra earthquake could occur in an area beneath the Arabian Sea at the Makran subduction zone which is just south of Pakistan, according to recent research published in Geophysical Research Letters. The research was carried out by scientists from the University of Southampton based at the National Oceanography Center Southampton (NOCS), and the Pacific Geoscience Centre, Natural Resources Canada.
Of Slugs and Worms
May 13, 2013 09:06 AM - Andy Soos, ENN
Worms live underground and slugs above ground. Yet they may affect one another in ways not obvious. The lowly earthworm, well known for conditioning and improving soil, is great at protecting leaves from being chomped by slugs, suggests research in BioMed Central’s open access journal BMC Ecology. Although they lurk in the soil, they seem to protect the plants above ground. Increasing plant diversity also decreases the amount of damage slugs do to individual plants.
CO2 Levels Top 400 ppm at Hawaii Monitoring Station
May 11, 2013 07:38 AM - Roger Greenway, ENN
CO2 levels have been increasing relatively steadily for more than 50 years. On May 9, the daily mean concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere of Mauna Loa, Hawaii, surpassed 400 parts per million (ppm) for the first time since measurements began in 1958. Independent measurements made by both NOAA and the Scripps Institution of Oceanography have been approaching this level during the past week. It marks an important milestone because Mauna Loa, as the oldest continuous carbon dioxide (CO2) measurement station in the world, is the primary global benchmark site for monitoring the increase of this potent heat-trapping gas. Carbon dioxide pumped into the atmosphere by fossil fuel burning and other human activities is the most significant greenhouse gas (GHG) contributing to climate change. Its concentration has increased every year since scientists started making measurements on the slopes of the Mauna Loa volcano. The rate of increase has accelerated since the measurements started, from about 0.7 ppm per year in the late 1950s to 2.1 ppm per year during the last 10 years.
When the Moon was Active
May 10, 2013 04:02 PM - Editor, ENN
The Moon appears a dead world. Once it was geologically active. New evidence from ancient lunar rocks suggests that the moon's own magnetic dynamo -- a molten, convecting core of liquid metal that generated a strong magnetic field -- lasted 160 million years longer than originally estimated and was continuously active until well after the final large surface impacts. Lawrence Livermore scientist William Cassata and a group of international collaborators analyzed two rocks gathered during the Apollo 11 mission and found that they were magnetized in a stable and surprisingly intense magnetic field. The study of these slowly cooled, unshocked rocks demonstrates that the moon had a core dynamo as late as a mere 3.55 billion years ago.
May 10, 2013 09:09 AM - Andy Soos, ENN
The dark regions on the Moon were once considered seas full of water. Well that is not true but there is some water on the Moon. Researchers used a multicollector ion microprobe to study hydrogen-deuterium ratios in lunar rock and on Earth. Their conclusion: The Moon’s water did not come from comets but was already present on Earth 4.5 billion years ago, when a giant collision sent material from Earth to form the Moon.
May 9, 2013 04:06 PM - Andy Soos, ENN
Plants and animals adapt to their world so when the climate changes they either change, move, or die. For plants and animals forced to tough out harsh winter weather, the coverlet of snow that blankets the north country is a refuge, a place beneath-the-snow that gives an essential respite from biting winds and subzero temperatures. But in a warming world, winter and spring snow cover in the Northern Hemisphere is in decline, putting at risk many plants and animals that depend on the time beneath the snow to survive the chill of winter. Snow, in this case, is like a warm blanket.