Sci/Tech

Can rain clean the atmosphere?
August 28, 2015 02:31 PM - MIT News

As a raindrop falls through the atmosphere, it can attract tens to hundreds of tiny aerosol particles to its surface before hitting the ground. The process by which droplets and aerosols attract is coagulation, a natural phenomenon that can act to clear the air of pollutants like soot, sulfates, and organic particles. Atmospheric chemists at MIT have now determined just how effective rain is in cleaning the atmosphere. 

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The Fingerprints of Sea Level Rise
August 26, 2015 02:49 PM - NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory

When you fill a sink, the water rises at the same rate to the same height in every corner. That's not the way it works with our rising seas.

According to the 23-year record of satellite data from NASA and its partners, the sea level is rising a few millimeters a year -- a fraction of an inch. If you live on the U.S. East Coast, though, your sea level is rising two or three times faster than average. If you live in Scandinavia, it's falling. Residents of China's Yellow River delta are swamped by sea level rise of more than nine inches (25 centimeters) a year.

These regional differences in sea level change will become even more apparent in the future, as ice sheets melt. For instance, when the Amundsen Sea sector of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet is totally gone, the average global sea level will rise four feet. But the East Coast of the United States will see an additional 14 to 15 inches above that average.

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SPOTLIGHT

Unraveling the Secrets of a Whale Song

S.E. Smith, Care2

Whale songs are some of the most hauntingly beautiful and bizarre noises in the world. But if it hadn’t been for acoustic biologist Katy Payne, we’d probably still be dismissing them as mere sounds — like the noises our own cats and dogs make when they’re hungry, frightened, interested, or affectionate. Payne, however, realized that whales are actually composing songs, not just making noise under the sea, and moreover, she found that over time, whales change their tune. These majestic marine mammals interact with each other to create songs of escalating length and complexity over the years, in what one might compare to jazz riffing or Indigenous Australian songlines, the cultural, social, and physical maps passed down through generations.

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Endangered Animals of the World

August 27th, 2015
Let's raise awareness for some of these common (and not so common) endangered species!
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Waste water treatment strategy needed for Cyanobacteria Bloom in Lake Atitlan, Guatemala

August 24th, 2015
On 3 August 2015, a cyanobacteria bloom invaded Lake Atitlan in Guatemala. The question at hand is: What can we do about it?
To read the full post and comment, visit the ENN Community Blog

Which Indoor Plant is Right for your Home?

August 20th, 2015
They're more than just functional decoration - houseplants are living inhabitants that turn your house into a home. Read on to find out what plant is right for you!
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