Sci/tech

Researchers Detect Hint of Oxygen 50 to 100 Million Years Earlier Than First Believed
September 29, 2007 05:15 PM - Paul Schaefer, ENN

 
Riverside, California - Two teams of scientists report that traces of oxygen appeared in Earth's atmosphere roughly 100 million years before the "Great Oxidation Event" 2.4 billion years ago. The Great Oxidation Event is when most geoscientists think atmospheric oxygen rose sharply from very low levels and set the stage for animal life that followed almost two billion years later. Analyzing layers of sedimentary rock in a kilometer-long core sample they retrieved in 2004 from the Hamersley Basin in Western Australia, the researchers found evidence for the presence of a small but significant amount of oxygen 2.5 billion years ago in the oceans and likely also in Earth's atmosphere.

UK To Airlines: Green Up Or Else
September 28, 2007 07:29 PM - Paul Schaefer, ENN

London, -- The United Kingdom told airlines to green up, or else, and soon. The government acted decisively today to safeguard the proposed European aviation emissions trading scheme and urged the international aviation community to take greater action to address aviation emissions. Secretary of State for Transport Ruth Kelly, said: "We want to work with our international partners to achieve a global solution to this global problem.  If international negotiations deliver an effective solution then we will have achieved our goal through co-operation.  But I am also clear that the UK, and the environment, cannot wait for ever. That is why we are reserving the right - if an international solution is not found - to act in the wider global interest by extending the EU emissions trading scheme to all flights arriving and departing from the European Union.

Satellites confirm reports of Myanmar violence
September 28, 2007 03:02 PM - Maggie Fox, Health and Science Editor

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Satellite images confirm reports of burned villages, forced relocations and other human-rights abuses in Myanmar, scientists said on Friday.

The American Association for the Advancement of Science said the high-resolution photographs taken by commercial satellites document a growing military presence at 25 sites across eastern Myanmar, matching eyewitness reports.

"We found evidence of 18 villages that essentially disappeared," AAAS researcher Lars Bromley said in an interview.

New Study Challenges Timeline of Oxygen
September 28, 2007 09:44 AM - AP

Scientists Cull DNA From Extinct Mammoth
September 28, 2007 09:42 AM - AP

Lucid in the Sky
September 28, 2007 09:28 AM - University of Cambridge

Toyota fuel-cell Car Covers 350 Miles On One Tank
September 28, 2007 08:45 AM - Reuters

TOKYO- Toyota Motor Corp said on Friday its improved FCHV zero-emission fuel-cell car completed a road test from Osaka to Tokyo, covering 560 km (350 miles), on a single tank of hydrogen.  The latest version of the FCHV features a high-pressure tank of 70Mpa that can store double the amount of hydrogen as its previous fuel tank, increasing its cruising range. Two cars were tested and both completed the trip, the automaker said.

Human parasite genome reveals long past
September 27, 2007 07:21 PM - Julie Steenhuysen, Reuters

CHICAGO (Reuters) - An icky parasite that is a major source of tummy trouble for young children and nature lovers appears to have been infecting mammals for a very long time, U.S. researchers said on Thursday.

Giardia lamblia is one of the most common human parasites in the United States, causing more than 20,000 intestinal infections each year.

A complete genetic sequence of this parasite now suggests it had ancestors reaching back more than a billion years.

"We think it is deep in the evolutionary tree," said Hilary Morrison, of the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole, Massachusetts, whose study appears in the journal Science.

The Benefits of a Low-Carbon Future
September 27, 2007 08:45 AM - Janet L. Swain, Worldwatch Institute

Yesterday, we weighed in on the need for stronger leadership on climate change from the United States and China in light of this week’s landmark meetings at the UN and White House. Today, we’ll provide a run-down of the benefits of addressing climate change—and what we stand to lose if we don’t.

The Stern Report, compiled for the UK government and released in late 2006, estimates that the costs of climate change under a "business-as-usual" scenario could equal the loss of 5 to 20 percent of gross world product each year. In contrast, the report puts the costs of efforts to avoid the worst impacts at only about 1 percent of gross world product. Since then, the International Energy Agency and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change have issued similar conclusions.

Ice-Based Airconditioning Takes Off In California
September 26, 2007 03:02 PM - Paul Schaefer, ENN

SAN FRANCISCO - A company that makes an ice-based air-conditioning system is teaming up with a major public utility, PG & E, in California in a $10-million dollar project. The ice-based air conditioner uses cheaper nighttime electricity to make ice and then uses that ice for daytime cooling needs. The units cooling looks almost identical to a standard AC unit. The systems lowers peak daytime demand significantly, shifting the energy load up to 95%. The California Public Utilities Commission says permanent load shifting technologies deliver a number of benefits to both utilities and energy consumers, including added protection against shortages during heat waves and reduced reliance on the construction of new generation plants.

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