Enn Original News
What is Biodiversity?
June 11, 2010 12:24 PM - Andy Soos, ENN
Biodiversity is starting to be become another buzz word like green products and carbon footprint. Biodiversity is the variation of life forms within a given ecosystem or on the entire Earth. Biodiversity is often used as a measure of the health of biological systems. The biodiversity found on Earth today consists of many millions of distinct biological species. The year 2010 has been declared as the International Year of Biodiversity. One of the market instruments to offset environmental damage is sort of biodiversity offsetting, or bio-compensation. Quite simply, if a developer is going to build something that will damage or destroy a habitat of conservation value then they must buy a ”˜bio-credit’ to compensate for that loss elsewhere.
Chesapeake Bay Acid Affected Oysters
June 10, 2010 02:08 PM - Andy Soos, ENN
The Chesapeake Bay is the largest estuary in the United States. It lies off the Atlantic Ocean, surrounded by Maryland and Virginia. In its waters are abundant marine life but the environment is changing. The shells of young oysters in Chesapeake Bay are not getting as thick as they've been in the past, and higher acidity levels seem to be to blame.
The End of Endosulfan
June 9, 2010 05:17 PM - Andy Soos, ENN
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is taking action to end all uses of the insecticide endosulfan in the United States. Endosulfan, which is used on vegetables, fruits, and cotton, can pose unacceptable neurological and reproductive risks to farm workers and wildlife and can persist in the environment. Endosulfan has been used in agriculture around the world to control insect pests including whiteflys, aphids, leafhoppers, Colorado potato beetles and cabbage worms. It has also seen use in wood preservation, home gardening, and tse-tse fly control, though it is not currently used for public health or residential purposes. India is the world's largest consumer of endosulfan.
Down Deep in the Gulf of Mexico
June 9, 2010 12:51 PM - Andy Soos, ENN
By now most know about the oil gushing out in the Gulf of Mexico. Certainly it is floating on the surface but what is the effect underwater? One way is to measure the relative concentrations of PAHs (Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons). National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) independent analysis of water samples collected during the May 22-28 research mission of the University of South Florida’s R/V Weatherbird II confirmed the presence of very low concentrations of subsurface oil and PAHs (polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons) at sampling depths ranging from 50 meters to 1,400 meters.
How to Talk Dolphin
June 9, 2010 11:57 AM - Andy Soos, ENN
Humans have their difficulty communicating with each other in the same language. Using a different language multiplies the difficulties ten fold. Now dolphins have their own way of communicating and, at times, seem to vaguely understand humans. The scientific community had thought that whistles were the main sounds made by these mammals, and were unaware of the importance and use of burst pulsed sounds. Researchers from the Bottlenose Dolphin Research Institute (BDRI), based in Sardinia (Italy) have now shown that these sounds are vital to the animals' social life and mirror their behavior.
EPA withdraws rule excluding certain fuels from RCRA regulations
June 8, 2010 03:57 PM - Roger Greenway, ENN
In December 2008, the US EPA excluded certain fuels derived from hazardous secondary materials which, when burned in industrial boilers under specified conditions generated air pollutant emissions comparable to those produced by burning fuel oil in those boilers. The 2008 conditional exclusion provided a regulatory compliance break for industrial facilities that were able to use potentially hazardous secondary materials as fuel in their boilers since they could do so without the burden of full RCRA documentation on the materials burned. They also, of course, saved money on fuel oil, and on disposal costs of the secondary materials if not burned. On June 8th, the agency changed its mind, and determined that these secondary materials that could be used a s fuels need to be classified as hazardous wastes
June 8, 2010 02:43 PM - Andy Soos, ENN
What are aerosols? In this case they are tiny particles of dust, soot, salts, mist and all sorts of small stuff suspended in the air. This is what causes a hazy day, light scattering and sun light absorption. Aerosols have a great effect on climate but little is known about them.
Solar Power Has Its Day
June 8, 2010 02:00 PM - Andy Soos, ENN
There is Sunday of course which was originally and literally Sun's day as a vaguely religious observance. Now there is Solar Day which is not so much a day set aside to honor solar (power) but a day to show how solar power has grown and can be used. This is to be June 19 and will be an annual day of recognition for the growth of clean, solar energy. The premise of Solar Day is simple: a national day of recognition for solar energy, energy independence and protection of the planet.
Into an Ancient Glacial Lake
June 8, 2010 01:07 PM - Andy Soos, ENN
Scientists have located the ideal drill site for the first ever exploration of an Antarctic sub-glacial lake, a development that it likely to facilitate a revolution in climate change research and which may lead to the discovery of life forms cut off from the main line of evolution for millions of years. Far below in the isolated dark strange life forms may have evolved isolated form the mainstream. Also down there are frozen relics of bygone ages and climates.
The Dead Zone in the Gulf of Mexico
June 7, 2010 02:45 PM - Andy Soos, ENN
While the Deepwater Horizon oil gusher continues to mire the Gulf of Mexico, another threat could be growing below the oil slicked surface. This is the "Dead Zone". Currently the most well known dead zone is about 8,500 square miles in size and lies in the Gulf of Mexico, where the Mississippi River dumps high nutrient runoff from its vast drainage basin, which includes the heart of the U.S. agriculture business from the Midwest. This is equivalent to a dead zone the size of New Jersey. Dead zones are hypoxic (low oxygen) areas in the world's oceans, the observed incidences of which have been increasing since oceanographers began noting them in the 1970s.