Sci/tech

Toxic Releases Decrease Nationwide
December 21, 2009 04:08 PM - Andy Soos, ENN

The USEPA released today the 2008 Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) report which provides information on toxic chemicals used and released by utilities, refineries, chemical manufacturers, paper companies, and many other facilities across the nation to all media whether it is air, water or solid waste. The TRI is compiled from data submitted to EPA and the States by industry. For the EPA’s mid-Atlantic region, the 2008 TRI data indicate a 9.1 percent decrease of 35.2 million pounds of on and off site chemical releases as compared with 2007. A total of 350 million pounds of chemicals were released during 2008 to the air, water or landfills by facilities in the mid-Atlantic region which includes Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia and the District of Columbia.

NASA Image Confirms Lake on Titan
December 21, 2009 10:52 AM - Roger Greenway, ENN

NASA has released a stunning photograph of Saturn’s moon Titan showing a glint of sunlight off a lake. The Cassini Spacecraft captured the first flash of sunlight reflected off a lake confirming the presence of liquid on the part of the moon dotted with many large, lake-shaped basins.

US Geological Survey Study of Oceanic Circulation
December 21, 2009 06:30 AM - Roger Greenway, ENN

The USGS released an important study of the deep ocean’s temperature variability and circulation system that could help improve projections of future climate conditions. The deep ocean is apparently affected more by surface warming than previously thought, and this understanding allows for more accurate predictions of factors such as sea level rise and ice volume changes.

Brain Size Predicts the Time it Takes Mammals to Walk
December 18, 2009 06:48 AM - Megan Talkington, ScienceNOW

Many animals test their legs and totter forth only hours after they are born, but humans need a year before they take their first, hesitant steps. Is something fundamentally different going on in human babies? Maybe not. A new study shows that the time it takes for humans and all other mammals to start walking fits closely with the size of their brains.

Sea levels set to rise more than expected due to 'deeply surprising' Greenland melt
December 15, 2009 09:55 AM - Jeremy Hance, Mongabay

A new study by the Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Program estimates that the sea will rise by 0.5 to 1.5 meters by 2100, threatening coastal cities and flooding island nations. This is double the predicted rise estimated by the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on climate Change (IPCC) in 2007, which did not incorporate sea level rise due to the melting of Greenland and Antarctica's ice sheets.

The Future of Energy Storage: Printable, Moldable Batteries Made From Paper
December 8, 2009 10:03 AM - Rachel Ehrenberg, Wired.com

Those who are quick to dismiss paper as old-fashioned should hold off on the trash talk. Scientists have made batteries and supercapacitors with little more than ordinary office paper and some carbon and silver nanomaterials. The research, published online December 7 in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, brings scientists closer to lightweight printable batteries that may one day be molded into computers, cell phones or solar panels.

CO2 Found to be Even More Important than Thought
December 8, 2009 07:35 AM - Editor, ENN

Research conducted by the University of Bristol, and the University of Leeds in the UK have demonstrated that our climate models may be underestimating the effects of CO2 on global temperatures. In the long term, the Earth’s temperature may be 30-50 per cent more sensitive to atmospheric carbon dioxide than has previously been estimated, reports a new study published in Nature Geoscience this week.

You May Never Have to Wash Windows Again
December 7, 2009 10:19 AM - Green Prophet, Clean Techies

It’s cleaning up space junk, and is giving us lab-on-chip biofilters for detecting contamination. Now nanotechnology has produced a coating for windows or solar panels that repels grime and dirt. Expanded battery storage capacities for the next electric car could be within reach too.

Nanofarming Offers a Kinder Way to Get Biofuel from Algae
December 7, 2009 09:34 AM - Tina Casey, Cleantechnica, Matter Network

In conventional biofuel production, algae are harvested and killed in order to extract their oil. It's not a very efficient process - sort of like uprooting a tree and stripping off the apples to make cider. By coaxing out the oil on a molecular level, nanofarming enables algae to give up their product while continuing to grow.

Why "ClimateGate" Is Irrelevant to Business
December 7, 2009 07:20 AM - Nick Aster , Triple Pundit

In case you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve no doubt been aware of a fiasco which emerged in the last few weeks from the University of East Anglia in the UK concerning unprofessional bickering between climate scientists exposed by an apparent email hacker. The FOXNews crowd is calling it proof that climate change (at least the human induced kind) is a hoax perpetrated by a grand conspiracy among corrupt scientists bent on installing a global uber-government and so on and so forth… It’s therefore not the least bit coincidental that the conspiracy has emerged immediately before the COP15 talks in Copenhagen.

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