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Transitioning to Cool Roofs
July 21, 2010 12:34 PM - David A Gabel, ENN
In the effort to slow the pace of global warming, researchers and policy makers are encouraging the use of lighter colors for rooftops and streets worldwide. Dark, non-reflective surfaces which are common for asphalt and asphalt shingles, absorb heat from the sun and create a "heat-island" effect, plus a greater need for air conditioning. Lighter surfaces would reflect the sun’s rays back to outer space, reducing ground-surface temperatures and overall energy requirements.
July 20, 2010 05:04 PM - Andy Soos, ENN
Pending court approval, several companies affiliated with National Car Rental will pay a fine of $475,000 for repeated violations of motor vehicle idling regulations at two New England airports: Logan International in Boston, Mass. and Bradley International near Hartford, Conn. What is so wrong about idling? Diesel combustion releases fine particles and gases into the air. Commonly called soot, these particles are typically smaller than 2.5 micrometers or 1/30 the width of a strand of hair and are easily inhaled and may cause respiratory harm. By law in many states (especially urban ones) idling too long is an issue.
Big Brains, Small Brains
July 19, 2010 04:15 PM - Andy Soos, ENN
Why is there a brain and why are some larger and others smaller? What advantage is there to having them has been often argued. Recently published in the Journal of Evolutionary Biology, new studies reveal that "species which have developed large brains live for longer than those with small brains, as the protective brain theory suggests, and therefore, can reproduce more times".
July 19, 2010 10:14 AM - David A Gabel, ENN
Glaciers are massive sheets of ice, sliding slowly down a mountain and carving enormous grooves in the land. They flow down to the lowest point where gravity can take them, often into the ocean. The normal school of thought for these "tidewater glaciers" said that due to their weight and compaction to the earth's surface, they were grounded on the sea floor, only to arise once disintegrated. However, there is one glacier that extends into the water, floating intact on the ocean waves.
President Obama Focuses on Advanced Battery and Electric Vehicle Manufacturing
July 17, 2010 02:54 PM - Exclusive to ENN, Douglas Elbinger
As part of the Economic Recovery Act, Obama administration officials fanned out across the nation this week in a series of ribbon-cutting and ground-breaking ceremonies to highlight their commitment to renewable energy, especially projects that are creating jobs in advanced battery manufacture. Senior Administration officials will travel to eight Recovery Act advanced battery and vehicle project sites nationwide where work has begun constructing new manufacturing plants, adding new manufacturing lines, building electric vehicles, and installing electric vehicle charging stations. This series of events was emphasized by President Obama on Thursday, July 15th, at Compact Power, Inc. where he officially "broke ground" on a new advanced battery manufacturing factory in Holland, Michigan. After brief introductions by Peter Ban-Suk Kim, Chief Executive Officer of LG Chem Ltd., Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm, and Holland Mayor Kurt Dykstra, the president spoke for about fifteen minutes reiterating his progress in advance battery manufacturing and job creation.
July 16, 2010 12:40 PM - Andy Soos, ENN
The brain has always been a bit mysterious. How does it all work so that a human being can live, breathe and talk. The brain is composed of two broad classes of cells: neurons and glia. These two types are equally numerous in the brain as a whole, although glial cells outnumber neurons roughly 4 to 1 in the cerebral cortex. Glia come in several types, which perform a number of critical functions, including structural support, metabolic support, insulation, and guidance of development. Astrocytes (brain cells named after their characteristic star-shape) that were previously thought to act only as the glue between neurons have a central role in the regulation of breathing.
Lakes on Titan
July 15, 2010 04:35 PM - Andy Soos, ENN
Titan, is the largest moon of Saturn, the only natural satellite known to have a dense atmosphere, and the only object other than Earth for which clear evidence of stable bodies of surface liquid has been found. On Earth, lake levels rise and fall with the seasons and with longer term climate changes, as precipitation, evaporation, and runoff add and remove liquid. Now, for the first time, scientists have found compelling evidence for similar lake level changes on Saturn's largest moon showing that is possesses a similar change cycle
Izzitgreen Summer selections for ENN readers
July 15, 2010 10:54 AM - Editor, ENN, IzzitGreen
ENN affiliate Izzitgreen has selected these offerings specially for ENN readers. Izzitgreen is a blog that helps you stay informed about the latest, coolest, most innovative green products available. They comb the earth, search under all the stones and keep their ears to the ground so they can be your resource for staying green-informed. A ENN affiliate, Izzitgreen will be sharing their profits on sales linked to this ENN article with ENN so you can purchase some really cool green products and support ENN at the same time. Here are some suggestions from Izzitgreen: Sodastream Enjoy the innovation and ease of homemade soda and protect the environment at the same time with Sodastream - a smart way to enjoy soda. With Sodastream you fizz it to your taste and add the flavor of your choice to make your favorite drink. Millions have already stopped using your typical soda cans and plastic bottles. In addition to being simple to clean and reuse, Sodastream helps you save money. It cost just 25 cents per can of soda, 25 cents per liter of sparkling water, eliminates bottle deposits, and makes an excellent value as a gift.
Horses and Burros
July 14, 2010 07:27 PM - Andy Soos, ENN
One does not think often about vast herds of horses or burros. However, there are a few herds here and there and they need to be protected and maintained. The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) announced today that it has issued a new policy handbook relating to the management of wild horses and burros roaming public lands under the BLM's jurisdiction. Among other things, the handbook would ensure that the factors considered in determining appropriate herd population levels are consistent across all of the Bureau's 179 herd management areas in 10 Western states.
EPA Proposes Transport Rule to Aid Downwind States
July 14, 2010 10:36 AM - David A Gabel, ENN
A new EPA proposal is taking aim at reducing emissions from power plants that affect people living downwind. Air pollution from these sources has been shown to cause thousands of asthma cases and other cardio-respiratory impairments. The proposed regulations have been termed the "transport rule" because it is designed to address the eastern United States, across which the pollution is transported.