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Enn Original News
Snowpack Dust Creates Problems for Colorado River
November 15, 2013 04:20 PM - Editor, ENN
Desert soils have been piling up in the Rocky Mountains since the mid-1800s as human land use activities disturb and break up the soil crust. And during recent years, desert dust has been settling exceptionally thick and dark on the snowpack in the northern Rocky Mountains. Unfortunately, this poses a significant problem for the Colorado River and the 40 million people who depend on this source for water. How so? Snow dusted with dark particles absorbs more of the sun's rays and melts faster than clean snow. And unfortunately, desert dust is causing snowpack to melt many as six weeks earlier than it did in the 1800s.
Scientists Develop New Technique to Predict Wildfires
November 15, 2013 09:54 AM - Allison Winter, ENN
Last year, over 9 million acres were burned in the US alone due to wildfires. While wildfires can be caused by natural events, they often burn out of control and may get to a point where they become uncontrollable, even when managed by firefighters. Despite their sparks of uncertainty and paths of destruction, researchers have found a way to predict wildfire growth through the lifetime of their blazes. Scientists at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) in Boulder, Colo., and the University of Maryland, have developed a technique that combines cutting-edge simulations of the interaction of weather and fire with newly available satellite observations of active wildfires. This is the first time computer modeling offers the promise of continually-updated daylong predictions.
Ooo, la la! Meet Bouba!
November 14, 2013 03:06 PM - Robin Blackstone, ENN
The Wildlife Conservation Society's (WCS) Queen's Zoo in Flushing, NY has a new resident today. His name is Bouba and he is an Andean bear (Tremarctos ornatus) most commonly found in the Andes Mountains of Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru western Bolivia and northwestern Argentina.
Boulder's bold energy statement
November 13, 2013 01:01 PM - Robin Blackstone, ENN
Recent election results from Boulder, Colorado highlight another rejection of traditional energy supplier policies. According to Boulder Mayor Applebaum, "This is a message that we have to change a broken system...we need some local control." While the ballot questions were locally directed, the results highlight the national debate on energy supply. Boulder's referendum focused on their local energy distributor's control of the energy mix and whether or not to purchase that company's equipment to run their own utility.
NASA Releases Satellite Images of Typhoon Haiyan
November 11, 2013 04:10 PM - Editor, ENN
Typhoon Haiyan made landfall last week, causing much destruction in Southeast Asia. With death counts estimated to be in the thousands, this storm is one of the most powerful recorded typhoons to ever hit land and likely the deadliest natural disaster to hit the Philippines. So far, the typhoon is said to have affected at least 9.7 million people in 41 provinces. New satellite images obtained from NASA's Atmospheric Infrared Sounder (AIRS) instrument aboard NASA's Aqua spacecraft and the Indian Space Research Organization's OceanSAT-2 ocean wind scatterometer provide a glimpse into one of the most powerful storms ever recorded on Earth.
Transforming the Solar Discussion
November 11, 2013 01:08 PM - Robin Blackstone, ENN
The sun’s energy has been a central component of the renewable energy cache, including several harnessing technologies such as solar heating, photovoltaics, thermal, architecture and artificial photosynthesis. Researchers at the University of Cincinnati are bringing forth a new method of solar capture and storage called SmartLight that includes the use of electrofluidic cells in concert with embedded photovoltaics placed at the top of a building’s windows. These solar capture elements are then used to project light into the building through a continuous grid-strip of electrofluidic cells. Lead researcher, Jason Heikenfeld envisions these cell channels running across the top of a room and through room adjoining transom windows for distribution as needed within any of the office building’s rooms regardless of its position within the building.
Eco-Fruit Farming: Reducing Pesticides while Promoting Best Farming Techniques
November 8, 2013 10:30 AM - Allison Winter, ENN
In a 2005 study conducted by the Pesticide Data Program (under the US Department of Agriculture), out of 774 apples that were analyzed in the United States, 727 samples detected residues of pesticides - that's a whopping 98%! Furthermore, apples rank number 1 on the Environmental Working Group's "Dirty Dozen" list, which ranks fruits and vegetables on their levels of pesticides. Why are these colorful fruits laced with so many pesticides? In order for farmers to have a successful growing season, they often use pesticides and insecticides on their produce, which has positive effects for crop yields, but also has hazardous negative effects on the environment and potentially for consumers. The problem is two-fold: apple growers want to use the best techniques to grow their crops, and agricultural scientists want to reduce pesticide use.
Plan It for the Planet! November 15th America Recycles Day
November 8, 2013 10:16 AM - Robin Blackstone, ENN
So maybe America Recycles Day isn't as well known as Thanksgiving, New Years or the Fourth of July, but it is potentially becoming equally as significant for our planet's future! While our national recycling rate has increased each year for the past 30 years there is still great opportunity for recycling. America Recycles Day is the only nationally recognized day and community-driven awareness event dedicated to promoting and celebrating recycling in the U.S.
Hydrocarbon drilling impacts aquatic life
November 7, 2013 11:37 AM - Editor, ENN
Today, Hydrocarbons are the main source of the world’s electric energy and heat sources (such as home heating) because of the energy produced when burnt. Often this energy is used directly as heat such as in home heaters, which use either petroleum or natural gas.
Hotel Marketing Strategy: To Green or Not to Go Green
November 6, 2013 12:39 PM - Robin Blackstone, ENN
Over the last decade hotels and other businesses have increasingly adopted more and more green strategies as part of their daily operations. These strategies have transcended to marketing declarations of eco-certification that are then toted on hotel websites and other marketing materials for the consumer’s consideration when making their purchase decision. Researchers from Cornell’s School of Hotel Administration have studied the benefits of this certification to determine its effectiveness for capturing business. But does this matter to the consumer?