Enn Original News

Where is the oil going?
June 7, 2010 10:00 AM - David A Gabel, ENN

The oil crisis in the Gulf of Mexico has steadily taken its toll on the waters of the gulf and surrounding coastlines. However, the prevailing currents will not allow the oil to be stationary. The Loop Current, which is a clockwise current in the Gulf that originates from Caribbean waters that flow north along the Yucatan, around the Gulf, and out to the Atlantic, will bring the oil around the southern tip of Florida. Then, the stronger Gulf Stream current will take it along the eastern seaboard and deep into the North Atlantic by as early as mid-July.

How to Contain an Oil Spill
June 4, 2010 01:19 PM - Andy Soos, ENN

At present there is a large oil release in the Gulf of Mexico. It is not the first of its kind. Obviously one must try to confine it and then clean it up but what it is the right and effective way? What is a waste of time and resources and what works? Ixtoc I was an exploratory oil well being drilled in the Bay of Campeche of the Gulf of Mexico, about 62 northwest of Ciudad del Carmen, Campeche in waters 160 feet deep. On 3 June 1979, the well suffered a blowout resulting in the third largest oil spill and the second largest accidental spill in history. What was effective then? Under pressure from the Louisiana Governor and other state and local officials, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers issued an emergency permit on May 27 authorizing the state of Louisiana to construct 45 miles of artificial berm — 300 feet wide at its base and rising six feet out of the gulf — in an attempt to protect delta wetlands and barrier islands from the encroaching oil. How effective will this be?

New Study Examines the Effects of Development Intensity on Stream Health
June 4, 2010 10:52 AM - David A Gabel, ENN

The health of a waterway is entirely dependent on the status of its riparian zone, the area of land from which storm water flows. In urban environments, which are typically found along a waterway, that land is altered, and the flow of water to the stream or river is affected. These changes can have a devastating effect on the populations of aquatic life that reside there.

The Spreading No Fishing Zone in the Gulf Of Mexico
June 3, 2010 03:38 PM - Andy Soos, ENN

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has expanded some boundaries of the closed fishing area in the Gulf of Mexico to capture portions of the slick moving beyond the current boundaries — the most significant expansion includes an area off southwest Florida that covers waters just to the west of the Dry Tortugas. Additionally, the agency reopened a 2,637 square mile area of the western most boundary south of Louisiana. Oil was projected to be in this area, but was never actually observed there.

EPA Takes a New Stance on Sulfur Dioxide in Final Rule
June 3, 2010 02:36 PM - David A Gabel, ENN

Sulfur Dioxide (SO2) is a highly reactive gas that is produced from the combustion of fossil fuels. The largest sources of SO2 are power plants (73 percent) and other industrial facilities (20 percent). The gas is strongly linked to negative effects on the human respiratory system such as asthma. Children, the elderly, and those already with asthma are particularly vulnerable to its effects. The US Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) says the new one-hour health standard will protect millions of citizens from short-term SO2 exposure.

The New Airplane
June 2, 2010 12:58 PM - Andy Soos, ENN

There has been much said about how large a carbon footprint a plane ride does. There is also the annoyance of waiting in an airport or on a security line. At least the carbon footprint may be reduced in the future. In what could set the stage for a fundamental shift in commercial aviation, an MIT led team has designed a green airplane that is estimated to use 70 percent less fuel than current planes while also reducing noise and emission of nitrogen oxides.

The Not So Solid Earth
June 1, 2010 04:16 PM - Andy Soos, ENN

The interior of the Earth, similar to the other rocky or terrestrial planets, is divided into layers. The mantle is a highly viscous layer between the crust and the outer core. Earth's mantle is a rocky shell about 1,800 miles thick that constitutes over 80% percent of the Earth's volume (The part of the Earth best known to us humans.). Two thousand miles beneath our feet, the Earth's solid rock — known as the mantle — gives way to the swirling liquid iron of the outer core. The last few hundred miles of the lowermost mantle is also known as D” (pronounced dee-double-prime). D" is one of the most enigmatic parts of the Earth which scientists have struggled to understand for decades; it can only be measured remotely, using seismic waves from earthquakes.

Dust storms not sole reason for Phoenix air quality
May 31, 2010 11:41 AM - Roger Greenway, ENN

Under the Clean Air Act, states must develop State Implementation Plans (SIP) to convince the US EPA that they can meet the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQAS). The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rejected Arizona's claim that dust storms caused the high pollution readings in Phoenix in 2008, a decision which could have significant implications for the State. Arizona is currently not meeting the NAAQAS for fine particulate matter, PM- 10 (one-seventh the width of a human hair). Major concerns for human health from exposure to PM- 10 include: effects on breathing and respiratory systems, damage to lung tissue, cancer, and premature death. The elderly, children, and people with chronic lung disease, influenza, or asthma, are especially sensitive to the effects of particulate matter.

A Great Carbon Dioxide Burp
May 28, 2010 11:48 AM - Andy Soos, ENN

There are many earth cycles. One is a cycling between warmer and colder periods which are commonly called ice ages. The causes of these cycles are complex and are related to how much sun radiation we get as well as some slight variation in the sun itself. Scientists have recently found a possible source of a huge carbon dioxide burp that happened some 18,000 years ago and which helped to end the last ice age.

Chasms on Mars
May 27, 2010 02:57 PM - Andy Soos, ENN

Large sheets of ice and snow form on the poles of both Earth and Mars. On Earth their formation is shaped by ice and water flows. On Mars there is an oddness of spiraling troughs and a giant canyon. What in the climate of Mars does this? Data from NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter have helped scientists solve a pair of mysteries dating back four decades and provided new information about climate change on the Red Planet.

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