Sci/tech

Air Pollution Linked to Diminishing IQ of Children

A new study published in the August 2009 edition of Pediatrics shows a possible disturbing correlation between increased urban air pollution and decreased IQ points in children. The study sites polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), or "chemicals released into the air from the burning of coal, diesel, oil, and gas, or other organic substances such as tobacco" as the major perpetrators of inner- city air pollution, with a particular focus on motor vehicle use.

Hydrokinetic Technologies: Will the U.S. Lose Ocean Energy to Europe?
July 21, 2009 09:46 AM - , Clean Techies

The earth is the water planet, so it should come as no great surprise that forms of water power have been one of the world’s most popular “renewable” energy sources.

U.S., China to Collaborate on Building Efficiency
July 21, 2009 09:32 AM - GreenBiz.com

The United States and China have agreed to a research partnership on energy efficient buildings and communities, redoubling collaborative efforts between the two countries in the development of cleaner, greener technology.

NOAA Reports Record Ocean Surface Temperatures for June
July 21, 2009 07:30 AM - , Global Warming is Real

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has reported findings of preliminary analysis from the agency's National Climatic Data Center in Asheville, North Carolina that shows global ocean surface temperatures for June broke the previous record set in 2005.

Hydrofluorocarbons, Once a Solution, Now a Problem?
July 20, 2009 07:44 AM - David A. Fahrenthold, Washington Post

Scientists say the chemicals that helped solve the last global environmental crisis -- the hole in the ozone layer -- are making the current one worse. They worked: The earth's protective shield seems to be recovering. But researchers say what's good for ozone is bad for climate change.

Fertilizer’s Contamination Legacy
July 19, 2009 07:21 AM - , Organic Consumers Association

Perchlorate-contaminated groundwater could be a widespread legacy of the U.S.'s agricultural past, according to researchers who have pioneered perchlorate forensics. The researchers, led by John Karl Bhlke of the U.S. Geological Survey, used isotopes and other geochemical tracers to identify perchlorate sources. The impact of the historic use of Chilean nitrate fertilizer from the Atacama Desert, which contains naturally occurring perchlorate, is emerging from studies such as one published recently in ES&T.

Mystery of Los Angeles Methane Emissions Probed
July 19, 2009 07:09 AM - New Scientist

The Los Angeles metropolitan area belches far more methane into its air than scientists had previously realized. If other megacities are equally profligate, urban methane emissions may represent a surprisingly important source of this potent greenhouse gas. Atmospheric researchers have long had good estimates of global methane emissions, but less is known about exactly where these emissions come from, particularly in urban areas.

Comment on DVD Review: Earth From The Air
July 18, 2009 11:42 AM - M Molendyke, ENN Community

The newly released "Earth From the Air" DVD is a compilation of the fascinating photographs taken by photographer Yann Arthus- Bertrand on his extensive world travels. Creating an aerial portrait of the globe, Bertrand has flown over hundreds of countries, snapping beautiful and thought- compelling pictures along the way. The subject matter of the photographs ranges from industrial architecture to exotic animals to natural wonders to the human struggle, and each image is as compelling as the next. The photographer's goal is to inspire a deeper understanding and appreciation of Planet Earth in the face of the climate and population boom crisis, and he effectively reaches his audience through this DVD, supplementing his message with frequent written passages that elegantly fade into the screen in between scenes. Most feature statistics meant to, at best, elicit shock in the viewer, at worst, interest her. With blurbs like "20% of the world population consumes 80% of the world energy", "1.6 billion people are overweight (of which 400 million are obese), 820 million are chronically undernourished", and "1 in 4 species of mammal, 2 in 5 species of amphibian, 1 in 8 species of bird are endangered", Bertrand captures his audiences' attention in more ways than one.

Are Aluminum Bottles Greener than Glass?
July 18, 2009 11:33 AM - , Triple Pundit

Aluminum as a substitute for glass bottles has been inching its way into the consumer experience in the last few years, most notably in the US in the form of beer bottles from Anheuser-Busch and Iron City Beer, a popular regional brand founded in Pittsburgh. Coca-cola has also announced plans to roll out aluminum bottles in this country, though only in limited venues.

Sun's Activity Cycle Linked to Earth Climate
July 18, 2009 10:01 AM - LiveScience

When the sun's weather is most active, it can impact Earth’s climate in a way that is similar to El Niño and La Niña events, a new study suggests. The sun experiences a roughly 11-year cycle, during which the activities on its roiling surface intensify and then dissipate. (One noted sign of a highly active period is the number of sunspots dotting the solar surface). The total energy reaching Earth from the sun varies by only 0.1 percent across the solar cycle.

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