Sci/tech

The $150 Space Camera: MIT Students Beat NASA On Beer-Money Budget
September 15, 2009 11:14 AM - WIRED

Two MIT students put together a low-budget rig to fly a camera high enough to photograph the curvature of the Earth. Instead of rockets, boosters and expensive control systems, they filled a weather balloon with helium and hung a styrofoam beer cooler underneath to carry a cheap Canon A470 compact camera.

Tech Helps Dandelions Ooze
September 15, 2009 11:02 AM - Eric Bland, Discovery News

Pop the head off a new genetically engineered dandelion and white sap oozes for minutes, allowing scientists to gather five times more latex than from the average dandelion.

Sea Levels Rose as Much as Two Feet This Summer in U.S. East

Sea levels rose as much as 2 feet (60 centimeters) higher than predicted this summer along the U.S. East Coast, surprising scientists who forecast such periodic fluctuations. The immediate cause of the unexpected rise has now been solved, U.S. officials say in a new report (hint: it wasn't global warming). But the underlying reason remains a mystery.

Ford to Convert Auto Plant to Clean Tech Manufacturing
September 14, 2009 12:06 PM - Andrew Donoghue, GreenBiz.com

A Ford car plant which was recently shut down as part of cost savings by the car maker is being converted into a facility for renewable energy companies.

New Carbon Dioxide Data Helps Unlock The Secrets Of Antarctic Formation

The link between declining CO2 levels in the earth's atmosphere and the formation of the Antarctic ice caps some 34 million years ago has been confirmed for the first time in a major research study.

Summer Temperatures Lower Than Normal Over Most of US
September 13, 2009 12:18 PM - R. Greenway, ENN

Global warming doesn’t necessarily mean that temperatures are rising every year, everywhere. Superimposed on global trends are local and regional climate effects that may differ from global trends. For example, the average June-August 2009 summer temperature for the contiguous United States was below average – the 34th coolest on record, according to a preliminary analysis by NOAA’s National Climatic Data Center in Asheville, N.C. August was also below the long-term average. The analysis is based on records dating back to 1895.

Another Factor that Impacts our Climate
September 13, 2009 11:09 AM - R. Greenway, ENN

UCLA atmospheric scientists have discovered a previously unknown basic mode of energy transfer from the solar wind to the Earth's magnetosphere. The research, federally funded by the National Science Foundation, could improve the safety and reliability of spacecraft that operate in the upper atmosphere. "It's like something else is heating the atmosphere besides the sun. This discovery is like finding it got hotter when the sun went down," said Larry Lyons, UCLA professor of atmospheric and oceanic sciences and a co-author of the research, which is in press in two companion papers in the Journal of Geophysical Research.

German ships successfully make "Arctic Passage"
September 12, 2009 11:16 AM - Reuters

Two German cargo ships have successfully navigated across Russia's Arctic-facing northern shore from South Korea to Siberia without the help of icebreakers, the shipping company said. The two merchant ships belonging to Beluga Shipping Gmbh were able to make the cost-saving voyage by the fabled Northeast Passage because of the reduction in the polar ice cap due to global warming, the company said.

Energy monitoring gets sexy
September 11, 2009 01:46 PM - Shea Gunther, Mother Nature Network

The EA Clock is a beautifully sleek design that shows how much energy is being used around it.

German Geothermal Project Leads to Second Thoughts After the Earth Rumbles
September 11, 2009 09:01 AM - NICHOLAS KULISH and JAMES GLANZ, NY Times

Government officials here are reviewing the safety of a geothermal energy project that scientists say set off an earthquake in mid-August, shaking buildings and frightening many residents of this small city.

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