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Enn Original News
Do dams bring more harm or more good?
November 4, 2013 09:01 AM - Editor, ENN
As China forges ahead with its goal to generate 120,000 megawatts of renewable energy by 2020, they are damming more and more rivers. According to China, this is a safe strategy that will curb pollution, control floods, and minimize climate change. Conservationists and scientists across the globe however, disagree.
Safe passage at last for the Pronghorn
November 1, 2013 04:56 PM - Robin Blackstone, ENN
U.S. Highway 191 in Trapper's Point, Wyoming is safer today for motorists and pronghorns alike as a result of a newly built 8-part overpass/underpass system designed to facilitate the travel and migration of local populations of pronghorn, mule deer, moose, elk and other wildlife safely over the highway. While the overpass was completed in time for last year’s migration, the pronghorn were hesitant to use the system last year making researchers nervous. However, this year the pronghorn were less confused by the alteration and used the passages willingly.
Relating demographics and social systems to declines in Asian Great Ape population
November 1, 2013 10:53 AM - Robin Blackstone, ENN
Catastrophic declines in wild populations of African gorilla and chimpanzees due to disease outbreaks have been reported in recent years, yet similar disease impacts are rarely identified for the more solitary Asian great apes, or for smaller primates. Researchers led by Sadie Ryan, Assistant Professor at the State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry has recently published a study centered on the interaction between the social system and demographics of different primate species to determine if any of these behaviors or realities predispose them to potentially lethal pathogens. Through this study the researchers have identified interactions between social structure, demography, and disease transmission modes that create "dynamic constraints" on the pathogens that can establish and persist in primate host species with different social systems.
Wind Turbine Arrangement: Staggering Results
October 31, 2013 03:48 PM - Robin Blackstone, ENN
Location and organization apparently matters after all! Or at least that is what Cristina Archer, Assistant Professor at the University of Delaware has discovered with regard to wind turbine efficiency. Dr. Archer headed up a team of researchers from UD's College of Earth, Ocean and Environment to conduct studies on the effects of various wind turbine organizational placement patterns. Using a wind farm near Sweden for the basis of their study, they compared existing tightly paced, grid-like layouts to six alternate configurations. They tried multiple spacing distances in various styles of rows: straight arrays, linear but equal offsets and a staggered theatre style where any turbine in front does not obstruct the view from any one behind.
The Great Latex Defense
October 30, 2013 10:48 AM - Robin Blackstone, ENN
Latex from plants is a naturally occurring white opaque sap that emanates from a plant's point of damage. About 10% of plants use Latex as a method of defense. Latex is also an essential ingredient in natural rubber. But different plants use latex in different ways. Researchers at the University of Oxford wanted to understand the mechanical properties of natural latex in relation to their respective defense application. As a result, researchers tested two latex producing plant species that use it differently: the Euphorbia and the Ficus.
Sandy’s path of destruction felt in the Caribbean too
October 29, 2013 04:17 PM - Robin Blackstone, ENN
Last year at this time much of the United States eastern seaboard was closely monitoring Super Storm Sandy. Hour by hour people watched with horror as she blew across the Dominican Republic, Haiti, Cuba and the Bahamas ultimately charging up the Atlantic, swinging west to crash into the Mid-Atlantic states at full force. Damage to New York and New Jersey was extensive to be sure, but the larger populations and greater affluence to the north have largely overshadowed recovery of the Caribbean nations.
Mercury Sediment Carried Forth by California Floods
October 29, 2013 01:59 PM - Robin Blackstone, ENN
Mercury contamination in sediment has been a big concern in the Central Valley lowland areas of California. But associate researcher from the University of California, Michael Singer has unearthed new information and considerations utilizing modern topographic datasets and modeling to track mercury-laden sediment. Singer hypothesizes that the progradation process resulting from 10-year flooding events within the valleys below the Sierra Nevada Mountains are the key to understanding and tracking the presence of mercury. Singer has connected the mercury amalgamation process, which was used to extract gold from the mountains during the 19th century with the current high incidence of mercury in regional delta sediment.
School Bus Company Fined $33K for Excessive Idling
October 29, 2013 09:02 AM - Editor, ENN
Watch out idlers — they're coming for you! Anti-idling laws on the federal, state, and local level are rapidly growing across the US in an effort to cut back on the billions of gallons of fuel that are wasted each year by idling vehicles. While it is difficult to patrol these idlers, especially on a local level, most states have laws against idling, with California taking the lead for the most codes and regulations. The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is also taking action against companies that violate federally-enforceable motor vehicle idling limits. The latest culprit - North Reading Transportation (NRT), a Methuen company that operates school buses and provides student transportation services in several Massachusetts communities.
The Ozone hole seems to be getting smaller
October 29, 2013 06:48 AM - Roger Greenway, ENN
Remember the Ozone hole? Decades ago it was a big concern. It was getting bigger and bigger and our emissions of ozone-depleting substances was identified as the main reason. It continues to get smaller as anthropogenic emissions continue to be reduced. It was slightly smaller in 2013 than average in recent decades, according to NASA satellite data. The ozone hole is a seasonal phenomenon that starts to form during the Antarctic spring (August and September). The September-October 2013 average size of the hole was 8.1 million square miles (21 million square kilometers). For comparison, the average size measured since the mid-1990s when the annual maximum size stopped growing is 8.7 million square miles (22.5 million square kilometers). However, the size of the hole in any particular year is not enough information for scientists to determine whether a healing of the hole has begun.
October 28, 2013 10:36 AM - Robin Blackstone, ENN
Anthony Martin, paleontologist at Emory University in Atlanta, GA recently discovered two fossilized footprints presumably made by a landing bird during the Early Cretaceous period at Dinosaur Cove in Victoria, Australia. This discovery marks the oldest known bird tracks in Australia.