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What to do with the CO2
July 26, 2010 05:12 PM - Andy Soos, ENN

Burning fuel releases a lot of carbon dioxide. For more is emitted than any other air emission. What can we do with it all? A basic reuse of carbon dioxide or CO2 is to have plants and trees use it to make new plants and trees. Recently, the U.S. government has been funding more than $100 million to six research projects that will turn carbon dioxide into fuel, plastics, cement and more. Though the US is spending some money even more comes from private investors.

New NOAA Analysis Gives Further Clues about Location and Movement of Subsurface Oil in Gulf — and how little of it there is
July 24, 2010 09:48 AM - Roger Greenway, ENN

Remember the debate about the subsurface "plumes" or oil released by the leaking BP well in the Gulf of Mexico? A new report released by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy about subsurface oil monitoring in the Gulf of Mexico contains preliminary data collected at 227 sampling stations extending from one to 52 kilometers from the Deepwater Horizon/BP wellhead. The data shows that the movement of subsurface oil is consistent with ocean currents and that the concentrations continue to be more diffuse as you move away from the source of the leak. This confirms the findings of the previous report. The report comes from the Joint Analysis Group (JAG), which is comprised of the afore mentioned agencies and was established to facilitate cooperation and coordination among the best scientific minds across the government and provide a coordinated analysis of information related to subsea monitoring in the Gulf of Mexico.

July 23, 2010 02:54 PM - Andy Soos, ENN

Astronomers using the NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope have discovered carbon molecules, known as fullerenes (and when arranged in a spherical form it is commonly called a buckyball, in space for the first time. Buckyballs are soccer ball shaped molecules that were first observed in a laboratory 25 years ago. A fullerene is any molecule composed entirely of carbon, in the form of a hollow sphere, ellipsoid, or tube. Cylinders are called carbon nanotubes or buckytubes. Fullerenes are similar in structure to graphite, which is composed of stacked graphene sheets of linked hexagonal rings; but they may also contain pentagonal (or sometimes heptagonal) rings.

The Smog to Heart Connection
July 23, 2010 10:30 AM - David A Gabel, ENN

It is well known that certain concentrations of air pollution can adversely affect human respiratory condition. What is not as well-known is how air pollution can affect the heart. A new study presented at the American Heart Association's Basic Cardiovasular Sciences 2010 Scientific Session by researchers from Texas A&M links ground-level ozone (smog) to cell deaths in the heart.

The Air Near the BP Oil Spill
July 22, 2010 04:07 PM - Andy Soos, ENN

By now most people know about the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico and its effects or potential effects on water quality and wildlife. Now the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) had released measurements of the air quality in the area. Scientists found common air pollutants, such as ozone, nitrogen oxides and carbon monoxide, in amounts typical of urban areas in U.S. cities. However, 15 to 70 kilometers downwind from the oil spill, concentrations of certain hydrocarbons were much higher than than would be found in urban air.

Exporting Pollution
July 21, 2010 02:55 PM - Andy Soos, ENN

America has been getting rid of its industrial base and as a result pollution will tend to decrease in America. Where does it all go? Other countries should know the bitter lessons of pollution should they not? Maybe yes and maybe no. Industry has gone to many other nations including China especially in the last decade. According to the People's Republic of China's own evaluation, two-thirds of the 338 cities for which air quality data are available are considered polluted. Respiratory, cancer and heart diseases related to air pollution are the leading cause of death in China. Meanwhile in Tehran, which is one of the most polluted cities of the world, there is a similar situation. Air pollution in the Iranian city of Tehran is not new. Ever since 1950 population and automobile ownership has risen dramatically.

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.

Idling Vehicles
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".

Floating Glaciers
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.

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