Sci/tech

Ethiopian Rift Shows How Continents Can Split, Create New Ocean
November 4, 2009 08:10 AM - Roger Greenway, ENN

A new study reported by the Addis Ababa University in Ethiopia and the University of Rochester sheds light on how the continents move, and oceans are created. In 2005, a gigantic, 35-mile-long rift broke open the desert ground in Ethiopia. At the time, some geologists believed the rift was the beginning of a new ocean as two parts of the African continent pulled apart, but the claim was controversial. Now, scientists from several countries have confirmed that the volcanic processes at work beneath the Ethiopian rift are nearly identical to those at the bottom of the world's oceans, and the rift is indeed likely the beginning of a new sea.

Margaret Thatcher, Lyndon Johnson were Right!
November 4, 2009 06:26 AM - Alister Doyle, Reuters

President Lyndon Johnson and British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher made stark warnings about global warming decades ago, but convincing evidence for action only amassed in recent years, experts say. A 190-nation U.N. conference in Copenhagen in December is due to agree a new U.N. pact to curb greenhouse gas emissions to slow a rise in temperatures to prevent floods, droughts, wildfires or rising sea levels.

ENN is pleased to be a media partner with Robert Bateman’s Innovative Contest that Challenges Youth to Connect with Nature
November 3, 2009 04:53 PM - Roger Greenway, ENN

In an unprecedented collaboration, over thirty major organizations have joined forces to invite young Americans to discover nature by entering the Robert Bateman "Get to Know" Contest. These partners include the US Forest Service, US Fish & Wildlife Service, National Wildlife Federation, the Children & Nature Network, the Wyland Foundation, and many others. The Get to Know Contest invites any American age 18 or younger to go outdoors, to "get to know" their wild neighbors, and then to share their experience by creating art, writing, or photography.

Turning Algae Into Bioplastic Could Slash Petroleum Use by 50%
November 3, 2009 09:53 AM - Andrew Williams, Cleantechnica via , Matter Network

California-based company Cereplast has revealed that it is developing breakthrough technology to transform algae into bioplastics, and predicts that it could replace 50% or more of the petroleum content used in traditional plastic resins.

Ohio State Glaciologist Team Gets Important Ice Cores in Andes
November 3, 2009 06:46 AM - Roger Greenway, ENN

Ice cores are important tools to identify Earth’s past climate. They enable us to peer back in time to identify species of insects trapped in ice as well as isotopes oxygen and dust particles that were deposited at various time in the past. The ratio of oxygen isotopes in the ice allows researchers to determine whether temperatures were warmer or cooler when the snow that eventually turned to ice was deposited on the glacier. The dust content gives scientists clues about the rate of precipitation at the site. The thicker the core (longer cores) the longer into the past we can see.

Green University: Saudi Arabia’s KAUST With Eco-Friendly Environment
November 2, 2009 10:45 AM - Green Prophet, Clean Techies

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia may still be considered as one of the most conservative from a religious standpoint. But with the opening of the new King Abdullah University of Science and Technology, otherwise known as KAUST, a new era in academic learning, combined with new innovations in ecological architecture and design, has begun in which both men and women students will benefit jointly.

Using the Sahara Sun to Power Europe
November 2, 2009 09:58 AM - Vanessa L. Bourlier, ENN

A $400 billon plan to provide Europe with solar power from the Sahara desert moved a step closer to reality with the formation of a consortium to carry out the work. Known as the Desertec Industrial Initiative (DDI), the German-led consortium believes it can deliver solar power to Europe as early as 2015.

Chemical spills after ship accidents in China
November 2, 2009 05:41 AM - Reuters

Chinese workers are trying to clean up dangerous chemicals in the central reaches of the Yangtze river and an oil spill near an eastern Chinese port, after two shipping accidents this weekend.

Unanticipated Long Term Consequences of Nuclear Waste From Bomb Making
November 1, 2009 09:50 AM - Frank Clifford, L A Times

Radioactive debris has been found in canyons that drain into the Rio Grande, but officials at the Los Alamos National Laboratory say there's no health risk. More than 60 years after scientists assembled the nuclear bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, lethal waste is seeping from mountain burial sites and moving toward aquifers, springs and streams that provide water to 250,000 residents of northern New Mexico. Isolated on a high plateau, the Los Alamos National Laboratory seemed an ideal place to store a bomb factory's deadly debris. But the heavily fractured mountains haven't contained the waste, some of which has trickled down hundreds of feet to the edge of the Rio Grande, one of the most important water sources in the Southwest.

Side effect of plastic: Aggressive Kids
October 31, 2009 11:39 AM - Editor, ENN, Sierra Club Green Home

Plastics containing Bisphenol-A linked to child misbehavior Yes we know, everything causes cancer, nothing is safe for our kids, a lot of paranoia, right? Sometimes these concerns are for real. A chemical of significant importance to parents and scientists these days is Bisphenol-A (BPA). BPA is a common chemical used in plastics for increased flexibility and molding. It can be found in your child’s plastic sippy cup, binkies, and even canned food. The lining found inside some canned foods is very similar to high density plastics, thus likely to contain significant levels of BPA. Numerous studies have proven that BPA can negatively impact your health. Experts have advised people to shop for BPA-free products. In general, avoiding plastics whenever possible is a good idea.

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