Enn Original News

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.

The Brains of a Locust
May 26, 2010 01:04 PM - Andy Soos, ENN

Locusts are notorious as being indiscriminate devourers of everything and somewhat mindless in their attack. Although desert locusts are infamous for their swarming behavior, they usually occur in a solitary form, living alone and actively avoiding fellow locusts. The difference between a swarming locust brain and a solitary locust brain is quite extraordinary. Despite being smaller than solitary locusts, swarming locusts developed brains that were 30% larger. Not only that, regions of the brain that are dedicated to different tasks had very different proportions in the two phases.

Termite Power
May 26, 2010 11:31 AM - David A Gabel, ENN

Humans have the unparalleled ability of altering their environment to suit their needs. We have shaped the entire face of the planet, from the densest cities to the rural countryside. Yet, on their own small level, other creatures in the animal kingdom can affect their environment as well. Amazingly, a tiny organism like the termite can create a huge effect.

The Deepwater Oil Release Impact on Marine Life
May 25, 2010 03:36 PM - Andy Soos, ENN

New reports are surfacing every day about the immediate impacts of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill on Gulf Coast wildlife, especially as the oil reaches the sensitive marshlands along the coast. What will be the long term impact to local marine life? There is some knowledge from earlier releases such as Valdez off Alaska. Oil contains complex hydrocarbons and heavy metals. Such materials will be absorbed and have impact on the local marine life over time. How they will be absorbed, how much and their effects are unknown or debatable. To begin to address this issue, Academy scientist Peter Roopnarine is working with Laurie Anderson from Louisiana State University and David Goodwin from Denison University to collect and analyze three different types of mollusks from the Gulf Coast. These animals are continually building their shells, and if contaminants are present in their environment, they can incorporate those compounds into their shells.

Clean Up the Trucks
May 24, 2010 03:46 PM - Andy Soos, ENN

About a year ago the President and car company CEOs, announced the first Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards for cars and light trucks that took into account greenhouse gas emissions as a factor. The move ordered a 30 percent increase in fuel efficiency by 2016, totaling a 35.5 miles per gallon average for both cars and light trucks. This past Friday’s directive ordered federal agencies to begin development of even more stringent standards for 2017 and beyond. Though big rigs represent less than five percent of all vehicles on U.S. highways, they consume more than 20 percent of the total of transportation fuels utilized. Truck fuel consumption tends to be presently less than 10 miles per gallon which makes them comparatively fuel inefficient.

The New Synthetic Cell
May 21, 2010 05:00 PM - Andy Soos, ENN

J. Craig Venter has created a “synthetic cell”Ě by synthesizing a complete bacterial genome and using it to take over a cell. Venter’s breakthrough, reported in the online edition of Science, represents a preliminary step toward the goal of creating microbes from scratch in the lab and using them to make biofuels, vaccines, and other products.

The Warm Ocean
May 20, 2010 05:41 PM - Andy Soos, ENN

Often when going to the beach the common complaint is that the ocean is too cold. They appear to be warming up a bit. The upper layer of Earth's ocean has warmed since 1993, indicating a strong climate change signal, according to a new international study co-authored by oceanographer Josh Willis of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif. The energy stored is enough to power nearly 500 100-watt light bulbs for each of the roughly 6.7 billion people on the planet.

The Great No Fishing Area
May 19, 2010 12:45 PM - Andy Soos, ENN

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has extended the boundaries of the closed fishing area in the Gulf of Mexico into the northern portion of the loop current as a precautionary measure to ensure that seafood from the Gulf will remain safe for consumers. Though the latest analysis shows that the bulk of the oil remains dozens of miles from the loop current, the new boundaries address the possibility that a tendril of light oil has entered or will enter the loop current. Part of the Gulf Stream, the Loop Current is a warm ocean current in the Gulf of Mexico that flows northward between Cuba and the Yucatan peninsula, moves north into the Gulf of Mexico, loops west and south before exiting to the east through the Florida Straits.

EPA Envirofacts
May 18, 2010 01:18 PM - Andy Soos, ENN

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has just added more than 6,300 chemicals and 3,800 chemical facilities regulated under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) to a public database called Envirofacts. The Envirofacts database is EPA’s single point of access on the Internet for information about environmental activities that may affect air, water and land in the U.S and provides tools for analyzing the data. It includes facility name and address information, aerial image of the facility and surrounding area, map location of the facility, and links to other EPA information on the facility.

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